Glasgow West End & Southside: Student Venue Guide

Our guide to some of the best spots in Glasgow away from the city centre, from gig venues and art galleries to bars and cafes.

Feature by Kate Pasola and Peter Simpson | 08 Sep 2017

Juice Garden
223 Byres Rd
It might make you feel a bit like a Kardashian, but you’re just going to have to overlook that. Juice Garden’s got a menu of beautiful juices, smoothies and soups, and the cafe itself is decked out with comfy white furniture, fake grass, and groovy technology embedded in the tables. 

Hillhead Bookclub
17 Vinicombe Street
Face it, you’re not going to spend much of your life in an actual library this year, so why not make up for lost time in a pretendy one? This bohemian pub is practically made for youthful fellows; vinyl soundtrack, comfort food and strawberry mojitos on milkshake budgets.

Inn Deep
445 Great Western Rd
The clever people at Williams Brothers brewery are responsible for the thing of glory that is Inn Deep. Historically victors in our Food & Drink survey, this riverside haunt has got its beer and burgers down to a winning formula. And that formula includes fishtanks.

Tchai-Ovna House of Tea
42 Otago Ln
0141 357 4524
There are over 80 different teas on offer at Tchai-Ovna – and it’s vegan-tastic too! For that very reason you’ll be fighting off fellow tea-slurpers, yoga-moms and shaky businesspeople for a space, but be nice. Plenty of floor cushions to go around.

1008 Argyle St
Do you like milk? Are you prepared to have your sober brain drenched in dairy-based bliss? Would you consider drinking a White Russian which contains Buckfast? Why are you still taking this quiz when there’s a White Russian bar waiting to make you the happiest boozer alive?

Artisan Roast
15-17 Gibson St
Stop right there, sleepy student. Stop going to all those boring chain coffee churners. Visit the Scottish coffee magicians at Artisan Roast instead. All the beans are roasted on-site in their 'roasting den', it’s comfy, and the resident bakers’ treats are truly scrumptious. Ooh, and there’s tea, too.

1056 Argyle St
To get you up to speed on the culinary vernacular, a ‘piece’ is a sandwich round here. That in mind, it’s not too difficult to determine what this deli is all about. Piece’s sandwich menu is terrifically comprehensive, with dozens of sandwiches on the go.

The Sparkle Horse
16 Dowanhill St
Sat behind Kelvinhall subway, The Sparkle Horse features nearly as much black paint inside as it does on its stark exterior. The low lighting and comfy booths make The Sparkle Horse a laid-back space to while away the hours after lectures.

The Three Judges
141 Dumbarton Rd
A classic 'old man's pub', this West End spot focuses on real ales and craft beers. A great place to get started on your beer education, once you've got through the Beer 101 of student union pints and unpronounceable Lidl special offers.

WEST on the corner
160 Woodlands Rd
Want sensational beer, and want to consume it in a beer garden? Head to WEST, a Brewery which brews its nectar according to the 1516 German Purity Laws. Lush.

The Hanoi Bike Shop
8 Ruthven Ln
Now that everyone’s finally realised that Vietnam’s cool, this place probably isn’t going to be a cult secret for much longer. Get a table at this brilliant Vietnamese street food joint while you can.

Tribe Two
1 Bank St
You’re in Glasgow. Obviously you’re going to want to get some metal in those ears at some point. Tribe Two piercing and tattoo salon is just off Great Western Road, a perfect location for a spot of bodily mutilation between lectures.

The Hug and Pint
171 Great Western Rd
In June 2015, Hug and Pint began its mission of bringing tremendous music to Glasgow, one beer-y hug at a time. If the joint’s name feels familiar, that’s probably because it was taken from the title of Arab Strap’s album Monday at the Hug & Pint. A top notch spot for chilling, collaborating and performing music that'd make Moffat and Middleton proud.

Òran Mór
Byres Rd
The Gaelic translation of ‘great melody of life’, Òran Mór is pretty aptly-titled. It's a converted church which acts as cultural centre and meeting place in the West End. There are two bars, two restaurants, a nightclub and a blazing roster of gigs. Melodic indeed.

100 Eastvale Pl
This one’s come a hella long way since its days as a decomposing grotto and hipster’s wet dream. The once bleak-as-midwinter interior has been transformed into a sleek, haunting auditorium, and it's now host to no end of awesome gigs and big, big club nights.

Kimchi Cult!
14 Chancellor St
Tagging itself as the provider of 'punk riffs on Korean classics', Kimchi Cult! combines authentic, high quality Korean food with the quick and easy satisfaction of your favourite burger joint. Bibimbap rice bowls, bao (steamed buns), Korean fried chicken smothered in gochujang hot sauce, and fermented goodies everywhere; this'll clear up any hangover.

Govanhill Baths
99 Calder St
A project is currently underway to restore these baths to their original glory, the ultimate intention being to re-fill and re-open the swimming pool. Until then, the whole of Glasgow benefits from this unique performance space and its ad-hoc programme of events.

House For an Art Lover
16 Dumbreck Rd
Designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh (yes, that one) in 1901, the Bellahouston Park site houses an art gallery, space for exhibitions and events, a cafe and multi-purpose studios.

Kinning Park Complex
43 Cornwall St
A bustling community space run by a voluntary committee of artists, musicians and activists, this three storey sandstone building in the Southside has no end of potential. If you have an idea you want to bring to fruition, KPC would be a good place to start.

The Glad Cafe
1006A Pollokshaws Rd
A day-to-night venue where you’ll find locally roasted coffee and treats by the day and indie/electronic music by the moon. It’s a creative and cultural magnet in the south of the city; Glasgow’s pride and joy.

The Rum Shack
657-659 Pollokshaws Rd
0141 237 4432
Bringing a Caribbean flavour to Strathbungo, The Rum Shack is more of a cornucopia, stocking over 30 rums, from Angostura to Rhum Agricole. Food is served from ‘The Caribbean Kitchen’, meaning you can look forward to flavours of such. And there's a steady stream of reggae on the sound system, obvs.

25 Albert Dr
Few spots are rooted more deeply in Glaswegian history than Tramway. Over the years it's spent its days as a tram depot and a transport museum, before reincarnating into a performance and exhibition space. Tramway 1’s forte is performance-based events, and Tramway 2 is the primary gallery space.

O2 Academy
121 Eglinton St
The Academy knits together the notions of intimate gig and enormo-tour, making it the kind of venue which makes Glasgow’s music scene. Formerly an Art Deco cinema (for a change), the mega capacity allows for established acts from near and far. Pleasingly, they don’t stick to the same ol’ genres either.

The Bungo
17-21 Nithsdale Rd
Opened by the duo behind Gibson Street’s Left Bank Bar and The Two Figs on Byres Road, The Bungo is a great option when you've got something to celebrate but don't fancy throwing your wallet straight into the Clyde. Great and well-varied food, reasonable prices, nice atmosphere – three thumbs up from us.