Glasgow: Food & Drink

Here are just some of Glasgow's top places for a pint, slap-up meal, or heavy metal-inspired sandwich

Feature | 03 Sep 2013

• Click here for a map to all these lovely places

The Butterfly and the Pig
153 Bath St 01412217711
Going to The Butterfly and the Pig is a bit like visiting your Granny's: kitschy decor, mismatched but incredibly comfortable couches, oversized portions of home-style food. A casual and extremely friendly bar with a regular schedule of house bands, open mic nights, and a rather fine pub quiz.

42 Jamaica St 01412488581
As the huge white lettering on the outside of the building shows, the folk at MacSorley’s are not for subtlety. But then who needs subtlety when you have over 100 spirits behind the bar and your own house ale? A music bar with a great atmosphere that’s been built on for over a century, right in the heart of town.

1008 Argyle St 01415647988
If you don’t get the reference, do yourself a favour and watch The Big Lebowski. If you’re still here, you’ll know that a bar called Lebowskis should specialise in White Russians. The good news is that Lebowskis serve up dozens of varieties of the milky cocktail – go for anything else and you’re missing the point, man.

The Flying Duck
142 Renfield St 01415641450
Some bars stick to one thing, but The Flying Duck is a bit different. There’s a whole host of things going on apart from the eating and drinking – bingo, club nights, cult film showings, and regular drawing classes are just some of the events going on at the Duck. However, if you just fancy a drink and a nice sit-down then the Duck has you covered. 

The Squid and Whale
372–374 Great Western Rd 01413395070
A recent addition to the Glasgow food and drink scene, The Squid and Whale serve up South American and Mexican grub alongside dishes from the deep south. Local ingredients and fresh seafood are on the menu, as well as a great drinks selection. That their name reminds us of a cracking Noah Baumbach film just makes things better.

Saint Judes
190 Bath Street 01413528800
From its ivy-clad exterior it becomes clear that Saint Judes isn’t your standard nightspot. A glamorous basement bar and restaurant, the cocktails are the real draw here. Prepare for some exciting and exotic combinations, which will in turn prepare you for the intimate but well-equipped club room.

Hillhead Bookclub
17 Vinicombe St 01415761700
One of the more bohemian Glasgow nightspots, Hillhead Bookclub ticks all the ‘hip’ boxes. Vinyl soundtrack – check. Quirky decor – check. Eclectic range of drinks and nostalgic comfort food – check. They haven’t even named it after what it is, which is actually handy when you fancy a trip to the pub but need to bluff that you’re studying.

103 King St 01415532400
We know what you’re thinking: it’s a record shop. Well while Monorail next door punts all manner of music to trendy types with thick beards and thicker glasses, Mono is a top-drawer all-vegan cafe and bar which wears its meatlessness as a badge of honour. The variety is impressive, and the execution is brilliant, while the music from next door gets an airing as you eat.

117 Bath St 01415746066
Bloc+ is the kind of place that makes Edinburgh students deeply, deeply jealous. They may have a castle and some pandas, but do they have a cafe/bar which plays host to its own orchestra and boasts a ‘no bams’ policy? No, no they don’t. A great place for a night out, with loads going on including the laid-back Slow Club music nights and the aforementioned orchestra.

The Art School
468 Sauchiehall St 01413534531
The Glasgow School of Art student union proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that arty types know how to party. The Art School is a fun, welcoming and engaging space for meeting any of your various groups of friends at any time of the day or night. Food and drink prices are ridiculously low, there’s always something going on, and it’s right in the heart of the action.

Inn Deep
445 Great Western Rd 01413571075
Run by the folks at the William Brothers brewery, this riverside bar combines outside drinking glory with craft beer loveliness. Expect the entire Williams’ range to pop up on the taps along with the best from the rest of Scotland’s top craft breweries, while the hearty pub grub – including some cracking burgers – will keep you going.

23 Sandyford Pl 01412218176
We’ve done the research, and it turns out that the only thing better than a beer garden is two beer gardens. McPhabbs has outdoor drinking space round the back and out the front, meaning that even if the crowds (which tend to be a good mix of students and genuine locals) have rushed out into the sun you’ll still find a bench.

The Glad Cafe
1006a Pollokshaws Road 01416366119
Based in a converted printworks in the Southside, The Glad Café hosts gigs at night but serves as a great cafe during the day. Local coffee from Dear Green Roasters is always on the go along with a varied food menu. A great place to people-watch, and one of the central points of the creative community in the south of the city.

The Drake
1 Lynedoch St 01413327363
At the fringes of Kelvingrove Park, The Drake sits between the bustle of the city centre and the calm of the West End. As a venue too it lies in two camps; it’s a gastro-pub with an emphasis on great local food and interesting drinks from all over the world, but it’s also the kind of welcoming local pub that we all love. 

The Sanctuary
59 Dumbarton Rd 01413340770
Sitting pretty in the West End, The Sanctuary is another Glasgow venue with more than one string to its bow. If you want a drink and a catch-up, then the chilled out bar is a great place to meet folk. If you need some food then appearances from pop-up barbecue merchants Smoak will keep you happy, and if you want a dance then there are two separate rooms and a 3am licence. 

200 Bath St 01413311777
A trendy basement bar just round the corner from the GSA, Moskito has everything that a city centre bar needs. Great location, good drinks deals, friendly staff to awkwardly attempt to banter with, and regular DJs and late-night food service for when a couple of drinks turns into a full-blown night out.

Cocktail and Burger
323 Sauchiehall St 01413530953
Set in a moody basement beneath Sauchiehall Street, C&B push out some of the best burgers you’ll find in the west. Keeping things simple but doing them well is the script, with a short menu to keep you from spending all day trying to pick your toppings and drinks. The food is well worth a visit, and the constant 2-for-1 deals on the food may encourage you to make a few of them.

Lucky 7
166 Bath St 01413316227
In our 2013 Food Survey, Lucky 7 was recognised by readers of The Skinny as one of Glasgow’s best places for when a hangover threatens to get the best of you. This had a lot to do with the great food and cool diner-style vibe, but the incredibly simple pricing (all the lunches are exactly £5) sealed the deal. After all, everyone loves nice scran, but nobody wants to do maths.

Artisan Roast
15 Gibson St 07776428409
The heart of Artisan Roast’s operation, and the place where the magic happens. When grabbing a coffee at the Glasgow shop you’ll probably catch a glimpse of the roaster where their brilliant brew comes to life. Shabbily cool inside, the coffee is as good as you’d expect from people who literally make it from scratch. It’s very good. 

Tchai-Ovna House of Tea
42 Otago Ln 01413574524
Haunt of students, artists and tea lovers, Tchai-Ovna draws you in with promises of a relaxed and calming vibe and a delicious vegetarian menu. Oh, and loads and loads of tea. 80 different varieties and blends are on offer, and once you’ve chosen your brew the array of mismatching armchairs, wicker furniture and floor cushions allow plenty of space for lounging around.

118 Ingram St | 189 Byres Rd 01413393108
Tinderbox are a reliable option when you need a quick pick-me-up, having been firing out cappuccinos in Glasgow for years. They know what they’re doing, and now they have an outpost in the city centre as well as their original West End home, so you’re never going to be far away from a top-notch coffee.

Avenue G
291 Byres Rd 01413395336
The guys at Avenue G say they have three main goals: serving up good coffee, making good food with local ingredients, and making sure you lot have a “jolly good time.” They have the first two sorted, and if you like good food and coffee in a great location served up by people who want you to enjoy yourself, then we’re sure they’ll manage with that third thing.

Where the Monkey Sleeps
182 West Regent St 01412263406
It’s a rock sandwich shop! We know, sounds crazy, but a trip to the Monkey will open your eyes. Massive sandwiches with brilliant names (The Man from Iran and Mr Bolland's Cutlass are two of our favourites) are the order of the day in one of our readers’ favourite lunch spots. After all, there aren’t many places where the sentence ‘I’ll have a Lovely Nancy’ will get you anything other than an odd look.

Piece | {Another} Piece
1056 Argyle St 01412217975 | 387 Great Western Rd
For those new to town, a ‘piece’ is a sandwich, which leaves you in no doubt as to what’s going on in this award-winning deli. As it turns out, Piece’s sandwich menu is ludicrously comprehensive, with more than 20 carefully-crafted sarnies on the go. A great lunch option with branches either side of Kelvingrove Park.

Taco Mazama
6 Renfield St 01412488940
An outpost of Southern Californian cuisine in the heart of the city, Taco Mazama is all about the burrito. All the usual fillings are on offer, with the pulled pork a particular favourite. If you fancy your Mexican food in a different configuration, tasty tacos, enchiladas and quesadillas are also on the menu.

The Banana Leaf
105 Albert Dr | 86 Old Dumbarton Rd
If you fancy an authentic curry that won’t destroy your bank balance then the Banana Leaf is a good place to start. For those of you who feel like heading out, the Albert Drive restaurant is a simple, unpretentious place devoted to authentic Indian food, while the rest of you who want to stay in can grab a takeaway from the original branch on Old Dumbarton Road. There, everyone’s happy.

Hanoi Bike Shop
Ruthven Ln 01413347165
Vietnam might not immediately come to mind when you feel peckish, but the Bike Shop is here to change that. Tucked away off Byres Rd, the dishes that fly out of the kitchen are authentic, accessible, and packed with flavour and colour. The cut-price lunch time sandwiches packed with Vietnamese ingredients are a great way to get started on your new favourite cuisine.

Asia Style
185-189 St. George's Rd 01413328828
Asia Style seem to be going for the superhero stance of hiding in plain sight – widely touted as one of Glasgow’s top Chinese and Malay restaurants, they are sticking to their guns on the fairly harsh decor. The food is worth it though – an authentic and broad menu with a huge variety of dishes to choose from, and prices that won’t hit your wallet too hard.