Vote in The Skinny Food and Drink Survey 2016

For the fifth time we’re asking you to cast your votes for your foodie faves – our Food and Drink editor talks you through the details.

Feature by Peter Simpson | 02 Sep 2015

There are certain points in the calendar that help the punctuate the year and keep your internal clock ticking over. You know the ones – New Year, Valentine’s, Easter, the start of summer, the end of summer, the re-emergence of winter before autumn’s happened. Well, we’re in one of those moments right now folks, so brace yourselves.

Yes, it’s sort-of-after-the-Fringe but before the weather turns into an endless shambles and everyone starts banging on about Christmas, and that can only mean one thing – for the fifth year, we need you to do your democratic yet delicious duty, and to name your favourite food and drink venues in The Skinny Food and Drink Survey.

Much like the changing of the seasons, we swear this point comes around earlier every year, and that’s really a mark of your appetite for naming your favourite places to eat and drink. Last year, we pounded the emails and braved the spreadsheets to tally up thousands of your choices to create a snapshot of food and drink in 2015. You can of course go through all last year’s results on the website, but here are the cliffnotes – there are lots of lovely places to eat and drink across Scotland and the Northwest, and a good pun never goes amiss.

The categories in this year’s survey are much the same as they were last year, but in case you’ve forgotten in the intervening nine months due to 'having other things on', or you just plain weren’t paying any attention last time out, we’ll recap.

First thing’s first, this is an open survey. We want you to tell us the places you like, not pick one of the places from a list of places we like. There are literally thousands of you, and we want your opinions, no matter how bizarre or wrong they may be.

We want you to name your favourite pub – everyone’s got one, be it a spit-and-sawdust dive that’s all out of sawdust, a happy place where everybody knows your name, or a trendy boozer that reminds you of the living room you wished you were heading back to when you finish your pint. Is your favourite pub dog-friendly? Is it friendly-friendly? Is it disguised as something else, such as a Dickensian butcher’s or a giant mound of sand? We’ll respect your choice, no matter what it is, so let us know.

We also want to know which of the umpteen in your fair city is your favourite cafe, and while we appreciate that modern cafe culture really does run the gamut in terms of food, drink and decor, we will need you to pick just the one. We’d also like you to let us know which is your favourite food newcomer in your city from the last 12 months – the only criteria for this one is age, so whether you really liked a new cafe, brewery, or a freshly-popped pop-up, give it a shout-out.

You’re also relatively free when it comes to naming your favourite date place, constrained only by the usual boundaries of your own sheepishness. Whether you like to take your dates, spouses and significant others to a lovely restaurant, a dainty cafe, or a hole-in-the-wall takeaway is none of our business – you’re the judges round here, and we want your input. We will, however, actually read the answers, so keep it clean.

We’re also looking for your tips for the best places to grab the best food on-the-go; your favourite local beer and the name of the people who made it; the pick of the best food shops, emporiums and bottle merchants in your locale; and your pick of the international food on offer from your incredible choice of local eateries.

If one part of this Survey sums up our reasons for braving the spreadsheets year after year, it’s this last question. It’s a doozy – 'name your favourite venue out of all the venues that make food from all over the world, and do it now!' – and a bit of a tough choice to make, but when we combine hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of tough choices, we end up with an expertly curated list of five venues which reflect the true scope of food in Scotland and the Northwest. Curated, that is, by you lot.

You’ve done us proud in the past, and we hope you’ll do so again. Voting’s open at until the end of November, so if nothing else, you have the ideal excuse to hit up all your favourite cafes, bars and restaurants over the next few months. 'Don’t worry guys,' you’ll tell your confused friends as you dash from venue to venue with your notepad, 'it’s for a thing… now pass me a slice of that pizza.' Keep up the good work folks, you’ll make it to the real winter no bother.