You can’t visit Glasgow without sampling the amazing cuisine and tipples on offer, whether that’s something exotic or a local favourite. We’ve put together our tip-of-the-iceberg guide on some of the places to eat and drink in Sotland’s second city.
If you’re not from Scotland or don’t live here, you probably want to sample some local cuisine, so we’ve found some of our favourites. Read on to discover them.
Argyle Street is an unassuming residential way with apartments and a school on the block, but it’s also home to Two Fat Ladies at The Buttery, a shining light of Scottish food. The seafood is unbelievable, whether that’s as a starter or main, but you can also expect classic Highland venison, haggis and some sumptuous desserts. And don’t worry if you’re vegan or vegetarian; there’s a special menu for you.
“Stravaigin” means to wander aimlessly, and this modern restaurant and bar will tantalise your taste for adventure. Again, seafood plays a big part, but you’ll also find a delightful selection of meat and veggie dishes from the region, plus some international treats. Brunch here is one not to be missed.
“Mharsanta” is a Gaelic word for a merchant, and you can imagine how excited you’d be if they turned up with these ingredients and a cookbook. Mussels and scallops are prepped to perfection, and the beef, chicken and haggis selections will blow you away. Check them out.
These restaurants and more can be found at People Make Glasgow.
What do you fancy? Every taste from around the world is catered in this international outward-looking city. From Malaysian street food at Julie’s Kopitiam to Michelin Starred Cail Bruich in Glasgow’s West End, there’s a whole range of taste experiences to sample, to suit any budget.
Absurd Bird is the chicken specialist in the city – they’ve brought the cooking techniques of the world together, so you can have your breast or wings just how you like them. There are plenty of vegan options too, and one of the best mac and cheeses in town. Hillhead Bookclub is a super cool cocktail bar and eatery, selling good, hearty food that’ll fill you up and hit the spot. Bibimbap is your Korean specialist, so pop in for kimchi, curries and wonderful soups and rice dishes that are full of flavour. And there’s also Hanoi Bike Shop, where you can eat stupendous Vietnamese dishes while sitting beneath … bikes!
Check out Time Out’s guide to Glasgow restaurants for more inspiration. You might have to extend your stay if you’re a foodie.
Best bars in Glasgow
The locals love their social lives, and with Glasgow also being a prime student city, you just know there’s almost endless choice here. Anything from low-key locals to extravagant cocktail bars and clubs. A 2016 study by the Daily Record found there were 415 pubs and bars in the city, so we won’t be listing them all here! We will drop a few mentions though, based on Trip Advisor’s best pubs in Glasgow, as voted by travellers to the city – expect warm welcomes and lots of laughs here.
Top of the pile is Revolution (Renfield Street and Mitchell Street), which you might recognise wherever you’re from as it’s a chain with more than 60 branches (two of which are a few blocks apart here). Maybe the familiarity plays a part in travellers’ taste for the bar, but you’ll no doubt appreciate the cool vibe, great bar food and cocktails galore on offer.
Can you guess what Gin71’s speciality is? The drink that became unexpectedly cool about a decade ago is now massively popular. It's bars like these that will help you to stretch your appreciation of gin thanks to a vast array of brands, from ones you’ve heard of to local artisan concoctions. There is also a wide range of wines, beers and cocktails, and neat taster and terrace menus to make the evening complete. They have two locations: Renfield Street and Virginia Court.
Now, the essence of a Scottish pub – Bon Accord (North Street)– where you can sample malt whisky like you’ve never tasted (and you can buy bottles to go), as well as craft ales and proper pub grub. It’s all so lovingly presented, with 400 whiskies on display and 800 ales guesting each year. Throw in vivacious, knowledgeable staff who just want to share their love of these marvellous drinks, and you’re settled in for a treat.
The Ben Nevis Bar is on Argyll Street and is all about relaxing and having a good old chat in a cosy, friendly atmosphere. Expect craft ales, single malt Scotch whisky and the wonderful sound of live music. You probably get what this place is all about – good times.
Do you like a cheeky cocktail? Then high tail it to The Social (Royal Exchange Square) where cocktail expertise comes with every order. If your mind always draws a blank when you come face to face with the mixologist, don’t worry, because The Social offers packages for groups, consisting of popular selections of cocktails and other drinks. There’s also a fab food menu plus an extensive selection of beers, wines and (needless to say) spirits.
Getting there by train
Well, that just leaves 410 bars to discover in Glasgow, so what are you waiting for? Hop on the train and travel in comfort (our onboard food and drink isn’t too bad either), and you’ll arrive just refreshed enough to continue your refreshments.