Edinburgh Food Festival 2023: Dates, times and vendors - as event returns this summer

It's a foodie highlight of the summer - here's everything you need to know about this year's Edinburgh Food Festival.

Published 6th Jun 2023
Updated 8 th Aug 2023

The Edinburgh Food Festival returns for its ninth edition this July, located in the Assembly George Square Gardens.

Taking place over 10 days, the festival is offering a packed series of events with food vendors from across the country.

When is the Edinburgh Food Festival?

The popular event is Edinburgh’s only free-to-enter food festival and will run over ten days from Friday 21 July through to Sunday 30 July 2023.

Attracting over 100,000 thousand visitors in 2022, Edinburgh Food Festival has seasonal and sustainably sourced local produce at its heart.

The free-to-enter event delivers a full menu of activity, with food and drink to enjoy on the day from the Global Kitchen, produce to take home from the expanded Producers Market, and a programme of interesting and informative live events in the Treehouse Kitchen.

What vendors will be at the Edinburgh Food Festival?

Scotland’s vibrant street food scene will be showcased in the festival’s Global Kitchen, a selection of the very best food and drink traders from around the country.

Visitors will be able to sample dishes from three British Street Food Award 2023 finalists: Okanda. There's also the new venture from the award-winning team behind Kochchi, who will bring their spicy chicken wings in mixed berry sambal glazed with coconut sugar to the table.

The Falafel Stop will offer up tasty Lebanese falafel made to an authentic family recipe; and newcomer The Funnel Cake Co. bring the popular North American dessert to the Edinburgh, with options including churro funnel cake dusted with cinnamon sugar and homemade chocolate sauce, with vegan options available too.

There are more vegan delights on the menu with plant-based feel-good food from The Caravan of Courage, and gluten-free options will be available across the festival.

Fried chicken lovers are in for a treat from Chix, offering gourmet halal chicken fillet tenders with their range of homemade sauces – a lemon, confit garlic and black pepper mayo, or a jalapeno, lime and green pepper.

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Chix is a venture from Chef Ed Cresswell, previously chef de partie at Heston Blumenthal's Michelin starred The Fat Duck and can usually be found at Bonnie & Wild in St James Quarter.

2020 British Street Food Winners The Peruvian return with their famous Lomo Saltado, stir fried steak strips, red onion, spring onions, tomatoes, and coriander.

Prime Street Food turn to Vietnam with the Vietnamese/French fusion dish bánh mì, delicious fresh French baguettes with a range of savoury fillings, including slow cooked pork belly topped with spicy pickled vegetables; and Wholly Waffles bring their artisan Dutch caramel waffles, Stroopwafel to the festival for the first time.

Edinburgh Food Festival
Picture: Tom Duffin

Edinburgh Food Festival crowd-pleasing mainstays will return for July and August, with authentic patatas bravas from Moskito Spanish Bites; healthy poke bowls from and vegan options from Mana Poké; middle eastern delicacies from Chick + Pea and Kebbabar; and overstuffed Louisiana po’boy sandwiches and buffalo burgers from three-time Scottish Street Food Award Winners The Buffalo Truck.

Plus, multi-award winning piemakers Jarvis Pickle return with their gourmet handcrafted pies, and East Lothian’s Alanda’s Seafood Grill and Gelato bring traditional fish and chips, seafood, and their award-winning Italian gelato to enjoy in the summer sun.

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Alongside the the Global Kitchen, Edinburgh Food Festival will also host a daily Producers Market, with a changing line-up of interesting and artisan produce.

Visitors will be able to take home their own piece of Scotland’s larder with a wide range of fresh produce, baked goods, fine cheeses, specialty drinks and more from Scotland’s most innovative artisan producers.

What drinks will be available at the Edinburgh Food Festival?

Keeping visitors refreshed will be Bellfield Brewery, with their range of gluten free and vegan beers; original Spanish sangria and Agua de Valencia from the Bacchus Sangria Bar; and refreshing gin cocktails from Isle of Mull based Stranger’s Point Gin.

Panther M*lk, the ‘world’s first’ purveyors of oat milk cocktails will make their festival debut, serving their full range of fruity vegan cocktails, sustainably made with Minor Figures oat milk.

Live events at this year's Edinburgh Food Festival

Complementing the food and drink, visitors will be able to enjoy a daily programme of live events in the festival’s Treehouse Kitchen, with workshops, talks, masterclasses, producer-led tastings and pairings, and children’s activities.

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The full programme is still to be announced, but this year’s events will explore themes around Ethical Eating, Seasonality, Mood Impacting Foods, Plant Based Living, Technological Trends, and the Zero Waste Kitchen.

In keeping with these themes and the festival’s ongoing commitment to sustainability, the Edinburgh Food Festival will pilot a reusable cup scheme with Stack-Cup UK for the ten-day event.

For more information and to sign up to receive updates follow @edfoodfest or visit the website.

Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne, whisky and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind is the Food and Drink Editor and whisky writer for The Scotsman, as well as hosting Scran, The Scotsman's food and drink podcast.
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