Glasgow might not be famous for it’s fine dining and award winning food, thanks in part to the controversy it’s courted with its deep fried Mars Bar, but that’s not to say that fabulous food doesn’t exist within its streets. In fact, some of the city’s top luxury hotels have 5 star restaurants that are worth travelling for, and there are a plentiful supply of boutique bistro’s and up-scale eateries to choose from. Hidden beneath the outer facade of traditionally pocket friendly, cheap meal cafes are some hidden treasures waiting to delight you with taste and texture.
Black Sheep Bistro
The Black Sheep Bistro is a small restaurant run by a family who pride themselves on serving what can only be described as traditional home cooked food. Bright, friendly and welcoming this restaurant feels like someone’s living room and the staff take extra special care to make you feel at home. The food is basic, making the menu of soups, haggis and beef and mash very easy to navigate and they taste fantastic! Simple, no nonsense food which comes in at around £15-30 a head for three courses, you really can’t go wrong. http://www.blacksheepbistro.co.uk/
Grill on the Corner
The Grill on the Corner is large, spacious and feels very much like a giant pub. It is noisy and busy with plenty of seating space so a great place if you want to feel lost and anonymous. You may have to wait a little for your food, but this restaurant is a favorite for most Glaswegians and attracts celebs like Billy Connolly. Steak, fillet burgers, fat cut chips and an environment to match, the Grill on the Corner is an excellent place to take time over your food and chill out with friends, there is plenty of space for a party of five or even ten. http://www.blackhouse.uk.com/
If you love your spice, then you can’t go wrong with a trip to Café India where curry meets city and award-winning wine abounds. Cooked live on a real fire, you can expect treat of the very best that Indian food has to offering the form of curries, melt in your mouth chicken and sheesh kebabs full of lively, fresh recipes and good service to match. http://cafeindiaglasgow.com/
A Turkish restaurant, that has won user review led awards for it’s fanatic service and high quality food, this restaurant is a treat for your palate. Warm, and welcoming, the waiters are decked in traditional Turkish gear and live music will take you straight out of Glasgow into the Far East. Portions are incredibly generous, and come to your table hot and straight off the cooking plate with fresh flatbreads clearly cooked to order. Kebabs, lamb, aubergine, spice and traditional Turkish wet foods are all on offer and the menu is written in English to help you along. A real find! http://allaturca.co.uk/
A list of must-visit restaurants would not be complete without a spot of fine dining and Brian Maule is considered one of the best fine dining restaurants in Glasgow. Having won numerous awards, this light, fresh and well thought out restaurant offers a menu of scallops, beef and lamb cooked to perfection. Definitely upmarket, Brian Maule is more expensive and requires a longer time to be spent there than other restaurants, but you will not regret it. This restaurant is perfect for a special date, occasion or celebration. http://www.brianmaule.com/
Ben loves to travel and visit different restaurants all over the world. He runs www.wheretoeat.co.uk where he blogs about restaurants and recipes.
For other great ideas about luxury travel in Europe, check out our hotel reviews here.
Located in a quiet back street, just off the main road through upmarket Bearsden in Glasgow, is an unassuming building that houses one of the best Spanish Tapas restaurants this side of Andalucia. Las Ramblas is an authentic slice of Spain from the food through to the deçor, although you might not think it at first glance. From the outside it seems relatively small, crammed into the corner of a tiny car park, but when you enter the tardis you discover that there’s more than enough room to swing a Matador or two with ease.
Beautifully decorated in warm Mediterranean colours, this traditional Taverna style restaurant emulates its Continental cousins. The interior decoration is authentic, not a single dodgy sombrero in sight, and there are a few unique touches (the sublime slate wall, for example) that elevate it to the ranks of classy chic.
The atmosphere in Las Ramblas is lively, and every bit as colourful as it’s owner; of Asian descent, he serves traditional Spanish food cooked by his Brazilian chef and served by Scottish waitresses. Now that’s what I call ‘fusion food’, and we’ve not even discussed the menu yet.
And speaking of food, the dishes here are outstanding in both taste and imagination. Traditional Spanish ingredients are married with Scottish fare to create a unique combination of flavours and textures. Try the Champiñones Rellenos (mushrooms stuffed with chorizo & black pudding cooked in chilli oil) to get an idea of what we mean. But if traditional Spanish is what you’re after, then you’re definitely in the right place. Fabulous paellas, tantalising seafood and tasty meat dishes adorn the menu. It’s like a 5* degustation meal without the price tag.
Diners really need to take time to digest the menu and decide between the choices on offer, and if you’re the indecisive type, you might find this difficult. But, that’s the beauty of Tapas. With all the portions in small, manageable sizes, there’s no reason why you can’t try as many as you like (or can manage). Or better yet, take a friend and share. Just remember to leave plenty of room for dessert, because with their signature homemade sticky toffee pudding on the menu, you’d be silly not to!
The service here is quick, but you won’t be made to feel hurried. The staff are happy to let you relax and chill out, and even on the busy Friday night that we visited on there was no pressure to vacate our table in this packed, lively restaurant.
So, next time you fancy dining with a difference, take yourself up to the back streets of Bearsden and stop in at Las Ramblas. You won’t be disappointed.