Scotland's Best Food and Drink Shops

Peter Simpson | 05 Jan 2017

We assemble a shopping basket from your favourite food and drink shops

Shopping – we all know we have to do it, and unfortunately it seems like the shops have worked that out too. Cue a half-mile walk from one end of an aircraft hangar to another because you forgot to get yoghurt on the first pass, or a trudge around identikit mini-supermarkets to try and find actual ingredients amongst the meal kits and suspiciously large biscuit selection. If only there were some nice, friendly indie shops in which we could pick up our food and drink. Oh wait, there are, and you told us where to find them.

In this ideal world, we'd be looking for a couple of places to pick up the bulk of our groceries – local produce, reasonable prices, you know the drill. Roots and Fruits and Peckhams in the West End of Glasgow both fit the bill, with Roots leading the charge on the fruit and veg front. They encourage you to get what you need for the day, on the day, to cut down waste and help you eat the freshest food you can. Handily, there is an actual greengrocer with years of experience running the place to recommend seasonal produce and give you ideas on what to do with it once you get home, and the adjoining deli can hook you up with delicious fresh bread and pastries.

Peckhams on the other hand can help out with all the deli standards – oodles of delicious cheese, cured meats and other sundries that'll act as great encouragement when you open the fridge after a long day of work (or be perfectly happy eaten straight off a plate with a big pile of the aforementioned bread). 

Next in the basket are all the store cupboard staples – big bags of sugar, grains of varying sizes and shapes, things to spread on other things. Your pick of Real Foods in Edinburgh allows you to grab all these things in eco-friendly, healthy and organic varieties. From organic spices and flours to healthy alternatives to sugar, Real Foods is a treasure trove of consciously-sourced and good-for-you delights. There's a serious range, too – they sell more than 50 different varieties of nut butter (cashew, almond, hazelnut etc) and so many different varieties of salt it'd make your head spin. 

Now, by this stage you'll be keen to acquire some culinary secret weapons. You know the type, the bottles to be liberally added to basically anything to make it taste great or the bags of hard-to-come-by secret ingredients. Lupe Pintos have been shifting this kind of stuff for years at their shops at either end of the M8, be it masa for crafting your own corn tortillas, preserved tomatillos to blitz into homemade salsas, or imported hot sauces that will clear your sinuses at 20 paces. A genuine treasure trove of goods from across North and Central America, 10 minutes spent in Lupe's tends to end in the acquisition of more than a few exciting treats to jazz up meals long into the future.

You'll need some liquid to wash all that down, so your pick of Valhalla’s Goat on Glasgow's Great Western Road is an inspired choice. Their range of hundreds of beers come from all over the world, with particularly strong home-grown selections and a great choice of German and American beers. The Goat also come across some of the world's more exclusive and esoteric beers, from £25 limited edition bottles of oak-aged cherry beer from the Brooklyn Brewery to Swedish blackcurrant sours to an impressive range of spontaneously fermented 'lambic' beers from Belgium.

Don't like beer? Fear not, there's an outrageous selection of wines opposite the beers, plus an extensive range of whiskies, gins, rums and anything else you can think of. The staff know their stuff, and the biggest issue you'll have is trying to make it out of the place in one piece without swapping all your possessions for more delicious beers. Looks like we're going to need a bigger basket...