Food & Drink Survey 2014: Best Cafes, Scotland

Your favourite cafes all have something in common – names which perfectly encapsulate what’s inside. Time to try our hands at amateur etymology, as we look at our Best Cafe winners

Feature by Peter Simpson | 06 Jan 2014

Glad Cafe
Glasgow is a big, diverse place, with all sorts of creative capers going on. It’s a hive of activity, and there are lots and lots of people each getting on with their own thing. The Glad Cafe provides a place for them all to get together under one roof.
By night it’s a gig venue/cinema/comedy space, and by day it’s one of the Southside’s best cafes that gives those arty types a place to get inspired and drink great, locally-roasted coffee. You feel glad that a place like it exists, and it’s a cafe. Glad Cafe. Boom.

For a cafe to live up to the Lovecrumbs name, it would need to be imbued with a sense of joy and care, but also have a bit of an anarchic and scruffy edge. Sit at a table made from an old piano with a slice of violet & cardamom cake, or an orange and pistachio tart, and it all makes sense. Well, it might not ‘make sense’, but it’s brilliant nonetheless.

Artisan Roast
Guess what Artisan Roast do? That’s right, they roast their own coffee in an artisanal fashion. You lot love their cafes in Edinburgh and Glasgow, and their brilliance at their craft is clear to see. Their coffee is served in cafes up and down Scotland, but going direct to the source gives you the full experience which landed them on your list.

Hula makes the best cafe rankings for a second straight year, with its great menu and cracking location in the centre of Edinburgh getting it the nod. As for the the whole name-matching thing, Hula’s bright, breezy decor and array of juices and smoothies make the place a ray of light in Auld Reekie. It’s the closest thing Edinburgh has to a tropical oasis without bothering the birds in the Zoo’s aviary.

Brew Lab
This one’s easy. ‘Brew’ is what these guys do best, with their Slayer espresso machine and ever-changing array of coffees from around the globe. The ‘Lab’ part becomes apparent as soon as you walk in – the stripped-back aesthetic has something of the mad professor about it, and their Syphon Sunday coffees put this into overdrive. Seriously, we’re talking halogen lamps, beakers, the lot.