The Skinny Guide to Glasgow: Finnieston & Partick

Finnieston and Partick are home to a couple of the city's biggest music venues, and some of Glasgow's very best food and drink – here's our 2023 guide

Feature by Tony Inglis | 26 Jun 2023
  • Andina

We've put together new versions of our Glasgow and Edinburgh city guides for summer 2023, so we've updated this area guide with some new tips and places to check out. For more of this kind of stuff, head to our Travel section or look out for The Skinny Guide to Glasgow 2023, free from venues across Scotland from 3 July.

The Partick and Finnieston areas of the city run a neat stretch from the outskirts of the West End all the way into the city. It tells a succinct historical story: an important area for Glasgow’s shipbuilding past, now very different due to many years of gentrification.

Glorious Gigs, Glasgow History, and Great Big Ships

Parallel with the Clyde, it’s a short walk down to the Riverside Museum (100 Pointhouse Rd). It houses dozens of interactive exhibits showcasing the evolution of vehicular transport and Glasgow infrastructure, including a life size replica of a cobbled Glasgow street and a history of the city’s subway system. Berthed outside on the river is the Tall Ship, Glenlee. It’s also the location of the Riverside Festival, an annual celebration of electronic and dance music.

Evening view of Glasgow's riverside. A distinctive jagged building and a large ship can be seen; photo taken at sunset.
Riverside Museum and the tall ship Glenlee. Photo: Fredrika Carlsson

Music is well represented in Finnieston. The OVO Hydro (Exhibition Way, Stobcross Rd) arena sits next to the Armadillo and the SEC, the city’s three major auditoriums for live events. By the railway arches sits SWG3 (100 Eastvale Pl), warehouses converted into a live events, clubbing, and exhibition space, which also boasts rotating food pop-ups. The Clydeside Distillery (100 Stobcross Rd) offers tours of the whisky distilling process.

Finnieston and Partick's Best Independent Shops

Dumbarton Road is populated by characterful shops. There are plentiful charity, second-hand and antique stores where you’ll find classy furniture at knockdown prices. There’s also The Studio (567 Dumbarton Rd), a space used by the non-profit In The Making to promote an arts and wellbeing oasis in the city. It’s currently being used as a place to host English classes for refugees and asylum seekers, amongst other things.

Three doughnuts in a takeaway box, sitting on a sheet of branded paper.
Doughnuts from Kaf, Hyndland St. Photo courtesy of Kaf

Partick Mini Market (286 Dumbarton Rd) houses varied stock from local makers, and there are amazing options for international food markets nearby thanks to the large multicultural student population. Blooms (182 Dumbarton Rd) has a beautiful selection of houseplants and gardening tools, and round the corner the slickly refurbished Kaf (5 Hyndland St) sells high-quality produce (and a great selection of coffee and pastries). Stop by Hot Doughnut (498 Dumbarton Rd) for a look at the nightmarish sign alone – if you know, you know.

Food and drink in Partick and Finnieston

You could feasibly have the greatest pub crawl in history walking from The Thornwood (742 Dumbarton Rd), with its huge selection of beers and tasty mac and cheese, all the way up to Anderston or Charing Cross for the train home, and you would not go hungry either. There are so! many! places! So, let’s be selective.

Basta (561 Dumbarton Rd) is the best pizza in Glasgow – don’t let any other writer in this guide tell you otherwise. Their butternut squash and goat's cheese regular is supreme. Glasgow institution Julie Lim’s most recent venture Ga Ga (566 Dumbarton Rd) does excellent cocktails and sharing plates. Suissi (494 Dumbarton Rd) offers vegan Asian fayre.

Grab a banh mi from, well, Banh Mi & Tea (340 Dumbarton Rd) the best Vietnamese food in town – don’t take my regular table! – or a lemon and dill cream cheese slathered bite from Brawsome Bagels (292 Dumbarton Rd). The Sparkle Horse (Dowanhill St) is a cosy but trendy pub just off the main road. Potstickers from Dumpling Monkey (121 Dumbarton Rd) next, or for fresh pasta, Eighty Eight (88 Dumbarton Rd) and a bespoke cocktail from its companion bar next door, 86. Nip up Kelvin Way for a gyros from MacTasso’s truck and then cross the bridge over the Kelvin. If you need a pick-me-up, Space (540 Dumbarton Rd) or Andina (1274 Argyle St) are nice coffee spots.

Old Dumbarton Road has Dukes Bar (no. 41) for a negroni and then along the street to Gloriosa (1321 Argyle St) for a continental-style fine dining sit-down. If you are still somehow hungry, on Argyle Street you’re spoiled for choice: Rafa’s Mexican diner (1103 The Hidden Ln), Silla (1138 Argyle St) for tteokbokki and other authentic Korean dishes, or Five March (140 Elderslie St) for imaginative contemporary dining straight off Chef’s Table.