Glasgow Restaurants

Glasgow’s vibrant restaurant culture is constantly renewing itself. Some of Britain’s best-known chefs have opened kitchens here, including Jamie Oliver and Yotam Ottolenghi. More recently, the city has responded enthusiastically to the small-plate and sharing-platter trends, but there are still plenty of fine-dining options on the one hand, and steak houses and burger places on the other. The city continues to present the best that Scotland has to offer: grass-fed beef, free-range chicken, wild seafood, venison, duck, and goose, not to mention superb fruits and vegetables. The growing emphasis on organic food is reflected on menus that increasingly provide detailed information about the source of their ingredients. Around the city, an explosion of coffee shops offer artisanal macchiatos and mochas.

You can eat your way around the world in Glasgow. A new generation of Italian restaurants serves updated versions of classic Italian dishes. Chinese, Indian, and Pakistani foods, longtime favorites, are now more varied and sophisticated, and Thai and Japanese restaurants have become popular. Spanish-style tapas are now quite common, and the small-plate trend has extended to every kind of restaurant. Seafood restaurants have moved well beyond the fish-and-chips wrapped in newspaper that were always a Glasgow staple, as langoustines, scallops, and monkfish appear on menus with ever more unusual accompaniments. And Glasgow has an especially good reputation for its vegan and vegetarian restaurants.

Smoking isn't allowed in any enclosed space in Scotland, but more restaurants have placed tables outside under awnings during the warmer summer months, some of which permit smoking.

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  • 1. Kool Ba

    $$ | Merchant City

    Thick wooden tables, tapestries, and soft candlelight make you feel at home in the comfortable dining room of this atmospheric haven serving an intriguing mix...Read More

  • 2. Mackintosh at the Willow

    $ | City Centre

    Miss Cranston's Willow Tea Rooms were the ultimate place to be seen in Glasgow in 1903, not only for the tasty tea but for the...Read More

  • 3. Ox and Finch

    $$$ | Finnieston

    This immensely popular restaurant shines at every level—service, presentation, and taste. The stripped-back, rustic decor encourages chatter and the sharing of the eclectic small plates...Read More

  • 4. Baffo

    $ | Finnieston

    There has been something of an explosion of new pizzerias in Glasgow, many of them newer chains, but Baffo has made its mark and won...Read More

  • 5. Balbir's

    $$ | West End

    Don't let the tinted windows discourage you: this place is a temple for pure, healthy Indian food that's impressive in taste and presentation. Try the...Read More

  • 6. Barras Art and Design

    $$ | East End

    A welcome addition for East End diners, BAaD occupies a sprawling campus of spaces, including a stylish glass-roofed courtyard, a large beer garden split over...Read More

  • 7. Bay Tree

    $ | West End

    This popular small café in the university area is unpretentious and quite cheap. It serves wonderful Middle Eastern food—mostly vegetarian dishes, but there are a...Read More

  • 8. Café Gandolfi

    $$ | Merchant City

    Occupying what was once the tea market, this trendy café draws a style-conscious crowd and can justly claim to have launched the dining renaissance of...Read More

  • 9. Cafe Le Monde

    $

    This Italian-style café with alfresco seating for good weather serves lunch and smaller bites to a mainly day-visitor crowd. The ciabattas and soups are well...Read More

  • 10. Hanoi Bike Shop

    $$ | West End

    Glasgow's first Vietnamese canteen offers a different style of dining, which is apparent from the moment you walk through the door and see the rustic...Read More

  • 11. Paesano Pizza

    $ | City Centre

    This casual and unassuming pizza place holds a special place in the hearts of Glaswegians and visitors alike. Serving up Naples-style pizzas with large bubbly...Read More

  • 12. The Left Bank

    $$ | West End

    Close to Glasgow University, this popular bar and restaurant attracts a more mature student crowd. It's an airy spot with high ceilings, leather sofas, and...Read More

  • 13. Wudon

    $ | West End

    Pleasant and relaxed, this Japanese restaurant with white walls, simple furniture, subdued lighting, and a large window onto the street offers beautifully prepared food presented...Read More

  • 14. MacCallums Oyster Bar

    $$

    Located in Troon Harbor, this outstanding seafood restaurant's menu varies with the day's catch, but you can usually count on lobster in garlic butter, seared...Read More

  • 15. Cookies

    $$ | South Side

    One of the new breed of Italian eateries,with wooden tables and assorted chairs, Cookies has a menu that changes daily according to what ingredients are...Read More

  • 16. Fouter's Bistro

    $$

    In the center of Ayr, Fouter's is in a long and narrow cellar that was an 18th-century bank vault, yet its white walls and decorative...Read More

  • 17. Ibérica

    $$ | City Centre

    The Spanish small-plates revolution has arrived in Glasgow in this grand former bank, going a step beyond tapas with portions that are larger and encourage...Read More

  • 18. Pelican Café Bistro

    $$ | West End

    The hum of conversation and a glimpse of the busy kitchen through the open hatch give this restaurant a relaxed vibe. A horseshoe-shape bar in...Read More

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