We know that finding your feet in a new city can be difficult and often tourist guides are so full of adverts that you don’t even know where to start. To help, we’ve put together this handy little guide to give you everything you need to land on your feet in Glasgow.
First up is perhaps the most important part of any trip- eating and drinking. After all, memories from any getaway are enhanced by you ate and where you had that perfect cocktail (or whisky).
We wholeheartedly recommend throwing yourself into the city and finding your own favourite haunt but if you need some guidance then here are some great wee places in the City Centre and the West End. Of course, these are in no particular order. We don’t play favourites.
In the City Centre & Merchant City…
Candleriggs is an entire street of some of the finest eating and drinking in Glasgow. Our highest recommendation is Guy’s Restaurant & Bar. It offers fantastic food in a nice, relaxed atmosphere. Book early if you fancy a treat!
Paradise for carnivores and just round the corner from us on Argyle Street. Meat served off a sword by gauchos? Yes, this authentic taste of Brazil (err…) will soon quell even the darkest of meat-lovers’ fantasies.
The Grill on the Corner
Eat, drink and then do it all again at Grill on the Corner. It offers stunning food with a wonderful, busy atmosphere right in the heart of the city centre. You’ll find it just across the road from Central Station on Bothwell Street.
Vegetarian delights abound in Stereo. Want to try haggis but without hearing stories about having one leg longer than then other or worrying about what’s in it? Stereo’s your saviour. Not only that, they have an extensive selection of veggie tapas and the best (in our humble opinion) falafel sandwich in Glasgow.
The Horseshoe Bar
On Drury Street (just round the corner from Central Station) is The Horseshoe Bar. It’s as traditional a pub as pubs get but it’s notable for its ‘horseshoe’ shaped So called because of its Horseshoe Bar which is apparently the longest in the world. Apparently.
Vegan? Lucky you! Mono is a Vegan haven and even has a fantastic little record store inside. Whether it’s a bit of lunch after a wander along the Clyde or you’re starting off a night in the Merchant City, Mono is a great option and can be found just behind the St Enoch Centre.
The best Japanese food in Glasgow. Whether you have a craving for sushi or want to guzzle some gyoza, Nanakusa is the place to be. It’s as simple as that.
Butterfly & The Pig / The Tea Rooms
The Butterfly & The Pig is one of Glasgow’s odder establishments. Its menu is almost indecipherable and written in a mixture of pigeon English and auld Scots but you soon realise that the food on offer is fantastic. Upstairs you can find a lovely- if eccentric- afternoon tea with all the floral-decked pomp that you would expect and downstairs you’ll find a lovely wee bar with great food and friendly staff.
Little more than a minutes walk from our front door is MacSorleys. It’s a good old fashioned pub with a modern garnish. You’ll find the usual open mic nights and pub quizzes and have a laugh with the regulars but their food menu and mezzanine sitting area will surprise you.
The Sir John Moore
We all know that a chain pub is a chain pub is a chain pub but the Sir John Moore sits just a couple of minutes walk away on Argyle Street. Whether you’re starting a night out or looking for a quick bite to eat, you can’t go wrong.
The preposterously lavish Corinthian is the latest ‘jewel’ in the crown of Glasgow’s Merchant City. Food, cocktails and a casino that wouldn’t look out of place in a Bond film; can’t argue with that. It’s the perfect place to head if you’re looking to start your night with a touch of luxury.
Quite unlike Corinthian, Blackfriars takes a different approach to nightlife. Expect Northern Soul nights, live Rockabilly and brilliant Scottish ales on tap. An unpretentious pub right in the middle of the Merchant City which all-but guarantees a good time. Perfect.
Nice N Sleazy
Nice N Sleazy is a Glasgow institution that’s been on Sauchiehall Street for 20 years. If you’re a fan of burgers, this is the home of arguably the best tower of meat in the city. Their kitchen is under the watchful eye of Meathammer Ltd. and, as you might expect, they’re serious about their meat. In saying that, they’re also very friendly toward vegetarians. It is, as the name suggests, rather nice. It is isn’t, as the name also suggests, particularly sleazy.
The Variety Bar
The Variety is situated in the shadow of the Grosvenor building, one of Glasgow’s finest examples of Art Deco. Variety follows much the same design aesthetic and is a really warm, welcoming bar. It’s the kind of place where you’re just as likely to make friends with a dog as you are with a regular.
The Willow Tea Rooms
The interior and exterior of The Willow Tea Rooms were designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh which is why you’ll often see groups of tourists huddled round the front door taking pictures. Inside, you’ll get a lovely pot of tea and a nice cake. After all, it’s not all about whisky, right?
In the West End…
A literal stone’s throw from Hillhead Subway station is Ruthven Lane where you’ll find the Hanoi Bike Club which, you might be surprised to learn, isn’t a bike club. A beautiful little Vietnamese café set in a traditional mews cottage is one of the most unusual and wonderful experiences in Glasgow.
Also on the lane you’ll find The Bothy which serves traditional Scots food with a wee twist. A hint? Try their pan-seared scallops with black pudding.
A short jaunt around the corner from Hillhead Subway, you’ll find Ashton Lane one of Glasgow’s favourite night spots. Cocktail bars, pubs, restaurants, licensed cinemas and even a Belgian bistro (Brel) coexist on this lovely little cobbled lane. You’ll also find one of Glasgow’s finest eateries, the Ubiquitous Chip here.
For some of the best food in Glasgow, look no further than award-winning gastropub Stravaigin. Their menu changes to incorporate the freshest, seasonal local ingredients and they constantly strive to give you the best dining experience possible. Also look out for their monthly themed nights giving diners a very Stravaigin take on world cuisine.
The Finnieston has a fantastic selection of seafood and if that wasn’t enough, they cut your ice cubes with a cleaver. It might not sound impressive but when you order one of their marvellous selection of gins or whiskies, you’ll appreciate it all the more.
The Stand Comedy Club
The club that launched a thousand careers. From £2 tickets to Tuesday’s Red Raw Talent Showcase to weekend headliners, comedy fans will instantly feel at home in one of Britain’s most famous comedy caverns. Set in an old school building just 100 yards from Kelvinbridge, it’s a must for comedy aficionados.
A fantastic new bar just two minutes from Kelvinbridge. The Richmond has a relaxed atmosphere with rear views out over the river Kelvin. Perfect for taking it easy before or after a visit to The Stand.
The Ben Nevis
Whisky is important in the The Ben Nevis and that’s what makes it one of Glasgow’s most incredible pubs. Go in, gasp in awe at their wall of every whisky under the sun and then take the recommendation of the wonderful bar staff. Perhaps two recommendations…
Brew Dog Glasgow
Don’t fancy any uisge beatha (Gaelic for ‘water of life’)? Would you rather have a beer instead? Situated right across the road from Kelvingrove Museum is Brew Dog Glasgow. This is the home of unique craft beer in Glasgow. The staff here are another bunch who love nothing more than to find the perfect beer for you. Ask them what they recommend and you might even get to try a little something!
The Belle has the feel of a traditional village pub, right in the heart of the city. Its roaring fire (provided it’s not summer) and extensive beer selection makes it a great place to stop when you’re exploring everything Great Western Road has to offer.
With its Italian Gothic Pyramid with orbiting halo, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the Òran Mór was some kind of crazy disco church. You’d be half right. Originally built as Kelvinside Parish Church, this pub/restaurant/venue is one of Glasgow’s more eccentric places to whet your whistle.
Tchai-Ovna House of Tea
Tchai-Ovna is a pretty crazy place. Situated on Otago Lane, you’d be forgiven for walking right past the entrance. They have teas from all around the world and a lovely deck where you can sit and enjoy the gentle rumbling of the river Kelvin in the background. Take a book or a newspaper and relax the afternoon away.
Nardini’s in Largs has been famous for generations for their ice cream and coffee but Largs is a bit out of the way (trust me on that). Why not get the best of Largs on Byres Road by heading to Nardini and its wonderful 50s-inspired café.
There are loads more hidden gems and not-so-hidden gems in Glasgow but these are just a small selection to whet your appetite.
We’ll have more great things to see and do in Glasgow over the next few days but if you can’t wait that long, why not download our Beginner’s Guide To Glasgow with loads of great tips and start planning your trip with Hot-el-Apartments?