Edinburgh food news
Holy crab cakes Edinburgh, could you stop with the new openings for just five minutes? The ink is barely dry on our annual Eating and Drinking Guide, but we have many, many more new places to share – so buckle up for a whistle-stop tour...
First up, the news that Mark Greenaway was taking over the old Bistro de Luxe space in the Caley created a huge buzz earlier this year. Grazing by Mark Greenaway is now very firmly open so why not see what we thought of it? Hit-listed favourite Sonder has opened up their basement space to create Camera, a new bar with a focus on cocktails.
Also in the bar world, the Little White Pig is a new wine bar on Dublin Street. Their food menu is shaping up nicely, with a range of pub classics done well and a small range of family-style sharing plates (you read it here first – big plates replacing small ones is our hot take for the food year ahead). Meanwhile Causewayside has seen the recent opening of Damm Twenty Seven, a total refurb of the old Victoria bar with a compact menu touching on European classics, including bouillabaisse and mussels four ways.
Finally, if all that boozing has left you with a sore head, help is at hand – Meltmongers have finally opened their second branch on Dundas Street: one of their legendary toasties will soon see you right.
Darnley's Gin Afternoon G&Tea
8 Jun, East Newhall Farm Cottage, St Andrews
Celebrate World Gin Day with a Darnley's Afternoon G&Tea at their distillery near St Andrews.
Enjoy a delicious selection of cakes, scones and sandwiches and, of course, a Darnley’s Gin and tonic.
The experience is £20pp and spaces are limited, so book through Eventbrite to celebrate World Gin Day in a distillery!
Glasgow food news
At the end of May, the West End Festival is kicking off with plenty of food and drink happenings in the packed month-long programme. Some highlights include four-course walking tours around various venues courtesy of The Glasgow Food & Drink Tour (various dates), the Cup of Tea with a Refugee community event at An Clachan in Kelvingrove Park (Sat 1 Jun), and Deoch Is Dàimh (Sat 22 Jun) celebrating Gaelic culture at Partick’s Wester Spirit Co. distillery with live entertainment and lots of cocktails. Wester are also hosting a pop-up restaurant event with the Undercover Dinner Society (Fri 14–Sun 16 Jun). If the sun's out, head to various festival street gatherings including the Ashton Lane Party (Sun 2 Jun), Vinicombe Street Gala (Sat 1 Jun) and the Lismore's Street Party (Sat 1–Sun 2 Jun) – expect plenty of live music, street food, cocktails and uisge.
The five-star Blythswood Hotel in the city centre has reopened its main restaurant after a major refurb and redirection. Called Bo & Birdy, as in beef and poultry, it promises 'farm to fabulous' with a menu that celebrates Scottish produce. It's not all muck and muscles though; there's plenty of glamour at this lux brasserie set-up with a blinging island bar dishing out the venue's famed cocktails.
In the West End, those cake-mad siblings the Three Sisters Bake have come to Kelvinbridge with the compact Cake Bar, adding to their popular cafés in Quarriers Village and Killearn, with plenty more baked goodies to enjoy.
With Father's Day on the horizon (Sun 16 Jun), why not honour the progenitor in your life with a present that encompasses gin, beards and helping the planet? Illicit Spirits, Glasgow's small-batch urban distillery, have launched their own Botanical Beard Balm. It's made using the waste botanicals from their gin production, which are then mixed with other balmy ingredients to nourish and enhance the old fella's facial hair.
Rare Whisky & Scottish Food Tasting
17 May, 21 Jun, 26 Jul – Edinburgh Larder
Edinburgh Larder & East Coast Whisky present a wonderful series of 3 evenings of fine food, great drams & good chat.
5 drams of specially selected whiskies will be paired with the best local and seasonal produce from around Scotland.
Don't miss out on what is set to be a really special experience.
Elsewhere in Scotland
St Andrews has itself a new brunch spot, Next Door, serving up a daytime (8am–5pm) menu rich in fruit, veg and spice: try chia seed and blueberry pot, or gratinated poached egg with spinach and hollandaise. Lunches come on stream after noon, with the contemporary design, casual atmosphere and colourful food clearly angling for an Instagram posting or two. It's located on South Street, right beside its parent venue, The Adamson restaurant and cocktail bar.
Jupiter Artland in West Lothian has announced Edinburgh restaurant Fhior as their new partner in the sculpture park's café-restaurant Café Party, itself a permanent commission by Swiss artist Nicolas Party with specially designed crockery, furniture and paintings. As well as regular daytime cakes, sandwiches and hot dishes, Fhior owners Scott Smith and Laura Smith will be hosting bespoke seasonal dinners on selected Sundays through summer, showcasing their modern, hyper-seasonal menus.
Get your copy of the Eating & Drinking Guide 2019
The List's 26th annual Eating and Drinking Guide is out now!
Our team of over 50 researchers visited venues across Edinburgh & Glasgow to capture the essence of our local food and drink scene.
It's all wrapped up with fresh and objective reviews, informative features, useful recommendations and – back by popular demand! – street maps showing the location of all the restaurants, bars and cafés included.
Available for £5.95 from good bookshops or our online shop
Scottish food and drink events
As we glide into the summer months and temperatures start to rise, it's the ideal time of year to discover a new tipple (responsibly, of course). For June, Glasgow has this covered with a whopping three whole drinks festivals coming to the Briggait in Merchant City. True OriGINs: The Scottish Gin Festival (Fri 31 May–Sat 1 Jun) is first up and celebrates the mega-popular spirit and the country which produces a lot of it. Enjoy gins from all regions of Scotland, masterclasses, live music, Scottish-inspired street food and lots of botanicals. The Briggait then loans its venue to the adoration of the sugarcane at the Rum Festival Glasgow (Fri 7–Sat 8 Jun).
For those that prefer their drink a bit more lively, the annual Glasgow Real Ale Festival (Thu 20–Sat 22 Jun) aims to promote the consumption of real ale and provides guests with 150 different types of the stuff from around the UK. And last but not least, you may be thinking what about the wine fans? Well over at the Trades Halls, you’ll find the Festival of Wine on Saturday 28 June, with the chance to try over 200 wines from the country's best retailers and world's best producers.
Over in Edinburgh, the Power of Food Festival (Sat 15–Sun 16 Jun) makes its welcome return, showcasing the incredible community food gardens around the city. Pop around and find out how your grub is grown, but also the importance of these green pockets to our environmental and social well-being. Speaking of locally-sourced bounty, Buck and Birch are hosting a dining series Eat Wild + Drink (Sat 1 Jun, Fri 28 Jun, Sat 29 Jun), featuring a multi-course menu made out of wild foraged ingredients. It doesn't get much more seasonal than that, folks.
In terms of libations, Summerhall will be hosting their annual Juniper Festival (Sat 1 Jun–Sun 2 Jun), with over 150 brands on site celebrating the beloved botanical in all its forms. On the other end of town, those purveyors of the water of life, the Scotch Malt Whisky Society, will be taking over the Assembly Rooms for the Edinburgh Whisky Festival (Sat 15 Jun), featuring a range of the finest Scotch and a masterclass series on this compelling drink. Or come to grips with key grape varieties with Bibo Wine at their One Day Introductory Wine School (Sat 8 Jun) and impress your guests at your next fancy dinner party.