After an extended period of hibernation, Scotland's food and drink scene is preparing to burst back into life this summer. Here's the first ten of Jay Thundercliffe, Ailsa Sheldon and Paul Trainer's pick of the 50 best bars and restaurants across the country.

Cail Bruich, Glasgow

The Herald:

Finally, we can all stop talking about Glasgow’s lack of a Michelin star, or the last time it held one (begone Gordon Ramsay’s Amarylis in 2004). The Charalambous Brother’s Cail Bruich has been pushing at the city’s boundaries of dining since opening in 2008. Recently the awards have been accumulating – the Good Food Guide put them in their Top 50 UK spots last year, and then the big one dropped on them from Michelin. It’s as much an accolade for new head chef Lorna McNee, previously of Restaurant Andrew Fairlie, and 2019’s champion on the TV show Great British Menu. JT

725 Great Western Rd, G12 8QX

The Peat Inn, Cupar

The Herald:

A 'restaurant with rooms' within a building that has served as a coaching inn, an ale house and a blacksmiths, dating back to the 1700s. Modern meets traditional inside with period fixtures, fireplaces and a definite rustic charm sitting with more stylish, glossy touches in the dining room. Chef owner Geoffrey Smeddle has a reputation for thoughtful cooking – the kitchen has held a Michelin star since 2010 – with wild halibut, oysters from Islay, Fife asparagus and Arbroath smokies featuring on the menu. PT

Collier Row, KY15 5LH

Mother India, Glasgow

The Herald:

In times of crisis we turn to comfort food, and for many a Glaswegian that means a full-on spice feast. And in this city, there’s no better place for comforting home-style dishes – butter chicken, spiced haddock, fish pakora – than in the arms of the matriach of them all. Several venues under the mothership of owner Monir Mohammed are reopening after lockdown – the plush original in Finnieston (est. 1990), the tapas Café and the Den in their Dining In deli opposite Kelvingrove Museum. JT

28 Westminster Terrace, Finnieston, G3 7RU

The Bonnie Badger, Gullane

The Herald:

The Bonnie Badger is the East Lothian outpost of The Kitchin restaurant group and has proved a popular spot both with locals and Edinburgh daytrippers. In both the elegant dining room and stylish bar, you’ll find the best local meat, fish and game cooked to Michelin perfection – try the Borders roe deer with crispy potato terrine and juniper sauce. With 13 boutique rooms why not make a weekend of it and explore the gorgeous East Lothian coastline? AS

Main St, Gullane, EH31 2AB

Sugar Boat, Helensburgh

The Herald:

Shortly after Helensburgh’s Colquhoun Square had a major make-over a few years ago, this all-day bistro arrived, taking root in an attractive, traffic-free corner. Named after the visible capsized boat (the MV Captayannis) in the Clyde, the bistro offers first-class food from early to late – think imaginative, modern British with pristine produce. Owner Will Smith had Michelin restaurants in London, and has held a Bib Gourmand here since opening. They also dabble in wine sales and a range of kitchenwares. JT

30 Colquhoun Square, Helensburgh, G84 8AQ

SPRY, Edinburgh

The Herald:

Spry Wines is a wee bit special. Launched as a wine shop and bar specialising in organic and biodynamic wines, this welcoming spot has now expanded their kitchen and horizons to offer a five-course set menu. Dishes for the relaunch include chicken dumplings with parmesan broth and burnt lemon, and monkfish stew with fermented fava beans. So whether you’re popping in for a nice bottle, enjoying an after work glass of wine, or settling in to happily eat and drink for hours – Spry is the place. AS

1 Haddington Place, EH7 4AE

Celino’s, Glasgow

The Herald:

First established in the East End in 1982, with a second Partick venue following a few years ago, Celino’s has helped to engender the city with a love of Italian food and drink. The restaurant’s motto ‘tutto per tutti’ – everything for everyone – is understandable when faced with the cornucopia of trattoria treats on offer. This is Italy done all day and all ways, from breakfast to dinner via ice-creams, deli take-aways, coffee and cake, authentic bakes, imaginative cocktails and more. JT

Dennistoun: 620 Alexandra Parade, G31 3BT. Partick: 235 Dumbarton Rd, G11 6AB

Inver, Strachur

The Herald:

The Good Food Guide’s decision to skip their 2021 edition has meant that Pam Brunton, co-owner and chef at cosy, ex-croft house Inver on beautiful Loch Fyne, has retained her title of Chef of the Year for a bonus extra year. The Michelin folks did publish their guide and gave Inver’s operation their new Green Star (the only one in Scotland) for the sustainable practices that go into creating their highly regarded modern dishes, elegantly assembled with local and foraged ingredients. JT

Strathlachlan, Strachur, Argyll & Bute, PA27 8BU

The Rum Shack, Glasgow

The Herald:

If that Jamaican getaway doesn’t seem like the best idea this year, then head to the Rum Shack in Strathbungo to get your Caribbean holiday vibes. Since opening in 2014, the place has been dishing up a heady mix of tasty West Indian food – plenty of jerk chicken and curry goat – plus gigs in the 250-capacity dancehall (hopefully back soon) and a connoisseur’s range of over 100 rums that go into their creative cocktail creations, maybe even enjoyed in the sunny beer garden. JT

657-659 Pollokshaws Rd, G41 2AB

Ka Pao, Glasgow

The Herald:

Housed in a former garage basement (way more splendid than it sounds) off Byres Road, Ka Pao’s name is derived from ‘holy basil’ in Thai – yet it could have been the sound of the pandemic body blow it took right after opening. It’s to the credit of the experienced trio behind the hugely successful Ox and Finch that it’s back in business. The global approach of their first restaurant has here honed in on Southeast Asian cuisine with a characteristic sharing plates menu that adeptly flits across the region’s flavours. JT

26 Vinicombe St, G12 8BE