Quarantine Eating in Scotland

This post was contributed by Hannah Pinguelo.

Admittedly, I have always loved a takeaway (the Scottish takeout). In the before era, I would treat myself to a meal delivered to my home weekly, often waiting impatiently for Tuesdays, which tends to be discount day in Edinburgh. I live alone and am lazy; I love that my food is brought to my fourth floor walk-up at the click of a button.

The quarantine lockdown, which was particularly earnest in Scotland, has been a wonderful excuse to up my indulgence to twice a week in the name of supporting local businesses… not laziness, I swear. Many chains shut down for the bulk of quarantine, encouraging me to support local and try new places, many which have never delivered before. All this without having to dine alone in public (still working on that).

The Black Hoof

This little Spanish hole in the wall specializes in Iberico ham. Located on the west side of Edinburgh, this little shop features imported goods, whole sides of cured ham in the window, and fabulous baguette sandwiches. These sandwiches feel like a treat for the price and convenience of a fast food value burger. Quick, easy, tasty, and decidedly continental. Occasionally I add a side of their cod croquettes to round out a fuller meal. If you are used to the Portuguese version (a particular favorite of mine), these will strike you as light, airy, and a little less flavorful, but overall very good. 

baguette sandwich from The Black Hoof
cod croquettes from The Black Hoof

Soul Sushi

A good poke bowl is a bit tricky to track down in Edinburgh, but Soul Sushi does it right. A simple menu and fresh ingredients, I find myself craving this spot. Offering both premade rolls and various bowls, this is by far the best sushi I have found thus far in the city. I absolutely delight in their Yellowfin bowl (though I am a pathetic wimp and get it without the peppers). The chocolate mochi is also quite the special treat. Reasonably priced and with a student discount, this is one of the best lunch takeaways in town. However, they do have one of the higher delivery fees so I tend to hunt around for a coupon before ordering.

poke bowl and chocolate mochi from Soul Sushi

Fig & Olive

I have rarely frequented a restaurant with kinder staff. I will get a wave on the street from the kind proprietors of this amazing Egyptian and mixed Mediterranean spot. In the before times, I would regularly be offered samples of bread and sweets while I waited for my order.

During quarantine, I received delicious food that reminded me of kindness and connection. I am a proponent of the falafel wrap, but I also recommend trying the falafel in fresh, homemade Egyptian bread pockets. Excellent either way.

During lockdown, I indulged in two of their desserts. Umm-Ali is traditional dish akin to a light take on bread pudding and Kataif is a moist honey and raisin pastry. While both are delicious, Kataif is particularly special and one of the best desserts I have ever had delivered. 

Pizza Geeks

My favorite of all delivery in Edinburgh is a hipster, man bun, Mario Kart kind of pizza shop. Excellent gourmet pizza at incredibly reasonable prices, the Geeks are a no brainer for me. The food is excellent and fresh and never fails. My go to is the Quattro Formaggi with a side of pesto mayo. Pizza Geeks often takes pizza to health care works and to those in need.

Quattro Formaggi pizza from Pizza Geeks

When the storefront was open, I frequently witnessed staff organizing food to go to those going through hard times. Right now they are running a limited menu which does not include their remarkable pesto mac n cheese and are open Thursday through Saturday. This could not possibly deter me, but I will be the first in line as things ramp back up. 

Bonus: The Raging Bull

As restaurants and pubs started to get creative in lockdown conditions, more and more interesting cocktails became available for delivery. On a particular lonely day, I treated myself to an After Eight styled boozy milkshake. Sublime. Freshly topped with whipped cream on my doorstep at a socially responsible distance, this was a decadent treat. A bit of a splurge and even harder to justify ordering for just one person, I have zero regrets and think everyone deserves a little love in alcoholic chocolate form. 

About the Author

Hannah Pinguelo studied for her PhD in Literature in Edinburgh, Scotland and now lives in Cambridge, England. She spends her time teaching, writing, and eating. She rarely gets to combine the latter two; but when she does, it feeds her soul. 

Read more on dining in Edinburgh…

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