Edinburgh boasts a fabulous array of local ingredients and passionate purveyors of all things food. We asked Anna Hamilton, food writer and operator of local supper club Alright Treacle, to give us a brief guide to her favourite producers and groceries.
George Bower Butchers
75 Raeburn Place, Edinburgh EH4 1JG, georgebowerbutchers.co.uk, 0131 332 3469. Open Mon-Sat 9am-5pm
A particular favourite of mine for meat, especially game, is George Bower Butchers in Stockbridge. Never one to shy away from hanging various unfortunate beasties in the window, their down-to-earth approach and reasonable prices means they have built up a loyal following for 68 years. Sourcing the majority of their products from Scotland and elsewhere within the UK, they have plans to open their own farm next year, to stock the shop with homegrown produce direct from the field.
35 Elm Row, Edinburgh EH7 4AH, tattieshaws.co.uk, 0131 557 6720. Open Mon-Fri 9am-6.30pm, Sat 9am-6pm
A fine example of the local Leith greengrocer is Tattie Shaws on Elm Row. It’s pleasingly perfunctory and run by James Welby, who is a keen advocate for ‘keeping it in the community’, and prides himself on providing his regulars with great value produce that is predominantly sourced locally, particularly during the summer months.
Eddie’s Seafood Market
7 Roseneath Street, Edinburgh EH9 1JH, eddiesseafood.co.uk, 0131 229 4207. Open Tue-Fri 8am-6pm, Sat 8am-5pm. Cash only
Eddie’s Seafood Market is something of an Edinburgh institution - founded 30 years ago by Eddie Kwok, who decided to stay here after university, rather than return to his native Hong Kong. The shop is happily decorated with kitsch fishing memorabilia, and stocked with plenty of marine delights from Scottish waters. It’s also a great place to try if you’re looking for sushi grade fillets, or something more unusual, like giant sea snails – yum!
Archipelago Artisan Bakery
39b Queen Street, Edinburgh EH2 3NH, archipelagobakery.co.uk, 07932 462 715. Open Mon-Fri 9am-3pm, Sat 9am-1pm
One of the best and slightly bonkers bakeries I have found so far is Archipelago, on the corner of Frederick and Queen Street. Caroline Walsh opened her health conscious bakery in February, with a passion for providing solely organic, artisan breads from her quirky basement kitchen. Taking great pride in using the best ingredients, whatever your dietary requirements, she also offers baking for beginner’s classes, and in the pipeline are ‘bake and date’ nights for couples that knead inspiring.
1–6 CanonmillsBridge, Edinburgh EH3 5LF, earthy.uk.com, 0131 556 9699. Open Mon-Fri 9am-7pm, Sat 9am-6pm, Sat-Sun 9am-6pm
If you’re looking for a good all-round ethical retailer then Earthy is an excellent choice. Dedicated to providing Edinburgh with fresh produce and trusted organic brands, their aim is to give the customer the feeling of being in a farmer’s market, which they achieve with fantastic, artistic displays and plenty of ‘try before you buy’ options. Slightly over zealous pricing means that I wouldn’t visit for my essentials, but if you’re looking for more specialist items it’s ideal, and with three locations dotted around the city, they’re clearly doing something right.
Alright Treacle is a supper club that operates on Saturday nights from an Edinburgh city centre location. Their next event is on Sat Nov 8 - visit alright-treacle.com for more info and booking. In addition to Alright Treacle, Anna also blogs about food at itsrudetostare.com and tweets @alrighttreacles