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I love where I live
I talk about Glasgow a lot. Personally, I think it’s the better of Scotland’s two “main” cities, and it offers something that Edinburgh just can’t. Sure, Edinburgh’s got that fancy castle, and it looks quite pretty – but Glasgow has something special. Our city slogan – People Make Glasgow – runs true, with an atmosphere in the city that you just can’t beat.
I’ll happily shout about my love for the city I call home from the rooftops, and I’ve partnered with Crooked Beverage Co to share some of my favourite spots in Glasgow that you won’t necessarily find in the guidebooks. As a city, Glasgow is full of hidden gems, as well as old favourites that remain deservedly popular with locals and tourists alike.
I’ve been saying that I’d write a guide to Glasgow for a long time now, so it’s about time I shared my list of must visit places in and around Glasgow. True to form, they’re mostly food related – but did you expect anything less? Every week I’m discovering more incredible places in Glasgow, but these guys have been firm favourites of mine for a while now.
The city centre is the place to be when it comes to shopping, as it’s home to Glasgow’s infamous “Style Mile”. Here you’ll find all the big names, much like any British high street, but if you take a second to venture beyond Buchanan Street you’ll soon realise that it’s also home to so much more.
Starting as we mean to go on, let’s talk food. Glasgow’s food scene is always growing, and the city centre has seen some brilliant new ventures open up recently. My favourites include Paesano and Pizza Punks – the latter of which is a great place to pick up one of the Crooked
cans for yourself. Midnight Stage is my personal favourite, but Mother Moon goes down a treat on a sunny day too.
Across the road from Pizza Punks, you’ll find Mexican tapas in Topolabamba, or wander down the street and grab some more traditional tapas at Café Andaluz. You can sample some of the city’s best bites at the recently opened Platform market, found at the iconic Arches under Central Station. For excellent afternoon tea, The Butterfly and Pig is a must. They’ve got a southside venue, but the city centre tearooms on Bath Street is my go-to for any lunchtime occasion.
For coffees, cakes and brunch-time delights you can’t go wrong with Singlend, with their original venue in Garnethill recently being joined by a second café in the Merchant City. Also in the Merchant City are Wilson Street Pantry and Spitfire Espresso, the perfect places to grab your caffeine fix and hide from the inevitable rain. For a sweet hit, Tantrum Doughnuts have now opened on Gordon Street, just across from Central Station, and their doughnuts are seriously unmissable.
Once you’ve fuelled up for a bit of sightseeing, climb the steps of the Lighthouse for the best views over the city or follow the Mural Trail to see some stunning street art. If music is your thing – King Tuts is a must. It’s tiny, making for an incredibly intimate experience, and has been the scene of many of my favourite gigs. Even if you can’t grab a ticket to one of their many gigs, you can pick up a bite to eat with a Crooked Beverage Co
can in their bar and soak up some of the atmosphere.
Outside of King Tuts, the music scene creeps towards the iconic Barrowlands Ballroom in the up and coming east end of Glasgow. Barrowlands is by far my favourite venue and a Barras crowd is next to none. Around the corner, St Luke’s is another brilliant venue in a stunning converted church.
In the same area, you’ll find Barrowland Art and Design, or BAaD for short, which is probably one of the coolest spots in the city at the moment. At BAaD, you’ll find independent boutiques, street food festivals, craft fairs and stunning food all under one roof. It’s a charming venue, and well worth a visit. Pop into Braw Wee Emporium and pick up a souvenir or six from local artists like Claire Barclay Draws and Bonnie Bling.
When hunger strikes, head to the Templeton Building on Glasgow Green and pay a visit to WEST Brewery, with the best beer garden in the city and plenty of pup-spotting to be had. Pay a visit to Dennistoun BBQ for a smokehouse feast or check out the Winged Ox at St. Luke’s before taking in a show.
South Side Scran
I’m the first to admit that I don’t spend nearly as much as time south of the river as I’d like. Even more so, when you consider the fact that this would be my first choice when it comes to picking an area of the city to live in the future. Whenever I get the chance, this is where I’ll head to spend a chilled out Saturday wandering around the park or catching up over cake.
The highlight of the southside – and the main draw for me – is undoubtedly the food scene. Every week something new appears, but my current highlights include Pot Luck for the incredible hot cakes you see above, Café Strange Brew, Surf Dogs, Bramble and Julie’s Kopitiam. City centre favourite Halloumi is set to open a southside restaurant here this summer, too.
The southside is not short of lovely coffee shops and cafes, including It All Started Here, Grain and Grind and Market. Venture a little further south and you’ll find Wild Flours bakery in Giffnock, who have incredible beignets that are worth the walk. Wild Flours also stock an abundance of Glasgow’s independent coffee shops, so chances are you’ll stumble across them without even realising.
West End Wandering
The west end of Glasgow is a haven for students, with Glasgow University being based here. There’s a lot to take in at this end of town, but I think the best way to see what the west end has to offer is to get the subway to Kelvinbridge and head up Great Western Road towards the Botanic Gardens. From there, wander down Byres Road towards the Finnieston area, stop off at the beautiful Kelvingrove Museum, and you’ll cover a fair bit of the best of the west.
On your way, you can take in the shops of Great Western Road, like the adorable Liquorice Tree gift shop, wander down hidden alleyways off of Byres Road and stumble across the vintage treasure troves in Ruthven Mews before stopping off in the colourful Hidden Lane in Finnieston.
Should you need some sustenance, you can get great coffee and cake at Black Pine and Cottonrake Bakery on Great Western Road. My beloved Paesano has opened on the same street, alongside Bread Meats Bread which is the best for brilliant burgers. To top it all off with a sweet treat you can stop at Loop and Scoop for churros and gelato and use the sugar rush to fuel the rest of your exploration.
Chances are you’ll be thirsty after all of that walking, and there’s no shortage of watering holes in the west end. Inn Deep has a beautiful riverside location and Vodka Wodka has the perfect combination of cocktails and a good beer garden. Back on Great Western Road, you can pop into the Crafty Pig for their weekly pub quiz and another chance to pick up one of the Crooked Beverage Co’s alcoholic sodas
to try for yourself.
Do you see why I love Glasgow so much? There is no end to the incredible venues around the city, and plenty of good food to stick your teeth into too. I honestly could have wittered on forever about the best places to visit, as I’m discovering new haunts every single week. It’s hard to keep up!
Want to win the chance to try it all for yourself? Pick up a can and post a snap to Instagram tagging @CrookedBevCo and #crookedreality to be in with a chance of winning a city break worth £1000.