Foodie News: Molecular Mixology, Paying it Forward, and Small Plate Sensations

Vapiano Foodie Explorers


Social Bite, the Edinburgh-based ‘pay it forward’ business, have opened a new cafe at the Royal Bank of Scotland headquarters at Gogarburn. This joins their site within Bank of Scotland on Argyle Street in Glasgow.

Known for ‘molecular mixology’, where drinks meet theatre, The Alchemist chain is a feature in many cities in England and Wales and now they have finally come to Scotland with a cocktail bar and restaurant opening this month at the new St James Quarter.

Pizza and pasta restaurant Vapiano, just off St Andrew Square has reopened after temporarily closing in May 2020 for the first lockdown.


Strathclyde University’s Strath Union has moved from John St to 51 Richmond Street, on the other side of Rottenrow Gardens and it’s a union fit for the modern era The food on offer ranges from bao buns to noodle bowls via mac and cheese. The bar sells cocktails, craft beers and wine. There is a new venue space that will be ideal for intimate gigs and comedy nights.

The people behind Eighty Eighty at 88 Dumbarton Rd have now opened a second restaurant with a focus on natural wine and small plates. Food choices include Cumbrae & Lindisfarne oysters, IJ Mellis cheeses, lamb tartare and kombu cured monkfish. Hooligan can be found above the Drake on Lynedoch St, just off Woodlands Rd.

A plate from the Glaswegian restaurant, Hooligan.
Hooligan, Glasgow

You won’t need to go far to find Glasgow’s coolest new cocktail bar, in fact, Fly South is right next door to Hooligan and shares the same toilets but is a separate business. But it is the sort of place which evokes a sense of travel, to Buenos Aires in the 1920s perhaps or the set of a James Bond movie. The walls behind the bar feature an array of alcoholic drinks from around the world, but if cocktails aren’t your thing they also have a selection of wines and craft beer etc.

Big Counter on Victoria Rd have ditched their burger menu and are now serving up an eclectic mix of Spanish-influenced dishes.


Cook School Scotland has reopened with half-day, full-day and cook at home classes now available. A full day course is usually £100 per person but right now you can book a course for two for £150. Classes are held on Fridays and Saturdays so check the calendar to see what is available as each month features a number of different cuisines or specialities.


There are now many Scottish gin and vodka brands on the market but one thing which helps Aberdeenshire’s Esker stand out is that each spirit is distilled with local silver birch sap to impart a unique flavour. They have recently released a Spiced Pear Vodka (40% / 70cl) which tastes great with soda water and ice, or with ginger ale.

Esker, Aberdeenshire

Jump Ship Brewing is celebrating as their Yardarm lager has been named the best alcohol-free lager in the world at the World Beer Awards. This is a crisp lager is brewed with Citra and Styrian Bobek hops. The beer is gluten-free, vegan and lower in calories than standard beers.

Jump Ship Brewing has released an alcohol-free lager.
Yardarm Lager, Jump Ship Brewing

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  • Writes about food and travel at Foodie Explorers website. Can be mostly found cuddling cats, watching crime documentaries and drinking a beer.

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