For long lunches and relaxed dinners, there are numerous neighbourhood restaurants to know. Five March does small plates with local beers and a neat selection of wines. Menu highlights include lamb meatballs with cumin and chickpeas, and fried chicken with pickles and peanuts. Ubiquitous Chip on cobbled Ashton Lane has a similar vibe. Here, diners can tuck into inventive Scottish dishes with a modern twist, like venison haggis, smoked fish boards and Scottish seatrout. There’s an outdoor courtyard, an upstairs brasserie, a rooftop terrace and several bars – perfect for a fun date or evening with friends. Casual dinners are best spent at Ox and Finch in the West End. There’s a laidback atmosphere where friendly staff serve Mediterranean-inspired sharing dishes. We like the sound of the poached hake with squid, chickpeas, celery and green olive aioli, followed by raspberry and olive oil millefeuille.
Thanks to its proximity to Scotland’s coastline, Glasgow also has excellent seafood restaurants. Crabshakk has two outposts: the original site in Finnieston and a second in the West End. The former has been a favourite among locals since it opened 13 years ago. Today, diners at both places can expect the same seafood platters and sharing dishes of mussels mariniere, langoustines, and crab cakes. Another great option is Shucks, from the same team behind Cail Bruich. The menu of local seafood dishes is hyper-seasonal – barbecued squid, shrimp with marie-rose butter and brown butter poached cod might be among the options for you. For southeast Asian-inspired sharing plates, book a table at Ka Pao, which showcases dishes from Northern Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore. For a great curry, book a table at Glasgow institution Mother India. In opulent surrounds, diners can enjoy traditional curries mopped up with huge naan breads.
Outlier in Calton is the place for your coffee and pastry fix. It’s a beautifully designed space with a café and gallery. Bread, pastries and cakes are by ex-Rochelle Canteen chef Allisa Murphy-McFarlen, and there are also brunch dishes and toasties. Later this year, Outlier will gain its licence to serve wines and cocktails in the evening. Meanwhile, Tantrum Doughnuts makes sweet treats finished with signature jams, custards and toppings. Choose from flavours like crème brûlée, birthday cake, forest fruits jam, and pistachio and hibiscus. In the evening, make a beeline for one of the city’s many bars and pubs, like The Hug and Pint on Great Western Road. This buzzy spot serves small plates, beer and wine – and there’s usually live music from local bands. Then there’s the nearby Bananamoon, one of the city’s coolest new openings. Head in for retro interiors and great cocktails.