If you know me, then you’ll know I am all about good cheap food! All about that. And now I shall brag a bit about my birthplace of Los Angeles. It is probably one of the best places in the world to find all types of cuisine from all around the world at a cheap price and with authentic flavour. Or just awesome flavour.
Anyway, the point of this brag session is to demonstrate my good cheap food instincts. With these instincts I have deducted that, in general, food in Edinburgh is expensive and also does not rank too well among other international cities (this view point is my own but has been corroborated by some knowledgeable peoples). However, there are of course shining exceptions to this rule. Oink is one of them.
Oink is a chain of neat little eateries where you can get a right decent hog roast sandwich. It started off as a pig farm which did catering. They were quite popular so they started showing up to the Edinburgh Farmer’s Market. Again their fame spread and they were able to acquire a nice little shop on Victoria Street (just up from grassmarket) in Edinburgh. They now have a second location in Canongate (down high street toward Holyrood Palace). For all you local food fans out there, I don’t know if it gets any more local than this. They raise the pigs that they serve. Pretty sweet.
The basic concept of Oink goes like this:
Each morning they roast a whole hog and serve it throughout the day on rolls with a choice of sauces (sage & onion, apple sauce, chilli relish or haggis) and a piece of crackling if you ask. Pretty simple but amazingly delicious.
At each location, they only have one hog per day. So even though the hours may say that they close at 5pm, they really close when the hog runs out. In my experience, this is at about 2pm. So get there early! They also still show up to the farmers market but my favourite place to get it is at Victoria Street.
My favourite sauces are the sage & onion and apple sauce. The haggis is good too and especially if you are a tourist. Gotta have haggis right? Oh and in case you do not know what crackling is, it is the most divine crispy skin of the hog. Some people may be grossed out by this but those people usually aren’t the most food savvy. My philosophy is to transcend your fears and experience food for its flavours and textures. Fear leads to the darkside of your digestive system. Something like that.
As I write this, the price for an Oink sandwich is £3.95, which is a right good deal in Edinburgh. You can also get a smaller roll called a piglet or a larger roll called the grunter, but I think the Oink has the best ratio of all the good things.
Here are the prices:
The Piglet – for the smaller eater £2.95
The Oink – Our Classic hog roast roll £3.95
The Grunter – for the larger appetite £4.95
Open Mon to Sat from 11am to 5.30pm, Sunday 11am to 5pm
(or until the pork runs out!).
34 Victoria Street
Edinburgh, EH1 2JW
Open Monday to Saturday from 11am to 5.30pm, Sunday 11am to 5pm
(or until the pork runs out!).
Edinburgh, EH8 8BZ
And for more info see their website.