The Year in Food: 2018 Food and Drink Recap

A look back on the year in food, in which we spent slightly less time outside, and significantly more time wincing at sour but delicious beverages

Feature by Peter Simpson | 19 Dec 2018
  • El Perro Negro burger

Heading Indoors

In 2018, Scotland's street food and pop-up scene grew up a bit, which is to say a good number of folk have bought themselves homes of their own. From the guys behind pioneering street food van Chompsky branching out with their Pollokshaws bistro Gnom, to new bricks and mortar locations for the fantastic burgers and pizza from El Perro Negro and Pizza Geeks respectively, some of our favourite itinerant food pals have become somewhat easier to pin down. Throw in Platform's new residency at the Argyle Street Arches (it's no multi-arts space and nightclub, but at least it's something) and spots like Dockyard Social and The Pitt, and it seems like this street food malarkey might be here to stay. Hooray!

Multiply and Conquer

Edinburgh has the most restaurants per person of any city in the UK outside London, and there's hardly a week goes by without breathless reports from Glasgow of another new cafe or bar we need to check out. 'Big cities have lots of places to eat' – big shock we know – but the interesting thing in the past year has been what people have been eating. Edinburgh's apparent desire to turn St Andrew Square into some kind of crash pad for London chain restaurants has kinda fizzled out, and a number of the country's most prominent chains have run into some notable bother this year.

Yet some of our favourite indies are branching out into second or third spots – El Cartel and Ramen Dayo! both opened new venues this year, Civerinos are lining up a pizza-fuelled dive bar to go along with their two restaurants, and Williams and Johnson are slinging their top-drawer coffee right on Princes Street, across from the Apple Store. It seems if you support your local food and drinkeries, you'll be rewarded with more of them – wild news, we're sure you'll agree.

Sour Power

In the beer world this year, it's been all about the sour beers. Admittedly, they are somewhat of an acquired taste – overreach in your eagerness for something new and you might end up flinching your way through your schooner – but for fans of funky fermented flavours and people who find standard beers a bit boring or bready, they're fantastic. All-sour brewery Vault City impressed us earlier this year when they nearly blew The Skinny's collective head off with their range of sours; consult your local craft beer emporium (Koelschip Yard, Salt Horse, The Hanging Bat etc) for a steer in the right direction.

Read the results of The Skinny Food and Drink Survey 2019 in our January issue, out on 3 Jan