Quick Bites brings you some quick, short food and drink reviews on places around town to stop for a snack, an ice cream, a beer, sometimes even dinner. These are shorter reviews to give you a taste of some other places that might be in the area to stop and take the weight off. This time, it’s respite from the jostling of Royal Mile at the Fringe in Edinburgh.
Devils Advocate l 9 Advocate’s Cl, Edinburgh EH1 1ND l devilsadvocateedinburgh.co.uk/
If you like whiskey, and I really like whiskey, then this is an essential place to while away an hour (or more). Located just off the royal mile, it’s a safe haven for weary feet to get a ‘wee nip’. They have a phenomenal choice of whiskey and make sure to cater even if you want to venture away from Scottish (I’m a particular fan of Japanese and wasn’t thrown out!). The staff are super knowledgeable so they’ll help you navigate the huge caged shelf to get something to warm you up on a cold winters day. They also do great cocktails too for those who can’t quite enjoy the straight stuff.
56 North l 2-8 W Crosscauseway, Edinburgh EH8 9JP l fiftysixnorth.co.uk/
If you like gin, and I really like gin….. Ok, my drinking problems and lack of imaginative opening aside, 56 north is a place for real gin aficionados. With over 250 different kinds of gin, choosing can be hard. Luckily their menu is all laid out to guide you through the different subtleties and garnishes (always a good way to chose!) – Personally I’ll always recommend a Monkey 47. They also do great nibbles to ensure you don’t get too carried away. An earthy, black pudding scotch egg came with a beautiful runny centre to tide me over until our next square meal.
Panda & Sons l 79 Queen St, Edinburgh EH2 4NF l pandaandsons.com/
Hidden away, behind a bookcase and some portraits of a well dressed, family of pandas, lurks one of Edinburgh’s coolest cocktail choices. A stylistic mix of the usual prohibition speakeasy, crossed with a barber shop, Panda and Sons certainly manages to have a unique feel. With everything from big sharing numbers, to ‘concotions’ and ‘tipples’, it’s certainly a welcome departure from the plethora of whisky bars.
A ‘Fuelled up mule’ is a pleasing take on a Moscow mule, with (cut-throat) razor sharp, homemade ginger beer. The ‘Super Tonic’ is a charged up G&T, mixing the usual notes with some almond syrup and vermouth. There’s theatrics too as the ‘Smokey and the Pandito’ comes under a glass closh of smoke that fills the table with a sense of the mesquite notes in the drink. Two of us finish our visit ordering another round of the ‘Italian Night Walkers’, a strong, Negroni-like drink to send us stumbling on our way. Panda & Sons has managed to take the old clichéd prohibition bar and tweak it enough to make it feel fresh.
Urban Angel l 121 Hanover St, Edinburgh EH2 1DJ l www.urban–angel.co.uk/
Although not quite reaching the heights of The Pantry, Urban Angel is still a mighty fine (and marginally more central) brunch option. With cake and snack options to go, there’s a good selection of affordable brunch choices for those looking to start their day right. Chorizo and Mushroom with a poached egg on fresh toast comes flecked with garlic and chilli, to wake your dozing taste buds. The Eggs Benedict is also well done, regally perched atop a crisp English muffin. If you don’t want to head a little further out to The Pantry, you can’t go wrong here.
The Hanging Bat l 133 Lothian Rd, Edinburgh EH3 9AB l thehangingbat.com/
If you like beer…….. Ah, forget it! Slightly out of the centre of Edinburgh, but ideally located for the International Conference Centre, The Hanging Bat is a haven for craft ale lovers. As well as a huge selection of craft ales and lagers in bottles, they also do around 20 of beers on draught (rotating selection) to chose from. You can pick a choice of 5 1/3 pints for £11.50 which, given some are in excess of 8% ABV, can leave you un-expectantly tipsy. Let the bar staff guide you, but if the Millionaire caramel stout is there, please order it. For me.
Brew Lab Coffee l 6-8 S College St, Edinburgh EH8 9AA l www.brewlabcoffee.co.uk/
With this being an alcohol heavy edition of Quick Bites, it only makes sense to recommend an excellent coffee shop to open those dazed, morning-after eyes. The centrally located Brew Lab has a decent array of coffee choices (four, rotating single origin varieties) and relishes being an expert in caffeine. Whether you’re an espresso or a latte type, you’re sure to get your fix here. It’s all industrial, minimalist stylings and even serves craft beers too. We may have also grabbed a few gooey, chocolate brownies to cram into our pockets too.