Looking for the best places to eat in Glasgow? Scotland’s largest city, Glasgow’s food scene has come on leaps and bounds in recent years: these days it’s filled with sophisticated brasseries, cool cafés and down-to-earth eateries, featuring both fresh Scottish fare and international flavours. Here’s our pick of the best restaurants in Glasgow…
The Ubiquitous Chip
Iconic restaurant The Ubiquitous Chip, tucked away just off Byres Road, has been feeding Glasgow since the seventies. Opened in 1971 by Ronnie Clydesdale, The Chip (as it’s fondly known) was a pioneer in championing local Scottish cuisine – the name itself hinting at the city’s culinary preferences. But glorified chippy this is certainly not: The Ubiquitous Chip is one of the prettiest spots in town, with the main room designed to resemble a rainforest, housed in a courtyard beneath a canopy of greenery. The menu is a celebration of contemporary Scottish cuisine, featuring dishes like lamb neck with pistachio dukkah, guinea fowl with bulgar wheat, Shetland cod with Jerualem artichoke, and a long-standing haggis starter, complete with carrot crisp, champit tatties and neep cream.
Cail Bruich translates as ‘eat well’ in Gaelic, and you certainly will at this gem of a restaurant. Located in Glagsow’s West End, Cail Bruich reopened following a big renovation a couple of years ago, and it now stands as one of the city’s finest dining spots. Food is seasonal, with some vegetables grown in the restaurant’s own garden. Opt for the tasting menu, where you’ll be treated to a selection of top quality meat and fish dishes such as lock fyne oysters, halibut with leek, caviar and truffle, and venison with black pudding.
The oldest surviving restaurant in Glasgow, Rogano is a Scottish institution. It dates all the way back to 1935, but over 80 years later its character remains much the same: glamorous and elegant. Fine, fresh seafood is the focus, with salmon, langoustines, scallops and halibut prepared and presented in a classic style, alongside a dedicated oyster bar which has been there since the very beginning. Food fashions come and go – but Rogano proves some places are timeless.
Ox and Finch
A must-visit on a trip to Glasgow, this fashionable spot offers up a Mediterranean-meets-Scotland small plates menu. Dishes are innovative and packed full of flavour: think seared salmon with chana dal and hibiscus yoghurt, smoked haddock with truffle polenta and poached egg, and braised lamb neck with smoked potato and wild garlic salsa verde. Vegetarian offerings are equally appealing, with highlights including roast beetroot and squash with whipped feta and nut dukkah, and potato gnocchi with roast squash. It’s a really popular spot, so be sure to book well in advance.
At West End eatery Stravaigin, Scottish cuisine is given an international twist: the name itself means ‘to wander’, while the motto is ‘Think Global, Eat Local’. A friendly café-restaurant set across two floors, the menu features the likes of Shetland mussels served in a coconut and lemongrass broth, smoked haddock with curried aubergine, and roast wood pigeon with lentil fricassee. Popular with students, foodies, and professionals alike, Stravaigin offers relaxed dining amid stylish surroundings. Wander in…
The area of Finnieston has become increasingly trendy in recent years, in part thanks to the influx of cool foodie spots like The Gannet. Owned by chefs Peter McKenna and Ivan Stein, it’s won a whole host of awards over the years, including being granted with a Michelin guide Bib Gourmand less than a year after opening. Interiors are chic and minimalist, with stone walls, wooden tables and contemporary art lining the walls of the back room. The Gannet celebrates Scottish produce, with dishes like Shetland squid with smoked mussels, braised leek with hazelnut, and deer with black garlic and egg yolk. Descriptions of dishes are short and often include an element of surprise, so put your faith in the chefs – they know their stuff.
Opened in 1979 as part of the old cheese market, Cafe Gandolfi has played a big part in the renaissance of the once dilapidated Merchant City. With its wooden furniture and stained glass windows the restaurant has a a rustic, medieval feel, paired with an old school menu. Think Scottish classics such as cullen skink, black pudding, house smoked venison and roast guinea fowl, as well as salads and pasta dishes, with a pizza menu available in the bar upstairs.
Widely thought to be the best curry house in Glasgow, Mother India offers innovative Indian cuisine with a touch of Scotland. The original restaurant – located on the corner of Sauchiehall Street and Kelvingrove Street – opened in the early 90s’, but several other sister venues have opened since then, including Mother India’s Cafe just down the road, which serves up a tapas-style sharing menu, as well as a branch in Edinburgh. Their main restaurant, however, remains supreme, offering creative, flavoursome dishes such as chicken chops with smoked aubergine, spiced haddock with roasted tomatoes, and ginger and chilli fish pakora. Portions are big, so go hungry.
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