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August 14, 2022

As John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John noted, if you're not careful then summer days can sometimes driiiiift away. Happily, you can make this summer memorable by making the most of our Big Summer Dine Out.

Running until the end of August, the Big Summer Dine Out means you can enjoy special two course dining offers from as little as £9.95. And with fabulous restaurants in both Glasgow and Edinburgh participating, you could make a meal part of a day out in either city. Perfect if you want to enjoy a festival show. Or if you want to escape the festival madness and have a trip to Glasvegas.

As pasta fans, we loved the £8.95 (!!!) two course lunch offer from Café Antipasti on Glasgow's Sauchiehall Street. Garlic bruschetta followed by fiery penne arrabbiata? Don't mind if we do. They also offer two courses from the pre-theatre menu for £10.95. A recent diner left a review on the restaurant's 5pm entry saying, 'Fantastic food, lovely food, great value. Friendly, attentive staff'. We couldn't have said it better ourselves.

The pasta is always a star at Cafe Antipasti.

The pasta is always a star at Cafe Antipasti. Pic: Facebook

Tasty prices

Over in the Merchant City, the atmospheric Babbity Bowster runs a pre-theatre menu that includes delights such as Cullen skink, veggie and meaty haggis, Thai curries, steak pies and chilli. We like 'em all and we love the tongue-in-cheek dish descriptions. The haggis, neeps and tatties is subtitled 'Bloody tourists' while the roast vegetable and hummus sandwich is labelled as 'For joggers and other healthy types. £16.95 for two courses. Oh, don't forget the beer garden.

If the weather turns a bit too typically Scottish then we recommend warming up with a cracking curry. At Bantawala by Masala Twist on Byres Road, their Big Summer Dine Out offer means £9.95 for two courses from the lunch menu or £13.99 for two courses from the pre-theatre. The Green Gates restaurant in the Merchant City has dishes such as aubergine fritters, chilli garlic chicken and channa masala on its £8.95 lunch offer. Two courses from the pre-theatre are £11.95.

Scottish produce

Many of the restaurants taking part in the Big Summer Dine Out take great care over their Scottish sourcing. Ardnamurchan on Hope Street features ingredients such as Ardnamurchan estate venison, Hebridean blue cheese and fresh Scottish berries on its £17.95 for two courses market menu. The main pic, taken from Facebook, shows their Shetland mussels. Mharsanta's £14.95 for two course lunch menu has haggis croquettes with a whisky cream sauce, Shetland Island mussels and Peterhead haddock. At the upmarket Buttery on Argyle Street, diners can enjoy two courses from the set menu plus a glass of wine for £28. Choices include a starter of Scottish smoked salmon and bacon-wrapped roast supreme of chicken served with Macsween’s haggis, Arran mustard and an Auchentoshan cream sauce.

Big Summer Dine Out in Edinburgh

There are also some appetising options in Edinburgh. On Dalry Road, Edinburgh River Life has dishes such as jerk chicken wings, coconut and almond cod, ox cheek Bourguignon and a vegan chickpea and jackfruit combo on its £19.95 for two course set menu. In Tollcross, Harajuku Kitchen has a £14.50 lunchtime teishoku menu with choices such as seaweed salad, cucumber kimchi, octopus doughballs and crispy kaarage chicken.

You can browse all the options in both cities here.

The katsu curry spices it up at Harajuku Kitchen.

The katsu curry spices it up at Harajuku Kitchen. Pic: Facebook