My Best of Glasgow: Emmy from Food Notes

Emmy’s interest in food started from a young age, when she was introduced to Bulgarian and Russian cooking by her mother and grandmother, and continued in Scotland where she learned about Scottish and British cuisine. With a continuing appetite to explore foods of the world, she is in constant search for new flavours, cookbooks and chefs to inspire her food at home.

She also loves trying new places to eat in Glasgow. Her blog, Food Notes, tries to capture both her passion for cooking at home and exploring Glasgow’s food scene.

What do you like best about Glasgow

I moved to Glasgow 11 years ago and I’m just in love with its vibrancy. Glasgow has a bit of everything – culture, art, music, food… And the people behind all those local business and places are just so passionate about what they do. I constantly get inspired by this fantastic city.

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Best outdoors space?

Maybe because I live locally to it, but there is nothing quite like sitting in Glasgow’s Botanic Gardens and reading a book on a nice day.

Best restaurant right now?

Glasgow’s food scene has developed so much ever since I moved to Glasgow and there are some truly fantastic places. Best right now is Six by Nico for me.

With a changing menu every six weeks, the six course menus designed by chef Nico Simeone are always very interesting, as well as delicious. I love the imagination behind every menu and the careful crafting of the food. It’s also one of the best priced fine dining restaurants in town, making fantastic food available to more people.

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Best pub?

I’m torn between two small pubs in Glasgow’s West End – The Belle on Great Western Road and The Ben Nevis… However, I think The Belle wins this one.

The small pub is just so cosy. Every time I walk in, I feel like I’ve walked into a pub somewhere in the highlands after a hike. With fire burning in the winter, plenty of whiskys to choose from (as well as other drinks) you really can’t go wrong when visiting the pub. It’s also dog friendly so plenty of four-legged pals around too!

Where do you like to pick up ingredients for cooking?

I’m a very keen cook and I love exploring new ingredients as well as getting fresh, local produce when I can. My favourite places to get ingredients are: The Fish Plaice for fish and game – really good selection, very knowledgeable staff and two locations in Glasgow; Roots, Fruits and Flowers for fresh vegetables and fruits; Lupe Pintos is my favourite deli, specialising in Mexican food (hello, fresh tortillas!) and KRK Continental Grocers is my go to place for all kinds of spices. They really have a lot to choose from.

Where would you meet us for a coffee?

Riverhill Coffee Bar in the city or Kelvin Pocket in the West End. The coffee in both places is like drinking a liquid hug for your soul.

Where do you shop for clothes?

Recently I’ve really been enjoying Oliver Bonas. Especially in love with their jewellery.

Glasgow needs more?

I would like to see more food from the Middle East in Glasgow, as well as from Eastern Europe. I know I probably sound biased when I say this, since I’m originally from Bulgaria… But Bulgarian food and generally food from the Balkans has so much to offer.

I’d love to see more food shops/restaurants and cafes offering more Eastern European flavours. Also more wine from the region – it’s really, really delicious!

On a separate note, Glasgow definitely needs more “healthier” eating joints. I work in the city centre and it’s actually not easy to find a good salad bar which has plenty of choice and is reasonably priced.

Glasgow needs less?

Hurts me to say this since I love Bread Meets Bread, newly opened El Perro Negro and Paesano, but we need LESS gourmet burgers/pizzas restaurants now.

I get it, we are all crazy for a good burger and pizza, but there are a few too many restaurants offering the same kind of food…

Favourite Glasgow building?

The Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. A true Glasgow landmark, beautiful inside and out!

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Your Glasgow music?

Years later and I’m still sad about the closing of The Arches as a music venue (but really glad to see it
reopened as a food one). Now my favourite music venues is probably Oran Mor – the atmosphere there is just electric when you have a fantastic band playing. I’ve had some of the best gigs in there.

Favourite Glasgow neighbourhood?

Finnieston – it’s become a hub for fantastic food and bars, with some really interesting restaurants, cafes and pubs. It has so much of that Glasgow vibrancy that I like so much and I always find something new to try there.

It’s also turned out to be a hub for some of Glasgow’s best food (Six by Nico, Alchemillia, The Gannet, The Crabshack and so many more).

Your Glasgow hero?

I love the cinema and great film making so I’ll go with a true Local Hero (if you will) of Scottish cinema – Bill Forsyth.

I loved seeing Local Hero and That Sinking Feeling in the Botanic Gardens last year. Even though I didn’t grow up in Scotland, I felt ever so slightly nostalgic of what Glasgow used to look like and was so happy to explore it from the eyes of Bill Forsyth.

When you are with friends in Glasgow, what do you like to do?

Inn Deep, especially on a warm Spring day. Nothing beats a cooling pint of cider and a view of Kelvinbridge under Glasgow’s blue skies on a sunny day.

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