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The Travel Site for Foodies

Glasgow, Scotland

Deep Fried Candy Bars, Projectile Pies, and a Wee Dram

 

Glasgow is a rough and tumble city that has lingered in the shadow of showy Edinburgh for decades. But, the Dear Green Place is emerging as a great destination in its own right with friendly locals who have their own vernacular, superb high and low cuisine and, of course, Scotch whisky.

A Short History

Humans have inhabited Scotland for at least 12,000 years, and likely much earlier than that, although the presence of these earlier settlers was erased in the last ice age.

The Romans had outposts in the city and built the Antonine Wall (well north of Hadrian’s Wall) to keep out the Celts.

In the 6th century, Mungo, later St. Mungo, is credited with founding the city and supposedly performing four miracles there. The 12th century Glasgow Cathedral (aka St. Mungo’s Cathedral) houses his remains.

During the 16th century, Glasgow’s lot improved due to trade with the New World. Sugar, tobacco, and cotton were the top imports and manufactured goods were exported. Because of this influx of trade, Glasgow became known as the “Second City of the Empire” and surpassed rival Edinburgh in importance.

In the early 1900’s the Red Clydeside movement gained traction in the city. Attempting to organize around workers’ rights, (especially women’s rights) rent strikes, and later, anti-war efforts, the group gained popularity. The Scottish National Party (SNP) has aligned itself with the legacy of the Clydesiders and holds many constituencies in the city.

After WWII, de-industrialization took its toll on Glasgow with many people moving away and blight taking over. Recently, people have moved back and the city has once again become vibrant with tourism being an important part of the economy.

Foodie Glasgow

It would be easy to dismiss the Glasgow culinary scene. After all, the city’s most famous contributions to gastronomy are the Deep Fried Mars Bar and the Glasgow Salad (aka the Munchie Box). And while it’s true that Glasgow seems to have more than its fair share of Chippies (Fish and Chip shops) and kebab stands, the Dear Green Place also boasts 17 restaurants with the Michelin Plate designation.

Sure, workaday Glasgow isn’t a fine dining Mecca (yet), but what she lacks in fancy tablecloth establishments, she more than makes up for with delicious eateries, many of which are run by immigrants from the U.K.s former colonies.

Deep Fried Mars Bar

Ever since its invention, the Deep Fried Mars Bar (and its American cousin, the Deep Fried Snickers Bar) has been held up as an example of Scotland’s (and Glasgow’s in particular) unhealthy eating culture. Some have called it the “Glasgow Effect,” the idea that Glaswegians are pessimistic by nature and, therefore, not concerned with planning for their future by eating fresh foods and adopting a healthy lifestyle. This, according to proponents of the “Glasgow Effect,” has led to low life expectancy and high obesity rates among Glaswegians.

Of course, eating one Deep Fried Mars Bar won’t kill you (probably) and the University Cafe is a nice place to get one.

Scotch Pie

Scotch Pie is the original fast food of Glaswegians, its history dating back perhaps 500 years. The Scotch Pie is traditionally a workingman’s food; hot, filling, cheap, and small enough to eat with one hand.

Vegan Scotch pie andbeans (Photo: Rose & Grant’s Deli Cafe)

Vegan Scotch pie andbeans (Photo: Rose & Grant’s Deli Cafe)

The little pie (about 3 inches in diameter) is double crusted (top and bottom) and filled with minced mutton. The mutton is often heavily seasoned, especially with pepper, which can mask what is sometimes low quality meat.

An interesting design feature of the Scotch Pie is that the center is slightly lower than the edge. This allows the top to be filled with brown gravy or beans.

The Scotch Pie is especially popular on Saturdays when it’s served in bars and at stadiums during football (soccer) matches. The handheld size and round shape also make it a perfect projectile if the pie or the play on the pitch is of low quality.

Bakeries, cafes, and bars all over Glasgow serve Scotch Pies, from dives like the Star Bar where you can get one and watch the game to the upscale Victoria-era Horse Shoe Bar. If the idea of questionable minced meat puts you off, Rose & Grant’s Deli Cafe serves a great vegan Scotch Pie.

Glasgow Salad

Glasgow Salad aka Munchie Box (Photo: By k3b4b - https://www.flickr.com/photos/k3bab/5075157103/, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=36808563)

Glasgow Salad aka Munchie Box (Photo: By k3b4b - https://www.flickr.com/photos/k3bab/5075157103/, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=36808563)

Don’t be misled, the Glasgow Salad (aka Munchie Box) has as much to do with leafy greens as a Glasgow Kiss is a sign of affection. With a heavy dose of typical sarcastic Glaswegian humor, the Glasgow Salad is served in a pizza box for takeaway because no self-respecting human would be seen eating one in public.

The box is stuffed with pizza, chicken (fried or tikka), kebabs, onion rings, garlic bread, French fries, fried rice, and any other combination or deep-fried or carb-laden fast food. As you can imagine, this box of saturated fat is best after a long night of imbibing. And with some Glasgow Salads checking in at over 4,000 calories, you’re best advised to have several drunken friends to share it with.

The Munchie Box is ubiquitous at the chip stands, kebab joints, and takeaway spots in Glasgow. I’m not recommending one, but feel free to roll the gastronomic dice and sit on the curb with your Glasgow Salad at 2am, pondering poor life decisions.

Clapshot (aka Neeps and Tatties)

Lest you think there isn’t a vegetable in sight in Glasgow, I present Clapshot, aka Neeps (turnips) and Tatties (potatoes). Even if they’re carb-dense, they’re still vegetables. The potatoes and turnips are boiled and mashed together with butter, salt, and pepper added. Herbs like chopped chives can be added on top. Kind of like mashed potatoes with the turnips adding some extra flavor.

Neeps and Tatties is often served as a side dish with Haggis, but you can often get it by itself. The Piper Bar is a nice place for Clapshot.

Tablet

Tablet is sometimes referred to as Scottish Fudge, but it’s actually something wonderfully different. Whereas fudge is soft and gooey, Tablet is crunchy and brittle. Not as brittle as toffee or hard candy, though. Made with sugar, condensed milk, and butter, you’ll often see Tablet flavored with vanilla, nuts, or Scotch Whiskey.

Vegetarians will need to know that some makers use fondant in their tablet and fondant contains gelatin.

There are some great sweets shops in Glasgow where you can get freshly made Tablet. Mrs. Mitchell’s Sweet Shop’s proprietress makes Tablet using their own secret recipe. Glickman’s has been around since 1903 and has a couple different kinds of Tablet.

Drinking in Glasgow

Scotch Whisky

One word comes to mind when thinking of drinking in Scotland: Scotch. Or, perhaps two words: Scotch Whisky. Or, maybe, four words: Single Malt Scotch Whisky.

Scotch Whisky and Irish Whiskey (note the “e” in Irish Whiskey) are different. Scotch Whisky is made using malted barley while Irish Whiskey uses unmalted barley. Scotch Whisky is distilled twice (double distilled) while Irish Whiskey is distilled three times (triple distilled).

Single Malt Scotch Whisky means that the whisky comes from a single distillery.

There are lots of ways to sample Scotch Whisky in Glasgow.

You might be tempted to get a car and drive to several distilleries to sample the product on site. This can make for a fun day, but keep a few things in mind. Most importantly, don’t drink and drive! Laws are strict and punishments are severe! Have a designated driver. Next, unlike wineries in grape growing regions, the distilleries are rather spread out. Visiting more than two in a day can be a big undertaking.

To my thinking, a better way is to take the bus to Glengoyne Distillery. The No. 10 bus from Glasgow drops you right in front of Glengoyne. Be sure to book your tasting tour in advance. Or, you can book a half day tour from Rabbie’s. With the Rabbie’s tour, in addition to a trip to Glengoyne, you’ll also visit Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park. And best of all, you don’t have to do any of the driving.

The only problem with visiting distilleries is that you’re limited to that particular establishment’s products. But, if you visit a good whisky bar in Glasgow, you can sample as many as you like. Pot Still has the largest selection with 700(!) whiskies. Bon Accord is slacking with only 350 (jk). Ubiquitous Chip is another excellent choice and Ben Nevis has great music to accompany a wee dram.

Glasgow is also home to a couple of good whisky bar tours. Dramble Tours hits six bars over the course of six hours while Once Upon a Whisky has a less expensive tour, visiting four.

Cocktails

While Scotch Whisky rules the day in Glasgow, cocktails are becoming more popular. Adventurous drinkers should try Soba where concoctions like the Mango Tango (served in a skull glass) and the Apple & Ginger Mojito are interesting choices.

Meanwhile, Lebowski’s has a variety of White Russians. The Dude abides.

The best gin bar in Glasgow is The Finnieston. They have over 60 brands of gin and a creative cocktail menu.

Things to do in Glasgow

Live Music

You’re not going to find bagpipers on every corner in Glasgow (head to Edinburgh for that), but there is a lively music scene. Some traditional Scottish music, but mostly indie rock, singer songwriters, and club DJs. Best of all, there’s a plethora of choices every night and much of it is free!

King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut

By 1993, Oasis had been banging around for a year or so, playing gigs but failing to break through. That is until they played a gig at King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut in Glasgow.

How the events of that night exactly unfolded are not clear, but legend has it that Oasis, who had driven from Manchester, forced their way onto the stage at Tut’s and played a fiery set that caught the attention of Alan McGee. Band manager and owner of Creation Records McGee offered them a contract on the spot, which the band ended up signing a few months later. And the rest, as they say, is history. In the case of Oasis, a history of overindulgence and debauchery.

Over the years, King Tut’s has had bands like Coldplay, The White Stripes, Beck, Radiohead, and The Strokes grace their stage. But, the club has hardly rested on their laurels. Up and coming and established acts still play almost every night.

Other great club venues include Òran Mór, a beautiful space in a converted church and the Barrowland Ballroom, an iconic venue that has played host to The Clash, The Smiths, U2, and, more recently, Wilco. Stereo has a vegan cafe upstairs and stage downstairs.

Pubs

Many Glasgow pubs offer free live music to draw patrons. One way to find a place is to wander Merchant City, pop into a place or two and find your favorite. Many of these places usually have good indie, singer-songwriter, and/or eclectic artists performing. And, as a bonus, most have excellent food to keep you filled while you’re being entertained.

One of the best spots to see live music is Ben Nevis. They’ve got a great whisky selection and offer traditional Scottish music three nights a week. Sunday night is especially popular.

The Howlin’ Wolf is named after the classic Chicago bluesman. They offer all styles of live blues 7 nights a week. And best of all, it’s always free admission.

Bloc+ is famous for the wide variety of musical artists who play there including their popular Sunday night open mic. Shows are free and Bloc+ has a nice menu including lots of veg. options.

An Irish pub in Glasgow? Sure, when it’s Jinty McGinty’s. Grab a Guinness and enjoy live music every night.

Parks

Glasgow isn’t called The Green Place for nothing. Outdoor parks are a big part of the city. There’s over 90 parks and gardens, but, many of them are outside the city center. Unless you’re a Glaswegian, you’ll never get to visit them all, but here are three of my favorites.

Glasgow Botanic Garden

There’s no getting around it. It rains a lot in Glasgow. In fact, Glasgow gets more rain than Seattle. Over half of the days in The Dear Green have rainfall. So, you might be inclined to look for indoor activities.

One of my all-time favorite spots in Glasgow is the Botanic Garden. While there are plenty of outdoor exhibits and green space for relaxing or having a picnic when the sun shines, the best part of the botanic garden are the tropical gardens in the greenhouses. A perfect spot to hang on a rainy day.

The biggest greenhouse is the Kibble Palace which features a huge glass dome. In addition to the plant exhibits, the Kibble Palace has several statutes.

King Robert of Sicily and his primate companion in the Kibble Palace (Photo: Brent Petersen)

King Robert of Sicily and his primate companion in the Kibble Palace (Photo: Brent Petersen)

My favorite was done in 1927 by George Henry Paulin.  It is called King Robert of Sicily, and is based on the Longfellow poem of the same name in which a king loses his throne to an imposter and becomes a pauper with only a monkey for counsel.  I like it because the monkey looks even more thoughtful than the former monarch. 

Kelvingrove Park

A twenty minute walk from the botanic garden is Kevingrove Park. At 85 acres, there’s plenty of room for a nice stroll and in the summer there’s concerts at the bandstand.

In the park is the free Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. In addition to the extensive galleries, there is also a daily organ recital at 1pm.

Glasgow Green

A short walk from the city center, Glasgow Green was established in 1450. In 1756, James Watt was taking a walk along the green when he came up with an idea for a separate condenser in steam engines. His invention greatly improved the engine’s efficiency and is credited as one of the main instigators of the Industrial Revolution. There is a rock in the Glasgow Green commemorating his discovery. The park also hosts many sporting events and concerts.

Keeping it Coney

Duke of Wellington Statue

I love the Glaswegian sense of humor. Self-deprecating and fatalistic, these folks can laugh at themselves while not hesitating to take someone down a notch; especially the powerful.

Double-coned Duke of Wellington (Photo: Brent Petersen)

Double-coned Duke of Wellington (Photo: Brent Petersen)

I learned that quickly when I saw the statue of the Duke of Wellington (a famous soldier and Prime Minister from the empire days), proudly sitting astride his faithful steed, outside the Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) with a traffic cone perched on his head.

Some smart alack decided to take the pish out of the Duke of Welly back in the 80’s and climbed the statue to place a traffic cone on his noggin. Now, keep in mind that the statue is at least 20 feet high and there is no easy way to get up there.

As soon as the local government removed the cone, another would appear. This game of cat and mouse continued for years until 2013 when the town council talked about raising the height of the statue. This was ultimately determined to be a bad idea because Glaswegians would try to climb the statue anyway and someone was bound to be hurt. So, while the city doesn’t condone the punters climbing the Duke, it seems that for now they are willing to turn a blind eye to the coney practice.

In a way, the ole Duke of Wellington and his pointy hat have become a symbol of a city that doesn’t take itself, or former Prime Ministers, too seriously.

There is a facebook page called “Keep the Cone.” Originally started to oppose the City Council’s efforts to raise the height of the statue. Today, it’s a funny page talking about all things Scottish. Follow it for a good laugh and remember their motto “Keep it Coney.”

Street Art

World’s Most Economical Taxi mural (Photo: citycentermuraltrail.co.uk)

World’s Most Economical Taxi mural (Photo: citycentermuraltrail.co.uk)

Glasgow can seem a bit gloomy at times. All the overcast weather and rain, not to mention the Gothic architecture help to set the mood. But, a colorful mural can brighten things up. Glasgow has done a great job embracing the trend of street art. Since 2008, murals, many commissioned by the city, have been popping up all over.

There’s a free map with the locations of 25 murals you can download here.

Scottish slang

Sometimes I think the language barrier is greater in Scotland than Italy or France. It seems that most people, especially those under 40, speak English in western Europe. But, the Scottish accent is so heavy that understanding them is quite difficult. Add to that the very particular slang of Glasgow and a Swally (alcoholic beverages), and it seems like a translator is necessary.

Some of the terms you may encounter in Glasgow are:

Glasgow Kiss - A head butt

Bolt ya Rocket - Go away, immediately. Rocket is another term for idiot.

Mad Wae It - Had way too many Swally.

Away and Bile Yer Heid - A command to leave and boil your head. Used when someone is talking B.S.

Dinghied - When someone leaves you, often without notice.

Gallus - A character with swagger. Can be positive or negative, depending on the person.

So remember, have a Swally but don’t get Mad Wai It or your friends might tell you to Away and Bile yer Heid before they Dinghied. Or worse, they may give you a Glasgow Kiss.

Daytrips

Stirling Castle

Scotland is filled with castles and one of the most historic and classic is Stirling Castle. Best of all, it’s within easy reach of Glasgow. A 35 minute train ride from Queen Street Station drops off in the town of Stirling. From there, it’s less than a 20 minute walk to the castle.

The first castle was built here about 1,000 years ago, but most of the current structures date to the 1500’s. Both William Wallace (Braveheart) and Robert the Bruce won battles here; there’s even a statue of Robert the Bruce at the castle.

But, why is part of the castle yellow? Roman Mars and his excellent podcast 99% Invisible answers that question.

Isle of Mull

Lots of folks want to visit the islands of the Inner Hebrides (Skye, Mull, Islay.) It is possible to see the Isle of Mull as a daytrip from Glasgow, but it would be a long day.

You can drive 2 1/2 hours from Glasgow to Oban and then take a 50 minute ferry ride to Craignure on Mull. Or, you can take the train from Glasgow to Oban and then take the ferry.

To my mind a better way would be to spend a couple days checking out the Inner Hebrides and maybe even a couple islands in the remote Outer Hebrides.

Orbin

For a daytrip, I recommend taking a tour from Glasgow through the Highlands to Oban. You won’t visit any islands (see below for an island daytrip to Arran) but you will get to see Loch Lomond, the town of Oban (where you can see Mull from McCraig’s Tower), and the town of Inveraray. That’s a packed day for only 50 Euro.

Isle of Arran

The Isle of Arran is often called “Scotland in miniature” because of its rugged landscape “Highlands” in the north and “Lowlands” in the south. It’s easily accessible, making Arran popular with tourists.

The top sight is Brodick Castle, built in 1510, but was the site of fortress for at least 1,000 years before. Here, Robert the Bruce’s troops took the site in the 14th century.

After closing for a couple of years, the castle has been renovated and is open for visitors.

Trains to Ardrossan are frequent and it only takes 50 minutes to get there from Glasgow. From Ardrossan, the ferry to Arran takes less than an hour.

To see the island you’ll need to bring a car or book a tour. Or, rent a bike. Driving around the entire island by car will take at least four hours, more with stops. So, plan for a long day if visiting from Glasgow on a daytrip.

Edinburgh

Edinburgh can be done as a daytrip from Glasgow. However, to truly appreciate Scotland’s capital, a few days are needed. But, if you’ve only got a day, the train leaves Queen Street and in less than an hour, you’re in Edinburgh.

For a packed day in Edinburgh, I suggest taking the free walking tour (not really free, be sure to tip your guide) at 10am. This gives you a nice overview of Edinburgh and her history.

Then, head to the spectacular Edinburgh Castle for a couple hours. Be sure to get your tickets online in advance so that you don’t waste any time.

Enjoying a hot drink on the boardwalk in Portobello (Photo: Brent Petersen)

Enjoying a hot drink on the boardwalk in Portobello (Photo: Brent Petersen)

Finally, take the Edinburgh Old & New Town food tour at 5pm (Mon-Thur only) before heading back to Glasgow.

Portobello

Portobello is seaside suburb of Edinburgh. It has a fun little boardwalk, but not much else to recommend it. I just like strolling the boardwalk and petting dogs that are out for a walk with their humans. It was a chilly day (are there any other kind in Scotland?) when we were there so we got a hot drink from a couple of nice gentlemen from Turkey who had a pop up coffee stand near the beach.

My new best friend in Portobello (Photo: Brent Petersen)

My new best friend in Portobello (Photo: Brent Petersen)

I mention Portobello because it gives me the chance to post a picture of this dog. He was digging a hole in the sand at Portobello and barking, trying to get someone’s attention. No one paid him his due, so he filled in the hole and trotted off. I love that dog.

Transportation in Glasgow

Glasgow Airport (GLA)

International airport with direct flights to much of Europe, Toronto, and seasonal service to some U.S. cities.

https://www.glasgowairport.com/

Paisley PA3 2SW, Scotland

Airport Transfers

The famous Glasgow Clyde Arc (Photo: Brent Petersen)

The famous Glasgow Clyde Arc (Photo: Brent Petersen)

The bus is the easiest way to get to and from the airport (the closest train stop is a mile away and requires and bus connection.) Taxis and Uber are readily available. Rideways also offers airport pickup/dropoff.

https://www.glasgowairport.com/to-and-from/bus/

Glasgow Central Station

Train links to all of Scotland, England, and Wales.

https://www.networkrail.co.uk/communities/passengers/our-stations/glasgow-central/

79 Gordon Street, Glasgow G1 3SL, Scotland

Local Transport

Uber operates in most of Scotland, but Glasgow cab drivers are known for their friendly demeanor and gift of gab.

Public Transportation

SPT is the local public transportation. They operate buses and a single-line subway. Getting a Smartcard (£3) might save you some money if you’re going to ride quite often, otherwise it’s £1.75 per ride.

http://www.spt.co.uk/

Bike Sharing

Nextbike has 41 bike stations around Glasgow. Rent a bike for £1/30 minutes.

https://www.nextbike.co.uk/en/glasgow/

Entertainment in Glasgow

Locals using the South Portland Suspension Bridge (Photo: Brent Petersen)

Locals using the South Portland Suspension Bridge (Photo: Brent Petersen)

Walking Tours in Glasgow

City Centre Tour and Street Art Tour on offer for £10

https://www.walkingtoursin.com/glasgow

Eat Walk Glasgow

Food and drink tour of Glasgow.

https://www.eatwalkglasgow.co.uk/

Glasgow Food and Drink Tour

3-4 hour walking tour of Glasgow cuisine.

https://www.glasgowfoodndrinktour.co.uk/tours/

Dramble Tours

Whisky walking tour visits six bars.

https://dramble-tours.com/

Lampost at Cathedral Square, near St. Mungo’s (Photo: Brent Petersen)

Lampost at Cathedral Square, near St. Mungo’s (Photo: Brent Petersen)

Once Upon a Whisky

Two Glasgow whisky tours available.

https://onceuponawhisky.co.uk/

Glasgow Walking

The City Council of Glasgow has created a free walking app.

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/glasgow-walking/id930428468

Mural Trail

Download the interactive map to find the best street art and murals in Glasgow.

https://www.citycentremuraltrail.co.uk/murals/MuralMap

Glasgow Cathedral (St. Mungo’s Cathedral)

St. Mungo’s Cathedral (Photo: Brent Petersen)

St. Mungo’s Cathedral (Photo: Brent Petersen)

Glasgow’s oldest building and final resting place of the city’s patron St. Mungo has frequent free concerts. Beautiful example of Scottish Gothic.

https://www.glaowcathedral.org/

Glasgow Royal Infirmary Castle Street, Glasgow G4 0SF, Scotland

Glasgow Necropolis

Victorian cemetery is the final resting place for 50,000 souls. Walking tours are scheduled a couple of times per month. Located behind the Glasgow Cathedral.

https://www.glasgownecropolis.org/

Castle St, Glasgow G4 0UZ, Scotland

Kibble Palace at Glasgow Botanic Garden (Photo: Brent Petersen)

Kibble Palace at Glasgow Botanic Garden (Photo: Brent Petersen)

Glasgow Botanic Garden

Beautiful botanic gardens with expansive greenhouses.

https://www.glasgowbotanic



gardens.com/

730 Great Western Rd, Glasgow G12 0UE, Scotland

Kelvingrove Park

Large park with free summer concerts.

https://www.glasgow.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=16589

Otago Street, Glasgow, Scotland

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum

Extensive art galleries covering Scottish and International Art. Free organ recital daily.

https://www.glasgowlife.org.uk/museums/venues/kelvingrove-art-gallery-and-museum

Argyle St, Glasgow G3 8AG, Scotland

Glasgow Green

Large park, sporting facility, and concert venue a short walk from the center of Glasgow.

https://www.glasgow.gov.uk/glasgowgreen

Greendyke Street, Saltmarket, Glasgow G1 5DB, Scotlandriver

Cone-capped Duke of Wellington in from of GoMA (Photo: Brent Petersen)

Cone-capped Duke of Wellington in from of GoMA (Photo: Brent Petersen)

Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA)

Excellent museum of modern art. Free admission to main gallery, special exhibits require paid admission. “Coney” Duke of Wellington out front.

https://www.glasgowlife.org.uk/museums/venues/gallery-of-modern-art-goma

Royal Exchange Square, Glasgow G1 3AH, Scotland

The Mackintosh House

Design fans must see the house of architect Charles Mackintosh and his artist wife, Margaret.

https://www.gla.ac.uk/hunterian/collections/permanentdisplays/themackintoshhouse/

82 Hillhead Street, Glasgow G12 8QE, Scotland

The Lighthouse

Houses a collection of Charles Mackintosh materials. Climb the stairs for a spectacular view of the city.

http://www.thelighthouse.co.uk/

11 Mitchell Lane, Glasgow G1 3NU, Scotland

Britannia Panopticon Music Hall

World’s oldest surviving music hall was once the home of a vaudeville theater and freak show.

https://www.britanniapanopticon.org/

113-117 Trongate, Glasgow G1 5HD, Scotland

King Tut's Wah-Wah Hut

Famous club has hosted everyone from Oasis to Radiohead to Coldplay back when they all were up-and-comers.

http://www.kingtuts.co.uk/

272A St. Vincent Street, Glasgow G2 5RL, Scotland

Òran Mór (Photo: oran-mor.co.uk)

Òran Mór (Photo: oran-mor.co.uk)

Òran Mór

Spectacular live music space in a converted church.

https://oran-mor.co.uk/

Top of Byres Road, Glasgow G12 8QX, Scotland

BLOC+

Live music venue with an excellent menu (including a veg. menu)

https://www.bloc.ru/

117 Bath Street, Glasgow G2 2SZ, Scotland

The Howlin' Wolf

Pub with live music 7 nights a week. Free admission.

https://thehowlinwolf.co.uk/

100 Bath Street, Glasgow G2 2EN, Scotland

Jinty McGuinty's

Irish pub in Glasgow with live music six nights a week.

http://www.jintys.co.uk/

29 Ashton Lane, Glasgow G12 8SJ, Scotland

Barrowland Ballroom (Photo: barrowland-ballroom.co.uk)

Barrowland Ballroom (Photo: barrowland-ballroom.co.uk)

Barrowland Ballroom

Iconic music venue has hosted a who’s who of music luminaries. Think The Waterboys, or Wilco.

http://barrowland-ballroom.co.uk/

244 Gallowgate, Glasgow G4 0TT, Scotland

City Chambers

One of the most impressive buildings in the city. Free tours daily.

80 George Square, Glasgow G2 1DU, Scotland

The Burrell Collection

Currently closed, expected to reopen in 2021. Houses a collection of Chinese, Islamic, and stained glass art. 10 minute train ride from Central Station to Pollok Park.

https://www.glasgowlife.org.uk/museums/venues/the-burrell-collection

Pollok Country Park, 2060 Pollokshaws Rd, Glasgow G43 1AT, Scotland

Sharmanka Kinetic Theatre

Oddball museum filled with sculptures made of reclaimed junk moving in synch with light and music. Enter with an open mind.

http://www.sharmanka.com/Home/Welcome.html

103 Trongate, Glasgow G1 5HD, Scotland

Glengoyne Distillery

One of the best and most picturesque whisky distilleries. 30 minutes from Glasgow.

https://www.glengoyne.com/visit-us/distillery-tours

Dumgoyne, Killearn, Glasgow G63 9LB, Scotland

Rabbie’s

Half day tour includes a stop at Glengoyne and Loch Lomond.

https://www.rabbies.com/en/scotland-tours/from-glasgow/day-tours/loch-lomond-whisky-distillery-half-day-tour

St. Giles Cathedral (Photo: Brent Petersen)

St. Giles Cathedral (Photo: Brent Petersen)

Edinburgh Free Walking Tour

Not really free, be sure to tip your guide. Great way for an overview of the city.

https://www.neweuropetours.eu/sandemans-tours/edinburgh/free-tour-of-edinburgh/

Edinburgh Castle

Spectacular Medieval castle dominates the city’s skyline.

https://www.edinburghcastle.scot/

Castlehill, Edinburgh EH1 2NG, Scotland

Edinburgh Old & New Town Food Tour

Great food tour of Edinburgh.

https://www.eatwalkedinburgh.co.uk/

Stirling Castle

Gorgeous castle was the site of battles won by William Wallace (Braveheart) and Robert the Bruce.

https://www.stirlingcastle.scot/

Castle Esplanade, Stirling FK8 1EJ, Scotland

Tour of the Western Highlands and Oban

Tour of the towns of Oban and Inveraray with a stop at Loch Lomond.

https://www.viator.com/tours/Glasgow/Oban-and-the-West-Highlands-Day-Trip-from-Glasgow/d740-5256OBANG

Brodick Castle (Photo: nts.org.uk)

Brodick Castle (Photo: nts.org.uk)

Brodick Castle

Recently reopened castle on the Isle of Arran.

https://www.nts.org.uk/visit/places/brodick-castle-garden-country-park

Brodick, Isle of Arran KA27 8HY, Scotland

Food and Drink in Glasgow

Six by Nico

Cool concept (six courses, menu changes every six weeks) that delivers on the food.

https://www.sixbynico.co.uk/glasgow/

1132 Argyle Street, Glasgow G3 8TD, Scotland

Alchemilla

High quality Mediterranean cuisine. Excellent prices for what you get.

http://www.thisisalchemilla.com/

1126 Argyle Street, Glasgow G3 8TD, Scotland

Cail Bruich

Seasonal menu with many ingredients from their garden. One of Glasgow’s very best.

https://www.cailbruich.co.uk/

725 Great Western Road, Glasgow G12 8QX, Scotland

The Gannet (Photo: thegannet.com)

The Gannet (Photo: thegannet.com)

The Gannet

Michelin recognized restaurant. Several veg. options.

https://www.thegannetgla.com/index.php

1155 Argyle Street, Glasgow G3 8TB, Scotland

The Hanoi Bike Shop

Fresh Vietnamese food with lots of veg.options.

https://hanoibikeshop.co.uk/

8 Ruthven Lane | Byres Road, Glasgow G12 9BG, Scotland

The 78

Vegan restaurant.

https://www.the78barandkitchen.com/

10-14 Kelvinhaugh Street, Glasgow G3 8NU, Scotland

The Ubiquitous Chip

Well-known upscale eatery. Good wine list and a “wee bar” with plenty of whisky, too.

https://www.ubiquitouschip.co.uk/

12 Ashton Lane, Glasgow G12 8SJ, Scotland

Julie's Kopitiam

Well done Malaysian cuisine.

https://www.facebook.com/julieskopitiam/

1109 Pollokshaws Road, Glasgow G41 3YG, Scotland

Hug and Pint (Photo: thehugandpint.com)

Hug and Pint (Photo: thehugandpint.com)

The Hug and Pint

Vegan restaurant and music venue.

https://www.thehugandpint.com/

171 Great Western Rd, Glasgow G4 9AW, Scotland

Red Onion

Interesting dishes give Scottish cuisine a twist. Has a veg. menu, too.

http://red-onion.co.uk/

257 West Campbell Street, Glasgow G2 4TT, Scotland

Mother India

One of the best Indian restaurants in the U.K.

https://www.motherindia.co.uk/

28 Westminster Terrace, Glasgow G3 7RU, Scotland

The Dhabba

Another excellent Indian restaurant. Several veg. options.

https://www.thedhabba.com/

44 Candleriggs, Glasgow G1 1LE, Scotland

Mono

Vegan cafe and live music venue.

http://www.monocafebar.com/

12 King Street, Glasgow G1 5RB, Scotland

Stereo (Photo: stereocafebar.com)

Stereo (Photo: stereocafebar.com)

Stereo

Cool bar and vegan cafe with live music. Owned by the same folks as Mono.

https://www.stereocafebar.com/

22-28 Renfield Lane, Glasgow G2 5AR, Scotland

Martha’s

Hearty, healthy, fast is their motto and they live up to it. Closes at 6.

http://www.mymarthas.co.uk/

142A St. Vincent Street, Glasgow G2 5LQ, Scotland

Cafe Strange Brew

Top spot for Brekkie (Breakfast).

https://www.facebook.com/cafestrangebrew/timeline

1082 Pollokshaws Rd, Glasgow G41 3XA, Scotland

Tchai Ovna

Cozy boho teahouse. Veg food, too.

http://www.tchaiovna.com/

42 Otago Lane, Glasgow G12 8PB, Scotland

Tantrum (Photo: tantrumdoughnuts.com)

Tantrum (Photo: tantrumdoughnuts.com)

Tantrum Doughnuts

Elevating donuts to new heights.

https://www.tantrumdoughnuts.com/

27 Old Dumbarton Road, Glasgow G3 8RD, Scotland

Rose & Grants Deli Cafe

Cafe serving several vegan options including a vegan Scotch Pie.

https://rose-grants-deli-cafe.business.site/

116 Drymen Road, Glasgow G61 3RA, Scotland

Horse Shoe Bar

Historic Victorian bar famous for their Scotch Pie and beans.

https://www.thehorseshoebarglasgow.co.uk/

17 Drury Street, Glasgow G2 5AE, Scotland

Star Bar

Dive bar is a great spot to watch the game and get a Scotch Pie.

537-539 Eglinton St, Glasgow G5 9RN, UK

The Piper Bar

Friendly bar with Clapshot (Neeps and Tatties) on the menu.

https://www.thepiperbar.com/

57 Cochrane Street, Glasgow G1 1HL, Scotland

University Cafe

Nice cafe where you can get a deep fried Mars Bar.

87 Byres Road, Glasgow G11 5HN, Scotland

Ben Nevis (Photo: facebook.com/TheBenNevisBar)

Ben Nevis (Photo: facebook.com/TheBenNevisBar)

Ben Nevis Pub

Pub with excellent Scotch selection and live music.

https://www.facebook.com/TheBenNevisBar

1147 Argyle Street, Glasgow G3 8TB, Scotland

Swing

Cool underground bar and live music venue.

https://swingltd.co.uk/

183 Hope Street, Glasgow G2 2UL, Scotland

Bar Soba

Industrial-chic bar with adventurous cocktails.

https://www.barsoba.co.uk/

11 Mitchell Lane, Glasgow G1 3NU, Scotland

Finnieston

Check out their gin bar.

https://www.thefinniestonbar.com/

1125 Argyle Street, Glasgow G3 8ND, Scotland

The Pot Still (Photo: thepotstill.co.uk)

The Pot Still (Photo: thepotstill.co.uk)

The Pot Still

Largest whiskey selection in Glasgow.

https://thepotstill.co.uk/

154 Hope Street, Glasgow G2 2TH, Scotland

Bon Accord

Over 350 whiskies to choose from.

https://www.bonaccordpub.com/

153 North Street, Glasgow G3 7DA, Scotland

Blythswood Square Hotel

Five star hotel also has a classy star bar.

https://www.kimptonblythswoodsquare.com/us/en/glasgow-restaurants/the-salon/

11 Blythswood Square, Glasgow G2 4AD, Scotland

Shilling Brewing Company

Brewery and bar in the city center.

https://www.shillingbrewingcompany.co.uk/

92 West George Street, Glasgow G2 1PJ, Scotland

Tiki Bar and Kitsch Inn (Photo: facebook.com/tikibarglasgow)

Tiki Bar and Kitsch Inn (Photo: facebook.com/tikibarglasgow)

Tiki Bar and Kitsch Inn

Tired of grey skies and need some Aloha? This is the place.

http://www.tikibarglasgow.com/

Roman House 214 Bath Street, Glasgow G2 4HW, Scotland

Cafe Gandolfi

Bar upstairs from the cafe is a bit of a secret hideaway.

https://www.cafegandolfi.com/

64 Albion Street, Glasgow G1 1NY, Scotland

Lebowski’s West

Need a White Russian? The Dude abides.

https://www.lebowskis.co.uk/glasgow-west/

1008 Argyle Street, Glasgow G3 8LX, Scotland

Brel

Nice outdoor beer garden.

https://www.brelbar.com/

Ashton Lane, Glasgow G12 8SJ, Scotland

The Flying Duck

Underground bar with lots of vegan food.

https://www.theflyingduck.org/

142 Renfield Street, Glasgow G2 3AU, Scotland

Blue Dog (Photo: bluedogglasgow.co.uk)

Blue Dog (Photo: bluedogglasgow.co.uk)

Blue Dog

Cocktail bar with a fun and friendly atmosphere.

https://www.bluedogglasgow.co.uk/

151 West George Street, Glasgow G2 2JJ, Scotland

Shopping in Glasgow

Mrs. Mitchell’s Sweet Shop

Homemade Tablet from a secret recipe.

Website

117 Trongate, Glasgow G1 5HD, Scotland

Glickman’s

Photo: glickmans.co.uk

Photo: glickmans.co.uk

Candy shop since 1903 with great Tablet.

http://www.glickmans.co.uk/

157 London Road, Glasgow G1 5BX, Scotland

The Good Spirits Co.

The place to get that bottle of scotch to take home.

http://www.thegoodspiritsco.com/

23 Bath Street, Glasgow G2 1HW, Scotland

Hector Russell

Need a kilt? This is the place. They’re expensive, though.

https://www.hector-russell.com/store-finder/index/storeDetail/id/344/

110 Buchanan St, Glasgow G1 2RN, Scotland

Sunshine No. 1

Charming little gift shop.

https://www.sunshinenumber1.co.uk/

1043 Cathcart Road | Mount Florida, Glasgow G42 9AF, Scotland

Voltaire & Rousseau

Crazy bookshop with tomes piled floor to ceiling. Chaos.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Voltaire-Rousseau/162559917094455

12 Otago Lane, Glasgow G12 8PB, Scotland

Accommodations in Glasgow

Chandelier at Grand Central Hotel is several floors tall (Photo: Brent Petersen)

Chandelier at Grand Central Hotel is several floors tall (Photo: Brent Petersen)

Grand Central Hotel

Hotel is actually in the train station. Doesn’t get any more convenient than that.

https://www.phcompany.com/principal/glasgow-grand-central-hotel/

99 Gordon Street, Glasgow G1 3SF, Scotland

Hotel du Vin Glasgow

Beautiful row of Victorian townhouses converted into a boutique hotel.

https://www.hotelduvin.com/locations/glasgow/

1 Devonshire Gardens, Glasgow G12 0UX Scotland

Fraser Suites Glasgow

Nice apartments near Argyle Street.

https://glasgow.frasershospitality.com/en

1-19 Albion St, Glasgow G1 1LH Scotland

Dakota Glasgow

Modern hotel with a stylish bar.

https://www.dakotahotels.co.uk/glasgow/

179 West Regent Street, Glasgow G2 4DP, Scotland

Apex City Hotel

Modern hotel in the city center.

https://www.apexhotels.co.uk/apex-city-of-glasgow-hotel

110 Bath Street, Glasgow G2 2EN Scotland

Grasshoppers Hotel

Image: grasshoppersglasgow.com

Image: grasshoppersglasgow.com

Boutique hotel in the city center with wallet-friendly prices.

http://www.grasshoppersglasgow.com/

Caledonian Chambers 87 Union Street, Glasgow G1 3TA Scotland

Malmaison Hotel

Cool hotel in a former Greek Orthodox Church.

https://www.malmaison.com/locations/glasgow/

278 West George Street, Glasgow G2 4LL Scotland

Z Hotel Glasgow

Clean and inexpensive.

https://www.thezhotels.com/hotels/glasgow/

36 North Frederick Street, Glasgow G1 2BS Scotland

Spacious Garden Flat

Air BnB apartment in the West End near the Botanical Garden.

https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/19838395