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Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2023: 15 of the best food and drink shows

Looking for a food or drink themed show at this year's Edinburgh Festivals?

Published: August 9, 2023

As the Edinburgh Festivals have kicked off, we take a look at some of the best food and drink themed shows.

From a whisky tasting to immersive gin tastings and a dinner with hilariously sullen staff, to piano recitals and acrobatics and beer - here's our pick of some of the best food and drink events to book at this year's Edinburgh Festivals.


Edinburgh festival food and drink

Venue: The Studio, 22 Potterrow, Edinburgh EH8 9BL

When: 3-27 August from 8pm

Ticket price: from £30

FOOD is an intimate dinner party of smell, taste and touch. Absurdist theatre maker Geoff Sobelle presents an immersive performance offering a meditation on how and why we eat.

The show is making its European premiere at this year's Festival and returns to similar themes of Sobelle's 2018 show, HOME.

Those lucky to get tickets (it's selling out fast) can look forward to Sobelle’s signature stage illusion and absurdist sense of humour.

Expect the unexpected, as around 30 guests gather around a huge dinner table, while Sobelle acts as waiter to explore the sense of smell, as well as our history, memories and thoughts of food.

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Themes of over consumption and our growth as society are explored in interesting, thought provoking ways with occasional audience participation.

Sobelle has said that the theatre and the theatre of fine dining go hand and in hand, and he's always wanted to explore our relationship with food.

One not to miss, but if you do (and are travelling later this year) he's taking the show on tour to New York (2-18 November) and Arizona (21-23 October).

Find out more and buy tickets here.

Karen's Diner

Edinburgh festival food and drink
Picture: Darcy Starr

Venue: The Biscuit Factory, 4-6 Anderson place, Edinburgh EH6 5NP

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When: 24-27 August,

Ticket price: from £22.95

Karen's Diner will be popping up at The Edinburgh Fringe this month.

This Tik-Tok sensation went viral after it posted videos of their staff deliberately being rude to customers walking through the door.

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The chain, which has restaurants in five continents ,is travelling around Britain allowing those who do not live near a UK branch to confront the Karen experience.

The restaurants are known for cutting comments from surly staff members and a string of in-restaurant games designed to embarrass visitors.

Karen’s on Tour may be a Pop Up, but the team will still be dishing out great burgers and hot dogs (including vegan options) along with their expected exceptionally rude service.

Sarah Done, the Tours Logistics Manager, said "At our pop-up Karen's you will be greeted and waited upon by rude waiters who in return are expecting you to give it full Karen. We are a place where you can complain until the cows come home because, to be honest, we literally don't care”.

Find out more and book here.

The Big Bite-sized Breakfast show

Venue: Pleasance Courtyard, 60 Pleasance, Edinburgh EH8 9TJ

When: 3-15, 17-24, 26-28 August, from 10.20am

Ticket price: £17.50

This longstanding morning show makes its return to Edinburgh for its 15th year.

Attendees can look forward to rotating "menus" of 10-15-minute comedies, eccentricities and mini-dramas – all served up with complimentary fresh coffee/tea, croissant and strawberries.

Expect a pick and mix of drama, comedy and abstract delivered punchily by the troupe of actors, who only minutes ago were serving you tea and coffee.

A fun way to start the day, with a surprisingly delicious continental breakfast.

Find out more here.

2 Guys, 3 Drams: The Ultimate Live Blues and Whisky Experience

Edinburgh Festival food and drink

Venue: theSpace @ Venue45, 63 Jeffrey Street, Edinburgh EH1 1DH

When: 10-26 August, from 8.25pm or 10pm

Ticket price: £19

After a sell out run last year, Felipe and Paul, aka the Rhythm and Blues Project, are back.

Three whiskies will be enjoyed alongside blues music, and some audience interaction.

The official Fringe blurb says: "In a whirlwind 65 minutes, get ready to learn how to sound clever about whisky, appreciate top-quality drams, and enjoy some raucous tunes."

Find out more and book here.

Summerhall Distillery Speakeasy Tour

Edinburgh Festivals Pickering's tour

Venue: Summerhall, 1 Summerhall, EH9 1PL

When: 3-27 August, from 7pm

Ticket price: £20

Take a break from the hustle and bustle and stop in here for some drinks.

Guests need to give the secret password at the door, before enjoying table service, two cocktails and a chance to find out more about the illicit bars that thrived during 1920s prohibition.

Cocktails will be made using Pickering's Gin and The Broody Hen Scotch whisky.

Find out more and book here.

Piano Suppers at The Scottish Cafe and Restaurant

Venue: Scottish National Gallery, The Mound, Edinburgh EH2 2EL

When: 14, 15, 16, 22, 23 and 24 August, from 7pm

Ticket price: £40

Two stars of the hit Channel 4 TV series The Piano are set to draw in the crowds at The Scottish Cafe and Restaurant at the National Gallery in Edinburgh this month, with six Piano Suppers.

Amateur pianists Edinburgh’s Sean Logan, 27, and Daniel Wilsher, 26, from Manchester found fame in early 2023 when they reached the finals of the first series of the hit piano talent show The Piano, which is streaming now on Channel 4.

Guests will tuck into a medley of well-known classics and the pianists’ own compositions, paired with a mouth-watering two-course supper menu featuring a selection of light dishes, all handmade using the freshest seasonal ingredients sourced from The Scottish Cafe’s excellent artisan Scottish suppliers.

Find out more and book here.

YUCK Circus and Pilot Beer

YUCK Circus at Pilot Beer. Picture: MB Media: Nathanize 

Venue: Palais du Variété in Assembly George Square Garden, George Square, EH8 9LH

When: 2-27 August, from 4.20

Ticket price: from £13

Known for throwing back pints of beer while fearlessly throwing themselves around on stage, all-female Australian troupe YUCK Circus have partnered with Edinburgh brewery Pilot Beer to raise money for SHE Scotland during this year’s Festival Fringe (you can see their show at the Spiegeltent from 2 August).

YUCK Circus and Pilot Beer first collaborated back in 2019 when the Leith-based brewers provided the troupe with beer to drink during their Fringe performances.

This year, Pilot have brewed a special edition beer just for YUCK called Upside Down Lager - light, bright and fruity, it’s a juicy pineapple and cherry lager, loosely based on the flavours of a pineapple upside down cake.

A portion of the proceeds from every sale of the beer will go to local charity SHE Scotland through Pilot’s Drinklusion fundraising initiative.

The troupe uses impressive acrobatics and aerial performance to explore the grotesque nature of beauty standards, bougie art and to challenge gender misconceptions.

Presenting their real experiences in full comedy, YUCK makes ‘gross’ topics as inclusive as they are entertaining.

Find out more here.

The Spirit of Edinburgh

Picture: Edinburgh Gin

Venue: YOTEL, 68-73 Queen St, Edinburgh

When: 6, 13 and 20 August from 3pm

Ticket price: £25

Gin lovers should definitely book into this immersive cocktail hour, which makes its return this year after a successful run in 2022.

Hosted by Edinburgh Gin's brand ambassador, Philip Kingscott, the evening takes place in Scotland's first 360-degree cinema.

On the night guests will sip on three creative Edinburgh Gin cocktails, while listening to music inspired by the botanicals and flavours of each of the gins.

More information and tickets can be found here.

Arbikie Gin and whisky masterclasses at the A Club

Venue: The A Club at the Merchant's Hall, 22 Hanover Street, Edinburgh EH2 2EP

When: 4-28 August

Ticket price: £25

Join the Arbikie team as their ever-popular series of events returns to Edinburgh this month.

Having been running for a long time, the A Club is recognised as one of the Fringe’s favourite locally-run venues with its combination of live music and table-served drinks, as well as a number of gin and
whisky tastings.

This year the A Club will feature a range of music acts across different music including Voyage, an ABBA tribute, Spiceworld – Spice Girls and The Sensational David Bowie Tribute Band.

This year’s programme also includes the ‘Dram Good Whisky Festival’ on Friday 4 and Saturday 5 August featuring a number of Scotland’s newest and most innovative as well as most established whisky distilleries, including Glenmorangie, Ardnamurchan, Arbikie, Lindores, Bladnoch, Lagg and Ardbeg.

Find out more and book here.

Amazing Bangkok Thai Cookery Masterclass

Picture: Shutterstock

Venue: Krua Thai Cookery School, 19 Liberton Brae, EH16 6AQ

When: 5-10, 15, 17, 19-23, 25, 27 August, from 11am (and times throughout the day and evening)

Ticket price: £99

Budding chefs will enjoy this masterclass which shows how to cook classic Thai dishes.

Executive chef Rujira Herd will show attendees trade secrets and explain essential ingredients used by professionals.

You'll use these to cook three dishes, with the menu changing daily.

Find out more and book here.

Midnight Drams at Tipsy Midgie Whisky Bar

scotch whisky masters
Picture: Shutterstock

Venue: Tipsy Midgie, 67 St Leonards Hill, EH8 9SB

When: 4-27 August, from 11pm

Ticket price: £30

This late night show will be popular with whisky fans, who are invited to join Colin (Whisky Forager) for a flight of three fantastic single malts from his private reserve collection.

Showcasing his latest project, Edinburgh's newest whisky bar, Tipsy Midgie, this event is an ideal way to wind down after a busy day.

For those not keen on whisky, Scottish Gin alternatives are available.

Find out more and book here.

Leith Food and Drink Walking Tour

Venue: Williams and Johnson, Custom Lane, 1 Customs Wharf, EH6 6AL

When: 4-6, 8-13, 15-20, 22-26 August, from 12.30pm

Ticket price: £55

Why not take your lunch on tour, and discover some of the best food and drink available in Leith with Edinburgh Food Safari?

This historic port turned cool neighbourhood is home to some brilliant local businesses, in which attendees will discover Danish pastries, freshly roasted coffee, muscovado-grilled goats cheese, sangria, Cullen skink, homemade ginger beer and award-winning scones with homemade jam and clotted cream.

The starting point for the walk is Williams and Johnson, and the walk takes about three hours.

You'll also find out about some of the history of Leith, including the buildings and who first coin the phrase 'sunshine' on Leith.'

Find out more and book here.

Daisy Green at House of Oz

Venue: House of Oz, Kings Hall, EH8 9NZ

When: 4-27 August

In partnership with Daisy Green Collection—the innovative independent group of Aussie cafes and restaurants—House of Oz will be presenting an exciting culinary journey to match the breadth of talent to be discovered onstage and offers a dining experience to the Fringe.

This is Daisy Green Collection’s first cafe pop-up outside of London and will bring their bright, bold and relaxed style to the Scottish capital, via signature brunch dishes such as Avocado on Charcoal, Famous Banana Bread Sandwich and their Fancy Bacon Roll on paratha roti.

Alongside the award-winning all-day brunch, Daisy Green will also be serving up salads, burgers, the
perfect Aussie flat white (thanks to a bespoke House of Oz x Daisy Green coffee blend) and the
Collection’s pillowy soft lamingtons with a twist.

In the evening, resident chef and Aussie native, Michael Bagnall, will be serving his own menu of
specials showcasing native ingredients from the Australian continent.

From 4-27 August, House of Oz is serving up:

  • Daisy Green’s signature all-day brunch menu alongside specials in collaboration with resident
    chef Michael Bagnall.
  • The best flat white in town made with the special Daisy Green x House of Oz blend, plus
    limited edition ‘cans of beans’ to take home.
  • World famous Radio Lamingtons, Australia’s favourite sponge cake, the pillowy lamington, in a
    range of scrumptious flavours as well as the classic version. Every week, Daisy Green sends
    boxes of Lamingtons to our NHS heroes.
  • A whole host of distinctive Aussie names including Coopers beer, Mr Black craft coffee liqueur,
    Four Pillars Gin, Vegemite and TimTams.
    Brunch, lunch and dinner will be served daily throughout the festival (from August 4-27) in the
    beautifully designed secret garden to the rear of the venue. Coffees and lamingtons from Daisy
    Green will be served from until 6pm daily

Find out more and book here.

The Thinking Drinkers Pub Quiz

The Thinking Drinkers Pub Quiz

Venue: Underbelly, Bristo Square, Teviot Place, EH8 9AG

When: 3-27 August, from 6.40pm

Ticket price: £12.50

Two leading alcohol experts have returned with this quiz show, in which there's five free drinks.

The team say: "With a pen and question sheet in one hand and several world-class drinks in the other, join them on a uniquely absurd, fact-filled journey through time. It's the perfect aperitif to a Fringe night out."

Expect daft costumes, Dad jokes galore, general silliness, audience participation (especially if you're sat at or near the front) and many interesting facts on drinks.

Answers are given, but you'll be hard pushed to remember them after rollicking rounds and, let's face it, five drinks (which include beer, vodka, rum, mezcal and a fruity tonic).

The Thinking Drinkers Pub Quiz has been returning in some guise to the Fringe for over 10 years and came about when hosts Ben and Tom wanted to host tastings that were a bit more fun than the usual. And that's exactly what you can expect here.

Find out more and book here.

Yolk's on You!

(Duck and Waffle, St James Quarter, 400-402 St James Crescent, Edinburgh, EH1 3AE)

Venue: Duck and Waffle, St James Quarter

When: 13, 20 and 27 August, from 9pm

Ticket price: from £20 for bar tickets

Newly opened Duck and Waffle Edinburgh will host 'Yolk's on You' in celebration of Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2023.

This is the restaurant brand's first "dinner and a show," curated in conjunction with Blonde Ambition Productions, and will play host to famous festival faces, to be enjoyed alongside a two course meal and cocktails.

Paul Zenon, Mark Nelson, Charlie Caper, Mary Bourke, Susie McCabe and Markus Birdman are just a few of the fringe performers who are scheduled to perform at this dining spot.

Each Sunday night event will feature a different line-up, with no act performing twice.

Tickets to 'Yolk's on You' are priced at £40 per person and include the show, a welcome fizz, and a two-course dinner.

Bar tickets are priced at £20 per person include the show and a welcome fizz.

Tickets can be purchased in advance directly from the Edinburgh Fringe website or at Duck and Waffle Edinburgh. The event takes place at 9pm on August 13, 20, and 27, with dinner being served from 9pm to 10:15pm and the event comedy show from 10:30pm to 11:30pm.

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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