The Skinny Food & Drink Survey 2018: Best Newcomers

Your favourite places from the past twelve months, from ramen stands to Nirvana-inspired vegan cafes

Feature by Peter Simpson | 03 Jan 2018

You never know what you'll find when you step out of the door. You might spot an old venue changing to something new, or hear bus stop chatter about a place that 'might be a new restaurant or a trendy opticians, it's hard to tell.' There's a reason that when we round up the new venues in Edinburgh and Glasgow every month, you lot go crazy for the intel – it's highly-prized information that helps you appear in the know and have a great time. It's the best kind of tasty gossip, in that you can actually eat it.

Among your favourites to emerge from the cocoon of building works and 'Coming Soon' Instagram posts in 2017 is Ramen Dayo! (25 Queen St, Glasgow), although it didn't have the smoothest ride to begin with. The brainchild of Paul Beveridge, co-founder of the Numbers record label, Ramen Dayo! began life as a pop-up ramen cart on Gordon St, then took a brief soujourn into the basement at Max's on Queen Street, before finally ending up just down the road in a fittingly eccentric location. Inside you'll find expertly-made and suitably unctuous ramen in a number of different configurations, along with a well-stocked bar and friendly service. Pull up a stool and practice your slurping; excellent ramen awaits.

Also among your favourite newcomers is In Bloom (48 Clarendon Pl, Glasgow). Catch a glimpse of that teal shopfront, and take a look at the font above the door, and one 90s grunge band immediately comes to mind. Yes, that one; the fella from the Foo Fighters used to be their drummer. 'Fully vegan Nirvana-inspired cafe' isn't a phrase we really expected to hear in 2017 if we're being honest, but you lot loved In Bloom for their vegan range of cafe classics both savoury and sweet, and their decor which offers plenty of Cobain nods to enjoy while snacking on a veggie haggis sandwich. 

Among your other favourite newbies were POTLUCK (38 Nithsdale Rd, Glasgow), home to great breakfasts and enormous mezze bowls to crash through like you're the Cookie Monster; the exciting vegan menu and undeniable cool of Harmonium (60 Henderson St, Edinburgh); the Montreal-inspired and jam-packed bagels of Bross Bagels (186 Portobello High St, Edinburgh); and the spicy Caribbean flavours of Trenchtown (4-8 Lochrin Buildings, Edinburgh). As you can see, a genuine mixed bag, but then that's the thing about discovering new places – you never know quite what you'll get, and that's most of the fun.