Where To Eat In Glasgow

Looking for the best restaurants in Glasgow? Aren’t we all. This is our guide on where you should be eating in this lively Scottish city.
Julie Kop
Julie's Kopitiam is a brilliant place to eat in Glasgow. Photograph: Liz Seabrook.

Glasgow’s food scene is on the up. With every passing year, it seems as if there’s a whole new spate of exciting restaurants and eateries competing for Glaswegian stomach space. The reason it seems like that’s what’s been happening is because that is, in fact, exactly what’s been happening.

The pandemic has had a violently detrimental impact on just about everyone working in hospitality but it hasn’t stopped the city’s chefs and restaurateurs from innovating. The best restaurants in Glasgow either weathered the storm of constant lockdowns – and came out of the other side even stronger – or opened up during that period of tumult, having risen like phoenixes from the ashes into a more equitable dining landscape that was partially razed to the ground. Punters aren’t keen to part with their money easily and it’s tough to get by as a restaurant in Glasgow without offering something that’s truly delicious.

Knowing where to eat in Glasgow is, therefore, not an easy task. If you’re after a simple lunch made with cracking seasonal produce, you’ll hardly be stuck for options. The same goes for a dinner that’ll wallop you with a sturdy Glasgow kiss of flavour. From new school faves like Julie’s Kopitiam to icons like Mother India, Glasgow’s best restaurants are right up there with some of the finest in the UK. Here’s where you should be eating in Glasgow, Mob.

Big Counter

If menus could talk, I’m pretty sure that Big Counter’s constantly shifting rota of eats would sound something like Stephen Fry. Comforting, familiar, and yet exceedingly well put-together, Big Counter’s food is the perfect example of how to cook trendy small plates with actual heart and soul. It’d be easy to roll your eyes at the deluxe cheeseburgers and pared-back premises but there’s a warmth that emanates from Big Counter in everything from the service to the now-iconic treacle tart. Is this the most exciting place to eat in Glasgow right now? You bet.

76 Victoria Road, G42 7AA

Julie's Kopitiam

Julies Kopitiam

Settling down to a proper Malaysian spread in Glasgow might sound like something that would only be possible in your wildest dreams but Julie’s Kopitiam is a restaurant that has made that fantasy into a roaringly delicious reality. Julie Lin’s humble restaurant specialises in Malaysian street eats (think flaky roti canai and warming nyonya curry) that haven’t been watered down for local palates. This is bold food that’s easy to eat. Order too much. You won’t regret it.

1109 Pollokshaws Road, Shawlands, G41 3YG

Alchemilla

Organic wine, small plates, seasonal ingredients – you know the deal. The menu at Alchemilla leans Mediterranean but regularly takes inspiration from all around the world. It might have its passport stamped in more countries than an expat brat but you’re always guaranteed that the food you’ll be served at Alchemilla will be fresh and flavourful. A very worthy spot and a great addition to Glasgow’s restaurant scene.

1126 Argyle Street, G3 8TD

Kimchi Cult

Kimchi Cult

Rules are meant to be broken. The Korean-style fast food from Kimchi Cult isn’t traditional in the slightest but it toys with the classics of Korean cuisine while still showing them the respect they deserve. There might be a kimchi cheeseburger on the menu but that kimchi has been handcrafted according to a special Jeonju regional recipe, passed down through generations of home cooks and into the hands of KC’s chefs. Kimchi Cult doesn’t claim to be authentic but it can claim to be the best place in Glasgow to get a portion of bulgogi beef fries. This is fast food done right.

14 Chancellor Street, G11 5RQ

kaf

Kafsand

Having good design is one way to get me through the door of your establishment. Kaf is an independent coffee shop and bakery that has awfully good design. Their logo looks great, their website looks great, but – most importantly – their selection of bread, pastries, and sandwiches all look the absolute business. Aesthetic only gets you so far, though, which is why I’m pleased that kaf backs up their aura with hefty focaccia sandwiches, bronzed pain au chocolats, and fudgy brownies that are just asking to be paired with a flat white. The ideal lunchtime spot, this.

5 Hyndland Street, Partick, G11 5QE

Gloriosa

Rosie Healey is the chef and owner of Gloriosa – a gorgeous, airy restaurant on Argyle Street that specialises in an assured and Mediterranean-inflected approach to cooking. The lunch menu is one of Glagow’s greatest bargains while the dinner offering provides a larger selection of enticing plates to choose from. Whatever time of the day you visit, however, you can always expect a real showcase of excellent produce – sourced from independent European purveyors – that have been cooked with care.

1321 Argyle Street, G3 8AB

Mother India

Opened in 1990, Mother India is the most famous Indian restaurant in Glasgow. It’s such an enduring icon, and a staple part of Glasgow’s food scene, that Anthony Bourdain visited the establishment when filming the Glasgow episode of Parts Unknown. Expect the prices to be steeper than they would be at your local takeaway but also expect the dishes to be better, too. Everything is made with the utmost attention to detail and Mother India’s legacy doesn’t look to be curtailing anytime soon. You’ll struggle to find a food lover in Glasgow who hasn’t been to Mother India – it’s a rite of passage.

28 Westminster Terrace, Finnieston, G3 7RU

Crabshakk

Glasgow’s west end is home to some excellent gaffs. The cream of the crop when it comes to seafood is Crabshakk. It’s all gills, no-frills cooking where the quality of the fish is allowed to be front and centre. Even if you’re going for the fish and chips rather than the fruits de mer, you can trust that your pesc-heavy order will be given the same impeccable treatment. The chefs at Crabshakk give a shit, and it shows.

1114 Argyle Street, Finnieston, G3 8TD

Ka Pao

Ka Pao

Fish sauce and chilli are used as liberally at Ka Pao as butter and salt would be at a classic French restaurant. Influenced by the cooking of Southeast Asia, Ka Pao’s all about delivering big flavours in an approachable fashion. There’s not many other restaurants in the city where you can order a whole grilled fish, a raw venison laab, and a jungle curry of Shetland mussels. This is one of those restaurants.

26 Vinicombe Street, G12 8BE

The Gannet

No longer the hot young thing in town, The Gannet has seen itself transition from being a trendsetter to becoming an unwavering part of the Glasgow culinary establishment. Thankfully, it’s handled that transition with aplomb. The seasonal set-menu here is still one of the finest in the city and one of your best opportunities to taste what some of Glasgow’s most talented cooks are up to. At just £70 each, it’s a bargain considering the quality of fare on offer. This is modern Scottish dining at its slickest.

1155 Argyle Street, Finnieston, G3 8TB

Franks Pizza & Subs

The paint has barely dried on Franks Pizza & Subs but this Finnieston joint has already made a bit of a name for itself among Glasgow’s dedicated community of eaters. The name is a dead giveaway but Franks is an expert in two things: pizza and sandwiches. The lunchtime sarnies are the big, fat, and filled kind of hoagies that beg for you to show off their cross-sections on Instagram. The pies, on the other hand, are those thin and crispy New York-style creations you’ll recognise from just about every sit-com set in NYC. You won’t struggle to take down one of those after a few beers, I’ll tell you that for certain.

6 Claremont Street, Finnieston, G3 7HA

Hanoi Bike Shop

Hanoib IKE

Vietnamese in spirit more than anything else, Hanoi Bike Shop is a kitsch canteen on Ruthven Lane where you can get your laughing gear around spring rolls, phở, and as much nước chấm as you can handle. They might have a plate of chilli and garlic cauliflower wings on the menu but I won’t hand that against them. Too much.

8 Ruthven Lane, G12 9BG

Sunny Acre

Open from 9am to 4pm, Sunny Acre is an ace breakfast, brunch, and lunch spot that really understands the power of “less is more”. The chalkboard menu is regularly rammed with dishes that always sound like just what I want to eat. One day they’ll be a porchetta with lentils and plum mostarda; the next, an egg mayo baguette with bread and butter pickles. Sunny Acre doesn’t miss.

745 Pollokshaws Road, G41 2AA

GaGa Kitchen + Bar

GAGA CHICKEN MICHAEL C HUNTER 137
Spice is nice. Photograph: Michael C Hunter.

Fried chicken, kewpie mayo, Aperol spritz. I challenge you to find me a more satisfying combination of food and drink than that. Southeast Asian food and cocktails are what the GaGa Kitchen + Bar team set their sights on nailing when they first opened up and they’ve done an excellent job at keeping their head above water in both of those disparate spheres. The Sichuan crinkle-cut fries are the ideal drinking food, and this is one of the best restaurants in Glasgow for a post-work munch.

566 Dumbarton Road, Partick, G11 6RH

Haylynn Canteen

Every city needs a safe haven where you can order a flat white and avo on sourdough free from the judgment of any boomers. Yes, Haylynn Canteen is one of the top spots in Glasgow for breakfast and coffee but it’s so much more than that. The duck egg, black pudding, and hash brown with sage butter has become a marquee dish for the establishment; a perfect illustration of what Haylynn Canteen does best. Simple food, using good ingredients, cooked well.

996 Dumbarton Road, G14 9UJ

Five March

Five March

Bright sharing plates seem to be a theme among Glaswegian restaurants right now, as they are in pretty much any cosmopolitan city in the world, and Five March is a casual restaurant doing that trend proud. The outdoor terrace is tailor-made for sharing some plates in the sun when it’s around and there’s ambition when it comes to ingredient selection (did someone say dashi? Confit garlic?) that makes multiple return visits to Five March worth it.

140 Elderslie Street, G3 7QF

Ox and Finch

Ox Finch

Casual dining is something that Glasgow does exceptionally well – it’s where the city really seems to have found its feet. Ox and Finch is a bistro-ish restaurant on Sauchiehall Street that serves bistro-ish food in an environment just about everyone you know will nod approvingly at. The plates are small but the menu itself is rather large, spanning from boudin noir to muhammara and offering your tastebuds a pleasant sojourn through the flavours of the Med. A good place for a good meal.

920 Sauchiehall Street, Finnieston, G3 7TF

Errol’s Hot Pizza

Great things come in small packages and this tidy little pizza shop more than makes up for its lack of size by being, pound-for-pound, one of the best places to eat in Glasgow. It’s the Manny Pacquiao of pizza joints – a determined, diminutive fella that punches well above its weight. You can’t make a booking, it’s BYOB, and the pizzas which come out of the blazing oven at Errol’s Hot Pizza are unfailingly excellent. There’s nothing more you could ask for, really. This is what good eating is all about.

379 Victoria Road, Govanhill, G42 8RZ

Bar Vini

A good atmosphere is one of the keys to a successful restaurant. The owners of Bar Vini are people who know just how true that statement is. This Italian restaurant in Southside is buzzy, intimate, and regularly packed to the rafters with happy customers plowing elbow-to-elbow through pasta, pizza, and stiff negronis. It’s the perfect place for a third date situation when you want to prove that you know how to have a good time. Or at least fake it for an hour and a half.

80 Victoria Road, G42 7AA

111 by Modou

111modou

Modou Diagne is a name you’re going to want to remember. As the head chef at 111 by Modou, Diagne has created a unique dining experience in Glasgow that deals in an ever-changing array of affordable tasting menus. On Mondays, you can dig into an original and inventive ten-course menu for just £35pp; Wednesday through Saturday, you can opt for a five-course menu for the same price; and Sundays offer the chance for diners to feast on a mysterious five-course sitting for only £25pp. Every course in each of those proceedings has been carefully created by Modou and his crack team of cooks. Restaurants like this don’t come around often. Especially in Glasgow.

111 Cleveden Road, Kelvinside, G12 0JU

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