Glasgow and Edinburgh's local dining scene: what's ripe and what's past its best before date?
Ahead of the launch of this year's Eating & Drinking Guide we salute Scandi-Scottish dining, beer lists and doughnuts
The List's annual Eating & Drinking Guide to the restaurants, bistros, diners, cafés, bars and pubs of Edinburgh and Glasgow is published on 20 April. For the 23rd year in succession, we've surveyed the local dining scene and sent our 70-strong team of researchers and reviewers out to all the places worth knowing about when it comes to eating out in the two cities.
This year the number of visits is nudging 1000, and certainly breaches that mark when you add in our tips and recommendations to good food shops, takeaways, markets and out of town venues. As has become a bit of a pretty steady statistic, there are around 150 new entries in the guide, indicating an often startling turnover of businesses and the proliferation of new venues at the rate of three new openings every week across Edinburgh and Glasgow.
The new guide is published both in print and in full online, which means that all the reviews, up-to-date details, links and locator maps are on your phone when you're out and about. We'll be revealing our annual awards for the best newcomers in both cities, as well as all-new Hitlists of our pick of the current top venues in each section of the guide. We've also got to work curating the wisdom and insights of our whole team to put together over 50 carefully selected Tiplists across a wide range of topics from best for budget dining or outdoor dining to best breakfasts and cocktails. It's all based on recent visits, anonymous dining and the sincere objective of providing the most comprehensive, most reliable, best informed and fairest coverage available when it comes to eating out around Edinburgh and Glasgow.
Scandi-Scottish dining – all these foraged greens, purist vegetables and wild game. Chefs of the new wave are reaching for their inner Nordic.
Meat – we can no longer deny the burger. The new guide has a stand-alone Steakhouses and Burger Bars section for the first time. There are a lot of them these days.
Meat-free – Yotam's got'em. Praise be: many more venues have significantly improved their vegetarian and vegan offer
African – Viva! Viva! The choice of energetic, exciting food inspired by Africa is better than it ever has been.
Beer lists – don't dull me with your overpriced wine list. Show me your beer list studded with interesting local brews that match the food on offer.
Doughnuts – if you're going to ditch the diet, make sure it's with nothing less than a freshly baked artisan doughnut.
Cheffy chefs – if the chef emerges from the kitchen and isn't carrying your main course, refuse to buy a signed copy of their new book
Seafood – in too many places, it has got boring. 'Great seafood' does not equal salmon, seabass and overpriced fish and chips.
Thai – where did it all go wrong? Thai was the exciting new thing on the Asian block just a few years ago. The spark seems to have fizzled in all but a few places.
Dirty food – the plug has been pulled on pork.
Hipster hangouts – when it's hard to tell whether you're standing outside a gentleman's grooming salon or a third-wave coffee bar something has gone wrong.
Slates – surely the only places still using them are making an ironic statement on post-modern dining. Surely?