A guide to Scotland's Food and Drink Markets

From farmers' markets to indoor street food fiestas, we take a look at some of Scotland's best regular food and drink markets

Feature by Peter Simpson | 04 Oct 2017

Seeing as The Skinny doesn't currently operate a weather service, it falls upon the Food & Drink section to point out the fact that it is presently getting a lot colder and darker outside. The summer's gone, winter's inbound; the leaves are falling and the squirrels are eating everything in sight. Don't leave your sandwiches out folks, they'll have 'em.

Of course, the fact that it'll be pitch-black at 4pm within a few weeks doesn't mean that Scotland's food scene is going into hibernation. Nope, there are still food and drink markets a-plenty to check out in Edinburgh and Glasgow. Here's a guide to some of our favourites, and what to expect to find at each of them.

Edinburgh Farmers' Market

An excellent selection of farm-fresh goodies awaits at Edinburgh's Farmers' Market. Specifically, you'll find more locally-produced cheese and meat than you can wave a stick at, as well as a small selection of sweets and savouries to help you power through your day out (the tiny game pies have our seal of approval). Plus, you get to pick up your shopping in the shadow of one of the country's most iconic buildings rather than under flourescent strip lights, which is a win in and of itself. Saturdays, 10am-2pm, Castle Terrace, edinburghfarmersmarket.co.uk

Glasgow Farmers' Markets

That's right, plural! Glasgow's primary farm-to-folk interface runs in a pair of locations – Queens Park in the Southside on the first and third Saturday of the month, and Mansfield Park in Partick on the second and fourth. At both you'll find a great mix of produce by farmers, bakers, cheesemongers and other artisanal types from across Glasgow and beyond. Saturdays, 10am-2pm, 520 Langside Rd and Mansfield Park, twitter.com/GlasgowMarkets

Stockbridge Market, Edinburgh

A Sunday institution, Stockbridge Market is packed with producers of everything from artisanal bread to craft beer, eco-friendly soap to organic sausages. There's a regular rotation of food vendors knocking out great lunch options – Harajuku Kitchen and Pizza Geeks are regular sights – and the Steampunk Coffee van is a near-weekly fixture. We were being serious when we said 'packed', as the market's popularity has somewhat outgrown its playground-sized footprint; throw in the children and dogs marauding around the place (it is Stockbridge on a Sunday after all) and you'll need to keep your head on a swivel. We recommend grabbing a flat white, waiting for a gap in the crowds and trying to get all your purchases done in one fell swoop. Sundays, 10am-5pm, 1 Saunders St, stockbridgemarket.com/stockbridge.html

Grassmarket Market, Edinburgh

The market so good they (sort of) named it twice, the Grassmarket Market brings together a motley crew of stallholders every week. It's the Grassmarket on a Saturday, so the background vibe can be a bit lively, but when there's an intriguing range of delicacies to get stuck into it's a small price to pay. Expect enormous pans of paella, good bread, and a load of bric-a-brac at the top end by Victoria Street. Saturdays, 10am-5pm, Grassmarket, stockbridgemarket.com/grassmarket

Leith Market

Down by the water, things take on a distinctly foodie flavour with a number of Skinny favourites making regular appearances at Leith Market. You can regularly grab great coffee from The Bearded Barista, amazing corn bread arepas from Orinoco, and excellent French bread from Au Gourmand amongst a host of others. As an added bonus, Leith Market hosts Vegan Quarter – where at least one in every four stalls is fully animal-free – on the first Saturday of every month. Saturdays, 10am-5pm, Dock Place, stockbridgemarket.com/leith

The Pitt, Leith

Speaking of food markets in Leith, no discussion of eating outside in Scotland could be complete without mentioning the all-conquering street food sensation that is The Pitt. OK, it can get very, very busy, but that's just the side effect of putting a whole host of the country's very best food vans and stalls together in one place. The upside is that the food selection is hard to top, and the market's grown and grown while maintaining a friendly community feel. Traders change from week to week, but we guarantee you'll find two or three dishes to fight over with your pals, and if you're in town their Food & Flea outpost features a selection of traders and a weekly flea market. Saturdays, 12-10pm, Pitt St, thepitt.co.uk

Big Feed, Glasgow

In an enormous warehouse on Govan Road, the Big Feed pitches itself as Scotland's biggest indoor street food market. Inside, you'll find more than a dozen street food vans and trucks from across Scotland, alongside beer from local brewing dons WEST and various bits of live entertainment over the course of the day. The set-up reminds us a lot of Copenhagen Street Food, the street food warehouse on Paper Island in the heart of town. That is one of our favourite places in the world so Big Feed, you're on the right track. Next markets 14 & 15 Oct, 12-7pm, 540 Govan Road, bigfeedstreetfood.com

Urban Market, Glasgow

The kind of market you hit up when you want something a bit different, or you don't need any more small-batch charcuterie. Urban Market at Drygate offers up a host of crafts, contemporary design and homewares, but we're all about the regular incursions onto arty territory from bakers, hot sauce impressarios and other fringe foodie types. Plus, the whole thing is hosted in Drygate, so delicious beer is literally a stone's throw away (please don't go to Drygate and start throwing stones around). First Sunday of the month, 12-5pm, 85 Drygate, urbanmarket.scot

Ross Street Market, Glasgow

Another market straddling the boundary of art and food, the new venture from Many Studios and street food facilitators strEAT combines design-led products and art with a selection of street food traders. Get some art, grab your lunch, go home happy; sounds like a good deal to us. Next market 7 Oct, 11am-5pm, 3 Ross St, manystudios.co.uk