BRING THE SUNSHINE Jo Laidlaw finds a new city-centre basement dining option that’s bursting with warmth

I t’s entirely possible that yet another small-plate restaurant could easily slip under the radar, but when it comes to 83 Hanover Street that would be a big mistake. Big. Huge. For here is something different: Chilean l avours melded with Scottish produce, served in a sunny, comfy basement by a young team who exemplify switched-on-yet-laid-back service. There’s a coni dence here that belies the restaurant’s relative youth for example, a plate of charcuterie from the (excellent) East Coast Cured is served simply and cleanly. Elsewhere on the menu it’s the accompaniments that add intrigue: sharp, oniony pebre salsa with the sopaipillas (squidgy little fried breads made to the owner’s mother’s recipe); nubbly, savoury bean stew with tender octopus; squidgy, spicy new potatoes with punchy swordi sh and chorizo skewers (everything is designed to be shared but you’ll want to keep them tatties to yourself). A short, interesting wine list has plenty by the glass or carafe, so if you’re settling in for the evening, let the staff know you’re in it for the long haul and they’ll happily spread your order out.

83 HANOVER STREET 83 Hanover Street, City Centre, Edinburgh, EH2 1EE

0131 225 4862, £18 (lunch/dinner)

The best of the new restaurant, café and bar openings in Glasgow and Edinburgh. Prices shown are for an average two-course meal for one. Sourdough appears along with the likes of eggs, waffles, French toast and fry-ups. Pricing seems a bit odd at times, ingredients can feel humdrum, and that sloppy mush ain’t no way to treat black pudding.



795 Maryhill Road, West End, 0141 946 3131,, £16 (lunch / dinner)

Formerly the Strathmore, this restyled bar hits plenty of the right notes on décor, food and drink. The rear dining room, where pale-hued wood abounds, has a wonderful wraparound woodland vista a stark contrast to

Maryhill Road facing the front bar. It’s a joint venture between well-kent restaurateur Alan Tomkins and business partner Calum Lawson. The enticing menu has global dishes with plenty of bar staples, and the kitchen shows a steady hand with quality produce. Catch it while the leaves are changing, setting sun poking through the trees, autumnal cocktail in hand (try the Gin Garden Martini) and it’s a magical spot.


67 Old Dumbarton Road, West End, 0141 237 7374,, £12 (brunch) Tucking into an all-day brunch is about as zeitgeisty as Glasgow dining gets. Joining this trend is the Brunch Club, recently opened in the former Drugstore Social. It’s picked a nice spot big windows illuminating a quiet corner close to Kelvingrove Museum. No reservations and a splurge of popularity mean you’ll likely be waiting for a seat at weekends. The menu is fairly straight up, more traditional than trailblazing.


1484, Pollokshaws Road, 07772 703540,, £7 (coffee flight and cake) If you like your coffee like you like your fighting bulls strong and black then you’re in for a treat at this coffee shop close to Pollok Park. Its USP is a flight of three coffees: a double espresso, a pretty and fluffy double-shot latte and a glass of three-shot filter yeah baby, that’s seven! The daily selection features coffee from various indie roasters (including Glasgow’s Good Coffee Cartel). Toro is a carefully curated space created by photographer and co-owner Ross Walker, and there are plenty of toasts (Freedom Bakery) and bakes (Amo Torta). And you can bring the dog.



23 West Register Street, City Centre, 0131 526 4790,, £25 (set lunch) / £40 (dinner)

With marble, parquet, wood panels and eight stunning Sadie McLellan windows, Hawksmoor immediately lays claim to special occasion territory. Seafood is strong, much of it Scottish, but most are here for the steak:

individual and sharing cuts all grass-fed, dry-aged and UK-sourced. There’s a sense of theatricality when a sharing T-bone arrives on its massive skillet,

surrounded by masses of sides, including excellent chips. But leave room for the ambassador’s reception, a delight of a pud. Hawksmoor doesn’t come cheap it’s hard to argue that it should but decent lunch deals mean it’s not inaccessible and perfect, perfect service brings real heart to the glamour. VESTA RESTAURANT AND BAR BISTROS & BRASSERIES

7–8 Queensferry Street, West End, 0131 220 0773,, £17 (lunch) / £21 (dinner) Revamped Social Bite restaurant Vesta serves fresh, healthy comfort food to the general public and Edinburgh’s homeless community (during a special Monday afternoon service). Décor is modern and cosy and much of the food is vegan, although there’s also a good selection of meat and fish plus chunky burgers made with either beef or delicious homemade seitan. King oyster mushroom scallops are seared till supple and reminiscent of the fishy version. Balsamic and cherry pork loin is cut thick, pan-fried tenderly, and served with rich black pudding. Sundays sees brunch with keenly priced bubbles accompanying eggs Benedict and avo toast. THE WINE HOUSE 1821


4 Picardy Place, New Town, 0131 557 1821,, £12 (lunch/dinner) Aiming for a contemporary feel, this wine-led collaboration from Sep Marini and Zonin Wines is already a hit with a slightly more mature crowd. As you’d expect from seven generations of vintners, the wine list is a delight worth lingering over but (commendably) you won’t go wrong with the trusty house red either. Generous antipasti platters are scattered with fruit, nuts and golden olive oil-doused crostini, though melanzane parmigiana aficionados may be left a little underwhelmed. If you’re only after a quick drink you can take a bottle home, and if wine isn’t your thing there’s a basement cocktail bar too.

Independent write-ups on all the restaurants worth knowing about in Glasgow and Edinburgh are available on our online Eating & Drinking Guide at 66 THE LIST 1 Nov 2018–31 Jan 2019