Where To Eat in Glasgow, Scotland
Next stop: Glasgow! Our food tour with VisitBritain continued in Scotland - I was eager to check out Glasgow this year after having loved my time in Edinburgh on my last trip. I’d heard great things about the food in this city and was excited to see it for myself. Special shout-out to Ben Mervis (food writer / founder of Fare magazine) and Isaac McHale (chef of The Clove Club) for their restaurant recommendations and local tips. Next time, I need to stay longer!
Stravaigin - The best restaurant in town for traditional Scottish fare. We tried their haggis, neeps (turnips), and tatties (potatoes), stovies (more potatoes, baked in the stove with meat and onions), and carrots and crowdie (cheese).
El Perro Negro - Voted the best burger in Glasgow, and also one of the best burgers I’ve ever had. The “Top Dog” comes with high quality beef, topped with bone marrow and Roquefort butter, caramelized onions, double bacon, and black truffle mayo. It’s rich and decadent, oozing with a creamy sauce you’ll be happily licking off your fingers for hours to follow. Basically, it’s everything I look for in a great burger, and a must-try in Glasgow.
Alchemilla - Natural wines, shared plates of simply delicious food. If I lived in Glasgow, I would be a regular at this restaurant. In fact, we were only in town for two days, but we went here twice! The flourless chocolate cake may be the best I’ve had.
The Gannet - You don’t hear a lot about the Scottish food scene, but I believe that The Gannet could put Scotland on the culinary map. This wasn’t just my favorite meal in Glasgow, it was my favorite meal in the UK this year. The menu is seasonal, driven by the region’s incredible produce, and sustainability is a major focus here. Local ingredients are the stars of the show - most dishes proudly center around a main Scottish ingredient, with a few elements coming from their neighbors in Ireland. Chef Peter McKenna takes these ingredients and elevates them to an extremely high level of cuisine in a relaxed setting. The restaurant is Michelin-recommended, but it deserves much more recognition in the culinary world. The salted caramel fondant was one of the top dishes I’ve eaten recently. (Oh, and they have natural wine, too!)
The Good Coffee Cartel - I headed across the “squinty bridge” to the south side of Glasgow for a cup of coffee. The painted letters on the wall assured me I was in the right place. It’s a super cute space with a cozy study vibe and chill music. I enjoyed a leisurely morning and a delicious cappuccino here - the menu is espresso-focused, no pour-overs or hand brews available here. They have a small selection of pastries, too.
Kaf Coffee - Go west! To the western end of Glasgow, that is, to check out the tiniest cafe in the world. No, seriously, there are two tables inside and one table outside, so this isn’t a place for large parties, but it is a place for delicious brunch food and coffee. And this tiny shop has a big menu! We tried the coconut, lime, and raspberry cake; the eggs Benedict with black pudding; the eggs & soldiers; the salt-beef sandwich; and the babka french toast with pecans, which was my personal favorite. I also had a lovely Ethiopian batch brew coffee, served in the cutest ceramic mug. Really great breakfast, gorgeous pottery, and very friendly staff.
Paper Cup Coffee - You can go to their storefront on Great Western Road, or if you want to check out the more hipster, secret location, you can buy coffee from their roastery, hidden on a cobbled alley (Belmont Lane) just a block away. Regardless of which location you choose, you’ll enjoy their coffee. I quite liked my Burundi batch brew.
Cottonrake Bakery - The “best pastries in Glasgow” lived up to the hype. We tried the pistachio financier, the rhubarb apple crumble, and the scone, but we wanted to buy the whole pastry case! They serve coffee from London-based roaster Climpson and Sons, and bake fresh bread in house.
Mackintosh at the Willow - If you’re looking for the best afternoon tea in town, look no further than the Mackintosh at the Willow - a historic tea room that has recently been restored. They have a full lunch menu, but I opted for the afternoon tea, which came with classic tea sandwiches, delicious scones & clotted cream, and pretty good desserts. I tried the Scottish Summer Fruits tea which was juicy and floral, but not too sweet.
Ben Nevis Pub - To get a taste of the real Scotland, head to The Ben Nevis. They have live Scottish trad music three nights a week, and a nice whisky selection.
Radisson RED - I was pleasantly surprised by the modern design of the Radisson RED - the new, artsier line of hotels from the Radisson brand. The Glasgow outpost has a nice location on the river, and a gorgeous Sky Bar that gives you great views of the city. But the best part? The hotel has a resident dog (a Boston Terrier named Baxter) who is always on property to welcome you to Glasgow. (Yes, you can bring your pets with you here!)
Two days in Glasgow is too little time! I didn’t make it to every restaurant I wanted to try - next time I want to check out Crabshakk, Mother India, Cail Bruich, and Number 16 Restaurant. Thanks to all for the great recommendations. :)
Following along on Instagram? See more from the trip at #CarnivorrGlasgow.