Glasgow’s Coolest Bars and Clubs

Make no bones about it—Glasgow is very much a party city. In fact Glaswegians wear the city’s collection of world-class clubs, bars, and music venues as a badge of pride. Glasgow’s obsession with music shines through at many of its venues, which have a strong bent towards live performances. Expertly mixed cocktails and laid-back hangouts are also prevalent.

Top of Byres Road, Glasgow G12 8QX, UK
Translating into ‘big song’ in Gaelic, Òran Mór is a linchpin of entertainment in Glasgow’s trendy west end. Located in the former Kelvinside Parish Church, this stunner of a venue is host to concerts (think FKA Twigs), plays (the irresistible play, pie and pint combo), and weddings (naturally) in addition to being a charming restaurant. While I tried my first haggis in Edinburgh, it really fell flat in comparison to this one. Though it’s easy to thistle-up at the idea of eating a sheep’s innards, it’s actually of little concern once you’re hungry and diving into a plate of it. Haggis is whipped up from a sheep’s pluck — aka their heart, liver and lungs — and comes hacked up with onion, oatmeal and plenty of spices. Following the makeover it’s pretty unrecognizable. Traditionally it comes served with neeps and tatties, a rather charming way of saying mashed turnips and potatoes. Here the goods arrive drenched in whiskey sauce and chances are, you’ll eat every bite.
239 North St, Glasgow G3 7DL, UK
A fixture with Glasgow’s cool kids, Chinaski’s continues to thrive. It may not look like much from the outside, but interiors inspired by novelist Charles Bukowski, a great selection of music and some excellent drinks and bar food ensure its popularity. Although more famed for its drinks, dishes such as crisp whitebait and parmesan crusted rack of lamb prove that the kitchen knows its stuff.
12 Ashton Ln, Glasgow G12 8SJ, UK
If you wanted to trace Scotland’s modern culinary renaissance, you would begin here, on Ashton Lane in Glasgow’s West End, where the late Ronnie Clydesdale opened Ubiquitous Chip in 1971. Even then, Clydesdale recognized that Scottish produce could serve as the building blocks of standout cuisine, with nary a chip in sight. Now run by his son Colin, the Ubiquitous Chip is still one of the standard-bearers of Glasgow fine dining, though the space itself is elegantly casual. The venison haggis with champit tatties (mashed potatoes with parsley) has been on the menu since the beginning, but also worth trying is the Caledonian ice cream with poached plums and honey oats.
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