While St. Andrews does have some really good paninis, soup, and Italian food, I really miss the cosmopolitan dining style – traveling the world on my tastebuds. So, I decided to go to the largest city in Scotland, Glasgow, and satisfy my international foodie cravings. And Glasgow has it all.
Here’s the plan to travel to as many countries as possible on one visit.
Needing some ‘pho’ in your life? The Hanoi Bike Shop in Glasgow’s West End is the first Vietnamese restaurant in Glasgow. Serving up authentic pho in an incredibly detailed restaurant, the Bike Shop is great. We had the Banh Trang Cuon, or rice paper rolls; they were very refreshing. We also shared the Dau Hu Gung, their homemade tofu with ginger, aubergine, and spring onions. It was delicious, and probably our favorite dish of the evening. We also shared the Bun Bo Hue Chay, the spicy tofu pho, which was decent. It didn’t taste like what we were used to, however; because it was vegetarian, it was not made with the Oxtail broth that pho is usually made with. Overall, the atmosphere was fantastic. With bike wheels on the walls and lanterns hanging above us, it was quite easy to imagine we were really in Vietnam.
Roti and Chai: Indian
Roti and Chai is a small Indian street food restaurant with some really quirky decorations. Hiding around the corner from the West End, the shop is filled with low seating, pillows, and color. We stopped for a cup of chai and a mango lassi. The chai was pretty good, just a loose leaf with milk and the mango lassi was quite milky, but refreshing. Our favorite part was getting to sit cross legged on pillows by the window. We also got a samosa to-go, which was quite cheap and fried nicely. I’d definitely go again – the food looked great.
Papercup Coffee is a small coffee shop on the Great Western Road in the north of Glasgow. It is adorable, and reminded me of Brooklyn or some really trendy coffee shop in Los Angeles. Take your pick. With a cool, clean concrete style, a simple black and white menu, and some nice pillow seats, Papercup Coffee is a great place to have a cup and catch up. I also saw multiple laptops working away. They use their own coffee from their Micro-roastery and brew their coffee in a variety of ways. I ordered the iced coffee pour over, as it was quite a nice day. It came with a slice of lime, and I enjoyed it immensely. They also have healthy smoothies and baked goods.
I haven’t been, but I really want to. Featured on the Munchies Guide to Scotland, Bar Bloc’s Danny McLaren has created some truly Scottish dishes with a twist: Irn Bru Pulled Pork and Buckfast Ice cream. While I didn’t make it their on this trip, I regret it, and so I’m telling you: please go and try it, and tell me how it is.
Basically the Scottish equivalent of Chipotle’s but a little bit cheaper. Unlike Illegal Jacks in Edinburgh, it’s not Tex-Mex. It’s straight up Mexican food. I always go for the carnitas, and it’s great. I nearly cried when I had Pinto the day after Cinco de Mayo – it reminded me of home.
Classy gastronomic deli, kind of like Corner Bakery, but fancier and more Italian. Lovely interior, and they have their own micro roastery, so I’d get on that cappuccino.
So next time you’re in Glasgow, be sure to check out these places and give your tastebuds a culinary experience! They deserve it after that three hour bus ride.
Samantha Emily Evans
Photo credit: Samantha Emily Evans