The Skinny Food & Drink Survey: Best of the Best

On a dig through the stats of the last eight years of our Food and Drink Survey, we highlight 20 of the most popular choices over the years

Feature by Peter Simpson | 13 Jan 2020
  • The Skinny January 2020 cover

Since 2012, 247 places have been awarded the Food and Drink Survey stamp of approval. On a dig through the stats, we found two interesting trends – firstly, 18% of our past winners are now shut, reminding us that (at least a fifth of) everything you know and love will perish. Yay.

Secondly, nearly two-thirds of our champs have been repeat winners. In fact, there are a hardcore of places that have been winners four or more times over the years. The following 20 are some of the Best of the Best of Scottish food and drink; they won’t let you down, trust us.

When it comes to cafes, the smoothies and various bowls of Hula (103-105 West Bow & 94A Fountainbridge, Edinburgh) have long been popular, as have the great cakes of Lovecrumbs (155 West Port, Edinburgh). You’ve long been fans of Taco Mazama (various locations) and Los Cardos (224 Leith Walk, Edinburgh), so clearly burritos are staying on the menu for a while yet.

As for beers, there are a selection of breweries who pop up in the voting most years – the crisp German-style beers from WEST and the left-field riffs of Drygate are perennial favourites. You also love Leith murk merchants Pilot and the now-ubiquitous Williams Bros, and you’re big Brewdog fans but not as much as you used to be.

There’s a clear favourite trio of shops – Real Foods (8 Brougham St & 37 Broughton St, Edinburgh) for all your organic staples; Roots, Fruits and Flowers (451 Great Western Rd, Glasgow) for brilliant fresh produce; and Lupe Pintos (24 Leven St, Edinburgh & 313 Great Western Rd, Glasgow) for amazing hot sauces and Mexican treats.

Five restaurants pop up again and again – Ting Thai Caravan (8-9 Teviot Pl, Edinburgh) and Mother India’s Cafe (1355 Argyle St, Glasgow & 3-5 Infirmary St, Edinburgh) when you want to stay chill; Ox and Finch (920 Sauchiehall St, Glasgow) and Timberyard (10 Lady Lawson St, Edinburgh) when you’re feeling fancy; and Hanoi Bike Shop (8 Ruthven Ln, Glasgow) when you’re somewhere in the middle.

And when you just want to go for a pint, you’re fans of three distinct options – the riverside chill of Inn Deep (445 Great Western Rd, Glasgow), the sour-powered schoonerfest of The Hanging Bat (133 Lothian Rd, Edinburgh), and the charm of Roseleaf (23-24 Sandport Pl, Edinburgh).