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The best food pop-ups at the Edinburgh Festivals

The Edinburgh Festivals present a feast for the belly as well as the soul. Catch these places quick, though - come September, they're gone

Written by
Niki Boyle

Edinburgh has more than it's fair share of great restaurants (ranging from wonderful cheap eats to places that don't have a Michelin star but probably should). During the Edinburgh Festivals, a few more names get added to the list of the city's eateries - catch them quick for a full Festival experience.

  • Nightlife

The leafy garden at the heart of Edinburgh Uni’s historic Old Town campus will be a bit busier than usual this year, as perennial residents Assembly are being joined by Underbelly and their big purple cow (relocated while their usual Bristo Square spot undergoes refurbishment). The street food on offer promises once again to be a smorgasbord of international options, from the local (Alanda’s Scottish Seafood Grill) to the more exotic (Bangkok’s Pad BKK). Oh, and they also have an Elvis-themed burger stand.

  • Things to do
  • Festivals

Usually praised for its buzzing atmosphere and its status as star-spotting  central, this year’s Pleasance Courtyard menu features gourmet sausages (including lamb mojito and pork, Irn-Bru & sweet chilli), pulled pork rolls, falafel and a packed lunch beach hut in the kids’ zone – think hot ciabatta paninis and summer-themed sandwiches and wraps.

  • Art
  • Arts centres

If the Pleasance Courtyard is the populist heart of the Fringe, Summerhall – an old veterinary college turned adventurous arts venue unafraid of avant-garde programming – is its psychedelic cerebral cortex. It’s here you can hobnob with the artsy types while munching on leftfield street foods like crispy fried rabbit or venison pastrami from Rost Eats, followed by dessert from mobile crème brulee vendors The Crema Caravan (not to mention the venue’s year-round Royal Dick bar and Summerhall Café).

  • Restaurants
  • Tea rooms

By far the swankiest pop-up on our radar, the Pommery Bar is a recurring face at the Festivals, occupying the historic Signet Library from August 3-31. The bar sells a decidedly swagnificent selection of champagnes and cocktails, but the food menu is where the real decadence starts: this year’s star attraction is a whole lobster with home made potato wedges, while the rest of the menu features Aberdeen Angus burgers and sharing platters plus breakfast and afternoon tea options.

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