News you can trust since 1817

5 of the best bars in Glasgow's Merchant City

We take a look at some of the best bars to check out when you are in Glasgow's Merchant City.

Published: February 1, 2017

The Merchant City remains as one of the top places in Glasgow to find some of its best bars and restaurants and remains as popular as ever as a top nightlife destination for locals and visitors alike.

Bar Gandolfi

(64 Albion St, G1 1NY, 0141 552 6813)


Bar Gandolfi is serenely calm and very stylish, full of golden wood, cream tiles and and elegant bar stools. It is nestled in an old warehouse attic, with the popular café located downstairs.

Local artists and acoustic musicians are known to use the space for exhibitions and performances, and keep an eye out for the exquisite artworks on the walls.

This bar is a good choice for a conversationalist who doesn't like to be drowned out by loud music, and for those who enjoy a well-mixed cocktail.

Patrons enjoy watching the bar staff create their concoctions, which are always beautifully presented.

Beer Café

(Merchant Square, 78 Candleriggs, G1 1NP, 0141 552 9815)

Glasgow speakeasy The Absent Ear launches Try and Test Tuesdays - with discounted cocktails
Picture: Beer Café

Picture: Beer Café

The world is your oyster at Beer Café, as over 100 beers are on the menu, categorised by the many countries they hail from. If you've ever been curious to try a beer from Greece or from Portugal, this is a perfect opportunity to extend your horizons.

Tables spill out onto the street, and are snapped up pretty quickly when it's sunny.

Their gourmet pies are also worth a taste, such as the punnily-named Chicken of Aragon pie, all of which are served mash, mushy peas and gravy.

If you pop in of an evening, you might catch the open mic performances, or some of their other live entertainment.

Outlander star Sam Heughan's The Sassenach whisky wins double gold in 2022 San Francisco World Spirits Competition

Bar 91

(91 Candleriggs, G1 1NP, 0141 552 5211)


Picture: Trip Advisor Traveller

The mascot of Bar 91 is a goatee'd, afro'd bust called Bootsy, who was left as a deposit by some customers who didn't have enough cash to pay their bill. As they never returned, Bar 91 is now Bootsy's home.

The bar itself is rustic, and very popular at lunchtime due to its hearty sandwiches and healthy salads. The roast beef sandwich with horseradish is a particular favourite. After 6pm, the mood is more romantic, with candles and low lighting.

The extensive wine list attracts a glamorous clientèle who also enjoy a light dinner in the bar of an evening.

National Pub & Bar Awards 2022: Four Scottish bars named as best in the country


(36 Bell St, G1 1LG, 0141 552 5924)

(l-r) Andrew, Scott, Stewart Laing

Picture: Trip Advisor Traveller

Real ale and craft beers take pride of place on Blackfriars' drinks list, and the personal tastes of the staff govern what they offer to punters.

With a constantly rotating selection of real ales, you can be sure of exciting new flavours every time you visit.

The food is everything you could want from a traditional pub menu: comforting dishes cooked to a high standard at reasonable prices.
Blackfriars puts the emphasis on home-grown Scottish musical talent, although brilliant bands from further afield are not unknown.

Their preferred genres of music are not at all restricted: rock 'n' roll, doo wop, latin, funk and swing have all been known to grace the pub. Current trends are not ignored either, as the best DJs are invited to show off their stuff.


(60 Candleriggs, G1 1LE, 0141 553 1488)

Picture: Trip Advisor Traveller

Picture: Trip Advisor Traveller

No place is better for a contemporary cocktail than the Merchant City's Metropolitan bar. Comprising the main bar, the courtyard and the piano bar, there is plenty of space to spread out and relax. There is also a large restaurant should you get peckish.

The piano bar is striking with its white booths and exposed stone, while the main bar is a colourful, busy affair during the night-time hours. Resident DJs make for a lively crowd on Friday and Saturday nights, and the cocktails are nothing if not adventurous.

Why not try the Cranberry and Lychee Float? This treat is made from Bombay Sapphire, Kwai Feh liqueur, cranberry juice, lemon and home-made lychee foam.

Maddy lives in Edinburgh and has written for the Sunday Herald and the Ed Fringe Review. She is passionate about authentic, sustainably sourced food, and is always keen to discover exciting new flavours.

Let us know what you think


Copyright ©2022 National World Publishing Ltd
Cookie SettingsTerms and ConditionsPrivacy Policy
crossmenu linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram