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December 21, 2017
restaurant trends
Restaurant trends: Edinburgh’s BABA is one of a number of new ventures serving their take on eastern Mediterranean cuisines.

As always, new restaurant trends emerged in 2017 while old ones withered. This is a whistlestop look back at the food scene in Scotland’s two biggest cities.

The popularity of pizza continued its current rise with EAST Pizzas, @pizza, Pizza Posto and Civerino Slice all opening in Edinburgh.

In Glasgow, Pizza East and Basta Pizza have both joined the fray in the last few months. Paesano Pizza – who arguably kick started the current craze for pizza in Glasgow – expended from their city centre base and opened on the Great Western Road last spring.

If the pizza wave is the continuation of existing restaurant trends, then the fashion for eastern Mediterranean food only really took off this year.

In Glasgow, ‘Babs, Mezze and Mezzidakia all opened in 2017 and explore the cuisines of countries that stretch from Greece to Lebanon. The recently opened Doner Haus puts an interesting spin on the trend in that it sells various varieties of Turkish kebabs which have become hugely popular in Berlin.

On the other side of the M8, BABA has brought the flavours of the Levantine to George Street. The new restaurant is a collaboration between the team behind Glasgow’s Ox and Finch and the Gorgeous Group, a very influential restaurant consultancy.

Restaurants trends: big changes at St Andrew Square

Sticking on the East Coast, the most seismic change in the capital’s dining scene has been the coming to fruition of the St Andrew Square development.

In 2017, big brand name restaurants such as The Ivy on The Square, Gaucho and Vapiano have all launched in and around the square. They join the existing branches of chains such as Dishoom, Wahaca and The Refinery.

Speaking personally, this blogger has enjoyed meals at both Gaucho and Dishoom. They are good restaurants. I’m delighted that these national and international chains are investing money in Edinburgh and creating a lot of jobs.

At the same time, I do wonder how damaging an effect it will have on the independently operated city centre restaurants? Competition is competition but will Edinburgh’s dining scene shine quite as brightly if the popularity of the chain restaurants leads to closures among the quirky local operators?

Looking forward to 2018, there are a lot of new restaurants planning to open in the Bruntsfield/Tollcross area. They will join significant new ventures such as Black Ivy. Are the independents already moving away from the city centre?

Time will tell.

As for now, the 5pm Dining blog has a turkey to stuff. We wish you a Merry Christmas and we will return on Wednesday the 27th with a sobering look at how well we fared when predicting last year’s food trends.