But appreciating the arts is hungry (and thirsty) work, so here are suggestions from Edinburgh… [+] locals for the best places to dine and drink so that you can focus on the culture.
Edinburgh is preparing for its annual International Festival, which takes place in August and transforms the city into a riotous, vivacious celebration of culture.
Visitors swarm to the Scottish capital for the eccentric performances and up-and-coming acts at the Fringe and the world-renowned performances at the Festival.
But appreciating the arts is hungry (and thirsty) work, so here are locals’ recommendations for the best places to dine and drink in Edinburgh, so you can focus on the culture.
Get a pre-performance drink at The Cocktail Mafia.
In this bright venue on Charlotte Lane, you can get in the mood for a show. In the retro, brightly colored interior of The Cocktail Mafia, you can sip cocktails with a distinct theatrical flair while sitting beneath metal palm trees.
This trendy venue on Charlotte Lane will get you in the mood for a show.
Choose from the electrifying blue ‘Rise and Shine’ served in a lightbulb, the strawberry and lemon ‘Photogenic’ concocted in a camera lens, or the ‘Headbanger’ punch served in a glass skull.
Begin the celebration with a drink at The Raging Bull after the show.
This cocktail establishment is situated in the Grassmarket, the epicenter of Fringe festival activity.
The Raging Bull is open until 1 a.m. and has a canary yellow exterior with gilded Art Deco and jungle-themed decor.
The bar is renowned for its inventive Espresso Martinis, such as ‘Kiss from a Rose’ with Secret Garden rose gin, Kahlua, and rose nectar, and ‘Mayan Mocha’ with Spiced Ojo De Tigre mezcal, crème de cacao, sugar, and Aztec chocolate bitters.
Brunch is lavish at the Gleneagles Townhouse.
The Spence serves brunch to visitors within the opulent Georgian structures of the Gleneagles Townhouse Hotel.
Breakfast favorites include the Marbury-cured salmon with scrambled eggs and sourdough toast, as well as the elegant champagne trolley service.
Guests of the Gleneagles Townhouse Hotel can enjoy brunch at… [+] The Spence, which is located within the hotel’s opulent Georgian structures.
On the last weekend of each month, The Spence serves a brunch with live music and chimes.
Guests begin the celebration with a Bloody Mary or Mimosa upon arrival, followed by a bountiful buffet of unlimited appetizers, seasonal dishes from the kitchen, and a delectable dessert room.
August’s edition of the Brunch Club will take place on the 26th and 27th.
Erna serves inventive contemporary Scottish cuisine.
Erna, which derives its name from the Gaelic word for barley, is one of the newest restaurants in Edinburgh and the brainchild of Scottish hospitality superstars chef Brian Grigor and sommelier Glen Montgomery.
Grigor concocts an ever-changing tasting menu based on the seasonal Scottish… [+] ingredients available. Pic Greg Macvean 01/06/2023 Eorna restaurant, Stockbridge
In a striking interior of midnight blue, diners occupy 12 coveted counter seats along a long ‘chef’s table’ mere steps from the kitchen action.
Grigor creates an ever-changing tasting menu based on the seasonal Scottish ingredients available.
Previous courses included halibut fillet with mushroom purée and truffle and strawberries from Perthshire with white chocolate mousse.
Modern Standard provides a coffee dose.
Since 2015, Lynsey and her team of 30 employees have set the’modern standard’ at this lesbian-founded coffee shop.
To protect and preserve coffee-growing communities and the environment, their ethos includes promoting transparent supply chains and ethical production processes.
After a tumultuous night at the Fringe, the café’s award-winning Momentum Espresso and fresh pastries from Wild Hearth and Bakery 101 are just what the doctor ordered.
Indulge in outdoor dining at The Bridge Inn.
During Scotland’s intermittent sunshine, there is a stampede to Edinburgh’s outdoor dining locations.
Instead of joining the melee, make a beeline to The Bridge Inn on the Union Canal, which is a 20-minute journey from the city’s core.
Instead of joining the melee, make a beeline for The Bridge Inn, a… [+] 20-minute drive from the city center.
The whitewashed stone pub is the local watering hole for nearby Ratho residents and an oasis of tranquility after the festival-induced chaos of Edinburgh’s streets.
The inn has opened a Canal Bar and Terrace for the summer, complete with a street-food shanty and tree-shaded beer garden overlooking the canal.
Visit the Holyrood whisky distillery for a modest dram.
It would be negligent to depart Edinburgh without sampling the local water.
In true avant-garde Fringe fashion, visit the contemporary distillery of Holyrood, where the products play with the traditions of grain-based liquor.
In a hipster laboratory, a youthful team of distillers concocts innovative whiskies beneath a neon sign that reads “test, learn, improve, repeat.” They experiment with heirloom barleys and various yeast strains, including those from wine and sake.
The distillery, located in the heart of historic Edinburgh, offers daily excursions and tastings.