Hardens Guide to the Best Restaurants in Glasgow
Hardens guides have spent 32 years compiling reviews of the best Glasgow restaurants. On Hardens.com you'll find details and reviews of 35 restaurants in Glasgow and our unique survey based approach to rating and reviewing Glasgow restaurants gives you the best insight into the top restaurants in every area and of every type of cuisine.
Featured Glasgow Restaurants
1. Dakhin Indian, Southern restaurant in Glasgow 89 Candleriggs - G1
Well-established (est. 2004) venue in the Merchant City that’s mentioned in a (limited) number of reports as an exceptional all-rounder for its affordable and interesting introduction to the cuisine of south India.
2. The Dhabba Indian restaurant in Glasgow 44 Candleriggs - G1
2022 Review: Named for the roadside diners of northern India, this central venture in the Merchant City is celebrating its twentieth year. Feedback is limited, but all upbeat.
3. Cail Bruich British, Modern restaurant in Glasgow 725 Great Western Rd - G12
“The passion and intelligence in linking the food and wine is impressive” at this increasingly renowned destination in the West End. Founded in 2008 (and entering our guide in 2018), it won Glasgow’s first Michelin star for 18 years in 2021 shortly after the appointment as chef of Lorna McGee (an Andrew Fairlie protégée). All reports acknowledge its “exceptional” cuisine, served from an eight-course tasting menu, and feel it’s “fully deserving of its awards”. “It’s becoming more pricey”, though, to the extent some fans “fear it’s now becoming inaccessible even for those very special occasions”.
4. La Bonne Auberge French restaurant in Glasgow 161 West Nile St - G1
2019 Review: Part of the Holiday Inn, this long-established brasserie has origins dating back over 40 years and is quite well-known to locals as a city-centre standby. Limited feedback regarding its 1970s-style French bistro/brasserie staples (soupe à l’oignon, boeuf bourguignon, Pêche Melba) but it’s tipped before a show at one of the nearby theatres.
5. Battlefield Rest Scottish restaurant in Glasgow 55 Battlefield Road - G42
A 1914 landmark (a scenic-looking former tram stop) houses this “homely Italian” on the Southside. That it’s “a bit cramped when busy” is the worst anyone has to say of it – it’s consistently praised as a “cheap ’n’ cheerful” local favourite. On the menu, pizza, pasta and gelati alongside a few nourishing mains (pork Milano, beef cheek pie, risotto…)
6. Celentano's Italian restaurant in Glasgow 109 John Knox Street - G4
2022 Review: Native Glaswegian Anna Parker and her chef-husband Dan (ex-head chef of London’s Darby’s and The Dairy) launched this city-centre newcomer in August 2021. It occupies the Scottish Baronial landmark, ‘Cathedral House’, with a restaurant seating 32 and a covered garden seating 40. The seasonal menu is Italian-inspired and ambitious: from home-cured salamis to almond milk gelato.
7. Café Gandolfi International restaurant in Glasgow 64 Albion St - G1
Original hand-made furniture (by Tim Stead) and a characterful, panelled interior add to the enduring appeal of this 40-year-old favourite in the Merchant City – one of Glasgow’s stalwart culinary institutions. The food (served from breakfast) is wholesome, but un-fancy: burger, risotto, rarebit, Arbroath Smokies and so on.
8. Paesano Pizza Italian restaurant in Glasgow 94 Miller Street - G1
“You don’t have to go to Naples” to find “great, reasonably priced pizza and excellent ice cream”. This “very buzzy place in the centre of Glasgow” is “setting the standard for great, no-frills pizza”. There is a second branch in the city’s West End, and owner Paul Stevenson also runs pasta specialist Sugo.
9. The Ivy Buchanan Street British, Modern restaurant in Glasgow 106 Buchanan Street - G1
“You wouldn’t go for ‘haute cuisine’, but as a jolly place to eat comfort food in a spectacular setting, it is hard to beat” – that’s the upbeat view, anyway, on this now-“ubiquitous” brasserie chain. Eight years and 40 openings later, the spin-offs increasingly eclipse the Theatreland original (see also), whose Edwardian features provide the style-guide for its nationwide ‘roll out’. “Even if the unchallenging food reaches no heights, there’s a consistent buzz”, which makes them a “posh”, “fun” choice for a get-together, if not a particularly foodie one. This is particularly the case at the landmark London off-shoots: at ‘Chelsea Garden’ (“gorgeous greenery”); Kensington (“slick”, with a “pretty glitzy crowd”); and on the Thames (“great views over Tower Bridge”). But while it’s always been acknowledged that the mass offering is “a shadow of the mothership’s” – with “average grub at not-so-average prices” – the feeling that the brand has become just “a chain that does not excite” is gaining ever-stronger currency. Service seems more “stretched” nowadays, and a sliding ambience rating is making the whole offering seem ever-more “overrated, for all its modern art and perky décor”.
10. Rogano Fish & seafood restaurant in Glasgow 11 Exchange Place - G1
Shuttered in September 2020 and marked as ‘Permanently Closed’ on Google, this city-centre fish and seafood institution is one of the city’s best-known restaurants thanks in large part to its Art Deco interior, created in 1935 by the same craftsmen who fitted out the Queen Mary. According to an August 2022 report in the Glasgow Evening Times, it will re-open… but no-one seems to know when.
11. Gamba Fish & seafood restaurant in Glasgow 225a West George St - G2
Derek Marshall’s “always excellent” – “if slightly difficult to find” – basement seafood spot celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. It’s particularly noted for its “interesting good-value lunch”.
12. Two Fat Ladies at The Buttery Scottish restaurant in Glasgow 652 Argyle St - G3
This “superb” Glasgow institution from Ryan James makes brilliant use of a classic Victorian interior (one of the city’s more historic interiors). “The only criticism is that the menu is on the ‘traditional’ side” – although that might seem appropriate to the site – “but you cannot fault the execution and the attention to detail”.
13. Bar Brett restaurant in Glasgow 321 Great Western Road - G4
2022 Review: This spin-off from Cail Bruich attracts some attention purely on account of its stellar sibling, although the culinary formula is much simpler – sharing plates of locally supplied meat, seafood, cheese and charcuterie, plus an interesting selection of wine. But while we do have some feedback saying it’s “very good”, its volume is too limited for a definitive verdict.
14. Shish Mahal Indian restaurant in Glasgow 60-68 Park Road - G4
2022 Review: “Never disappoints, even after four decades of being a customer” – a “Glasgow institution” (est. 1964) whose “consistent cooking” attracts “generations of families, all welcome”. The victuals touch on most of the flavours of the subcontinent, while the founder, known to all as Mr Ali, is a bit of a West End dining legend.
15. Mother India Indian restaurant in Glasgow 28 Westminster Ter - G3
“What a gem!” – “a must if you are in Glasgow”. Monir & Smeena Mohammed opened their three-floor West End institution in 1990, scoring a hit with their “brilliant authentic Indian food”, based on home-cooked Punjabi dishes and all served at a notably “reasonable price”. Top Tip – “the fantastic naan”.
16. Unalome by Graeme Cheevers British, Modern restaurant in Glasgow 36 Kelvingrove Street - G3
“A really wonderful dining experience” – ex-Isle of Eriska chef Graeme Cheevers’s ambitious Finnieston yearling was “well deserving of its Michelin star” within eight months of opening, for its “immaculate dishes, beautifully served”, “exceptional service” and “great and highly accessible wine list”: “Glasgow needed a lunch like this”. The name? – apparently it’s a Buddhist symbol representing the path to enlightenment.
17. Ox and Finch International restaurant in Glasgow 920 Sauchiehall St - G3
“Gutsy flavours” from an “eclectic, ever-changing and high-quality” menu of “varied and creative” dishes “never fail to impress” at Jonathan MacDonald’s Kelvingrove gastropub, which regularly hits the heights. Its chilled and lively atmosphere is “brilliant” too.
18. Crabshakk Fish & seafood restaurant in Glasgow 1114 Argyle St, Finnieston - G3
This intriguing and cramped venue (no surprise its owner is an architect) is “full of fun and just the freshest, simplest food – whole crabs and great fish” – a formula that has carried the Finnieston original since 2009 (it added a sibling this year, see also). “Be prepared to be very close to fellow diners, but it’s so worth it for the totally awesome food”.
19. Stravaigin International restaurant in Glasgow 28 Gibson St - G12
As it approaches its 30th anniversary, Colin Clydesdale and Carol Wright’s bar/restaurant remains a well-known local icon for Glasgow foodies, but has never inspired matching interest in our annual diners’ poll. Its motto of ‘Think Global, Eat Local’ has held up very well over the years, with its eclectic mixture of ‘world food’ from Scottish ingredients having proved well ahead of its time.
20. Six by Nico International restaurant in Glasgow 1132 Argyle Street - G3
“Such amazing value for a six-course, themed, tasting menu” that changes every six weeks – that’s the USP of Nico Simeone’s national chain, which, over five years, has grown from its Glasgow base to number nine in total (with London having two: in Fitzrovia and Canary Wharf). Of course it’s “slightly gimmicky”, but on the whole it’s “a good effort at a budget experience”: “you get what you pay for, and while not all dishes hit the mark, and service can be a bit hit ’n’ miss (particularly at busy times), it is innovative, has a great buzz and is a lot of fun”.
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