On Victoria Street, just off the Royal Mile, you can often smell Oink before you see it. The menu is as simple as the name; customers are offered freshly carved hog roast, served on a white or brown roll with a choice of sage and onion, applesauce, chilli relish, or haggis. The meat is sourced from carefully selected Scottish borders farms, the owners haven’t messed about when it comes to quality, and it pays off. Great prices for great food.
Oink, 34 Victoria St, Old Town, Edinburgh, UK +44 7771 968233
Customers at Ting Thai Caravan sit cheek to cheek at canteen-style tables and eat from cardboard boxes. The exposed brick walls and techie soundtrack suggests that the restaurant could happily be found in Shoreditch. While the aesthetic is low-key and unassuming, the restaurant offers some of the best Thai food in Edinburgh. The lunch menu is made up of a choice of rice and noodle dishes, curry dishes, soup bowls, and small boxes. The flavours are fresh and zingy and appeal to a wide range of palates. The queues out the door on the weekend are a testament to the quality of the food!
Ting Thai Caravan, 8-9 Teviot Place, Edinburgh, UK +44 131 225 9801
Union of Genius runs on a simple formula; it offers six different soups every day, which come accompanied by a range of artisan breads. The shop, located on Forrest Road, is a favourite among students. The chefs’ characteristic use of chorizo, harissa, and curry paste provide warming, fiery tastes on chilly Edinburgh days. Union of Genius also runs a soup van in George Square for those in need of a quick lunch-on-the-run.
Union of Genius, 8 Forrest Rd, Edinburgh, UK +44 131 226 4436
The Potting Shed provides exactly what it says on the tin. The sofas are made from sackcloth, buckets are used for lampshades, and jam jars for glasses. Garden detritus in the form of terracotta pots, shears, hoes, and spades litter every available surface. The owners are no less committed to the garden theme when it comes to the food. The Scottish-based menu uses homegrown ingredients and provides hearty and homey meals. Get there between 12PM and 3PM on weekdays for a £5 two-course lunch.
The Potting Shed, 32-34 Potterrow, Edinburgh, UK +44 131 662 9788
Bonningtons is ideal for a custom-made lunch. It offers a selection of high quality ingredients to be made into paninis or salads at £5 a pop. For those who are feeling uninspired, however, the pre-made ‘sweet and sour’ panini (with prosciutto, goat’s cheese, rocket and tomato, and chilli chutney) is perfect for a speedy lunch. Look out for the homemade raspberry and chocolate brownies for a tasty post-lunch treat.
Bonningtons, 75 Clerk St, Edinburgh, UK +44 131 668 1055