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Feature

The Comedian's Guide to Eating & Drinking at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Who better than the comedians who perform regularly at The Edinburgh Festival Fringe to tell you where to eat and drink when you're in town? From the best hangover- beating breakfast to the chip shop with a DJ, they share their favourite places with Gemma Elwin Harris

The Comedian's Guide to Eating & Drinking at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Dan Atkinson

[ BIG-HAIRED COMEDIAN WITH BIG IDEAS ]
RECOMMENDS: FAVORIT
19-20 TEVIOT PLACE; AND PLEASANCE COURTYARD, 60 PLEASANCE, TEL: +44 (0)131 556 1513, WWW.PLEASANCE.CO.UK

“If you want some good food and atmosphere then the late-night diner Favorit is the place to go, and is a favourite haunt of comedians. If you're planning on comedian-spotting, the Pleasance Courtyard is always full of festival performers, too.”

Dana Alexander

[ CANADA’S FIRST LADY OF COMEDY ]
RECOMMENDS: BRASS MONKEY
14 DRUMMOND STREET, TEL: +44 (0)131 556 1961

“I'm a complete movie lover and here you can go out the back and watch movies lying down! Perfect for chilling amid the madness of the festival.”

Doc Brown

[ COMEDY RAPPER ]
RECOMMENDS: CAFE PICCANTE
7 EAST NORTON PLACE, TEL: +44 (0)131 652 6221, WWW.CAFEPICCANTE.COM

“On Fridays and Saturdays Cafe Piccante has a live DJ, banging house music and a light show. The first time I saw Piccante on a late-night walk home from the Pleasance Courtyard, I assumed it was an after-hours rave. Next thing I know I’m breakdancing in a chippy.”

Gemma Goggin

[ A LADY WHO LAUGHS AT HER DATING DISASTERS ]
RECOMMENDS: BAR MISSONI
HOTEL MISSONI, 1 GEORGE IV BRIDGE, TEL: +44 (0)131 220 6666; AND FORTH FLOOR BAR, HARVEY NICHOLS, 30-34 ST ANDREW SQUARE, TEL: +44 (0)131 524 8350

“The bar at Hotel Missoni is great for martinis; the bar at Harvey Nichols is perfect for Champagne cocktails and a view over the city. Last time I went, I admit I had one drink too many."

Stephen Carlin

[ SCOTTISH COMIC WHO FEELS AT HOME AT THE FESTIVAL ]
RECOMMENDS: THE LIBRARY BAR AT THE GILDED BALLOON
TEVIOT ROW HOUSE, 13 BRISTO SQUARE, TEL: +44 (0)131 622 6555, WWW.. GILDEDBALLOON.CO.UK

“The Library Bar at the Gilded Balloon is a favourite hangout for comedians. Most comedians are on a totally different body clock – they won’t be in party mode till about 1am.”

Brendon Burns

[ SHARP-TONGUED AUSTRALIAN COMEDIAN ]
RECOMMENDS: BAR NAPOLI
75 HANOVER STREET, TEL: +44 (0)131 225 2600, WWW.BAR-NAPOLI.CO.UK

“This is a great place for late-night dinner. The staff are famously surly Scottish Italians. After a decade of eating there they've finally accepted me as a regular. It's a festival favourite.”

Zoe Lyons

[ SHE’S TATTOOED AND UNTAMED ]
RECOMMENDS: THE WITCHERY BY THE CASTLE
CASTLEHILL, ROYAL MILE, TEL: +44 (0)131 225 5613, WWW.THEWITCHERY.COM

“I always drink at Doctors bar. Great beers, a lively atmosphere and ironically you'll need the services of a doctor once you finally leave!”

Jools Constant

[ STAND-UP WHO RECKONS FACEBOOK MAKES US TWO-FACED ]
RECOMMENDS: ELEPHANTS & BAGELS
32 MARSHALL STREET, TEL: +44 (0)131 668 4404

“I always forget how beautiful Edinburgh is. I usually spend my first day of the festival oohing and ahhing like an over-excited tourist from Florida. I pretend to be a knight in tin-foil armour trotting up the Royal Mile. Dine at the Witchery for gastronomy with a dash of Gothic charm.”

Cal McCrystal

[ PERFORMER AND SHOW DIRECTOR ]
RECOMMENDS: VALVONA & CROLLA
19 ELM ROW, TEL: +44   (0)131 556 6066, WWW.VALVONACROLLA.CO.UK; AND HENDERSON’S, 94 HANOVER STREET, TEL: +44 (0)131 225 2131, WWW.HENDERSONSOFEDINBURGH.CO.UK

“For a great-tasting snack and superb service, I head to this bagel shop. It’s not far from the Gilded Balloon venue and university complex.”

RANDY

[ PUPPET, FRIEND OF PUPPETEER HEATH MCIVOR ]
RECOMMENDS: THE UNEXPECTED ELBOW
MYSTERIOUS ADDRESS WITHHELD (WE HAVE A FEELING IT MAY NOT EXIST…)

“After closing time you'll nearly always find me locked in at The Unexpected Elbow, an old pub hidden away off the Royal Mile. It's £3.50 for a pint of 'Old Crumps' and the pickled gherkins are complimentary after 4am. Be sure to ask for Craggy Wilma, she's always willing to tell the tale of the ghost of old McFraggest and his three-legged stoat.”

Mark Dolan

[ STAND-UP AND TV PRESENTER ]
RECOMMENDS: DOCTORS BAR
32 FORREST ROAD, TEL: +44 (0)131 225 1819

“Valvona & Crolla is one of Britain's best delis but they also present shows on the shop floor during the Fest. It’s intimate and deli- cious! But best for breakfast and lunch is Henderson’s, on Hanover Street. They always have lots of fresh veg and juices. Essential for hangovers.

Michael Fabbri

[ A FORMER FINALIST IN NEWCOMERS’ COMPETITION SO YOU THINK YOU’RE FUNNY? ]
RECOMMENDS: KHUSHI TANDOORI
32B BROUGHTON STREET, TEL: +44 (0)131 556 8092; AND WELL HUNG & TENDER A VAN OUTSIDE THE GILDED BALLOON (TEVIOT ROW HOUSE, 13 BRISTO SQUARE)

“For a curry, Khushi on Broughton Street does an amazingly huge naan bread. And if the Well Hung & Tender burger van is up at the Gilded Balloon, I pay them regular visits. I have very high cholesterol.”

Adam Hills

[ AUSTRALIAN FUNNY MAN ]
RECOMMENDS: THE CITY CAFÉ
19 BLAIR STREET, TEL: +44 (0)131 220 0125

“The City Café serves the best hangover breakfast.  
1) You can get chips with breakfast
2) They serve breakfast all day  
3) Did I mention they serve chips with breakfast? You'll probably run into your favourite comedian there, eating chips for breakfast at 3pm.”

Stephen K Amos

[ SOUTH LONDON’S FINEST AND FUNNIEST ]
RECOMMENDS: STREET STALLS NEAR THE GILDED BALLOON (TEVIOT ROW HOUSE, 13 BRISTO SQUARE)

“I don’t think the words ‘street’ and ‘food’ should ever go together, but you'd be hard- pressed to not find something you didn't like outside the Gilded Balloon venue, from crepes to Angus steak burgers via onion bhajis.”

Dan Antopolski

[ TRIPLE PERRIER COMEDY AWARD NOMINEE AT EDINBURGH ] RECOMMENDS: THE BAKED POTATO SHOP
56 COCKBURN STREET, TEL: +44 (0)131 225 7572

“This is where many comics fuel up for shows, with a massive, cheap, delicious meal to eat on the way to the venue. Every 50th potato contains a golden ticket. Or maybe it's a rogue sweetcorn.”

Chris Martin

[ THE COMEDIAN, NOT THE COLDPLAY SINGER ]
RECOMMENDS: SMART CITY HOSTELS EDINBURGH 50 BLACKFRIARS STREET, TEL: +44 (0)131 524 1989, WWW.SMARTCITYHOSTELS.COM

“If you're an adult but still have the mentality of a tight-fisted student, you can walk into Smart City Hostels and get cheap, good grub. Then you can break into someone's room and steal their mattress! Erm, maybe.”

Keith Farnan

[ HIGHLIGHTS HUMAN-RIGHTS ISSUES WITH HIS JOKES ]
RECOMMENDS: UNDER THE STAIRS
3A MERCHANT STREET, TEL: +44 (0)131 466 8550, WWW.UNDERTHESTAIRS.ORG

“I was having a rare, ahem, night out at the Edinburgh Festival last year at a great pub called Under the Stairs near Grassmarket. When I went to pay the bill of £63.50, the waiter accidently put in £63,500. Surprisingly, it didn't go through, although my bank nearly unleashed their hordes of flying ninja monkeys, trained for such an event.”

15 July 11