Glasgowist’s Restaurant Power Rankings: The Most Interesting Places to Eat in December

The Gannet
The Gannet

An essential snapshot of the city’s food scene, here’s our monthly countdown of the most-talked-about, must-visit restaurants in Glasgow right now. The eating places below are ranked according to one important, ever-fluctuating quality: Who has the most buzz?

New openings. Old favourites. Quirky dishes. Emerging food trends. Rising star chefs. Fun vibes. Consistent hype. Whatever the reason, these are the 14 places to eat in Glasgow that are worthy of your immediate attention. Get involved this December.

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#1 The Gannet (Last Month: #2)

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.

This month, look for satisfying dishes involving preparations of Perthshire partridge, Loch Melfort trout and braised Scotch beef cheek on their festive menu. They recently launched a new informal lunch and early evening menu, aimed at folk out for a quick bite but looking for the best.

Last week, The Gannet was named on Condé Nast Traveler magazine’s Gold List of the world’s most extraordinary restaurant experiences. The Gannet is going global.

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#2 A’Challtainn (Last Month: #1)

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.

#3 Brian Maule at Chardon d’Or (Last Month: #9)

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.

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#4 Bilson Eleven (Last Month: #6)

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. Visit for a menu boasting many great Scottish ingredients including venison and scallops, with a few chestnuts flying about for the festive season.

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#5 Ox and Finch (Last Month: #3)

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. Last month they opened Baba, their new mezze, charcoal grill and cocktail bar on George Street in Edinburgh.

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#6 Gamba (New Entry)

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. Perfect for a festive night out with friends.

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#7 Cail Bruich (New Entry)

The menus at Cail Bruich change according to the seasons and winter brings some wonderful dishes with depth and 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. Festive dishes right now include venison with black pudding, pumpkin, sprouts, blackberry and chestnut.

#8 Hutchesons City Grill (New Entry)

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 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. The right place for a Christmas party.

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#9 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 and this time of year. The langoustines here deserve a special mention – a national treasure.

#10 Julie’s Kopitiam (New Entry)

Small but perfectly formed, Julie’s Kopitiam, a Malaysian coffee shop, opened last week. A permanent home for the cooking of Julie Lin MacLeod, the location was previously Cafe Strange Brew, who moving across the street on Pollokshaws Road earlier in the year, creating an opportunity to join the burgeoning food scene in this part of town. The plan was to open in April. It didn’t quite work out like that. However, the compact local hangout is now bursting with fresh Asian flavours and delighting visitors.

#11 The DockYard Social (New Entry)

The Dockyard Social street food market has arrived on Haugh Road in the West End. Events here currently bring together around 11 different food vendors serving international comfort food, beer and cocktails. After a series of pop-ups, the plan is to become a permanent fixture in the new year. Expect wood-fired pizza, chicken wings, bao buns, tacos and good times. Find out for yourself 16-18th December.

#12 Partick Duck Club (New Entry)

Ross and Greig 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 earlier this year in their first solo venture. The focus is on quality comfort food and Partick Duck Club is already a neighbourhood favourite. Exactly the type of restaurant everyone would like to have on their street, they are a two minute walk from Byres Road.

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#13 Six by Nico (#14)

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. The current menu is inspired by Disney. Nostalgic family favourites and the promise of a food journey that takes cues from films like Snow White or Beauty and the Beast. Grab a front row seat until Sunday 31st December.

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#14 Madha (Last Month: #5)

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, two chefs – one from the south of India and the other from the north – have cherry-picked the best dishes from their different regions. Tam Cowan is a fan. As 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 December.

What’s your favourite place to eat right now? Tweet @HelloGlasgowist or email

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