An essential snapshot of the city’s food scene, here’s our countdown of the most-talked-about, must-visit restaurants in Glasgow right now. The food list below is ranked according to one important, ever-fluctuating quality: Who has the most buzz? We consider them the most interesting places to eat right now. You should too.
New openings. Old favourites. Quirky dishes. Emerging food trends. Seasonal ingredients. Rising star chefs. Fun atmosphere. New found popularity. Whatever the reason, these are the 21 places to eat in Glasgow that are worthy of your immediate attention. Find the right table.
#1 Partick Duck Club (Last Month: #12)
Partick Duck Club is exactly the type of comfortable and accomplished restaurant everyone would like to have at the end of their street. Expect a stylish, compact dining room and confident cooking. We like the tartan clad booths and would linger awhile at the small bar near the kitchen. Mostly, we like their straightforward approach to creating dishes from excellent Scottish produce.
Ross McDonald and Greig Hutcheson have worked together for the past 17 years, including at One Devonshire Gardens, Cameron House and then Cafezique for the last nine years before setting out on their own early last year in their first solo venture.
The focus is on quality comfort food and Partick Duck Club is already a neighbourhood favourite, a two minute walk from Byres Road, on a residential corner on Hyndland Street.
For mains, try the shredded sesame duck leg with honey, soy and ginger on a Freedom Bakery bun with crunchy slaw (£8.95). There’s hearty, warming winter fare like shepherd’s pie or mac ‘n’ cheese, alongside interesting vegetarian dishes.
The all-day brunch menu, served 9am to 9.30pm is another reason to visit. Look for the shakshuka baked eggs, green harissa and toasted sourdough (£9.50), or the innovative, rich combination of 24 hour beef short rib and duck egg Benedict (£10.75). Whatever time of day you visit, always order the duck fat fries topped with nduja jam and sour cream if available (£4.95). A spicy combo that’s ideal for any Glasgow table.
Join the Partick Duck Club for somewhere to eat in March that’s small but perfectly formed.
#2 Cail Bruich (Last Month: #7)
The menus at Cail Bruich change according to the seasons, rotating through some wonderful dishes with depth, prepared with flair. The usual choice is between a market or à la carte menu, plus a tasting menu of five or seven courses. Passionate about produce, they bring a modern style to a relaxed, distinctively Glaswegian fine dining experience on Great Western Road. The desserts here are spectacular. The March menu includes dishes with creative preparations of produce like venison, sea trout, scallops, artichoke and beef cheek.
#3 Ubiquitous Chip (New Entry)
It could be considered the definitive West End restaurant. Somewhere recent graduates are taken by their parents, artists talk loudly about their latest exhibition, business folk have conspiratorial discussions or raise glasses of red wine while carving through courses, the denizens of Byres Road gather to exchange local gossip. At the heart of it, is a kitchen dedicated to local produce and the best standards of kitchens. If you haven’t been for a while, return in March to be dazzled in the restaurant or brasserie. Expect dishes like venison haggis, champit tatties, carrot crisp and neep cream (£9.95), which has been on the menu since 1971.
#4 A’Challtainn (Last Month: #2)
A’Challtainn is outstanding and relentless. Not content with serving some of the finest fish dishes in the city, you’ll find a rolling roster of market events, movie screenings, performances, and pop-up dining experiences. It’s a constant cavalcade of food fun.
They received an enthusiastic review from Glasgowist. Since then, the kitchen has consistently performed at a high standard. Exceptional, stand-out dishes. Committed and enthusiastic staff. A positive, buzzy, warm atmosphere. It’s the full package. In the festive season, book your table. Go for a lavish lobster dinner and pink Champagne, or arrive for fish and chips after work and some cans of Vedett. Meanwhile, Magnificent 7, the new joint keeping A’Challtain company at Barras Art and Design off Bain Street, has seven pizzas on sale for £7 each, seven days a week. Another excuse to look east. Check out their oyster happy hour on a Friday. Note: We are expecting an A’Challtainn cafe at BAaD soon.
#5 Bilson Eleven (Last Month: #4)
One of the most interesting neighbourhood restaurants in Glasgow is Bilson Eleven, in a townhouse just off Duke Street in Dennistoun. They had reason to celebrate recently when they were recommended by the Michelin Guide. Chef-owner Nick Rietz worked in Two Fat Ladies before setting out on his own. His menu is short but ambitious, offering re-imagined versions of classic Scottish dishes prepared with real flair. The demand for tables on a Friday and Saturday has led to them deciding to open for lunch on these days from 12-1:30pm. Try the curried skink, a variation on Cullen Skink, prepared with pepper and mustard haddock, potato and leek terrine, spiced potato and cured lime oil. Bilson Eleven has been named as one of the reasons to visit Glasgow in 2018 by the New York Times.
#6 The Gannet (Last Month: #1)
A true celebration of Scottish cooking, The Gannet continues to serve some of the best dishes in the city. Sit down, check-in on Facebook and receive immediate approval from your friends. You’ve come to the right place. Spend hours enjoying a procession of small plates, wine and whisky.
They have retained their Bib Gourmand status in the latest edition of the Michelin Guide. Dinner here has a relaxed feel but with a definite sense of occasion.
There’s an informal lunch and early evening menu, aimed at folk out for a quick bite but looking for the best. The Gannet was named on Condé Nast Traveler magazine’s Gold List of the world’s most extraordinary restaurant experiences.
#7 Brian Maule at Chardon d’Or (Last Month: #3)
Whenever Glasgow’s best chefs are mentioned, Brian Maule is invariably near the top of the list. His restaurant on West Regent Street has been showered with awards and continues to provide the highest standard of fine dining in the city.
Brian is an old-school working chef-proprietor, in the kitchen each day with his team and going round the tables in the dining room to chat to his guests. Expect dishes like fillet of scotch lamb, puree and roast jerusalem artichokes or roast duck breast, roast celeriac, cepes, port jus. Order the spectacular cheese board for dessert. Check their Facebook page for special events and weekend lunches.
#8 Lagom Kitchen (New Entry)
Lagom Kitchen took over the premises where Bakery 47 made a big impression. The name Lagom is drawn from a Scandinavian food concept based around balance, a close relative to the bang-on-trend hygge movement. An interesting, quirky breakfast, brunch and lunch place, there is also plenty of freshly baked treats and coffee.
#9 Six by Nico (#13)
Chef Nico Simeone continues with his bold concept of introducing a new menu every six weeks. Six by Nico is a success, generating a constant stream of images on Instagram, confirming that this is one of the hottest tables in town.
#10 Madha (New Entry)
A new arrival to the Merchant City, Madha has set out to be Glasgow’s most authentic Indian restaurant. In place of curry house staples, four chefs – two from the south of India and the other two from the north – have cherry-picked the best dishes from their different regions. Tam Cowan and Joanna Blythman are fans. So are we.
One of their signature dishes is a delicacy from Kerala – Meen Pollichathu, a whole sea bream dressed with fresh spices, herbs, coconut, lemon and wrapped up in a banana leaf, then roasted. Another popular choice is bhuna gosht, lamb cooked in a typical Punjabi style with onions, tomatoes, green pepper and garam masala. The food is fresh, interesting and bursting with flavour and heat. Add to your list for March.
#11 Ox and Finch (Last Month: #5)
Glorious, colourful small plates created with flair and attention to detail. A constantly evolving menu and innovative flavour combinations. Expect dishes like braised blade of beef, celeriac, mushrooms, parsley and marrow crumb or mackerel, baked orange puree, fennel and dill. Confirmed as another of Glasgow’s Bib Gourmand restaurants in the Michelin Guide for the fourth year in a row, Ox and Finch have become a byword for good food in the city.
#12 Gamba (Last Month:#6)
Chef Derek Marshall’s simple, honest cooking mantra is the defining principle of the menu here, yet there are regular flourishes that demonstrate commitment to technique and flair. An unexpected Asian influence catches the eye. Gamba is a two AA rosette restaurant, a status it has held for 19 years. Their outstanding fish dishes are their recipe for success.
#13 Hutchesons City Grill (Last Month: #8)
Hutchesons has gained a renewed sense of purpose. Opened as a glamorous bar and restaurant by owners James and Louise Rusk, the venue was the culmination of an ambitious transformation for one of the Merchant City’s most distinctive buildings. Upstairs, Hutchesons City Grill’s menu focuses on steaks, including a wider range of cuts. Downstairs, the 158 Club Lounge, has a revamped cocktails list and DJs after work on a Friday.
#14 Rogano (New Entry)
This Art Deco classic is the oldest restaurant in the city and the oldest seafood restaurant in Scotland. The current interiors date back to 1935 when the Queen Mary was being built on the Clyde. Rogano was decked out in the popular style of the day and has resisted any attempts to update their look. Rogano is a favourite spot in the city centre for a celebration meal. The langoustines here deserve a special mention – a national treasure.
#15 Platform (New Entry)
Platform launched at the weekend with ten of Scotland’s best independent street food traders. They will be setting up every Friday, Saturday and Sunday within the newly refurbished Argyle Street Arches. The famous industrial venue that was previously a performance space is made up of a series of adjoining archways, part of the substructure of Glasgow’s Central Station.
The organisers explain their mission statement, saying: “In a city saturated with fast food and chain restaurants, Platform offers a fiercely independent alternative to generic, mass produced foods. All traders adhere to Scotland’s Food Charter for Events, which means produce is locally and sustainably sourced, seasonal, free range and fair trade. It also means it’s a whole lot tastier.”
Food is served from 11am until 10pm every Friday and Saturday, Sunday 12-6pm. Everything is available to either sit-in and enjoy, or to grab and go, so there are plenty of opportunities for everyone to get on board at Platform.
#16 St Luke’s and the Winged Ox (New Entry)
The Winged Ox is the food and drink side of the operation at ultra-hip East End venue St Luke’s. The stage in the converted church is regularly graced by some of the biggest names on the music scene. Meanwhile, the kitchen is cooking up its own headliners. Some of our favourites are their mac & cheese and the Reuben pastrami sandwich, which we’ve ordered more than once. Then there’s new arrivals like Calton kebabs – gourmet offerings with options like shish chicken, tandoori fish or braised ox fish. Expect lots of American-tinged soul food with a bit of Glaswegian swagger.
#17 Ramen Dayo
Pop-up sensation Ramen Dayo turned permanent bar and restaurant on Queen Street. They made a eye-catching entry into the Glasgow food scene when they took over a covered lane in Gordon Street and converted it into a scene from a Tokyo back-alley, complete with lanterns, a Yatai cart and Japanese bar snacks.
Their busy, fun restaurant has similar design and a menu dominated by hearty bowls of ramen, prepared from scratch with variations on a rich, creamy pork broth of springy noodles, chashu pork belly, marinated kirkurage mushrooms, nori seaweed, egg and spring onions. It is the real deal and already has a cult following. They also have a selection of delicious gyoza dumplings.
#18 Epicures of Hyndland (New Entry)
If Hyndland is considered one of the city’s food hot spots, then it is Epicures that are leading the way. Stylish and comfortable, the ideal neighbourhood bistro has a new look and a new menu. At lunch, we like the toasted Cuban sandwich of marinated ham, gherkins, smoked cheddar, mustard mayo. Remember to order a huge slice of cake. At weekends, they make a mean Bloody Mary.
#19 Alchemilla (New Entry)
The menu rotates but you can rely on dishes being colourful, healthy, packed with fresh flavours and quirky. Look out for anything involving parpadelle as it’s invariably a real treat. Even the simple things can be a delight here. Is it possible to get excited by a tomato salad or a plate of bortolli beans? It is. It really is. Alchemilla is a critic’s favourite and was included in the new edition of the Good Food Guide.
#20 Kimchi Cult (#9)
Recommended by the New York Times and always a bit of a trend-setter, Kimchi Cult offers punk riffs on Korean classics. Just off Byres Road, they liked steamed bao buns before they were cool. Strong vegan and vegetarian options if that’s your thing. Expect fermented veg, pickles and marinated meat. It’s the time of year when a warming bowl of bibimbap with bulgogi brisket really hits the spot.
#21 Julie’s Kopitiam (New Entry)
Small but perfectly formed, Julie’s Kopitiam, a Malaysian coffee shop, is the permanent home for the cooking of Julie Lin MacLeod. The location was previously Cafe Strange Brew, who moving across the street on Pollokshaws Road last year, creating an opportunity to join the burgeoning food scene in this part of town. The compact local hangout is now bursting with fresh Asian flavours and delighting visitors.