A Foodie’s Guide to Edinburgh’s New Christmas Cocktail and Street Food Festival

Edinburgh Christmas Market | © Graham Campbell / Flickr
Edinburgh Christmas Market | © Graham Campbell / Flickr
Photo of Deborah Chu
11 December 2017

Oh, the weather outside may be frightful, but Edinburgh’s very own Awesome Events has cooked up something delightful indeed. The first ever Christmas Cocktail and Street Food Festival will be taking over Market Street and running from December 6 to January 2, promising delicious rewards for those willing to brave the frightful elements.

Christmas in Edinburgh | © Dominic Wade / Flickr

Spread out over two floors at the recently vacated Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo offices, the folks at Awesome Events drew upon their extensive experience managing venues at the Fringe to ensure their latest festive production has something for everyone at every age. Open from 10am ’til late, families can partake in a wide variety of child-friendly activities during the day, such as face painting, magicians and balloon artistry, or classic Christmas movies at the cinema. The vibe switches gears at 6pm onwards, with drinks and live music to be savoured.

Boasting a street food court, seven bars, gift shop, tasting room and pop-up cinema, the options are dizzying and incredibly scrumptious. If you’re already tired of bratwurst and stale pretzels, fear not: the street food on offer here isn’t your typical festival fare. Headed by Matt Urry, the mover-and-shaker behind Chameleon and Seasons, every attention has been paid to taste and variety.

Chicken Wings | © Ernesto Andrade / Flickr

The finger lickin’ Feed is there with their delectable chicken wings for you to tuck in with gusto. Also making an appearance is the Waddle Stall, which is dishing out duck-themed finger foods. Their confit duck with pickled cabbage and spring onion, encased in a soft brioche bun, is melt-in-the-mouth good. If you’re not feeling the poultry, tuck into a warm, hearty serving of traditional cullen skink made the way your Scottish gran does, or slurp down fresh oysters and scallops at The Haar. Or head on over to The Root Shack, where they’re serving up halloumi or chickpea chips with your choice of sauce. Top it all off with resident sweetheart Abbi’s Pantry, whose mince pies are the quintessence of the holiday season.

Mince Pies | © quattrostagioni / Flickr

But what better way to keep warm this winter than a stiff drink? Don’t worry, as these geniuses have got the libations covered too. Every ticket includes a piping hot glass of mulled wine at the door, and the ground floor bar overfloweth with Scottish craft beers and botanicals from hometown hero Edinburgh Gin. Sprinkled across the rest of the space are six cocktail bars, each with a different theme and manned by master mixologists. Pouring out the classics as well as new seasonal creations, guests can pull a Hemingway at the Chairman’s Reserve tiki stand, or toast la dolce vita at the Aperol Spritz bar. With a regular rotation throughout the month, guests can enjoy a wide selection of tipples throughout the festival.

Mulled Wine | © rpavich / Flickr

Day tickets are a mere £2.50 and can be purchased at the door, while festival passes are available via Awesome Event’s website for £12.50, which grants holders access throughout the month. So what are you waiting for? Come out and support the best independent businesses and eateries in Edinburgh, and enjoy an extra dose of merriment and cheer this holiday season.

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