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Glasgow – City Guide

Glasgow from queens park foodie explorers

New student? Here are the places we think you shouldn’t miss in Glasgow.




Bath Street, G2 2SZ

A dive bar with a heart. There’s a great beer selection and a fabulous atmosphere, with live music nearly every night. Budget-friendly daily deals are on offer, such as Pasta Monday with mac and cheese or Cajun chicken pasta bake for £3, or Bloc+Dog Friday for a Bockwurst sausage or vegetarian falafel with fries for £4. Main menu dishes include poutine, hot dogs, burgers, and don’t forget the Buckfast ice cream.


427 Sauchiehall St, G2 3LG

A great gig venue and one of the best places to catch your new favourite band before they make it big. They make quality cocktails for reasonable prices, including the all-important vegan White Russians! The food menu is mostly burgers and pizzas; there’s not a massive variety, but if you’re just wanting a feed before a gig then it’s more than enough. They’ve recently gone 100% vegan on the food side: two thumbs up for that. Best ask if you’re vegan and ordering drinks though, as some of the beer and wine contain animal products.


350 Sauchiehall St, Glasgow, G2 3JD

Curating six major exhibitions a year, the art centre presents both national and international contemporary artists, showcasing emerging talent. The mission is to work with artists, commission new projects and present them to the widest possible audience. Awarded the Best Cultural Venue in 2015 and 2016 in The Glasgow Awards, the calendar features film, music, literature, spoken word, festivals, Gaelic and performance events.


7 Renfrew Street, G2 3AB

Right in the centre of Glasgow, the Cineworld building is so big it seems like it could be seen from space. In fact, it’s the tallest cinema in Europe, and with 18 screens there’s something for everyone. Taking the escalator you get a great view of Glasgow, go on get right to the top!

Renfrew Street, G2 3AU

One of Glasgow’s longest standing vegan and vegetarian-friendly bars. You’ll find The Flying Duck tucked away in a basement at the very top of Renfrew Street. Offering creative and gut-busting vegan food, pub quizzes, a stellar monthly film night (go see The Mighty Ducks on 12th September) and cracking live music and club nights. Give the seitan doner kebab a try; it’s high in protein and calcium and low in fat. Such a difference from a “real kebab”! Other dishes on the menu include New England Jackfruit Crab Cakes, which are served with a hot hot hot chilli piccalilli.


12 Rose Street, G3 6RB

The hub of the Glasgow Film Festival, the GFT has been growing in stature in recent years, with acclaimed indie movies being shown every day of the week. This is independent cinema epitomised; the staff are volunteers, always cheery and helpful and the programme is always varied and exciting. Seeing It’s a Wonderful Life screened here is always one of winter’s highlights; best get your hankies at the ready! Screen One is stunning, with an art deco style and large screen to its advantage. Selected screenings are £6 on Tuesdays; the student price for most showings is £7.50.


103 Trongate, G1 5HD

An artist-led initiative providing facilities and workshop space to artists using fine art printmaking, it’s now recognised as an international centre of excellence. The studio promotes contemporary and innovative printmaking through supporting artists, exhibitions and conserving techniques. Workshops are run by experienced staff who provide guidance and technical advice on all aspects of the craft.

408 Sauchiehall St, G2 3JD

Slap bang in the middle of Sauchiehall Street’s busy section, Kilts and Kocktails is the perfect place to head for a reasonably priced night out without being squeezed into a tiny box. Drinks are on the extremely cheap side during the week at £1.50 for a Bud during and £2 for a pink gin or vodka mix. They’ve great big booths that you can book for free, so you can comfortably spend the night here on the rounds with a few mates without breaking the bank.

Royal Exchange Square, Glasgow, G1 3AF

Right in the heart of Glasgow is Scotland’s most visited art gallery. The gallery provides a programme which includes displays of local and international artworks from the City’s collection alongside temporary exhibitions. Our advice is to visit regularly, for the cosy downstairs library if nothing else. The Duke of Wellington statue sits outside, with its traffic-cone hat; the landmark has come to represent Glasgow’s cheeky cultural identity (or something).

58 Bridge St, G5 9HU

Fancy a decent pint before a gig at the Academy? Then the time warp that is The Laurieston is for you. It’s a proper old-school Glasgow pub with an excellent selection of beers. CAMRA and The Laurieston are best of pals, so it’s definitely a pub for all you hop geeks. There are also decent pies in the wee warmer (you’re a wee warmer) if you are feeling the hunger. Don’t forget to check out the free jukebox and see if you can find out what’s behind the secret door!


11 Mitchell Lane, G1 3NU

Acting as a beacon for Scotland’s creative industries, the gallery promotes design and architecture through a vibrant programme of exhibitions and events. Formerly housing The Glasgow Herald, The Lighthouse was the first public commission completed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh. A permanent Mackintosh exhibition now lives on level 3, where visitors can learn more about the designer-architect’s life and work. Make sure to climb the helical staircase to access some of the best views of the city from above. thelighthouse.co.uk

67-69 Renfield St, G2 1LF

This cosy city centre cocktail spot has been serving up classic cocktails for years. A small venue, it’s filled to the roof with cocktails such as the Stud Puffin (Reyka vodka, Strawberry Delight Revolution Flavour, lemon, pineapple, passion fruit syrup, lemonade) or keep it classy with a Vodka Martini. Wet or dirty, the choice is yours. Food-wise there are burgers, pizzas and wraps with vegetarian and vegan options available. Get exclusive discounts throughout the year and a free burger (for a limited time) when you download their app – see their ad on page 3 and scan the QR code.


350 Sauchiehall St, G2 3JD

Secreted away inside the CCA, Saramago is a cafe dipped in culture. Food ranges from sandwiches such as the tempeh rasher filled Reuben, to Panzanella Salad with heirloom tomatoes, garlic, basil, olive oil and croutons; there’s a wide range of dishes on offer, many of which can be made gluten-free. The Mezze Platter is a SNACK favorite. Eating in the internal courtyard here kinda feels like dining outdoors, minus the fear of being washed out or blown away by Glasgow’s tumultuous weather conditions. Pop in for a drink; if you’re eating then best to book ahead.


14-20 Osborne St, G1 5QN

Founded in Glasgow in 1997, the gallery works with 45 internationally established and emerging artists including Martin Boyce, Richard Wright and Cathy Wilkes. Working on both public and private shows with artists worldwide, the venue hosts a yearly programme across its two spaces in central Glasgow. The gallery regularly curates projects internationally and annually publishes artist books and monographs.

Argyle Street Arches, G2 8DL

The Arches has been reborn as a multipurpose venue, food and bar. Once known for its epic club nights, it has chilled out in its old age and become somewhere suitably relaxing to hang out at the weekend. Try some independent street food along with a freshly poured pint from the on-site Innis and Gunn brewery.



1082 Pollokshaws Rd, G41 3XA

Get up early or be prepared to queue if you want to have some grub here. Popular with all ages, Cafe Strange Brew excels at Instagram-worthy food. There’s everything here, from breakfast rolls to American style pancakes topped with maple, bacon and peanut butter, to eggs baked in a skillet with roast cauliflower, leek, cheddar, cream and dukkah with toast. Their ‘That Guy’ is a Shawlands classic. Don’t worry, there are vegan dishes as well, with the soup of the day always vegan and gluten-free.


686-688 Pollokshaws Rd, G41 2QB

All about the craft beer, ales and casks. Koelschip has one mission statement: supply Glasgow with the best and most varied selection of cask ales and craft beers. It’s easy to get carried away in here, as there is no kitchen and lots of beer on offer. However, vegetarian-friendly Ranjit’s Kitchen is situated just across the road, and you’re welcome to bring your food back to Koelschip. Probably the most dog-friendly pub in the southside.


613 Pollokshaws Rd, G41 2QG

Illustrator Libby Walker draws inspiration from the urban areas surrounding her, with a particular focus on Glasgow and Edinburgh. She sells her work from this wee shop in Strathbungo. There are cushions, candles, coffee cups, tea towels and more; all illustrated with her lively and quirky takes on the Glasgow Subway, local shopkeepers, streets and tenements.


720 Pollokshaws Rd, G41 2AD

The Allison Arms is legendary, and rightly so. Staff and regulars are welcoming and friendly with a side dose of old school scuzz. Here you’ll find pub quizzes, karaoke, craft beers by the fridge full and just about everything else. On international football days or concerts at Hampden, expect this place to be bustling and bouncing. facebook.com/TheAllisonArmsPub

44 Nithsdale Rd, G41 2AN

Vintage shop with good coffee as well as event such as crafting, musical evenings and much more. A recent addition to the Southside scene which is fitting in well.


21 Dixon Ave, G42 8EB

The Bell Jar is brought to you by the same team behind The Sparkle Horse on Dowanhill Street in the West End – Sci-Fi Steve from Bis and friends. The menu is kept simple – a single sheet of A4, listing shareable small plates, mostly Mediterranean in feel. Lamb shoulder lasagne topped with goats cheese sits alongside spicy baked aubergine with cherry tomatoes (vegan) and peat-smoked haddock, potato and leek gratin. Value for money, a decent selection of drinks including West Beer on tap, plus a weekly pub quiz.


349 Victoria Rd, G42 7SA

A social enterprise that is working for the local economy, environment and the community. It’s a supermarket, cafe, supply store and veg box delivery. Whether you are looking for organic veg or cleaning materials to filling up your cupboard with lentils and pasta, you’ll find it here.


1179 Pollokshaws Rd, G41 3YH

Phillies and its Siamese twin, Curious Liquids, have brought some much needed variety to the centre of Shawlands. They regularly host in-house vinyl-only events, bringing your own vinyl records down for a spin is encouraged. Food-wise, Phillies is known for its pizzas as well as superb brunch and vegan options like beetroot falafel. The drinks menu is regularly rotated so there’s always something new to try. Lots of unusual wines by the bottle or glass are available from Curious Liquids next door. It’s a great place to sit and watch the world go by, or pick up a few cans to take home from one of their well stocked fridges.


657 – 659 Pollokshaws Rd, G41 2AB

Rum Shack boasts more than 100 rums from across the world on its gantry. A Glasgow Southside gem, it’s a must-visit for anyone with even a vague curiosity about rum. Channelling a Caribbean vibe, the food menu offers delights such as jerk chicken, chargrilled fish or more traditional dishes such as curried goat. Regular live events are hosted in its 250-capacity downstairs venue. Tread carefully…some of the deceptively tasty rums are very strong!


520 Victoria Rd, G42 8BG

Independent online record store and physical record café and shop at the entrance to Queens Park. Vinyl is a speciality as is supporting new releases and rare music.


1006A Pollokshaws Rd, G41 2HG

The best small venue in the southside to catch a band. ‘Hen of The Woods’ are the current long term kitchen residents, bringing Middle Eastern and Asian themed veggie and vegan dishes for breakfast, lunch and brunch. The gig venue is small and perfectly formed with a focus on local musicians as well as internationally known acts: indie, electronic, experimental, world and traditional musicians. They put on occasional talks and film showings too.

724 Pollokshaws Rd, Glasgow G41 2AD

A mixture of books, vinyl and things you really didn’t think you would need. A cosy shop with lots of things inside to get lost looking at.

25 Albert Dr, G41 2PE

The contemporary visual and performing arts venue is based in a former tram depot in Pollokshields. It hosted the Turner Prize in 2015 and offers facilities for community and artistic projects. The two performance spaces and two galleries have seen the likes of artists Nick Cave, Pia Camil and Robert Anton in recent months. Carry on through the cafe and at the back of the building you’ll find the peaceful and subtly ever changing Hidden Gardens, a true public treasure.



50–60 King Street, G1 5QT

A Glasgow institution with a decent array of awards to its name (2018 Best Veggie Food in Scotland, Best Dog-Friendly Pub, Best Bloody Mary). The Note is known for loud music, great gigs from wee local and touring bands plus top- notch grub. It’s also a dog-lover’s dream pub. Independently owned, 13th Note channels a positive retro vibe; Glasgow’s reputation as a UNESCO city of music was built on the back of venues like this. The menu is vegan and vegetarian-friendly and includes burgers, baos and halloumi popcorn. Book ahead if you’re wanting to eat here on a Friday or Saturday night.


54 Calton Entry, G40 2SB

BAaD (Barras Art and Design) is a modern day East End success story, well known for hosting gin, rum and beer festivals. The covered venue space boasts an award-winning restaurant, studios, art installations and shops. It’s gained a respected reputation thanks to its outdoor street food area, ‘The Back Yard’. Visit for a casual drink in the bar downstairs (and their £1 oysters) or sit upstairs for a seafood-inspired menu. Baadglasgow.com

304 Duke St, G31 1RZ

Redmond’s spearheaded the revitalisation of Duke Street with its BYOV (Bring Your Own Vinyl) policy and legendary bao buns (the pork is heavenly). The menu is decent value for money and nearly a quarter of the menu is vegetarian-friendly. The beer on offer ranges from local brewers such as Drygate to internationally known brands, with guest taps every month. Expect a busy and bustling atmosphere during the weekend.


17 Bain St, G40 2JZ

Breathing new life into this former church building, St Luke’s is one of the venues that helped start the rejuvenation of the city’s East End. The Winged Ox handles the food side of things; its menu is heavy on the meat with a few vegetarian dishes thrown in for good measure. They’ve a wee something they call The Last Supper; it’s massive and a great option if you’re into your meat and looking for somewhere for you and a few mates to get a proper feed in. Let them know you’re coming at least 48 hours in advance for this. stlukesglasgow.com

Barras Art and Design Centre, Unit 3, 54 Calton entry, G40 2SB

Buy a piece or join a class and learn how to reinvigorate your furniture. Learn to French Polish and more.


Kings Court, 12 G1 5RB

More than just a bar or a dining venue, Mono has become a community cornerstone in the Merchant City (we’re maybe stretching the Merchant City thing a bit). It shares its space with Monorail, arguably Scotland’s finest record shop. Gigs, exhibitions, art performances, it all goes on here. The kitchen is fully animal product-free. Dishes include Gado Gado Salad (griddled tofu, purple sprouting broccoli and organic brown rice with a zippy dressing). If you want more straight forward bar food, then the saitan burger is a messy but tasty treat and their sausage pizza is top notch. On top of all this, there’s the beer; a fabulous selection both in the fridge and on tap. There’s even freshly brewed soda, straight from the tanks lined up along the cafe wall. monocafebar.com

Kings Court, 101 King St, G1 2RB

So full of vintage treasures that their stock spills out onto the courtyard. Owner, Mary Anne, and the rest of her team are deeply steeped in the vintage clothing business, and their depth of knowledge is impressive. Definitely the place to go if you’re looking for something classic or unusual; the stock changes all the time but you can expect everything from original 80s sportswear, military garb, delicate ornate vintage dresses and plenty of happy surprises besides.



95 Haugh Road, G3 8TY

Progressing from Section 33 to Dockyard Social and with it, a permanent home at the edge of Finnieston. This warehouse is part bar/street food and part social enterprise. The goal at Dockyard Social is not just to serve tasty food and drink, but also to build a training and development school within the venue in order to nurture up and coming talent. £5 entry can be redeemed against a drink or a dish from the traders. There are usually around 10 traders alongside themed bars and DJs.


The Cran, 994 Argyle St, G3 8LU

Former Bloc and Vice Munchies sensation Mad Chef Danny ups the vegan junk food ante with superbly inventive and greedy burgers, just don’t forget the loaded fries. It’s only open Thursday to Sunday 5pm till 10pm so it’s always got that exciting sense of occasion when you visit. One of the highlights of the SNACK review list of 2019.

496 Great Western Road, G12 9BG

Glorious is a quaint boutique and the perfect place to pick up a mixture of secondhand and vintage pretty things. Summer dresses, party dresses, beautiful handbags, scarves, accessories, and footwear, it’s all glorious and it’s in Glorious. Glorious.

11-13 Dowanhill Street, G11 5QS

Colab is probably best described as a multipurpose space. It’s perhaps the closest thing we will get to the Room of Requirement in this world. Do you need somewhere to study? Colab has that! Fancy a coffee and homemade baked goods? Colab has that too. Need some fun homeware to spruce up your new digs? You guessed it, Colab has it!


1103 Argyle Street, G3 8ND

Some of the coolest, weirdest stuff you can possibly imagine. Whether it’s a gift for yourself or someone else, this place is full of character. A fantastic mixture of locally made and sourced art and homeware, and upcycled genius items such as handbags made from old film rolls. Here you can find a colouring book of Glasgow’s finest landmarks, or old VCR tapes made into unusual lamps. Shop owner Zoe is super friendly and will help you pick out that perfect gift.


171 Great Western Rd, G4 9AW

Carving its own unique personality in Glasgow’s bar scene since opening in 2015. Hug and Pint is quite unlike anything else in Glasgow. Known for its regular live bands and performers, this pub and eatery also features an exclusively vegan food menu, inspired by various different Asian cuisines. The weekly boozy brunch is fabulous value for money, offering three dishes and three drinks of your choice for £20. Select cocktails are also included in the menu.


3 Professors’ Square, G12 8QQ

Built from the physician Dr William Hunter’s collection, The Hunterian’s Museum’s, at times slightly creepy, treasures include scientific apparatus used by James Watt and Lord Kelvin and antiquities from the Antonine Wall. Meanwhile, the gallery features one of the world’s best collections of the work of James McNeill Whistler and Mackintosh House, the reassembled interiors from the Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s Glasgow home.

445 Great Western Rd, G12 8HH

Not only does Inn Deep have a lovely setting alongside the River Kelvin (is there a better beer garden view in the city?), there’s the added bonus of covered and heated outdoor seating for those classic Glasgow summer days. The house beer is Williams Bros, and they have 19 guest keg lines, 3 guest casks and over 100 bottled beers. You can also find beers of the week, monthly tap takeovers and kegs imported from around the world. Food ranges from burgers and pizzas to roast cauliflower and green lentil curry, to Monkfish cheek scampi.


100 Eastvale Place, G3 8QG

Julie Lin, Head Chef and owner of Julie’s Kopitiam in Shawlands, has taken over the Acid Bar at SWG3 for the latest pop-up in this multi-space venue. Here she’s serving an array of Malaysian inspired dishes which won’t break the bank. The menu features options such as chickpea murtabak – chickpeas, crispy roti, chaat masala, and mamak fried chicken – condensed milk chicken, ajwain seeds, and caramelised fish sauce. There are vegan options available on the menu as well – anything listed can be made vegan if you ask.


Argyle St, G3 8AG

The collections are extensive, wide-ranging and internationally significant. They include natural history, art from many movements and artefacts from different periods of history. The most famous painting on display is the Salvador Dali masterpiece Christ of St John of the Cross. Their basement gallery always has something interesting and new going on. In recent years, temporary exhibitions have included Linda McCartney Retrospective (on till January 12th 2020), Leonardo da Vinci: A Life in Drawing, Kylie – The Exhibition and The Art of Comics.

372-374 Great Western Rd, G4 9HT

A proper sun trap, when the weather is good, with an excellent array of beers, whiskies and
quirky food. A number of vegan and vegetarian dishes feature so venture in for a morning roll or a facon tofu scramble, arrive later in the day for vegan fried chicken, or a full-sized plate with haddock kedgeree or curry of the moment. If you love craft beer or a decent dram, then Machair is a good pick. There’s a grand total of twenty beer taps to choose from, including four permanent Scottish craft brewers (Brewdog, Pilot, Overtone and Fallen).


136 Queen Margaret Drive, G20 8NY

Opal Moon is something of an institution in Glasgow. It has beautiful rare gifts like dreamcatchers and rune stones, quirky beaded jewellery, the buddha you need to have sitting next to your incense and candles, both of which you can also buy there. It’s a gypsy treasure trove, with some truly unique and novel gift ideas.

330 Byres Road, G12 8AP

This bookstore has everything you could possibly need to read about. The staff are exceptional, very knowledgeable and helpful. They also remember faces and like to get to know you, which makes for a much more enriching experience. If they don’t have what you need, which they probably will, they are very keen to help you find it! Befriend them; they have much knowledge. Use it.

374 Byres Road, G12 8AR

Another great everything-kind-of-shop just full of quirky stuff. They have great gifts, interesting books, witty cards, and home knick-knacks. What you really need to take note of, however, is the secret basement brimming with trendy kitchenware in every colour under the sun. This is where you need to go for that cool lime green pan you’ve always wanted. And see that one pal who needs that wine glass with squiggly pink glitter writing saying “IT’S ALWAYS WINE O’CLOCK”, aye you can get that there too.

22 University Gardens, G12 8QN

Glasgow Uni’s most active union with loads of great gigs and club nights. They’re the first music venue in Scotland to sign up for the Keychange initiative: an international gender equality campaign that encourages festivals, venues and music organisations to ensure a 50:50 gender balance by 2022. It’s one of the best venues in the city and you can see the likes of The Ninth Wave, Honeyblood, Ezra Furman and Beak> here in the next few months.


21 Byres Road, G11 5RD

This is a small gift shop brimming with just lovely things. Lots and lots of beautiful, wonderful things. A mixture of traditional giftware, local art, locally crafted goods, and bespoke furniture and homeware. You’ll also find stunning jewellery and statement clothing pieces that are simply to die for. Whatever you’re looking for, they will have it, in a quirky style.

THE 78
10-14 Kelvinhaugh St, G3 8NU

The 78 sits snugly in the heart of Finnieston and is a perfect pit stop on the way down to SWG3. It’s much more than a place for a quick beer before a gig though. From Sunday night jazz to the warm intimacy of their open fire, this bar and restaurant exudes the feeling of a comfortable snuggly blanket. There’s a wide range of beers and ciders on offer, in both draft and bottle options. Prices aren’t too damaging; the high-end cocktails are in the region of £7. A rotating selection of cask
ales is also available. The 100 percent vegan menu has delights such as The 78 Breakfast Plate (weekends) with Sgaia vegan bacon, tofu scramble and a list of items too long to fit here, is superb. For weeknight visits, small plates rule.


2 Byres Road, G11 5JY

Sitting proudly on the corner of Byres Road and Dumbarton Road, Usha’s has been serving up quality Indian plates for years now. They’ve massive booths that you could probably squeeze your entire tutorial group into, so it’s an excellent shout if you’re wanting to feed with the gang. They’re veggie, vegan and carnivore friendly these days, so no-one will feel left out. There’s a 20% student discount on all food too. Result!

12-14 Otago Lane, G12 8PB

This Aladdin’s Cave of a book shop is heaven. Books stacked from floor to ceiling, exactly as they should be. This is a great place to find your university textbooks secondhand, particularly for Glasgow University students, who tend to donate their old books here purely because they’re in such close proximity. It has a cat too, which often sleeps on the desk where you pay.

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