10 of the best bars in Glasgow for a cheap drink

Looking for a cheap pint in Glasgow? Here are ten of the best value bars in the city.

Published 6th Feb 2017
Updated 8 th Aug 2023

As the drinking capital of Scotland, Glasgow is packed with nearly every type of bar under the sun.

Whether you’re in the mood for a chic gin-palace, cool craft beer spot or classy wine bar, Glasgow has plenty to satisfy any craving.

The second city is also home to some great alternatives to its more expensive options.

Have a look at our list below for some of the best cheap bars in Glasgow to grab a drink.

The Ark

(46 North Frederick Street, Glasgow G1 2BS, 0141 559 4331)


Picture: The Ark on Facebook

Situated next door to Strathclyde University, it should come as no surprise to learn that this is one of the most popular student haunts in the city.

The drinks list is as wallet-friendly as it is long, with cocktail promotions offering pitchers for as little as £7.95 and two pint flagons of craft beer and cask ale, from their wide selection, for just £6.

And for the one day of summer a year, their beer garden is a sun trap with a large outdoor screen which makes it perfect for sinking a few while watching the big game.


(427 Sauchiehall St, Glasgow G2 3LG, 0141 332 7304)


Picture: Broadcast on Facebook

A bar/music venue hybrid, Broadcast has the atmosphere of an American dive bar, with the underground thumping of whatever is going on in the grungy gig venue downstairs audible throughout.

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Drinks are relatively cheap for Sauchiehall Street, with cocktails from £3 and a healthy range of draught, bottles and even cans on offer for a similar rate.

The Flying Duck

(142 Renfield St, Glasgow G2 3AU, 0141 564 1450)

The Flying Duck

Picture: The Flying Duck on Facebook

The sister bar of Mono, Stereo and The Old Hairdresser’s, The Flying Duck describes itself as “Glasgow’s best kept secret,” and they may have a point.

The subterranean bar/diner/gig venue is lo-fi rather than in your face and that extends to the prices behind the bar too, with pints of Amstel available for just £3, with vodka and mixer just £2.90.

Much like the rest of the bars under its owner’s arm, patrons can expect a vegan food menu which even non-vegans will struggle to not enjoy. 

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Crystal Palace

(36 Jamaica St, Glasgow G1 4QD, 0141 221 2624)


Picture: The Crystal Palace on Facebook

Yes, The Crystal Palace is a Wetherspoons, but it is a much cheaper alternative to some of the more “established” Glasgow pubs.

Being part of a chain does come with its advantages too, it has a much larger selection of world and craft beers than many other bars.

Much like its older sister The Counting House - just down the street from Queen Street station - The Palace is a stone’s throw from Central, making it a popular destination for pre-gig drinks and football fans to drown their sorrows after watching Scotland at Hampden.

Max’s Bar

(73 Queen St, Glasgow G1 3BZ, 0141 221 1379)

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Picture: Max's bar and grill on Facebook

With a bar upstairs and the La Cheetah nightclub in the basement, an argument could be made that when patrons enter Max’s, they never need to leave.

The stripped back decor of what used to be The Twisted Wheel has been replaced by the shabby-chic Max’s with its enormous range of bar offerings at reasonable prices, while underneath La Cheetah regularly plays host to some of the most popular techno, electro and house acts in the country.

It’s usually filled with a crowd of regulars and while some of the drink prices reflect that, it’s generally one of the cheaper options in the area.


(40 High St, Glasgow G1 1NL, 0141 552 2324)


Picture: Google

The boisterous student favourite has been catering to the budget beer crowd since 1994, championing good times every night since then.

There’s a pool table, weekly poker league, acoustic open-mic nights and giant screens showing sport nearly 24 hours a day, but what really sets McChuills apart is the rock bottom prices.

Pints rarely creep over the £3.50 mark while vodka and mixers are less than that - plus there’s an excellent selection of craft and cask ales to suit almost every taste.

Bunker Bar

(193-199 Bath St, Glasgow G2 4HU, 0141 229 1427)


Picture: Bunker on Facebook

Cheap eats and cheaper booze, what more you ask?

The Bunker is ideally located just down the road from the O2 ABC and usually has a revolving cast of resident and guest DJs in at the weekend when a younger crowd descends upon the bar to start their night.

All drinks are priced at just £1.80 between Monday and Thursday, though check the smallprint as some are excluded, and even at the weekend the price doesn’t exactly shoot up - cocktails are £3.95 on Friday and Saturday.

Tennent’s Bar

(191 Byres Rd, Glasgow G12 8TN, 0141 339 7203)


Picture: Tennent's on Facebook

Tennent’s market itself under the slogan of “one of the last traditional pubs in Glasgow’s west end,” and if that means rolling back prices to these levels, we’re all for it.

But that’s not to say it hasn’t moved with the times, there are nine screen dotted around showing all the weekend’s live sport and in the basement bar, patrons will find a weekly DJ set from a few resident DJs.

Bottles are available from just £2.75 - including a few IPA offerings from the likes of Brewdog and Little Creatures - while four pint pitchers start at just a tenner. There’s also the option to buy buckets of beer for larger groups, with 12 bottles priced at just £30.

Arlington Bar

(130 Woodlands Rd, Glasgow G3 6HB, 0141 572 5921)


Picture: The Arlington Bar on Facebook

An unassuming throwback to a bygone era it may seem, however there’s far more to the Arlington that meets the eye.

Legend has it that the Glasgow University students stashed the real stone of destiny somewhere in the bar after stealing from Westminster in 1950 and that the one currently sitting alongside the crown jewels in Edinburgh Castle is a mere forgery.

Whether you believe that or not, what is undeniable is the low prices and great atmosphere created by a loyal crowd of regulars.

Flat 0/1

(162 Bath St, Glasgow G2, 0141 331 6227)


Picture: Flat 0/1 on Facebook

Ever feel like going out but don’t want to leave the house?

Don’t worry, Glasgow has a bar for that; Flat 0/1 is stylised as a 1970s flat - complete with bathtubs hanging from the ceiling, just like they had in the seventies - and has drink prices to reflect the era.

Bottles can be picked up for as low as £2.50 while a unique variety of cocktails are on offer for just as cheap.

Supermarket cider, Mad Dog 20/20 and Lambrini also take pride of place behind the bar for the more discerning house party guest.

James is a writer and freelance journalist who has lived in Edinburgh all his life and is well versed in the city's bar and nightlife scene.
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