The best street food stops in Edinburgh

Lay waste to your sit-down dinners, street food is back in a big way

Published 11th Mar 2015
Updated 8 th Aug 2023

Are sit-down restaurants done and dusted? Well, probably not. But street food is a revamped industry and has given people back a rough and ready approach to good cuisine. No frills or thirty-minute waits - just quick access to hearty taste.

The meccas of street food remain New York and London, but Edinburgh is waking up to this non-stop approach and there are plenty of points around the city to grab some good food on the go.

The first port of call is Bollywood: The Coffeebox - located on Bruntsfield Place in a converted police telephone kiosk. Despite the cramped conditions, owner and chef Nutan Bula's sunny disposition is infectious and the food benefits to boot. The menu is ever-changing selection of hearty curries, samosas and soups - all prepared whilst you rest on the park behind.

For a more South American feel, though once again from the confines of a renovated police box, then Tupiniquim on Middle Meadow Walk is a must. Taking the Brazilian love of all things contained-in-crepe and transporting that vibe directly to the top of the Meadows. The focus is most definitely on their savoury options, which dish out Brazil's dedication to meat in tightly packed bites of flavour.

Brazilian crepes at Tupiniquim

Brazilian crepes at Tupiniquim © Tupiniquim/Facebook

The Mosque Kitchen near Edinburgh Central Mosque is a well-known stop for Indian food, but in their unremitting approach to offering good food with friendly service and no pretence, there is a take-out stall just a few doors down from the main restaurant on Nicholson Square - with piping-hot curry dishes available over the counter.

With a fairly new set-up at Paradise Palms on Lothian Street, Ninja Buns made a name for themsevles in their debut year around George Square, Middle Meadow Walk and various other pop-up food markets. The Ninja Buns team specialise in Gua Bao, an East Asian snack food that resemble miniature meaty-burgers - freshly made and sized perfectly to istantly chow down on. Despite their new restaurant set-up, the Taiwanese food specialists know that street-food is still a big part of their charm and announce where they'll be out and about through their Facebook page.

© Ninja Buns/Facebook

Edinburgh is never a city that struggles for a range of international sources of inspiration. Pop-up food outlet Alplings deals with specifically with Alps-influenced cuisine from the South Tyrol region of Italy. Moving away from the meaty focus in many street-food stalls, Alpings serves a range of vegetarian bread-based dumpling dishes matched with Italian or Austro-Bavarian garnishes such as parmesan buttermelt and gorgonzola. The stall owner is a South Tyrol native and has an intrinsic link to the quality of their output. Their monthly locations and pop-up restaurants are announced via social media.

© Alplings/Facebook

© Alplings/Facebook

If you're looking for a more scattergun approach to foodie-pickings, then Edinburgh's markets are a wealth of fast food options. Stockbridge Market is positioned in a leafy location near the Water of Leith and on top of a commitment to local farmer's produce, there are also a number of foodie stop-off points to keep you well-fed, including The Wee Pie Company, Babu Bombay Street Kitchen and Harajuku kitchen to name a few.

Stockbridge's scenic suburb location may not be on your itinerary, but the Tram Stop Market at York Place is a more central stop-off. Fast gaining a reputation for taking street food seriously, the Tram Stop market hosted the heats of the British Street Food Awards in 2014 and has a dedicated taster day every second Saturday of the month, with samples from the likes of Jones & Son Bespoke BBQ and Scoff Foods to keep street-food enthusiasts satisfied.

With a culture fast-growing in the Capital for quick and tasty food at reasonable prices - you may question the need to ever step indoors for fine-dining again.

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