What’s the best part of being in a new country? Exploring the restaurants of course! Glasgow has been more than happy to oblige on the foodie front. I’ve found everything from great little takeaway spots (that’s take-out for us Americans!) to high class restaurants. It’s quite amazing the sheer amount of options they have here, and especially the different ethnic food. There’s really something here for everyone. Some of my favorite spots so far have been little coffee shops and brew pubs. Ah, my favorite things: espresso and craft beer.
Honestly though, the coffee scene in Glasgow is surprisingly lovely. They may not have drip coffee, but almost every place makes delicious espresso drinks! Plus, there’s a coffee shop on practically every corner, so finding a nice study spot has been relatively easy. The hardest part has been avoiding the temptation of pastries!
This is a sneaky shot from one of my favorite coffee shops so far, Urban Brew (1365 Argyle St, Glasgow G3 8AF). I’ve been trying to take picture of the restaurants and food I’ve been having, but everyone keeps giving me weird looks! So here’s what I hope was a subtle shot from a lovely cafe dangerously close to my dorm. They have delicious scones and chai lattes. It’s also been a great place to get some work done since they have wifi and big comfy couches.
Another great spot near me is Montgomery’s (9 Radnor St, Charing Cross, Glasgow G3 7UA). They have two sides, one for takeaway and one for sit-in. A bit pricier than I could justify on a regular basis, but they do have early bird specials if I could get myself up in time! The place is really cute though and has a world map on the ceiling! Their almond croissants are heavenly.
Aside from exploring all of the coffee shops, some of my friends and I have been meeting up for drinks after class, so I’m slowly learning the best spots to grab a brew! My favorite by far is BrewDog (1397-1403 Argyle St, Glasgow G3 8AN). This is a Scotland-based craft brewery that’s really taken off the last ten years. They’ve spread all over the world and are even opening their first taproom in the U.S soon! But the taproom in Glasgow is great! They do tasting flights, half-pours, pints, and growler fills. I’ve found myself grateful for the half-pour because a full size beer in the UK is quite a bit bigger than in the US! The staff at Brewdog has been pretty great. They’ve been more than happy to discuss beer with me and help to find the best one for me! They even gave my friend a full new beer when a bees took a nose-dive into it. You know it’s a good brew when even the bees want some!
A couple of the other breweries I’ve been to seem to focus more on food, which is still fine by me! One is Drygate (85 Drygate, Glasgow G4 0UT), which I visited when my parents were still in town. A bit out of the way for me, but still worth the visit. We also went to West End taproom for WEST brewery (West on the Corner, 160 Woodlands Rd, Glasgow G3 6LF). Good beer and good desserts, what more could I want?
As far as regular sit-down restaurants go, I haven’t been to too many since I’ve been trying to cook as much as I can (again college budgets are no fun). But some of my Scottish friends have been showing us the best places for good deals. The other day we went to a place on Byers Road (pretty much the main drag of the West End) called Tony Macaroni (4 Byres Rd, Glasgow G11 5JY). It’s a quaint Italian place that usually would be out of my price range, but Mon-Fri they have an under £5 menu which includes lots of pasta and pizza options. I got a killer and MASSIVE Hawaiian all for myself and I enjoyed every bit of it.
My next adventure is going to be Indian food. I’ve heard that Glasgow is famous for its Indian food and I can’t wait. Overall, the food here has been great and surprisingly cheap! I’ve found a ton of options that work on a student budget and are still tasty. Another really interesting thing about restaurants here in Glasgow is the effort put into the decorations and aesthetics. I honestly have not yet been into an ugly restaurant. Even the tiny coffee shops with only one or two tables are carefully decorated and inviting. Some of the best examples of this is on Glasgow’s famous Ashton Lane which is full of restaurants. I’ve visited two of them so far and both were really neat! One, called the Grosvenor’s Cafe is housed in an old cinema. Another, Ubiquitous Chip, is fashioned to look like you’re sitting out on a Mediterranean terrace. Unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures at either of these, but I did get to try haggis at the Chip. It was delicious, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. And the best part of eating out on Ashton Lane is getting to see the way it’s lit up at night.
Well, now that classes have officially started I’ve had to scale back my going out (living on a student budget is tough), but I’ll continue to explore little by little! And I need to remember to take more pictures!