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August 28, 2019

New Italian restaurants are as popular as ever in Glasgow and Edinburgh while the capital also has a new taproom.

Will Italian food ever go out of fashion? It repeatedly tops surveys of global preferences and both Glasgow and Edinburgh seem to have an insatiable appetite for all things pizza and pasta-related.

Not that every idea works. Vapiano's Buchanan Street site in Glasgow lasted about a year before folding a few months back and the collapse of Jamie's Italian chain is the biggest restaurant story of 2019. So far anyway.

This hasn't stopped the Franco Manca chain from launching next to St Andrews Square in Edinburgh.

The London-based chain now has fifty restaurants in the UK and the Edinburgh unit marks its Scottish debut.

Not everyone would be hugely surprised if another branch were to open in Glasgow. Perhaps in the former Oddbins site on Mitchell Street.

Franco Manca specialise in pizza and their USP is that they use sourdough which is made daily and topped with seasonal ingredients from small suppliers in Italy and the UK. Main pic is from Franco Manca Facebook.

Sugo coming to the boil

Sticking with the flavours of Italy, the team behind Glasgow's two very popular Paesano pizza restaurants have confirmed that they are to open Sugo, a fresh pasta restaurant, also on Mitchell Street.

According to their website, the pasta will be made by hand every day and each different type of pasta will be served with the sauce or ingredients with which they are traditionally paired in regions such as Lazio, Tuscany, Sicily and Puglia.

An opening date has yet to be confirmed but they are currently hiring the kitchen team.

If we zap down to the Southside, Cafe Piatto have set up shop at 44 Skirving Street.

Italian street food is the name of the game here.

Bellfield brews up a taproom

Meanwhile, over at the other end of the M8, Edinburgh's Bellfield Brewery have opened a taproom.

Originally established to create gluten-free craft beer, the business has expanded with The Bellfield Brewery Tap Room and Beer Garden.

Located in Abbeyhill, next door to the brewery, it is currently open Fri-Sun.

As well as fresh beer, they offer Scottish cider, local gin and a selection of malt whiskies. Regular collaborations with other local food and drink businesses are in the pipeline.