AD – This is a paid partnership with VisitScotland.
I’ve been promising a Glasgow city guide for as long as I can remember! Somehow it’s even harder to put together a guide when you know a city so well, I want to include every little brunch spot and vintage shop I know of – but then it all becomes a bit overwhelming for the reader! I have finally managed to whittle it down, and I included a few places that I absolutely adore so you can plan a day or a weekend accordingly.
My Go To Brunch Spots
I would say the best place to start your Glasgow vaycay is the Southside! I may be biased here as I’m a Southside native, but I do think it’s the best place for brunch spots and coffee stops. It’s a great area to spend the morning because you can stop at a few places and then stroll around the neighbourhood. I never tire of just wandering around the Southside, it’s always so beautiful and there’s new spots cropping up all the time.
For brunch, Cafe Strange Brew is a must! There’s usually a queue at weekends but it moves fast. If you don’t fancy queuing, head down the road to the newly opened Bramble or another of my favourites, Gnom. This stretch has plenty of brunch places and cafés, and if you’re after something sweet, head to Honeytrap Bakery afterwards for a chocolate and pistachio bun.
Take A Stroll
If there’s one thing Glasgow does well, it’s beautiful parks! We’re lucky to have some of the prettiest places for a wander dotted around the city and I never get tired of exploring them.
If you’re south, Queen’s Park is a great place to stop after brunch, or if you fancy a longer wander, head to Pollok Park and really soak in the picturesque views. Pollok House is beautiful, and the gardens are lovely all year round. If you’re looking for a photo spot, Pollok Park ticks that box – it’s just so scenic.
If you’re West, don’t skip out on Kelvingrove Park – this is such a wonderful park to explore, and it’s really close to lots of sights and shops. After that, wander to Hyndland for a look around their beautiful boutiques.
A Little Bit Of Culture
Glasgow is a city rich in history, so you can easily add a culture stop to your whistle-stop tour of the city. Glasgow Cathedral is well worth a visit, it’s the oldest building in Glasgow (some parts of the building date back to 1197!) and it’s only a short walk from the city centre. The flower-lined walk up is beautiful, and there’s also the Necropolis next door for wonderful views of the city.
If you’re heading west, stop by the Botanic Gardens for a laze in the sunshine and a wander through the leafy greenhouses. We always come here when we’re in the area, it’s so relaxing and always has a great atmosphere when the sun is out.
If the rain starts, take shelter at one of my favourite places in the city; the GFT! The Glasgow Film Theatre in an independent cinema right in the centre of town, it shows all the best indie flicks – grab a bottle of prosecco from the bar and settle down to watch a film.
If you’re a Mackintosh fan, I love the Mack Centre in the Lighthouse, tucked away down a lane in town. There’s a Mackintosh tour you can do (which includes a stop at the lovely Willow Tea Rooms) but if you’re short on time, a pitstop at the Lighthouse covers all bases.
The Coffee Stops
Of course, I had to include some of my favourite coffee shops in Glasgow! If you’re south, I recommend It All Started Here (especially if they have their homemade cinnamon buns!), or the recently opened Godshot Studio, a homeware store with a small coffee shop at the back.
If you’re planning to explore the Southside a little more, head to our coffee shop over in Mount Florida. Market is run by my husband Jordan, and we sell dried flower bouquets, incredible bakes and some pretty tasty coffee too.
If you’re west, I love Black Pine Coffee or Spitfire Espresso is a great option if you’re in town. If you find yourself in Dennistoun, head to EAST – a popular spot for good reason!
For Shopping & Spending
If you’re hitting up the Southside, definitely check out Aume for homewares – the shop itself is in Strathbungo, a really lovely area with lots of brunch options and coffee shops.
I also love BAM, a vintage shop a few minutes away. Their collection of retro homewares and clothing is the best in the city in my opinion, and their coffee is great too.
For the foodies, head to Starter Culture in the Southside for cheese, kombucha and fresh loaves of sourdough. If alcohol is more your thing, stock up on craft beers and Pocket Negroni’s at Valhalla’s Goat on Great Western Road.
Along Byre’s Road are some more great vintage shops, I love Starry Starry Night and West Vintage, which is along a little further on Great Western Road.
Where To Head For A Tipple
If there’s one thing Glasgow does well, it’s watering holes!
If you’re in town or heading west, make sure to stop in at the newly renovated Beresford Lounge. It’s colourful and lively, and a fun place to sit with a drink. Take your camera because it’s Instagram gold!
If you’re in the west end, stop off at The Locale for their delicious margarita menu and outdoor terrace, and then wander over to Finnieston for more places to get a cocktail. I love Kelvingrove Café, they have a great menu and the interiors are lovely, and The Finnieston nearby is also lovely for both food and drinks. You can spend an entire evening on the stretch that makes up Finnieston, so while the Southside is my go-to for brunch and coffee, Finnieston offers you a place to head when you fancy dinner and drinks!
& On To Dinner
Glasgow is a pretty foodie city, and we’re well known for our vegetarian and vegan options too. I have many, many recommendations for dinner spots but I’ll try and keep it simple.
If you’re in town, there’s lots of options (I love Topolabamba for Mexican, and the newly opened Panang is great for Thai) but I prefer to head out to either Finnieston or Hyndland for dinner.
I always recommend Five March to anyone who visits! It’s a lovely indie restaurant serving small plates, and one of our ‘go to’ places for an easy date night. Finnieston is nearby if you fancy a wander or a drink afterwards.
Of course, Ox & Finch is an obvious choice when you’re visiting Glasgow! We love small plates in this city, and Ox and Finch does them best! If you’re a fan of delicious Italian food, you won’t want to miss Gloriosa. The simple menu is absolutely delicious – definitely get the focaccia!
A southside favourite of mine is Julie’s Kopitiam, run by the lovely Julie Lin. The tiny restaurant serves Malaysian small plates in a cosy setting.
Also South is The Bungo for laidback comfort food and drinks, it’s also great for brunch if you’re in the area.
A Few More Foodie Options
I could write an entire post on my favourite places to go for brunch, lunch and dinner in the city, we really are a hub of indie pop-ups and eateries.
Epicures by Cail Bruich in Hyndland is great for brunch and lunch, and Hyndland in general is just lovely to stroll around. Zique’s is also a favourite of ours for brunch and dinner too, it’s usually quite busy but well worth it if you can grab a table.
For dessert, Loop & Scoop in the west end is well known for their churros and other treats! I’d also recommend Platform in town, it’s an indoor street food venue with loads of options. We often head there in the afternoon and don’t leave until closing time!
If you’re in the east end, head to Mesa on Duke Street or Scran, both are great for brunch or lunch.
Glasgow is a big city but once you’re here, it’s pretty easy to get around. We’re a cycle-friendly city so take advantage of the Nextbike’s dotted around and the cycle routes which will take you from the Southside to town and on to the west end.
We also have a very simple subway system as well as busses and trains, and you can see a big chunk of the city on foot if you’re up for it!
Hopefully that should set you up for exploring my home city! Glasgow really is such a wonderful place for a weekend away, you won’t be short of things to see or places to eat at – we really have got the indie brunch spots down.
Are you planning a visit to Glasgow soon?
*Please be responsible as you explore Glasgow. Plan your trip ahead of time using the Scottish Government guidelines, and remember to protect yourself and others.*