14 new restaurants, bars, cafes and foodie pop-ups in Glasgow

As lockdown restrictions are set to carry on for a few more weeks, many of us can't wait to get back out into bars and restaurants.

Published 11th Mar 2021
Updated 9 th Aug 2023

Despite the restrictions, there have been a plethora of new restaurants, cafes and pop-ups announced as opening or already opened in Glasgow.

From pizza collaborations to a fried chicken pop up, here's our pick of the best new restaurants in Glasgow.

The Duke's Umbrella

The Duke's Umbrella is set to be Glasgow's latest gastropubs, and will open on 17 May on Argyle Street.

Serving a range of real ales, wine and signature cocktails, the new bar will also have a menu of high quality pub grub available including brunch and Sunday roast.

The menu itself is the brainchild of Glasgow chef John Molloy. John will front the brand-new venture as Development Chef alongside General Manager Craig McKay.

His signature dish will be what he says will soon be recognised as “the best fish and chips in Scotland”.

Molloy has created comforting dishes such as slow braised smoked ox cheek, seasonal pies and Guinness panna cotta.

The team behind the Duke’s Umbrella are the same team who launched the highly successful Royal Exchange Square based restaurant “Glaschu” during the eye of the pandemic storm in 2020.

The Duke’s Umbrella’s location on the corner of Argyle Street and James Watt Street has a famous history.

Glaswegian’s may remember fondly the family-owned fashion and retail store Lawson’s, which once occupied the building where the new pub stands now.

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Set to open in late April on West Nile Street, this new restaurant will offer a Japanese 'Izikaya' style of service.

Serving up quality Japanese style street food, the new restaurant is opening at a time when we should be able to get back out and enjoy alfresco meals with some friends.

Located in the former City Patio location at 53 West Nile Street, Katsu is the brainchild of the team behind Tamaki.

The Japanese curry shop, which was planned to open before Covid hit, is nearly complete and will open on Monday, April 26 2021.



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The teams behind Glasgow's award-winning Ox and Finch and Ka Pao restaurants have joined forces to launch Koxedo, a new fried chicken pop-up.

Koxedo will temporarily takeover Ox and Finch, which is close to the city’s Kelvingrove Park.

The menu is set to be a ‘chicken shop’ take on some of Ox and Finch and Ka Pao’s  most popular dishes, featuring own recipe fried chicken, sandwiches and sides.

With the forced closure of hospitality businesses set to continue for another couple of months, the senior
teams from both restaurants have decided to collaborate on something a bit different from their usual

Koxedo opened for collection from Ox and Finch, 920 Sauchiehall Street, from 12pm on Friday the 5 March and is available every Friday, Saturday and Sunday until the restaurant is permitted to reopen.

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Pre-order from the Koxedo website.

The Cheese Club

cheese pop-up

The popular Cheese Club, part of the Home-X offering from the team behind Six by Nico will be popping up on Byres Road from the end of March.

Selling a range of Scottish and UK cheese from artisan producers, customers can also pick up cheese accompaniments such as crackers, olives, breads, cured meats and there will be a deli counter serving both hot and cold snacks.

The Cheese Club Shop pop-up will open from late March and opening times will be Wednesday – Sunday from 10am – 6pm.

Six by Nico

six by nico rooftop bar
Picture: Burns Design

A brand new Six by Nico was granted planning permission this month.

The latest Six by Nico restaurant, which will feature a rooftop bar, will be located within the former Fopp store at 358-360 Byres Road in Glasgow’s west end.

Glasgow City Council granted permission to turn the former music shop and Italian restaurant Santa Lucia – which is situated in the top floor of the building – earlier this month.

The plans show drawings of how the new restaurant and rooftop bar will look, with the successful application detailing an extension to the rear of the building and outdoor seating on the street that will seat 20.

Inside and downstairs there’s room for 78 covers while the rooftop has a range of seating and covered areas meaning it can be used throughout the year.

Morning Glory by Five March

Excitement was building about this cafe when it was announced it would be opening this year.

From the team behind Five March, a hugely successful restaurant located close to Kelvingrove Park, Morning Glory offers  filled rolls, home baking and coffee and has proved extremely popular since it opened at the end of February.

Find out more about the menu here.


One of the original restaurants in Finnieston, Crabshakk has a loyal customer base thanks to its excellent menu of fresh Scottish seafood and shellfish.

Now it is set to open another outlet, which will be located in the former Botanic Gardens Garage building on Vinicombe Street.

With Ka Pao as neighbours and a well established name and reputation, this is sure to be a popular dining spot when it opens.

Rafa’s Diner

new restaurants Glasgow

While not a brand new offering, Rafa's only opened in September 2020 serving up Mexican food, Arizona style.

Located down the Hidden Lane off Argyle Street, the restaurant and takeaway is based on the southwestern food outlets of America.

Rafa’s opened as a sit-in restaurant before restrictions tightened in the hospitality industry in September and now operates as a takeaway offering delivery and collections.

The team have recently launched their new spring menu, which sees the return of their popular tacos, as well as extended opening hours.

They will now be serving tacos from 12-5pm and the the new full menu from 5-10pm which includes burritos and specialities. Available Wednesday - Sunday every week.

The new menu will include Baja (fish), King Prawn, Pollo (chicken), Marinated Mushroom, Carne Asada (grilled steak) and Barbacoa (slow-cooked pulled beef) which all come as tacos and burritos in the evening menu.

San Diego Burrito (steak, fries, cheese, salsa roja+verde and crema), the Supreme and the return of their Nachos will also feature on the new menu.

Rafa’s Diner is the brainchild of Gregor Forest who is originally from Scotland but relocated to Arizona during his childhood.

He returned to Glasgow and spotted a gap In the market for delicious Mexican food, AZ style, and ran with it.

Rafa’s Diner is located at 1103 Argyle Street, Unit 3 Hidden Lane, Glasgow, G3 8ND

Clockwork x Rockvilla pizza

new restaurants Glasgow
Picture: the global buzz chef hetherington

A popular Glasgow bar and pizza joint have teamed up  to launch a new collaboration, Clockwork x Rockvilla

Rockvilla Pizza have partnered with the Clockwork Bar and Kitchen, the newly refurbished bar and restaurant in the southside, using a brand new specially installed kitchen.

Paul O’Malley, 39, who is heading up the new operation, said: “There has been a lot of interest for a while from people across Glasgow in Rockvilla – what they do is really special.

“We thought the idea of putting them together with us here at Clockwork was a no-brainer. It helps us keep our name in people’s minds during lockdown and helps our friends at Rockvilla get established in a new area.”

Speaking of the menu, Paul said: "We have developed a different dough as we want it to be as close as possible to what you will get in Clockwork in a sit in scenario but still be able to stand up to delivery – which is vital for us. These pizzas have to arrive in a condition we are happy with.

“I thought it was important that we tried to create something slightly different so as it wasn't just solely a copy paste of Rockvilla.

"It was again about bringing the best of the two brands together to create a whole new brand really.

“I just really like the Rockvilla ethos of bringing high quality raw ingredients together to offer something simple but authentic – which is very much the same way of thinking here at Clockwork.

"It just fits very well and we feel we are bringing something new and exciting to our area.”


Picture: Wes Kingston

Formerly Cafe Ziques, Ziques reopened at the end of 2020 with a completely new look and menu.

Owner Mhairi Taylor has moved away from the popular breakfast and brunch dishes and created a takeaway and delivery friendly menu, which focuses on the range of flatbreads loaded with vegan, veggie and meat toppings - from purple beetroot hummus to halloumi to braised lamb shoulder.

Zique’s full menu, which includes butter chicken, smashed avocado shredded pork and lamb parathas, as well as broths, is available to order online , on Deliveroo and soon on Uber Eats.

Read our review here.

Salt & Chilli Oriental

TV chef Jimmy Lee, of the city centre restaurant Lychee Oriental, is set to open Salt & Chilli Oriental later this month.

The new pop-up on Glasgow’s Dumbarton Road will serve comforting Chinese classics alongside fusion dishes, mixing conventional Hong Kong street food with a modern vibe.

Salt & Chilli Oriental will open in the former Ninja Turtles Pizzeria site at 911 Dumbarton Road. The venue is currently undergoing a makeover and will open from Thursday 25 March.


Graeme Cheevers Unalome

Award-winning chef, Graeme Cheevers, is set to open, Unalome, his first solo venture, on Kelvingrove Street – the site where The Sisters restaurant once was – this year.

Graeme has had a hugely successful career with Geoffrey Smeddle at fine dining restaurant Étain, Martin Wishart at Loch Lomond and the luxury Isle of Eriska Hotel.

Traditionally a Buddhist symbol representing the path each person takes in life, Graeme has chosen Unalome to signify something new and completely different for Glasgow’s food scene.

Unalome’s offering will be modern European and will feature high quality suppliers and ingredients, sourced locally where possible.

Graeme’s vision for the menu is that it will change weekly so the dining experience will constantly evolve.

For more information, visit the restaurant’s website.

Isle of Harris Gin bar

Picture: Harris Gin

The Isle of Harris Gin bar will open when restrictions allow, welcoming guests to experience a little bit of Harris in the heart of Glasgow.

Tucked away in a cosy corner above the popular Café Gandolfi and limited to 16 people per session, guests will enjoy an intimate Isle of Harris experience, where they will be encouraged to take a moment to indulge in the simple pleasures in life.

Visitors can look forward to a menu of crafted drinks blending Isle of Harris Gin with innovative ingredients and cocktail-making techniques, designed to evoke a sense of the Hebrides and the island on which the award-winning gin is made.

Those looking for a bite to eat can also look forward to a taste of Gandolfi’s fresh seafood offering alongside the drinks.

Each evening will be hosted by an Isle of Harris Distillery brand ambassador and dedicated bartender, making sure every guest is able to relax and enjoy the famous island hospitality.

Beresford Lounge

The Beresford Lounge will open this year in the famous art deco building – the Beresford Hotel – on Sauchiehall Street.

Details of the venue have been slowly emerging, with residents of Glasgow being asked to choose the new bar‘s name last year.

Snippets from the venue’s social media show that the Beresford Lounge looks to have been transformed into a 1930s style cocktail bar and club, with a sleek interior of statement lights, feature seating areas and a pastel and metallic colour scheme.

The standout addition to the new look is a mural by artist, Catherine Abel.

As well as a bar and club, there will also be a menu of seasonal Scottish and British dishes, made with local ingredients as well and a classic cocktail menu.

The Beresford Lounge is also offering a founding members card scheme, with access to the founders bar plus other benefits.

An opening date of August/September this year is expected but may be subject to change.

Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne, whisky and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind is the Food and Drink Editor and whisky writer for The Scotsman, as well as hosting Scran, The Scotsman's food and drink podcast.
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