Fringe food: Pubs, cafes and food near Pleasance Courtyard

Heading to a show at Pleasance Courtyard? Need somewhere to refuel afterwards? Here are our pick of the food and drink venues within a five-minute stroll, updated for the 2019 Edinburgh Fringe

Feature by Peter Simpson | 18 Jul 2019

Heading to a show at the Pleasance Courtyard at this year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe? Need somewhere to refuel afterwards? Here are our pick of the food and drink venues within a five-minute stroll of the Pleasance, updated for 2019

Pubs and Bars near Pleasance

Holyrood 9A (9A Holyrood Rd, 2 mins from Pleasance)
With over 20 beers available from the taps, as well as a hearty wine, spirit and cocktail selection, Holyrood 9A is a great place to talk through a Fringe show over a pint. The menu specialises in gourmet burgers, with a host of options for carnivores and veggies alike.

Salt Horse (57-61 Blackfriars St, 5 mins from Pleasance)
Home to one of Edinburgh's best beer selections, Salt Horse offer an eclectic and impressively dense range of beers that will literally take you the whole festival to work your way through. Other highlights include the sweet and savoury baking from local aces Twelve Triangles, and a dark horse contender for Edinburgh's nicest beer garden. 

The Auld Hoose (23 St Leonard's St, 3 mins from Pleasance)
Craft beer and enormous nachos are the order of the day at the Auld Hoose. Seriously, get the nachos; that is not a trick of perspective, they really are that sizeable, and delicious with it. Wash 'em down with a tasty beer, then cap it off with one of the Hoose's surprisingly vast selection of whiskies from across Scotland, and as far afield as Japan and North America.

Restaurants near Pleasance

David Bann (56-58 St Mary's St, 4 mins from Pleasance)
No trace of a lentil nor a beanburger in sight at this stylish vegetarian eatery. There’s a carefully selected menu of unusual combinations to tantalise the taste buds and broaden the palette of both the most seasoned vegetarian and experimental carnivores. 

Pizza Posto (16 Nicolson St, 4 mins from Pleasance)
A freshly made authentic Neapolitan pizza is ideal when you’re feeling peckish post-show. Made from slow-rising multicereal dough, you can choose from a classic Margherita or top your pizza with Nduja, spicy Italian salami, Parma ham or steak for a meaty finish. Get a takeaway or sit in and enjoy the friendly service.

Mother India Cafe (3-5 Infirmary St, 5 mins from Pleasance)
A stylish tapas-style "cafe" where spices are used to tantalise tastebuds, rather than make your eyes water. The recommendations are endless: Chicken Tikka Masala, the Machi Masala (a spiced fish with the most succulent batter); the warm spongy pudding Gulab Jamun; and a welcome change from mango with the mouth-watering coriander chutney.

Cafes near Pleasance

Black Medicine Coffee Co. (2 Nicolson St, 5 mins from Pleasance)
A long-established Fringe spot, Black Medicine is a sanctuary from the madness outside. Lovely wooden tables, a huge variety of delicious smoothies, cakes and munchable lunch treats await, as does a 'speed rail' table if you just want to smash through an espresso and check your emails.

Kilimanjaro Coffee (104 Nicholson St, 5 mins from Pleasance)
The perfect place to while away the hours, Kili matches its coffee with freshly baked muffins, freshly squeezed juice and a good selection of sandwiches and soups.

Machina Espresso (80 Nicolson St, 5 mins from Pleasance)
One of their two cafes in Edinburgh, Machina is a perfect spot for coffee lovers who appreciate a good brew. They roast their own coffee and the beans are carefully selected to be of high quality, of good flavour and that are sustainably grown and have a traceable origin. Machina also sell brew kits, grinders and espresso machines, so you might walk in wanting a flat white and out with a La Marzocco espresso machine (if your flat is big enough).

Takeaways and on-the-go options near Pleasance

Baba Budan / Gannet & Guga (East Waverley Arches, 5 mins from Pleasance)
A double-header at the Arches development across from Waverley train station. Gannet & Guga serve up an exciting range of sandwiches and salads with Vietnamese influences showing up in the form of summery rice rolls and bahn mi sandwiches, while Baba Budan specialise in outrageous doughnuts and lovingly-crafted coffees.

Breakfast, Brunch and Lunch (65 Pleasance, 2 mins from Pleasance)
Fun fact: BBL produce all their own sausages in-house. That said, a roll with said sausage will still set you back less than £2, telling you all you need to know about Breakfast, Brunch and Lunch; a neighbourhood cafe that focuses on quality ingredients but doesn't break the bank in the process. Two thumbs up.

Piemaker (38 South Bridge, 5 mins from Pleasance)
What do you mean you've never had a macaroni pie? Macaroni cheese wedged into a pie crust is the kind of big-time carb-loading this festival was built on, and Piemaker are still flying the flag for it. Their pies and pastries are great, and they're open late throughout August. 

Kebab Mahal (7 Nicolson Sq, 5 mins from Pleasance)
Everyone and their dog knows about the Mosque Kitchen at this point, so we'll flag up the equally venerable but often-overlooked Kebab Mahal instead. Great curries, constant hubbub, quick service and big flavours; ideal if you need a decent feed that will also blast your Fringe Flu into orbit.