Edinburgh Street Food
Known for its pub culture and friendly people, I was very excited to head to Edinburgh. With two wonderful local friends to show me around we wandered to the Scott Monument, Edinburgh Castle and more. We had a few beers, met an Irish guy who asked to sing us a song and enjoyed many laughs. It’s entirely possible we had some more beers and laughs after that. In addition to the vast number of incredible pubs, I was also ready to see what I could find in terms of Edinburgh street food. Before experiencing Edinburgh street food, I was a little concerned that their high level of rainfall would negatively impact their scene. Wow, was I was wrong!
I was happy to find the Street Food Scotland Website which helped me to research some options during my four days searching for Edinburgh street food. I also found that in talking to street food vendors, they were excited about the growing trend of food trucks and other quick but quality food options in the city. They helped me to pick and choose which options to enjoy as well.
It’s hard to pick a favorite Edinburgh street food so let me share all of my favorites with you.
Tupiniquim – Lauriston Place, EH1 9AU in Edinburgh
The little green police box that is Tupiniquim crêperie has a constant line for a reason. I came across them in this I-on Magazine Article and was also directed here by the good guys at Ninja Buns when they were running late getting set up for lunch one day. The crêpe batter is even gluten-free!
Tupiniquim prepares high quality savory and sweet crêpes with lots of love. Each one is made to order in front of you on one of their three hot plates. The plate is first oiled, then gluten-free crêpe batter is poured and spread out with a wooden T-shaped tool until it covers the surface. Once the first side is cooked, it is flipped. A couple of minutes later, toppings are added one or two at a time, and finally the crêpe is folded and placed in a paper plate that is rolled up like a cone. The whole process takes about five or six minutes.
The first one I had was the daily special made with sausage, melted cheese, peppers, roasted squash, a spicy Brazilian sauce, pickled jalapenos and fresh spinach. Fantastic! The mix of savory sausage, spice and a hint of sweetness from the roasted squash all went together perfectly like a symphony of flavor in my mouth. My friend enjoyed it so much he half-jokes about flying back to Edinburgh just to have another.
Two days later I returned for another special with marinated lamb, mozzarella, goat cheese, roasted squash, onions and roasted tomatoes. Again they suggested the Brazilian spicy sauce and pickled jalapenos. Who was I to say no? As with my first experience, it was a delicious combination of savory meat, sweet and acidic roasted tomatoes, a slight sourness from the goat cheese and the spice from the sauce and jalapenos. It’s difficult to pick a favorite here.
I was told a favorite from the regular menu is the “Release the Chicken” with shredded chicken breast, corn, avocado, spinach and cheese. Some people substituted bananas for the avocado and added spicy sauce. Unfortunately, there were just too many options and I didn’t have enough time to try it.
The preparation time is well worth the wait. Everything my friends and I had was exceptional. We also spoke with several locals in line who said they eat there almost every day and the staff knew many of them by name. Some travelers said they ate here every day they visited and I can see why. Enjoy this Edinburgh street food as you walk or at one of the two small tables they have next to their booth, if you can find space!
Ninja Buns – Paradise Palms Bar at 41 Lothian St.
Serving up Taiwanese gua bao rolls and other Asia-meets-Edinburgh street food, Ninja Buns prepares street food and also acts as resident kitchen in the Paradise Palms Bar at 41 Lothian St. After I came across an article about their food and saw a picture of their pork bun, I had to have one.
I first enjoyed the $8 pork bun and $5.50 veggie spring rolls. The pulled pork is marinated in soy, ginger, garlic and star anise. It is then topped with pickled cucumber, carrot, lime-infused onions, coriander, green onion, peanut powder and hoisin. I added a little sriracha for extra kick. The pork is delicious and goes well with the acid from the veggies and the savory flavor of the hoisin. I could have immediately ordered another one but moved on to the spring rolls. They were very good but won’t blow your mind. I was in the mood for something crispy and crunchy though, and enjoyed them.
The next day I tried the fish bun combo with seasoned fries and slaw (available as $11 lunch or $12.50 dinner). The bun was lighter than the pork but was very flavorful and enjoyable. The crispy “fish fingers” were complemented well by the tartar slaw of pickled cucumber, lime-infused onions, coriander and sweet chili sauce. The Asian slaw with peanut sauce was refreshing and flavorful.
I generally enjoy a lot of seasoning but the amount they added to the fries was a little overboard. I enjoyed everything but would be inclined to skip the fries and double up on the rolls if I was really hungry. My friend had the beef bun and said that it was fantastic but I didn’t have a chance to return and give it a try. Enjoy this Edinburgh street food at a table inside or grab it to go.
Oink – 34 Victoria St.
A fun take on the Scottish roll street food obsession in Edinburgh is a place called Oink. Each day they roast a whole pig from a local farm, shreds it into pulled pork and opens for business at 11am. They continue making sandwiches until they sell out, which is usually between 4-6pm. Oik has a big rush around noon so try to get there right after they open so that the pork is fresh and they still have some of the “crackling” (the crispy roasted skin) that you can add to your sandwich upon request.
Regular size “The Oink” is about $6. The larger size that comes with twice the meat is called “The Grunter” and goes for about $8. You can add either a haggis stuffing or sage & onion. Also included is a sauce such as apple sauce, chili relish, barbecue or a spicy sauce. This is a fun spot to try and you can’t miss it with the roasted hog at the front window. It won’t be the best sandwich of your life, but it’s in a great location, tastes good and is reasonably priced.
Oink is located in Old Town near Edinburgh Castle and can be found at 34 Victoria St. If you plan to head to Edinburgh Castle or anywhere else in the area, give it a try. This Edinburgh street food can be enjoyed as you walk or at one of the small tables or bar stools inside.
Locations for Edinburgh Street Food
Glasgow & Beyond
Although I wasn’t able to spend much time in Glasgow, they do reportedly have a good street food scene. Here is some information that will hopefully help you when visiting:
- Glasgow’s Best Street Food – Glasgow specific choices.
- Street Food Scotland – Options include Glasgow, Edinburgh and several other smaller cities across the country.
- 21 Street Foods to Eat in Scotland Before You Die – Mostly in Edinburgh and Glasgow with one in Dunbar.
Hopefully this helps anyone traveling who would like to enjoy some Edinburgh street food, as well as that for Glasgow and beyond! I had a great time here, ate quite well and can’t wait to return one day!
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