Glasgow’s 100 Best Restaurants book brings together the culinary highlights that define the hospitality scene in Scotland’s biggest city. You’ll find recommendations for breakfast, lunch, dinner, drinks and chips on the way home.
A comprehensive snapshot of local food and drink right now, consider it your restaurant tick-list for 2020.
For culinary inspiration from the pages of the book, here’s five of the best restaurants showcasing international flavours in Glasgow right now.
For the full story, buy the book at glasgowist.com/100Best
31 Ashton Ln, G12 8SJ / 0141 334 9095
Like many of the the more interesting new arrivals on the Glasgow food scene, Ramen Dayo – it means “This is Ramen” – started as a pop-up, making an eyecatching debut by taking 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.
They are now thriving on Ashton Lane. Hearty bowls of ramen, prepared from scratch with variations on a rich, creamy pork broth with springy noodles, chashu pork belly, marinated kirkurage mushrooms, nori seaweed, egg and spring onions.
The New York Times was impressed. There’s also gyoza dumplings. imported sake, turntables and curated playlists. Founder Paul Beveridge was inspired by 12 years living in Japan.
59 Mitchell St, G1 3LN / 0141 248 2240
Jimmy Lee is the owner and head chef of Glasgow’s leading Cantonese restaurant, Lychee Oriental on Mitchell Street. His enthusiasm for Asian food and culinary flair has led to a clutch of award wins, including Scottish Personality Chef of the Year at the 2018 Food & Drink Awards and Best Asian Restaurant in Scotland at the Entertainment Awards.
He started work in his dad’s takeaway when he was 16 years old and has seldom been far from a kitchen since. Lychee Oriental chefs transform Scottish ingredients with Chinese cooking techniques, sourcing game or fish to incorporate them into traditional dishes, like wok fried Scottish mussels with chillies and black beans or steamed scallops with garlic, ginger and spring onion.
44 Candleriggs, G1 1LD / 0141 553 1249
Chef JD Tewari has cooked for ministerial and presidential banquets as well as being a personal chef to the Prime Minister of India. You’ll now find him presiding over the kitchen at The Dhabba, where they create North Indian cuisine inspired by traditional roadside diners in one of the Merchant City’s most entertaining restaurants.
There’s no compromises when it comes to herbs or spices, igniting a local passion for fiery flavours and a whole new palate of exotic tastes. The Dhabba caters for vegans and all their recipes are nut free.
Cooking from their earthenware pottery tandoor oven uses slow burning wood charcoal to prepare healthy bread, marinated meat or vegetable dishes. It is an experience that’s had folk returning time and again since they opened in 2002.
13 Annfield Pl, G31 2XQ / 0141 556 4430
It’s a brave soul who tells someone from Dennistoun that their very own Nakodar isn’t the best Indian restaurant in Glasgow. We are lucky to have a particularly high standard of Mughal-influenced Indian cuisine across the city and Nakodar is a fine case-in-point.
A comfortable neighbourhood vibe, but with a kitchen that knows how to handle those big, bombastic flavours. Sauces are cooked down and thick, with a dry, meaty heat, and anything from the tandoor is worth a punt, from lamb chops to salmon to a baby masala chicken.
Marinades, cooking times, temperatures – dishes feel like they’ve been made with a mastery of all those sorts of components. Friendly service and some cracking haggis pakora, too.
1 Non Viet
536 Sauchiehall St, G2 3LX / 0141 332 2975
Pho, the classic Vietnamese fragrant homemade broth, is ideal comfort food for the Glasgow climate. You’ll find the city’s best example of the dish on Sauchiehall Street. Garnished with spring onion and coriander, served with beanspouts, lemon and fresh chopped chili. Top with fried tofu, shredded chicken or cooked and rare beef. It’s good for what ails you.
Non Viet is casual dining with plenty of room for groups to share a selection of dishes. Ask questions if you don’t understand any of the ingredients and be adventurous with your choices.
For dessert, it’s the dried ice cream with a sprinkle of condensed milk and crush peanut, or mango spring roll with creamy coconut sauce for us. Sister restaurant Non Viet Hai is on Great Western Road.