We spend a lot of time talking about Edinburgh here, but it’s high time we give our Glasgow fans some love!
Whilst most of our team is based in Edinburgh, our intern Isy lives in Glasgow. Apart from culinary escapades across the city, she doesn’t really have any other hobbies, which makes her the perfect guide to the city's food & drink spots!
In a bid to convince us to swap Auld Reekie for Glasgow, she's compiled a series of ultimate foodie days for us in various Glasgae neighbourhoods.
This week, we're exploring Glasgow’s East End!
Tantrum Doughnuts - City Centre 📌
Assuming you're arriving by train and with a hankering for food, we’re starting our day just up the road from Central Station with a post-journey snack at Tantrum Doughnuts.
They’ve cornered the market in Glasgow with their homemade doughnuts that, like us, offer a sweet treat without the additives. Plus, they’re vegan-friendly!
Their best-selling doughnut is Crème Brûlée, and it’s truly remarkable how much it reminds us of the vanilla custard dessert. It even has a blow-torched sugar top!
Tantrum has also partnered with speciality coffee roasters, Papercup Coffee, who brew arguably some of the best coffee in Glasgow. Doughnuts and coffee, what better way to start a day of exploring?
Time to head to the East End!
The Barras - Gallowgate 📌
Ah, The Barras. It’s almost impossible to put into words just how important this location is to Glasgow’s history and culture.
Located next to the iconic Barrowlands Ballroom gig venue, The Barras has been the main indoor market for hawkers to sell their handmade wares in Glasgow since the 20th century. This makes it one of the UK’s oldest markets at 101 years old!
The Barras currently houses over 100 stalls and shops selling everything from vintage clothes and homeware, to vinyl and wartime memorabilia. The market is only open on weekends, but make sure to get there first thing to make the most of your time.
For those who don’t fancy retail therapy, or digging around in bargain bins like some of us do, you can head to Barras Art and Design (BAaD), which is a collection of spaces that host entertainment including art, events, and music throughout the year. Make sure to check out their website to see what’s on!
The Gate - Gallowgate 📌
From The Barras, we cross the road to our first bar of the day.
The Gate is home to some of Glasgow’s most talented bartenders, who come up with a selection of six unique cocktails each month. Aside from its monthly menu, The Gate has over 160 whiskies, over 30 gins, and a vast selection of beers, rums and liqueurs!
The space itself pays homage to the traditional pub, with an original tenement entrance, a fireplace, dark interiors and brick walls. The back of the venue moves into more retro banquet seating and stools, which seems like a fun nod to the vintage furniture being sold in The Barras.
If it’s still too early for a drink, have no fear! The Gate is one of the rare pubs that are able to do both drinks and food really well. Their toasties are legendary amongst late-night drinkers, and they also regularly host dark kitchen takeovers from talent across Scotland.
You know we’re big fans of sandwiches over here, so we were buzzing to see that they had featured our fave, the King of Feasts!
The Gate's most recent takeover was by Nauticus bar, who we absolutely adore! Head to our instagram to see us in action behind their bar a few months ago...
Now that you’re suitably fed and watered, it's time to hit more sights!
We’re heading up the road to one of Glasgow’s most historic landmarks: Glasgow Cathedral. The cathedral is Scotland’s largest place of worship built in dedication to Saint Mungo, the patron saint of Glasgow, whose tomb lies beneath it.
After 350 years in the making, Glasgow Cathedral was finally completed in 1136, featuring soaring arches and Victorian stained-glass windows, which are said to be one of the finest post-war collections in Britain.
You can book a guided tour of the cathedral, and gain access to the old crypt via their website. We’d recommend scheduling your visit so that you’re able to listen to their beautiful organ recitals!
Last entry 16:30
Castle Street, Glasgow
Right behind the cathedral is The Necropolis, a sprawling cemetery built for the Victorian elite.
For those who have visited France, the Necropolis might feel familiar as it was modelled on Cimetière du Père Lachaise in Paris. Like its French counterpart, the Necropolis holds many famous Glaswegians and includes monuments to famous Scots including William Wallace.
The Necropolis sprawls out over a hilltop and is a beautifully lit location during golden hour. We would recommend setting aside about an hour to walk around its entirety and stop to admire the view over the city before the sun sets.
Castle St, Glasgow G4 0UZ
Celentano's - Cathedral Square 📌
The sun has set, and you’ve done all the walking your feet can bear for one day. Time for a well-earned dinner. Luckily, overlooking the Cathedral and Necropolis is Celentano’s.
The Italian-inspired restaurant was awarded a Michelin Bib Gourmand within the first 6 months of opening, and for good reason! Their seasonal menu features a host of Italian favourites, and their plates of pasta are freshly made each day. Even their antipasti are worth the trip.
Isy's ultimate favourites include lasagne fritti (possibly bestowed upon us by the food gods themselves), mouthwatering salt cod doughnuts, and salsicia aged in-house.
Make sure to save room for dessert because their otherwordly affogato has got to be the best we’ve ever had in the city!
Wed-Sat, 12:00-15:00, 17:45-23:00
28–32 Cathedral Square, Glasgow G4
The Absent Ear - Merchant City 📌
The night is still young and you know we can’t resist a speakeasy. If you’re looking for a nightcap, look no further than The Absent Ear.
Since its opening in 2021, The Absent Ear has been one of Glasgow's most talked about bars. Named the 26th best cocktail bar in the UK, the bar has been described as a “hedonistic haven from your wildest dreams”.
Their cocktail menus change regularly, but the element of excitement remains the same. The team are constantly creating fun ways to experience their libations, our most recent faves include:
Scratch & Sip - a cocktail that involves an artist-made scratch card that gives you the chance to win a prize!
Aye, Brufen! 💊 - the bartender ‘diagnoses’ your ailment and prescribes a cure in the form of a cocktail filled with anti-inflammatory ingredients
Wish you were Ear - involves you writing a postcard to a pal, which they’ll post for you
Miso Mary - a mash-up between a bloody mary and a miso soup, served in a bowl!
If that’s not enough to tempt you into this den of iniquity, I don’t know what will!
This is the perfect spot to finish a long day of sightseeing… if you can find it. The only way to find out The Absent Ear’s location is by booking a reservation, upon which you’ll be given a secret password that grants you access to the bar.
No password, no entry.
Sat & Sun 15:00-02:00
Location: to be discovered...
There you have it: our ultimate guide to Glasgow’s East End ✨
Let us know if you try any of our picks in the comments below for a chance to win a case of Bon Accord soft drinks!
Stay tuned for our next Glasgow guide: The West End!
Why not grab a few bottles of Bon Accord for your adventures?