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10 of the most famous Glasgow restaurants everyone should try at least once

Glasgow's food scene has been growing exponentially of late, but some restaurants continue to outlast each new trend which comes and goes.

Published: March 7, 2017

Ubiquitous Chip

(12 Ashton Ln, Glasgow G12 8SJ)

Picture: Visit Scotland

Picture: Visit Scotland

A lot of trends form the 70s have come and gone; flairs, platform shoes, fondue, but thankfully in Glasgow, one trend in particular has never gone out of fashion and that's eating in the Ubiquitous Chip.

Ahead of the curve when it comes to extolling the virtues of Scottish cuisine and locally sourced ingredients, the chip has become the go to recommendation when any Glaswegian is asked by visitors for the best restaurant in the city.

Remaining a bastion of class in Ashton Lane, while holding off assaults from chain restaurants and those trendy upstarts in nearby Finnieston, the Chip still delights all who pass through its doors.

The classic logo and whitewashed walls of the exterior lead to an almost ethereal interior and stunningly inventive dishes like Galloway Roe Deer and Hazelnut and Truffle Cod.

Café Gandolfi

(64 Albion St, Glasgow G1 1NY)

Picture: Café Gandolfi

Picture: Café Gandolfi

Continuing the trend of long established restaurants with striking interiors, Café Gandolfi is a true favourite of many a Glaswegian and nearly every local will have heard of it, if not enjoyed a meal or two there.

Opened in 1979 by founder Iain Mackenzie and with Seumas MacInnes now at the helm, Gandolfi is rightly celebrated for its simple approach to great food.

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Proud to have been the first eatery in to have a cappuccino machine, Gandolfi is credited with bringing real café culture to the city.

The interior is breathtaking, with L-shaped layout and driftwood style furniture but it's the menu and the Scottish dishes found there that  is the real reason people keep coming back.

Arbroath Smokies, Cullen Skink and peat smoked salmon sit side by side with global dishes like New York pastrami and Spanakopita ensuring there's always something interesting to take your fancy.


(11 Exchange Place, Glasgow, G1 3AN)

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Picture: Rogano Facebook

Picture: Rogano Facebook

If any of the of the restaurants on this list deserve the appellation of ‘the original Glasgow seafood restaurant’ then it’s the Rogano.

Should Jay Gatsby ever step out of the pages of fiction and visit Glasgow, this is where he would go.

Opened in 1935, this art deco themed restaurant has been serving the best of Scottish seafood to locals and visitors alike for over 75 years.

Situated just off of Glasgow’s chic royal exchange square, the Rogano is a must visit for those looking to sample a little bit of Glasgow’s rich history, all while sampling some amazing seafood.

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(225A W George St, Glasgow G2 2ND)

Picture: Gamba

Picture: Gamba

If you’re looking for some of the city's best sefood, then look no further than the city centre and Derek Marshall’s Gamba.

This two AA rosette award-winning restaurant offers a menu that is updated every six weeks and regularly includes locally sourced produce such as Isle of Gigha halibut, Scottish lobster and Scottish smoked salmon from Marrbury.

The cosy, basement destination has been described as one of “Glasgow’s culinary standard bearers” and with 16 years of serving customers some of the best seafood around, you’ll be hard pushed to find a better seafood restaurant anywhere in Scotland.

While you are there be sure to check out chef Derek Marshall’s signature fish soup, customers and reviewers alike regularly rave about it, and rightly so.

Two Fat Ladies

(88 Dumbarton Road, Glasgow and 118A Blythswood Street, Glasgow G2 4EG)

Opened in 1989, the original Two Fat Ladies was set up on 88 (an obvious nod to its creators if ever there was one) Dumbarton Road with the intent of serving dishes created using the best of Scottish produce and influenced by France, Italy, the Middle East and beyond.

Quickly gaining popularity, a second more accessible restaurant was opened in the city centre, closely following the ethos of its predecessor.

The Two Fat Ladies offers everything from seabream to trout through to the wonderful sounding curry & peanut crusted monkfish.

You’ll be spoiled for choice and there’s plenty of non-fish based dishes for those who want something a little different.

The Sisters Kelvingrove

(36 Kelvingrove St, Glasgow G3 7RZ)

1Samples of Glenfiddich

Picture: Trip Advisor Traveller

Stylish and intimate, The Sisters is the perfect date night restaurant.

Run by celebrity chef and contestant on BBC’s Great British Menu 2014 Jacqueline O'Donnell, the menu is another that showcases just how good Scottish dishes can be when created by the right hands.

Sourcing from all across Scotland and with a focus on provenance, you'll find dishes like Trio of Ardunan Farm rare breed pork, Grilled Uist Haddock and Inverurie lamb rump,

Each meal lovingly prepared by Jak and her team, a trip to The Sisters is like visiting your favourite aunts, you'll be well looked after and leave with a smile on your face.

Mother India

(28 Westminster Terrace, Glasgow G3 7RU)

Picture: Mother India

Picture: Mother India

Pretty much the go to for great curry in the city, Mother India has seen of challenges from many an upstart over the years.

It’s easy to see why the place is so highly praised when you take a visit there yourself, the staff are welcoming and always happy to help with choosing, while the restaurant itself is classically designed, spacious and very often features live music.

The food though is the true star of the show, the tapas style dishes allow for plenty of sharing and make for a fun, sociable atmosphere.

Ox & Finch

(920 Sauchiehall St, Glasgow G3 7TF)

Picture: Ox & Finch Facebook

Picture: Ox & Finch Facebook

Hip and contemporary are two words that you could throw at Ox & Finch but they hardly do it justice.

With a spacious, well lit venue and a stripped back interior with sleek leather booths and huge windows, the restaurant itself is fairly reserved compared to a menu which ranges from comforting to the sublime.

Small, tapas dishes are the order of the day here, and thankfully they make eating here even more fun, a culinary adventure the seasonal menu runs through neatly ordered sections offering seafood like skate wing and poached hake through to raw cured and cold dishes like dry aged carpaccio and rabbit rillettes with prunes, laphroaig and smoked potato salad.

And yes, the dishes are as tasty as they are pretty.

Brian Maule at Chardon D'Or

(176 West Regent St, Glasgow G2 4RL)

In a city that traditionally embraces more louche pursuits when it comes to culinary satisfaction, you'd be forgiven for thinking that fine dining had been abandoned in favour of the more exciting contemporary style of restaurant, but thankfully one man has maintained the drive to gain the city its first Michelin starred restaurant.

Brian Maule spent 11 years training at Michel Roux Jr’s London restaurant, La Gavroche, and returned to the city he loved with a passion to create French-style haute cuisine.

The result is Brian Maule at Chardon D'Or, a food destination that's been winning award after award for applying Brian's unique cooking style to Scotland's wonderful produce.

Roast breast of guinea fowl, fillet of monkfish and pan-fried scallops all feature on a menu that will have you struggling to choose from the array of delightful dishes on offer.


(28 Gibson St, Glasgow G12 8NX)

Picture: Stravaigin Glasgow

Picture: Stravaigin Glasgow

The tagline "think global, eat local" perfectly encapsulates a restaurant that has taken Scottish cuisine to another level.

Featuring dramatic ingredients that range from "crowdie to crocodile", Stravaigin is a restaurant that's never been afraid to try new things whilst also never betraying its roots.

The fact that it's now been serving Glaswegians and visitors alike for over 30 years and the menu is a Jekyll and Hyde fusion of classic Scottish comfort food and local ingredients smashed together with global cuisine outlandish meats to create dishes that are somehow familiar and incredibly new at the same time.

A restaurant for true food lovers.


Driven by a passion for all things drinks-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 10 years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink. Recently, his first book was published. Dubbed Gin Galore, it explores Scotland's best gins and the stories behind those that make them.

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