Scotland's Best Food and Drink Shops
We pull together a fantasy shopping basket from your favourite food and drink shops
When we asked you for your favourite food and drink shops, there were four clear victors that pulled away from the pack. Handily, you've managed to pick a quartet of shops that, if visited, would allow you to amass a fairly impressive collection of foodie goodies; everything from high-quality basics to some top-notch treats. Admittedly, it's a spread that you have to traverse the M8 to put together, but you can't win 'em all.
We'll start with the basics, the building blocks of any good meal/ diet/ bag of shopping – the fruit and veg. Roots Fruits & Flowers (457 Great Western Rd, Glasgow) is a perennial choice among you lot, and with good reason. A huge array of top-drawer greengrocery awaits, with an emphasis on local, high-quality producers but sans any kind of puritanical shouting about only eating things that grow within walking distance of your house. Sustainable food that looks good and is good for you (with the added bonus of a deli counter next door if you fancy a pastry or some cheese to celebrate your good shopping) – what more could you possibly want?
Well, everything else. While you can technically live off fruits and vegetables alone, you should probably mix things up a bit with some grains and breads and, y'know, other stuff. If you like your 'other stuff' to be ethically sourced and good for both the environment and your insides, Real Foods' two rabbit warren-esque branches (37 Broughton St & 8 Brougham St, Edinburgh) are the place to go. When it comes to store cupboard essentials like grains and flours their range is hard to beat; bread is now back on the menu no matter what intolerances or allergies you have. Herbs, spices, sauces – all the store cupboard essentials are here living their top-notch, largely organic best lives. If you don't like the sound of any of that, you'll be pleased to hear there's an amazing range of organic chocolate to be had, and it's right by the front door. Organic grocery shopping – now even the most belligerent people can enjoy it!
So you've got the basics, now you need to spice things up a bit. Lupe Pintos can help with that, and then some. Their Glasgow (313 Great Western Rd) and Edinburgh (24 Leven St) shops – ironically, right round the corner from Roots and Real Foods respectively – are legendary hives of authentic ingredients from across Central and South America. Say you fancy some Mexican food; Lupe Pintos have everything from the raw ingredients you'll need to make your tortillas and add flavour to your chillies, to the Oaxacan cheese and sauces for garnish, to the authentic Latin sodas to stop your mouth from catching fire. Oh, and they'll probably have a host of recipes and tricks to teach you if you ask nicely. If you're in need of anything from any part of the Americas, or just fancy playing a game of mystery hot sauce roulette with your midweek pizza, Lupe Pintos should be your first port of call.
At this point we have the fruit and veg, the store cupboard staples, and a load of amazing spicy and preserved wonders from the other side of the world – at the risk of coming over all Withnail & I, what we really need is some booze. Valhalla's Goat (449 Great Western Rd) was the off-licence of choice for you lot, and it's a good call – a huge range of craft beers from across Scotland and beyond, a wall of wine bottles that looks like one of those trick bookcases until you realise that they're all real, and an impressive choice of artisan spirits from all over the place. You've been lugging that hypothetical rucksack around for too long, have yourself a treat. You may need a second shopping bag...