From the moment we arrived, I knew Glasgow would become one of my favorite cities in Europe, if not the whole world. Really, there are countless reasons to fall in love with this edgy, über-friendly city.
For starters, Glasgow is home to the kindest, most welcoming locals you might ever meet. It’s a charming, urban city, and at all hours of the day, there’s something exciting happening. There are infinite beautiful streets to explore, museums to discover, and parks to stroll. And for the younger crowd, Glasgow is a place to party.
But most importantly, Glasgow boasts a vibrant, varied foodie scene that tempted us to never leave. Oh, if only…
With the recommendations of a few super-friendly locals, and some of our own research, we experienced a foodie adventure that we won’t forget any time soon. And now, it’s time to share the culinary treats we discovered with all of you.
Here is our ultimate guide to dining in Glasgow!
9 Places to Eat & Drink in Glasgow
Crabshakk is seafood paradise, but it’s also an overall unique dining experience. The restaurant is small, packed with hungry patrons, and lots of noise; in other words, it’s exactly what the architect-turned-restaurant-owner was looking for. Awesome atmosphere aside, Crabshakk does seafood to perfection with its talented chefs, fresh ingredients, and bright flavors.
Our recommendations are the langoustines, crab cakes, and the pasta vongole, but regardless of what you order, it’ll be a meal to remember! This is the priciest destination on our Glasgow dining guide, but then again, this is top-quality seafood and everyone needs to indulge every now and again.
Paesano‘s claim to fame is bringing the first “authentic, traditional Napoletana pizza to Glasgow.” And trust us, their pizzas live up to the hype! Hand-picked ingredients and well-kept Neapolitan traditions are what sets this pizzeria apart from the rest.
We ordered the seasonal Spanish chorizo pizza, the mushroom/spinach/mozzarella/ricotta pizza, and finally, the classic mozzarella and basil pizza. Don’t forget to pair your pizza with a nice glass of wine or a draught Moretti!
We’re huge fans of Asian cuisine, so every few days we need our fix. It just so happened that Dumpling Monkey fell into our laps on that particular day. Without a doubt, we found the best Chinese food in Glasgow, and possibly in all of the United Kingdom! The huge crowds of Chinese students from the University of Glasgow prove that this stuff is the real deal!
From the dumplings and steamed buns, to the chicken wings and noodles, all 15 dishes we tasted were delicious and packed with flavor. And with such affordable prices, you should come ready to feast!
While strolling through the West End, we came across the most awesome craft beer shop. The name, Grunting Growler, and the shelves filled with interesting beers convinced us to stop in. The owner, Jehad Hatu, is an American expat from Chicago with a passion for beer, which translates into endless knowledge and good conversation.
Here, we found high-quality brews from Glasgow, England, all over Europe, and even the States. This may not be a place to eat, but many restaurants offer BYOB, so we had to include this spot. It’s too good to leave off our Glasgow dining guide!
Glasgow’s specialty cocktail location, Kelvingrove Café, offers a laid-back atmosphere, modern decor, and a local crowd.
This spot is so versatile that you can go for a relaxed night with friends, a special occasion, or to begin your night out on the town. And this is Scotland we’re talking about, so obviously this place features a varied whisky selection! You could also brighten things up, though, with one of their vibrant, herbaceous cocktails that you’re sure to love.
And although we didn’t get to try any of Kelvingrove Café’s food, we hear that it’s as delicious as their cocktails — and we sure can vouch for those!
Mother India’s Café
Mother India’s Café made its way into our top three favorite Indian food experiences ever. This popular Glasgow eatery serves up some of the spiciest, most flavorful and rich Indian food you’ll ever have the pleasure of feasting. Their menu is all a la carte, because they encourage sharing everything family style. And frankly, it’s for everyone’s benefit; the more, the better!
Anything ordered here will be delicious, guaranteed. But still, don’t miss the Spiced Haddock, South Indian Ginger Lamb, Chilli King Prawns, Chana Daal, or Chilli Chicken Dosa… And that’s just for starters! Don’t stop until you’ve ordered at least three dishes per person.
Ekeko Eats (and Duke’s Bar)
Our friend over at the Grunting Growler let us in on a scrumptious local secret: a pop-up restaurant within Duke’s Bar, called Ekeko Eats. If you’re lucky enough to visit Glasgow during an Ekeko Eats weekend, you can expect mouth-watering Asian cuisine, in the form of sticky pork bao, daikon fritter bao, panko-crusted chicken wings, and corn on the cob with miso butter.
As a pop-up restaurant, this place is always on the move, but the quality of food won’t fade. Check out Ekeko Eats on social media to see where they’ll pop up next.
(As of 2020, it looks like this pop-up is no more – but Duke’s is still a great place to drink!)
Tantrum Doughnuts, which is located next to the Grunting Growler, sold us the best doughnuts we’ve ever eaten. Usually we stay away from donuts because of the quick “hangover” we get from the fried dough and excessive sugar, but this place changed our opinions 180 degrees. The difference is evident in their motto, “made by people, not machines,” and their attention to detail.
My favorite was the maple candied bacon and puffed pork crackling doughnut, for a sweet and savory flavor combo!
Drygate, a microbrewery in the heart of Glasgow, is open to the public for lots of beer-drinking, good times, and brewery tours. In fact, Drygate is “the UK’s first experiential craft brewery, and it’s [their] intention to collaborate, curate, and cultivate.” From their Outaspace Apple Ale and Gladeye IPA, to their Mango Pale Ale and Breakfast Stout, there’s something for everyone to love, in a place for everyone to enjoy!
Glasgow Foodie Guide: 9 Places to Eat & Drink in Glasgow, Scotland
So there it is guys! Our culinary adventure condensed into one Glasgow dining guide, perfect for your next trip. All in all, Glasgow is a super inviting, trendy city, that’s filled with awesome food. And of course, it’s our recommendation to you to not leave Scotland’s capital of cool, without visiting each one of these great spots to eat and drink. Bon appétit!
What to Pack for Scotland
The season of your visit to Scotland will help determine what you need to pack!
Summer in Scotland can still be variable weather. It can be lovely and warm but still with expected rain showers and random cold days. Prepare for most eventualities. Winter is really cold and often very damp so pack layers and plenty of warm clothes.
Here are a few top tips of what to wear in Scotland:
- Wool coat: During the colder months a beautiful wool coat is essential for style and practicality. You will fit in with the locals with this one. The chance of rain is also pretty high so pack a waterproof jacket no matter what the season.
- Comfortable boots: As expected, you’ll walk a lot, so opt for a comfortable but stylish boot that you’ve worn in. You can’t go wrong with a smart Chelsea boot, like these. In the summer I love a good sandal like this.
- Warm layer: A good sweater is always worth packing, even in summer!
- Hat, scarf ,and gloves: For the winter you absolutely need these to keep warm
- Floaty dress: In the summer opt for a long floaty dress so you stay cool, and bring a light scarf so you are always prepared to enter religious sites and cover your shoulders.
- Sunscreen: Nothing spoils your trip (and your photos!) more than sunburn. Remember to prepare with a good, natural sunscreen and stay protected.
- Umbrella: If you manage to avoid the rain you will be very lucky! Bring an umbrella even for summer showers.
- Reusable water bottle: Remember to keep hydrated during your adventures; it can’t all be wine and coffee all the time! Bring a reusable water bottle so you can keep topped up.
- Tote bag: For those souvenirs and treasures found on your travels
- Travel insurance: As with any trip, you should ALWAYS purchase travel insurance in case anything goes wrong. I’ve had my fair share of travel mishaps!
Quick Tips for Scotland
- HOTEL: I use this website for scoring amazing deals on accommodation worldwide. Find amazing deals on accommodation here.
- HOSTELWORLD: If you’re traveling on a budget, this is the best website to score cheap hostel deals.
- VACATION RENTAL: I use this site for finding the perfect vacation rental for an unforgettable getaway.
- TRAVEL INSURANCE: Never go on a trip without travel insurance! It isn’t worth the risk if something goes wrong.
- GUIDED TOURS & EXCURSIONS: Many of the tours I recommend are hosted with Viator, which also works with local tour operators. Search them all here.
- CHEAP FLIGHTS: Get great deals on flights using my favorite flight fare aggregator.
- TRAVEL GEAR: A collection of all of my must-have travel gear are all listed here. Most important to remember is comfortable shoes and an umbrella, the chances of rain are high, even in summer!
- CAR RENTAL: If you are taking a longer road trip book car rental in advance here for the best deals.
Are there any restaurants, bars, cafes, or other culinary experiences that you think deserve a spot on our Glasgow foodie guide? Please don’t hesitate to comment below!