Introducing the most-talked-about, must-visit restaurants in Glasgow. The list below features spots ranked according to one important, ever-fluctuating and ultimately subjective metric: Who has the most buzz?
New openings. Nostalgic favourites. Outstanding dishes. Emerging food trends. Rising star chefs. Summer vibes. Whatever the reasons, these are the 14 most interesting places to eat in Glasgow right now.
#1 Six by Nico
Chef Nico Simeone continues with his bold concept of introducing a new menu every six weeks. His Finnieston restaurant is currently serving tastes inspired by classic Americana. Six by Nico’s creative interpretation of Route 66, the famous cross-country highway in the United States, is on the menu until 27th August, when they will move onto a new theme. Six by Nico is still attracting huge interest and generating a constant stream of images on Instagram, confirming that this is the hottest table in town this month.
A’Challtainn work hard to keep your attention. 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. They recently received an enthusiastic review from Glasgowist and a best newcomer nod from The List Eating and Drinking Guide. This weekend sees the introduction of Magnificent 7, the new pizza joint joining A’Challtain at Barras Art and Design off Bain Street. Seven pizzas on sale for £7 each, seven days a week. Another excuse to look east.
The lunchtime queues testify to the popularity of Glasgow’s premier purveyor of pizza. The Miller Street location recently gained a sister restaurant in Paesano Pizza West End on Great Western Road. Some food fans are still recovering from the excitement. We order the Italian cooked ham pizza with portobello mushrooms, mozzarella, fresh thyme on a lathering of sweet tomato sauce.
Always an innovator, the team at Rioja have been studying Spanish food trends and taking culinary cues from some of the leading restaurants in Europe. The result is a progressive menu that will change to reflect seasonal ingredients. You’ll find dishes inspired by San Sebastián this month and an excellent wine list. If you like your food infused with sunshine, go here in August.
The Bakery by Zique is now open on Lauderdale Gardens. It’s all part of a masterplan. Delizique and Cafezique, the distinctive and much-loved eating spots on Hyndland Street will take on slightly different roles. The Deli space will have more of a bistro feel, while the cafe will be the destination for baked goods and brunch. Meanwhile, in the new bakery, you’ll find an impressive selection of freshly prepared salads, breads, cakes, sandwiches and soups.
#6 Cail Bruich
One of the best restaurants in the city, they’ve been having fun with food this summer. Ultra-responsive to the best of seasonal produce, the kitchen team forage for wild mushrooms and seek out other wonderful Scottish ingredients to sprinkle through their menu. Last week it was scallops and sea urchins from Loch Fyne and girolles from Argyll. Current desserts are often based around delicious summer berries from Perth.
#7 Pot Luck
A new arrival to Nithdale Road, Pot Luck has thrilled Glasgow food bloggers. Small but perfectly formed, this neighbourhood hangout specialises in comfort food that’s both pretty and tasty. Their brunch has made a big impression and gained the most attention. Towers of fluffy pancakes. Scrambled eggs, poached eggs, asparagus, hash browns, bacon, black pudding. Pistachio, peach, avocado. Everything is colourful and intriguing, often stacked up for an impressive culinary construction. Join the breakfast club this month.
#8 Big Feed
It started as one event with a handful of food trucks in a Govan warehouse. Now the Big Feed gathering happens twice a month and provides a focus for Glasgow’s burgeoning street food scene. It’s about getting together for some quirky dishes, a bit of music, craft beer and good times. The menu runs the gamut from Middle Eastern inspired cuisine to fresh Scottish seafood, Asian gastronomy to delicious burgers, hot dogs, wood fired pizzas and vegan dishes. The next market is 12th and 13th August. Get involved.
Hutchesons had a makeover this summer and 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 new menu focuses on steaks, including a wider range of cuts. Downstairs, the 158 Club Lounge, has a revamped cocktails and drinks list.
#10 Something 2
Something 2 at the Glad Cafe adds an extra dimension to one of the coolest venues in town. Part of a cadre of new arrivals on the southside, the kitchen’s self-professed mission is to save you from the crushing monotony of eggs Benedict in the morning. Replace with eggs and bread topped by a wonderful procession of taste combinations. We like The Calabria, two fried eggs with n’duja sausage, shallots and parsley gremolata on ciabatta. Later, look for inventive and surprising sandwich options. For the more conservative diner, they do a belter of a cheese toastie.
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.
#12 Ramen Dayo
Pop-up sensation Ramen Dayo is now a permanent bar and restaurant on Queen Street. Last December, 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 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.
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.
#14 Bar Soba
Bar Soba attract a cool crowd with DJs, South-East Asian Street dishes and cocktails. They have three locations in Glasgow – Mitchell Lane, Albion Street and Byres Road. The team have been busy coming up with inventive new drinks – try The Refresher, made with vanilla and lemon vodkas churned through crushed ice with lemon juice and sugar syrup. The food continues to be the main focus with stand-out dishes like General Tso’s chicken, crispy Shanghai pork and Thai red duck leg curry.