Best places to eat in Glasgow

From outsized steaks and inventive vegan pub grub to a police box selling grilled cheese, here’s where to eat in Glasgow.

Café Strange Brew

Strange Brew

Best for: Casual dining, cheap eats

A hidden gem tucked away on Pollockshaws Road in Glasgow’s south side, Café Strange Brew serves up the best breakfasts in town. The café is small and gets extremely busy, but once you sample the Turkish eggs with coriander, yoghurt, chilli and toasted pitta bread or the super-indulgent caramelised pecan French toast, you’ll find out why. Get there early and try a matcha latte too. Food from £5.

Strange Brew website

Martha's

Best for: Casual dining, cheap eats, child friendly

Martha’s focuses on healthy fast food. Customers can choose from a selection of hot and cold food to eat in or takeaway and even see the calorie content on the menu. Everything is prepared from scratch and they even have an in-house nutritionist! Their best-selling chipotle chicken packs a fiery kick and is topped with a delicious avocado salsa. Dishes from £4.

Martha's website

Mono

Best for: Casual dining, cheap eats, child-friendly

Mono is a vegan bar and restaurant and a Glasgow institution. It opened in 2002 with the aim of creating a space where people could eat, drink and discover music via live bands or their in-house independent record shop. The atmosphere is relaxed and the menu consists of vegan versions of your favourite pub food classics. Try the seitan burger or the beetroot and kale pizza and finish off with the raw chocolate and avocado cheesecake. Food from £5.

Mono website

Kimchi Cult

Kimchi cult

Best for: Casual dining, cheap eats

This little blink-and-you’ll-miss-it eatery has been wowing diners since moving from London to Glasgow’s west end. Describing the food as ‘punk riffs on Korean classics’, Kimchi Cult is home to the best fried chicken in Glasgow. Coated in a sweet gochujang hot sauce, it’s incredibly crisp and downright delicious. The star of the show is the bibimbap: Korean purple rice with fried egg, kimchi, vegetables and your choice of meat or tofu. Dishes from £3.50.

Kimchi Cult website

The Hug & Pint

Best for: Casual dining, cheap eats

The location currently occupied by the Hug & Pint in Glasgow’s west end has changed hands so many times, you’d think it was cursed, but head inside and you’ll discover a real gem of a place. The food is pan-Asian vegan comfort grub and the five-dish menu changes daily. The jackfruit curry is stunning and mushroom rice pudding with crispy shallots and pickled onion is as delicious as it is unusual. Main courses from £5.

The Hug & Pint website

Nippon Kitchen

Best for: Special occasion, casual dining

Stunning food in an equally stunning setting. There are various sushi platters on offer containing up to 38 pieces for really hungry diners. The bento boxes are extremely filling and a big hit with the lunchtime crowd. Finish your meal off with a Nippon Old Fashioned – one of the best cocktails in the city. Main courses from £9.

Nippon Kitchen website

Riverhill Restaurant & bar

Best for: Special occasion, casual dining

Already serving some of the best coffee and cakes in Glasgow at their small café on Gordon Street, the Riverhill team decided to knock down a few walls and open an adjoining restaurant. Due to its size, it’s often busy but the food is worth it. Try the kimchi and cheddar pierogis, there’s a delicious breakfast menu available too. Main courses from £11.

Riverhill Restaurant & Bar website

Cali Bruich

Best for: Special occasion

Menus change seasonally at this modern Scottish restaurant near the Botanical Gardens in Glasgow’s west end. Creative dishes and fresh ingredients are the game here. The salmon and crab with beetroot, kohlrabi and horseradish is bursting with flavour and there’s a seven-course tasting menu at £55 available for those who just want to try a bit of everything. Main courses from £16.

Cali Bruich website

Alston Bar & Beef

Best for: Special occasion

Accessed through a plain doorway inside Glasgow Central Station, this speakeasy-style underground gin bar and steak house is anything but ordinary. Try a dry-aged T-Bone with a ‘Royal Passage’ cocktail or one of the 50 gins on offer. The burger, topped with Swiss cheese and truffle & black pepper mayo, is also a must-try.

Alston Bar & Beef website

Red Onion

Red Onion

Best for: Special occasion, casual dining

A modern, yet traditional bistro in the heart of the city centre, Red Onion is the brainchild of Chef John Quigley. On the menu you’ll find contemporary twists on Scottish classics, the Innis & Gunn beer-braised blade of beef and the haggis bon bons are not to be missed. There’s a vegan menu too. Red Onion’s crackling open fireplace makes it an ideal date night location. Mains from £12.50. 

Red onion website

Ox and Finch

Ox and FinchBest for: Special occasions, casual dining

A few years ago, Jon MacDonald made a splash in the Glasgow food scene with his Street Food Cartel pop-up, but has now settled permanently into his first restaurant. Ox and Finch is the jewel in the crown of Finnieston, Glasgow’s hottest foodie spot. The menu is made up of small sharing plates from £2.75. Standouts include confit hogget shoulder with tahini yogurt, pomegranate & rose harissa, and gin & beetroot-cured salmon. Tables fill up quickly – advance booking is highly recommended. 

Ox and Finch website

Hutchesons

HutchesonsBest for: Special occasions

Restaurateur James Rusk spent £1.3 million on renovating this A-list building to create one of the most beautiful steak and seafood spots in Scotland. Set over three floors, it’s very Sixties New York – sipping an Old Fashioned at the bar is a must. Starters cost from £5.95 and mains from £14.95. Try the cuttlefish ink risotto, followed by the roasted Shetland monkfish tail – great to look at and packed with flavour.

Hutchesons website 

The Gannet

The GannetBest for: Special occasions

Occupying a formerly derelict tenement building in Finnieston, The Gannet’s innovative, ever-changing menu is created with the finest Scottish produce. Enjoy pig’s head croquette and pan-fried stone bass in beautiful, intimate surroundings. Don’t leave without trying the Stornoway black pudding Scotch duck egg – it will be one of the best things you’ll ever eat. Main courses start at £15. 

The Gannet website

Crabshakk

Crabshakk

Best for: Special occasions, casual dining

A Glasgow institution, Crabshakk has been wowing diners with the best of Scottish seafood since 2009. Freshness is prized so much that the specials menu changes twice daily. The fish club sandwich is the star; the shellfish chowder is devilishly indulgent. It’s a small restaurant so it’s best to book. Dishes start at £4.15. 

Crabshakk website

The Butchershop Bar & Grill

The Butchershop Bar & Grill

Best for: Special occasions, casual dining

As the name might suggest, it’s all about the meat – here you’ll find the best steaks in Glasgow in a stylish setting. The côte de boeuf is grass-fed and dry-aged, and the eye-popping tomahawk (bone-in rib steak) is made for sharing. The staff are knowledgeable and can help with wine pairings. Steaks from £17.95.

The Butchershop Bar & Grill website 

Mother India's Café

Mother India's Cafe

Best for: Casual dining

Mother India’s ethos is ‘try a little and taste a lot’, and there’s lots to taste here. Indian tapas are the game and sharing is the way to order – but you may just find yourself fighting with your dining companions over the chilli garlic chicken and the aloo saag dosa – a rice & lentil pancake stuffed with potato and spinach. The service ranks among the friendliest in the city. Tapas dishes from £2.95. 

Mother India's Café website

The Hanoi Bike Shop

The Hanoi Bike Shop

Best for: Casual dining, child-friendly

This cute Vietnamese canteen, down a lane in Glasgow’s West End, prepares its own tofu from scratch every day. If you think you don’t like tofu, it’s because you haven’t tried the black pepper version here. There are also meaty noodle bowls bursting with flavour, as well as separate gluten-free and vegan menus. A real gem. Street food dishes from £5.45. 

The Hanoi Bike Shop website

Bloc

Bloc

Best for: Casual dining, cheap eats

In charge of the kitchen at Bloc is ‘the Mad Chef’, who got his name when his Buckfast ice cream and Irn Bru pulled pork creations went viral online. Bloc has plenty of cool, edgy attitude but it’s still a crowd-pleaser. There’s something for everyone on this menu – impressive burgers and incredible vegan pub grub, including the not dog (veggie dog with lentils, sweet potato, butternut squash, tahini, avocado cheese sauce and Quorn chilli), which would bowl over even the most ardent meat-lover. Dishes from £4.95. 

Bloc website

Bread Meats Bread

Bread Meats Bread

Best for: Casual dining, cheap eats, child-friendly

Located on St Vincent Street, in the heart of Glasgow's 'burger district', it's rare not to queue for a table at Bread Meats Bread, but it's worth the wait. Award-winning burgers and a relaxed atmosphere keep diners coming back for more. The Cali burger, with its mustard-fried beef patties, is the star of the show. Burgers from £6. 

Bread Meats Bread website

111 by Nico

111 by Nico

Best for: Special occasions, casual dining

What's not to love about a bistro that offers great-value, creative, delicious food and mentors young people from underprivileged backgrounds? It's a bit off the beaten track, but 111 by Nico does nearly everything right - the thoughtfully created dishes are visually stunning. The menu changes weekly, but try the smoked ham (hough) hock if it's on offer. Three courses for £22. 

111 by Nico website

5 places to shop & eat

El Perro Negro

El Perro Negro

This regular pop-up is home to Scotland's finest burgers, and tickets sell out fast. Try the top dog: a rare-breed patty with bone marrow and Roquefort butter.

@PerroNegroGlas

Let's Eat Glasgow!

This street food festival of the best restaurants in Glasgow supports social enterprises helping disadvantaged people. 

Let's Eat Glasgow! website

Tantrum doughnuts

Tantrum doughnuts

Doughnuts to get excited about. Flavours include pistachio & hibiscus as well as sure-fire favourites. 

Tantrum doughnuts website

Brew Box Coffee Company

Brew Box Coffee Company

A unique micro-café operating from a police 'Tardis' in Merchant City serving grilled cheese and coffees. Ask for the flamin' New Yorker. 

Brew Box Coffee Company on Facebook

The Big Vegan Fête

A  monthly event at the Flying Duck club that features independent vegan businesses selling food, arts and crafts. 

The Flying Duck website

Is there anywhere we've missed? Let us know in the comments below...

All recommendations have been reviewed and approved as of the 01 August 2016 and will be checked and updated annually. If you think there is any incorrect or out of date information in this guide please e-mail us at goodfoodwebsite@bbc.com.

Comments, questions and tips

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glasmym
19th Oct, 2016
Bakery 47 for excellent cakes and breads. http://www.bakery47.com/ Allstartedhere for the best coffee in Glasgow in my opinion. https://twitter.com/allstartedhere
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