Winter warmers: tops tips for drinking and dining this festive season

Winter warmers: tops tips for drinking and dining this festive season

Our picks of where to go in Edinburgh and Glasgow for the best food and drink this winter, plus some suggestions from our experts

Winter is a time for cuddling up with a plate of something sustaining and comforting. Luckily, given the dreich conditions here, Scotland is pretty good at doing food and drink to warm the cockles. From wood-fired pizza ovens to cosy brunches, fiery Asian spices to delicious drams, here are our top suggestions for putting a festive glow into your winter drinking and dining.

Italian Embrace

The cuisine of Italy, at its best, is like a big, warm, friendly hug, and Scotland is full of top spots to cosy up this winter.

Glasgow
Celino's: Traditional trattoria bringing beautifully cooked favourites to Dennistoun, with the option to take home treats from the deli counter.
Amore Ristorante e Pizzeria: A glorious spot looking down on the Merchant City, where big groups and family occasions work particularly well.

Edinburgh
Contini George Street: Modern Italian cuisine in grand, elegant surroundings at the heart of Georgian Edinburgh.
Froth & Flame: Cosy up to the wood-fired oven and enjoy the classic combo of pizza and beer.

Warming Spices

There's nothing like a bit of spice to warm you from within, and there's a feast of Indian and East Asian specialists to keep you tingling.

Glasgow
Chillies West End: A relaxed atmosphere matched by a mix and match tapas-style menu of skilfully prepared and really quite spicy dishes.
Non Viet: Top-quality Vietnamese cuisine prepared with care in a contemporary diner with an easy-going vibe.

Edinburgh
Desi Pakwan: Primarily a takeaway and delivery spot, but should the weather be just too awful, there's also sit-in to enjoy the Punjabi favourites.
Nok's Kitchen: Pocket-sized restaurant in Stockbridge offering Thai classics in a cosy and intimate setting.

Winter warmers: tops tips for drinking and dining this festive season

Honeycomb & Co

Toast the Dreich

Sometimes, the only way to chase the winter blues away is to grab a stiff drink. We've picked a few spots to help drown out the weather.

Glasgow
Stravaigin Café Bar: Informal bar-restaurant embodying the best of bistro dining with international dishes, big flavours and quality ingredients.
Phillies of Shawlands: The Redmond's of Dennistoun team bringing brunch, booze and more to the Southside, with an attached bottle shop.

Edinburgh
Little White Pig: Stylish neighbourhood wine bar with a focus on good-quality but relaxed Scottish pub food.
Whighams Wine Cellars: A cosy basement bar offering an extensive wine list and warming dishes such as Cullen Skink soup.

Brunch Up

One trick to keeping warm this winter is to start the day with a proper feast – check out a brunch specialist for a bowl of hot porridge and much more.

Glasgow
Fèist: Brunchy lunch and sandwich specialist courtesy of the combined powers of Finnieston's Roast and Seb & Mili.
Potbelly: Cosy neighbourhood café, home of the famous hotcakes and other eye-catching breakfast, brunch and lunch dishes.

Edinburgh
The Pantry: Popular gathering spot in Stockbridge dishing up beautifully presented breakfast, brunch and lunch.
Honeycomb & Co: Bright and sunny addition to the Bruntsfield scene with strong breakfast options, cheerful lunches and homemade baking.

Winter warmers: tops tips for drinking and dining this festive season

Cannonball

Caledonian Comfort

Few countries do cosy winter dining quite like Scotland – grab some comforting classics and give yourself a homely glow.

Glasgow
The Sisters Kelvingrove: Chef Jak O'Donnell is hanging up her apron at the end of the year so say goodbye with some Scottish comfort classics.
The Square Bar & Restaurant: Broomhill neighbourhood bistro serving from brunch to dinner, with plenty of Scottish produce and influences.

Edinburgh
Cannonball: A historic building in a fantastic location beside the castle, serving well-presented Scottish dishes with a focus on local produce.
The Fingal: Pretend you're sailing to milder climes at the floating hotel's Lighthouse Bar, serving afternoon tea and more.

Some tips from our experts …

Luke Tracey – The Square Bar & Restaurant
Which Scottish seasonal ingredients make their way into your winter kitchen? We love to incorporate seasonal produce into our menus. During the winter we feature lovely seasonal meats and game along with locally sourced seafood and vegetables. Our special of roasted pheasant with chestnut purée, balsamic and sambuca reduction always goes down a treat.

Carina Contini – Contini George Street, The Scottish Cafe & Restaurant, Cannonball Restaurant & Bar
Scotland's drink scene is ever-expanding, what is your local drink or cocktail of choice to warm you up? Our friends at Clever Kombucha make Amalfi Lemon Kombucha just for us. We have the bottled version in all the venues but draft just at The Scottish Cafe. It's delicious. I'm going to try and steam some with a little honey and I think we may be onto a winner.

Claudio Celino – Celino's
The hospitality industry is a big follower of fashion – any predictions for eating and drinking trends in 2020? Potato croquettes are going to make a massive comeback in 2020 … if it does, could it be noted I said it first.

A The Square Bar & Restaurant
6-8 Norby Road, Broomhill, Glasgow, G11 7BN
Westend bistro serving from brunch to dinner, with plenty of Scottish produce and influences, plus occasional pop-ups and take-overs.
B The Sisters Kelvingrove
36 Kelvingrove Street, Glasgow, G3 7RZ
Traditional Scottish recipes using well-sourced seasonal ingredients served in a relaxed and stylish tenement dining room.
C Phillies of Shawlands
1179 Pollokshaws Road, Glasgow, G41 3NH
The team behind Redmonds of Dennistoun branch out to the southside, with a food menu full of delights, cocktails and craft beers.
D Stravaigin Café Bar
28 Gibson Street, Glasgow, G12 8NX
An informal bar-restaurant embodying the best of bistro dining with international dishes, big flavours and quality ingredients.
E Chillies West End
176–182 Woodlands Road, Glasgow, G3 6LL
Contemporary and intimate, and sporting huge airy windows across the front, Chillies West End’s relaxed atmosphere is matched by a mix and match tapas-style menu of skilfully prepared and really quite spicy dishes, perfect for lazy and enjoyable…
F Potbelly
38 Nithsdale Road, Glasgow, G41 2AN
Cosy neighbourhood café, home of the famous hotcakes and other eye-catching breakfast, brunch and lunch dishes.
G Non Viet
536-538 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, G3 6UJ
Top-quality Vietnamese cuisine prepared with care in a contemporary diner with a relaxed atmosphere
H Fèist
192 St Vincent Street, Glasgow, G2 5SG
Brunchy lunch and sandwich specialist courtesy of the combined powers of Finnieston's Roast and Seb & Mili.
I Amore Ristorante e Pizzeria
30 Ingram Street, Glasgow, G1 1EZ
Italian food is Glasgow’s favourite food. It must be, what with all those lunch and pre-theatre deals, Neopolitan pizza places, and old-fashioned places with gingham tableclothes, plus the upmarket high street affairs. And there are the family…
J Celino's
620–624 Alexandra Parade, Glasgow, G31 3BT
Traditional trattoria bringing beautifully cooked Italian favourites to Dennistoun, with the option to take home treats from the deli counter.
K Froth & Flame
192 Morrison Street, Edinburgh, EH3 8EB
Wood-fired pizza, rotating Scottish beers, cocktail deals and a warm welcome, all within easy reach of Haymarket station.
L Honeycomb & Co
1 Merchiston Place, Edinburgh, EH10 4NP
Bright and sunny addition to the Bruntsfield scene with strong breakfast options, cheerful lunches and honeyed homemade baking and ice-cream.
M Whighams Wine Cellars
13 Hope Street, Edinburgh, EH2 4EL
Cellar wine bar and restaurant where business lunchers and the after-work crowd enjoy a glass of wine in good company.
N Nok's Kitchen
8 Gloucester Street, Edinburgh, EH3 6EG
Pocket-sized restaurant in Stockbridge offering Thai classics in a cosy and intimate setting.
O The Pantry
1–2 North West Circus Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6ST
Popular gathering spot in Stockbridge dishing up beautifully presented breakfast, brunch and lunch.
P Contini George Street
103 George Street, Edinburgh, EH2 3ES
Modern Italian cuisine in grand, elegant surroundings at the heart of Georgian Edinburgh.
Q Cannonball Restaurant & Bar
Cannonball House, 356 Castlehill, Royal Mile, Edinburgh, EH1 2NE
A historic building in a fantastic location beside the castle, serving well-presented Scottish dishes with a focus on local produce.
R The Scottish Café & Restaurant
National Gallery of Scotland, The Mound, Edinburgh, EH2 2EL
After a seven month-long closure, The Scottish Café and Restaurant at the Scottish National Gallery is back with a gorgeous redesign and brand new menu.
S The Little White Pig
26b Dublin Street, Edinburgh, EH3 6NN
Cosy neighbourhood wine bar with a focus on good-quality but relaxed bar food. Squeal, a separate function area with its own entrance, is right next door.
T Desi Pakwan
61 Leith Walk, Edinburgh, EH6 8LS
Vibrant takeaway with tables in the heart of Leith Walk.
U Fingal
Alexandra Dock, Edinburgh, EH6 7DX
Part of the floating hotel, the Lighthouse bar serves afternoon tea, light meals and drinks to residents and non-residents alike.

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