If you haven't already noticed by now, great food made simply - using the best ingredients - is going through something of a renaissance at the minute. We, as a nation, seem to be doing away with the traditional stereotypes of what Scottish food is and is perceived to be.

Nowhere is this more evident than in the bustling metropolis of Glasgow, where the smorgasbord of international cuisine, exciting self start-up food enterprises and Michelin star restaurants are redefining what it means to eat out in the city.

Gone are the days of popping out for fish and chips or a simple curry, now the world is your oyster. Pick from Brazilian Churrascaria, Vietnamese street food, Japanese sashimi, Mexican bites or regional Indian cuisine.

Strangely, the desire for authentic Street Food vendors that seems to be taking the rest of the UK by storm has yet to make an impression in Glasgow. As a concept street food perfectly matches the Glaswegian aesthetic – simple, modestly priced and infinitely cool. You would think vendors would be springing up all over the place.

Thankfully though, the enterprising spirit of the city hasn’t entirely missed out on the opportunity to take advantage of this new trend and many venues are beginning to take this style of food very seriously and of course, we couldn’t be happier.

Here are some the best places to sample authentic street food style cuisine in Glasgow:

Babu Bombay Street Kitchen

(186 West Regent Street, Glasgow, G2 4RU, 0141 204 4042)

Vegetable Roti. Picture: Babu

Vegetable Roti. Picture: Babu

An obvious place to start but Babu Bombay Street Kitchen is an excellent example of a street food vendor building their reputation by hard work and good food. The eatery still offers a food stall – which you can visit at Stockbridge Farmer’s Market in Edinburgh – as well as a cracking city centre venue to enjoy the food in a less bustling (though still as busy) atmosphere. Look out for all the lovely little Scottish fusion touches too.

Food style: Bombay street food

Try the: The big flavoured but small in stature Sev Puris (main picture) and the gorgeous Pau Bhaji (served with a toasted morton roll) all washed down with a cracking chai tea.

How much? £4-9 ranging in plate size.

2. Hanoi Bike Shop

(8 Ruthven Lane, Glasgow, Lanarkshire G12 9BG, 0141 334 7165)

Picture: Hanoi Bike Shop

Picture: Hanoi Bike Shop

The Hanoi Bike Shop feels like it has been around forever and that’s a testament to the excellent word of mouth the eatery receives on a regular basis. Glasgow’s first Vietnamese restaurant, the HBS serves some truly awesome street food style dishes, all prepared from scratch (even the tofu!).

I’m sure by now I’m preaching to the converted but if you’re one of the few people who haven’t tried it then what are you waiting for?

Food style: Vietnamese street food

Try the: Banh Ca Cay (spicy Vietnamese fish cakes) or the Coi Gia Vi Ran San (spicy Cassava fritters) and we definitely recommend some of their excellent tofu (we loved the chilli and lemongrass).

How much? £5-6

3. Buddy’s

Picture: Buddy's

Picture: Buddy’s

So we were convinced we weren’t going to include burgers on this list as Glasgow is overly saturated with them right now, but the story of Buddy’s has street food at its heart and we had to include them.

Cresting the wave of BBQ style street food before it was hip, Buddy’s built their amazing reputation from a small shop in a backstreet in Glasgow’s southside.

Having just expanded to not only a new take away premises and diner near its first shop, Buddy’s is already expanding to the West End and East Kilbride. Be warned though napkins maybe needed.

Food style: BBQ/Burgers

Try the: Hickory smoked pork ribs spare ribs – smothered in sweet or spicy barbecue sauce – and the ‘Carolina’ poutine with pulled pork, gravy, bacon and spring onion. Mouth-watering.

How Much? Around £6 per item

4. Pomme Frites

( 476 Sauchiehall Street, Charing Cross, Glasgow, G2 3JU)

Frites with firecracker ketchup. Picture: Pomme Frites

Frites with firecracker ketchup. Picture: Pomme Frites

Ah the humble potato, the basis of many a meal and retaining a place in the heart of many a Scot.

Chips are a bit of a tradition with Glaswegians but thankfully even they aren’t safe from the good food revolution and Pomme Frite – lovingly described as a ‘Belgian Chip Shop’ –  aims to turn this neglected meal into something spectacular. With more sauces and seasonings than Glasgow’s got restaurants, Pomme Frite offers something for everyone.

We particularly loved the Garlic & Parmesan seasoning, pesto mayo sauce and the Sweet mango chutney mayo.

So add sauces, chips and waffles to chocolate and beer on the list of things the Belgians do right.

Food style: Belgian frite

Try the: Belgian Waffles, don’t get us wrong we are all about the chips but jings what’s not to like about these pastry delights?

How Much? Around £4-5

5. Bar Soba

(11 Mitchell Lane, Glasgow, G1 3NU, 0141 204 2404 and 116 Byres Road, Glasgow 0141 357 5482)

Nasi Goreng. Picture: Bar Soba

Nasi Goreng. Picture: Bar Soba

Most people would be under the mistaken impression that Bar Soba only focuses on its cocktails – which it admittedly does well – but they’d be missing out on the amazing street food offering. Bar Soba’s ‘Pan Asian’ street food is an utter delight and we can’t recommend it enough.

From Indonesia to Japan, no stone is left unturned in pursuit of the best Asian cuisine. Look out for their third venue opening in the Merchant City soon.

Food style: Pan-Asian street food

Try the: Sate Ayam, stunning chargrilled chicken with a gorgeous peanut sauce and the Singapore street noodles (with chicken and prawns), so nice it’ll have you going back for seconds.

How Much? Around £5 per dish

6. Usha’s Indian Street Food

(2 Byres Rd, Glasgow G11 5JY)

Vada Pav. Picture: Usha's

Vada Pav. Picture: Usha’s

Great Indian food? Check. Great regional Indian food? Check. Great regional Indian vegetarian and vegan food? Check. Usha’s definitely ticks all the boxes. Best of all, the prices of its dishes won’t break the bank.

Situated on the corner of Byres Road and Dumbarton Road, Usha’s is Glasgow’s only Vegetarian and Vegan Indian restaurant and its menus are perfect for sharing and evoke a feeling similar to that of a home-made family meal.

Food style: Indian vegetarian and vegan

Try the: Vada Pav (pictured) – spiced potato in a roll – and the Pani Puri, both delicious.

How much? Around £4-5 a dish (small, tapas style)

And finally we ask that you support your local food vendors and in particular help Glasgow to see the potential in such a great industry. See both the Street Food Cartel and Street Food Scotland for more information on great Street food ventures happening in Glasgow and the rest of Scotland.

 

About The Author

Sean Murphy

Driven by a passion for all things whisky-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over six years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink.

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