The Skinny Food and Drink Survey 2018: Best Restaurants

From experimental dining to incredible pizza, your favourite restaurants in Edinburgh and Glasgow are an interesting mix

Feature by Peter Simpson | 03 Jan 2018

4-8 Lochrin Buildings, Edinburgh
Trenchtown offers up a cuisine that has been hitherto underrepresented in Edinburgh's food and drink scene. The menu takes an extensive ride through the hits of Caribbean cuisine, with an extensive range of jerk meats, small plates and Caribbean curries all packing a healthy spice punch. Throw in a bang-on-trend teal paint job and a cracking central location, and you've got a winner.

1126 Argyle St, Glasgow
Finnieston is wall-to-wall with interesting restaurants, but this Mediterranean offering headed up by former Ottolenghi chef Rosie Healey has jumped out in its first year-and-a-bit to become a firm favourite. Prepare to be challenged, but in a nice, pleasant way – if you've never tried kohlrabi before, now's your chance. The menu is built around sharing plates loaded with interesting combinations and well-balanced selections, so expect the unexpected. Also, expect to get in a highly undignified scrap over the last piece of octopus. 

107-109 St Leonard’s St, Edinburgh
Let's be real for a second. Do you really want a lot of choice when you go out? Or are you eating out because you took a look in the cupboard, tried to work out what to make with a carrot and a packet of Jaffa Cakes, then ran off to find a culinary adult? Aizle takes those worries away – there's just one option, a menu expertly crafted by head chef Stuart Ralston and based on whatever ingredients are in season at the time. The result is a tasting menu packed with Wonka-esque invention and brilliant flavours, but without any of the dry ice or over-the-top service you might expect. Leave yourself in Aizle's hands; you won't regret it.

12 King's Court, Glasgow
One of the pioneers of vegan cool in Scotland since opening in the early 2000s, Mono continues to be an important hub for the Glasgow music scene and its many vegan members. Its menu is a great mix of classic comfort food, all with a meatless twist. Burgers, cheesecakes, fried things, spicy things – anyone who believes that they won't have a 'proper meal' without a big slab of meat involved needs to be introduced to Mono post-haste.

60 Henderson St, Edinburgh
For years Edinburgh was crying out for an east coast equivalent of the likes of Mono, venues that serve tasty vegan food in a cool environment. Well, ask and you shall receive – Harmonium's gone down a storm with its fun-packed take on meat-free dining. From vegan breakfast rolls to entirely meatless pizzas and cheesesteak sandwiches, Harmonium pulls together styles and influences from all over the place, engineers away all of the meat, and leaves a fantastic end result.

94 Miller St & 471 Great Western Rd, Glasgow
Since our first outing to Paesano a couple of years back, The Skinny has been singing the praises of their fantastic Neapolitan pizza to literally anyone who'll listen. It hits all the key points – delicious food, nice vibe, great value and incredibly efficient service. While they may not have invented the pizza, and they've since spawned a host of Naples-inspired pizza interlopers, Paesano are still one of the best around. 

Ting Thai Caravan
8-9 Teviot Pl, Edinburgh
Still impressively cheap, still trendy AF and still home to some of the best food in the whole of the capital, grabbing a spot in the Ting Thai Caravan queue remains a key part of the plans of any self-respecting Edinburgh foodie. Fantastic noodles, great bar snacks and sides, and if you've run through the whole menu their new Vietnamese joint Saboteur is also well worth checking out.

Ox and Finch 
920 Sauchiehall St, Glasgow
Another long-established favourite, Ox and Finch continue to serve up tasty chunks of modern European cuisine in the form of sharing small plates from seafood to poultry to veg. The team behind O&F recently opened the doors at the Levant-inspired BABA in Edinburgh – marvel at their ludicrous selection of dips and mezze – which we expect to join the Ox and Finch in your affections before too long.