The best places to find food in Glasgow
Glasgow’s culinary scene is growing from strength to strength, with new restaurants and eateries springing up frequently and constantly raising the bar. Like many other UK industrial cities, Glasgow is a melting pot of creativity, setting trends rather than following them. Known in particular for it’s plethora of excellent curry houses and Italian food, Glasgow is a city rich in cultural heritage and this is apparent through the food you’ll find to eat there.
Glasgow’s approach to fine dining is somewhat more relaxed than Edinburgh. You’ll find no stuffiness, but rather laidback and stylish restaurants with friendly and unpretentious people. The city’s oldest restaurant was fitted out in art deco style in homage to the Clyde-built Queen Mary in 1935. Rogano maintains it’s unique 1930’s ambience and is still the place-to-be-seen for stylish Glaswegians. The Bistro in Hotel Du Vin at One Devonshire Gardens serves up classic and modern dishes with Scottish influence and as one would expect, the wine list is an impressive tome. Malmaison’s Brasserie is located in their vaulted basement and is loaded with charm. Trained by the Roux brothers, Brian Maule at Chardon d’Or is top of his game, serving flawless, exquisite food. On Byres Road, Number 16 is an intimate restaurant with a happy buzz, where the food is inventive, well-priced and consistent. New kid on the block is the restaurant at the Blythswood Square Hotel, where the food is seasonal and locally sourced.
Whether you’re looking for a laid-back bistro or somewhere to grab a quick sandwich, there are many places to find something good to eat in the west. Stravaigin has been a staple of the Glasgow dining scene since 1994. With their motto *Think Global, Eat Local*, they use fresh produce while keeping their feet firmly planted in their Scottish roots. The Left Bank and The Two Figs, both owned by the same partnership, have been wildly successful since opening within a few of years of each other and offer food with it’s focus on local ingredients. The former won an Observer Food Monthly Award in 2007 for Best Cheap Eats. Café Gandolfi celebrates it’s 30th year in business this year and, together with Bar Gandolfi upstairs, has become renowned for pioneering Scottish dishes - he was the first to put Stornoway black pudding on Glasgow pudding and to name it as such. Fifi and Ally is a chic eaterie where the desserts are to die for. If you’re in the mood for fondue, head to La Vallée Blanche where traditional French food is served in a Swiss chalet setting. Go to Brel for brilliant moules et frites and for the best sandwich in the city visit Where The Monkey Sleeps. Their Man From Iran sandwich is a must.
Their proximity to the West Coast means that these seafood restaurants can utilise some of the very best raw ingredients Scotland has to offer. Two years ago, Crabshakk opened to critical acclaim and has been packed ever since. Two Fat Ladies serves great fish in superb surroundings while Gamba is a decade old and still improving, serving confident and consistent food. Gandolphi Fish produces confident, unpretentious cooking from a kitchen tha really knows what to do with fish.
If you happen to fancy a curry you’re in luck. The city’s renowned Indian and Pakistani restaurants have seen Glasgow regularly crowned Curry Capital of Britain. Mother India is justifiably known nationwide for excellent home-style cooking. It’s sister site Mother India’s Café serves authentic tapas-style dishes in a more informal setting. Balbir’s is known for his starters and tasters, so his Tiffin Rooms was the obvious next move. Expect quality, fresh dishes. All three branches of The Wee Curry shop serve fresh, flavoursome food in a cosy setting.
Italian cuisine is a well-established feature on the city’s culinary map, with dozens of restaurants offering virtually unlimited choices. Lust over delicious morsels of Italian style tapas served in stylish surroundings with a terrific wine list at The Italian Caffè Enoteca. La Parmigiana is a wonderful, old school style restaurant with grace, style and exceptional cooking. For regularly changing seasonal menus, first-rate ingredients and predominantly Tuscan food visit Osteria Piero. La Lanterna is a traditional ristorante with excellent pasta dishes and Fratelli Sarti produces satisfying, authentic food.
**Deli’s and Cheese**
A firm local favourite for nearly ten years, Heart Buchanan sells everything and more. Freshly made meals can be taken home and reheated and their pestos and tapenades are second to none. Delizique is a one-stop shop providing the best of ingredients, while the range of bread and home-baking at Kember & Jones Fine Food Emporium is exceptional. Peckhams is something of a Glasgow institution, with five branches throughout the city. For cheese, there is simply no better than Iain J Mellis, who has established a mini empre of tradition cheesemonger’s shops between Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and St Andrews.
Other places to look out for in Glasgow:
**Bars serving good food**
Written by: Carine Seitz