Best fast eats, fine dining and first dating

Your favourite places for showing off, romance and eating on the go. With tip-offs from King Creosote, RM Hubbert and Ally McRae

Feature by Peter Simpson | 14 Jan 2013

So having asked you all for your food & drink favourites, pored over thousands of votes, and done more tallying and totalising than your average Comic Relief host, here are the results of this year’s Skinny Food & Drink Survey. You picked them, so any anomalies are your fault, but if you really don’t fancy our readers’ choices and want someone else to tell you where to go, we’ve also asked some of Scotland’s top music types for their picks.


It seems from your voting that the people to speak to for good food on the move are North Americans. Edinburgh’s favourites in this category were Los Cardos (Leith Walk), home of giant burritos and fajitas, and Wannaburger (Queensferry St), a magical land of locally-sourced burgers and giant pickles the size and shape of a 1990s mobile phone. Over in Glasgow you voted for the aforementioned Where the Monkey Sleeps, so time for another couple of those sandwich names (Mr Bolland’s Cutlass, Serious Operation), and Taco Mazama (Renfield St; Byres Rd) where the burritos are so tasty that you’ll be happy even if half of your lunch inevitably ends up on your shoes.

Ally McCrae: “Taco Mazama. The fastest Burrito wrappers in the West (End).” 

Withered Hand: “Palmyra is my late night guilty pleasure”




Different approaches for the two main cities here. Edinburgh folk voted for last year’s winner, the tried and tested Under the Stairs (Merchant St) in all its subterranean loveliness, presumably planning to hide in one of the giant wingback chairs if it all goes tits-up. Meanwhile in Glasgow, you voted for The Belle (Great Western Road), a super-hip pub with cheap and amazing coffee that’s always full of interesting people in their hilarious ‘fashionable’ clothing. Touché, Glaswegians.

King Creosote: “I've never been on a date. I'll say the Secret Bunker, near Crail.”

RM Hubbert: “Haha, I'm not sure I've ever been on a date! Probably Mono, we could buy records if it all went horribly wrong.”



When you do delve into the posh, socially-awkward and etiquette-laden world of ‘real food’, where do you go? Well, Edinburgh voters were spoiled for choice in terms of top-end and absurdly-priced grub, but plumped for The Kitchin (Commercial Quay), the high-falutin’ restaurant run by Tom Kitchin from the telly. Stravaigin (Gibson St) was our Glaswegians’ choice, and is really ideal for the show-offs amongst us all. The food, the decor, the whole experience – everything is just a bit better than normal, with no difficult cutlery etiquette or syllabubs to confuse the situation.

Rod Jones, Idlewild / The Birthday Suit: “If we are talking high end posh food I'd have to veer out of Edinburgh and go for Abstract in Inverness. Amazing food and great service.”

The Skinny Food and Drink Survey 2013

Best Pub, Cafe and Best Food Shop
Food 101 - The Best Newcomers