Insider’s Guide: Best Places For Lunch in Glasgow

Glasgow is a city which has managed to ditch its previously ‘grim’ tag over the past couple of  decades and like Manchester,  Newcastle and other up-and-coming Northern locations offers impressive shopping, cultural attractions and fabulous eating places. If you happen to be lucky enough to be in Glasgow around lunch time, the following five locations are definitely worth consideration:

Primal Roast – 278 St Vincent Street

Owned by the former chef of Glasgow’s multi-award winning ubiquitous Chip, Iain Walker, Primal Roast is a clean-eating café in the heart of the city centre. Here you’ll find both meat and vegan options as well as a selection of Dear Green and speciality coffees. The buddha bowls are a big seller (steamed rice, spinach, pico de gallo salsa and served with either a meat or vegan-friendly options). A brew bar offers guest roasts such as aeropress and V60s for true coffee enthusiasts while cakes are wheat and gluten free


Kember and Jones – 134 Byres Rd

With its rustic rather bohemian vibe, Kember and Jones (named after the surnames of the couple who own the café), has a laid back vibe and a small deli counter in which to browse while waiting for lunch to be served. Favourites here include the warm goats cheese salad with sun blush tomatoes, pesto and toasted pine nuts as well as the cannellini bean soup. The ethos is getting goodness from fresh, simple ingredients. Their artisan bakery produces bread which comprises just four ingredients – Cotswold’s flour, Scottish water, salt and yeast – for instance. The coffee hails from sustainable farms in Brazil, Costa Rica and Guatemala:


Kember & Jones

Photo credit

Tapa – 721 Pollokshaws Road,

This unpretentious bakery-cum-cafe which began life in the rather run-down East End has now spread to the city’s South Side in Pollokshaws Road and, recently, the upmarket West End. It’s all about wholesome and organic eating at Tapa (the restaurant has Soil Association accreditation). Vegan and celiac diners are very much in mind on the menu: sandwiches are packed with humous, growing seeds and fishy-type protein. Soups are made daily at the open kitchen and a great lunch time special is the puy lentil and pine nut burger on focaccia served with a side of relish and tobbouleh The coffee here is all about the Arabica bean which produces a smooth and velvety cup with less caffeine than its counterparts:



Café Gondolfi – 64 Albion Street

Located in the trendy Merchant City, Café Gondolifi is a bit of an institution, having been around since 1983. The philosophy here is superb ingredients, simply cooked and served with care. Rustic and relaxed with fascinating bespoke carved tables and chairs, the restaurant is worth a visit just to check out the furniture alone. The Cullen Skink soup is a favourite with locals. A fish restaurant, scallops are served up fresh daily. Try and bacon and avocado salad or the buckwheat noodle bowl.


Cafe Gandolfi

Two Fat Ladies at The Buttery – 652-654 Argyle Street

Another city favourite, this time in the posh West End, the Buttery was taken over by Two Fat Ladies in 2007 who proceeded to add a healthy touch. With dark mahogany wood, tartan carpets and stained glass it has an upmarket Scottish feel. Salads include seasonal leaves, deep fried halloumi sticks, raspberry & balsamic compote while main courses don’t come any better than butternut squash & amaretti biscuit risotto with salsa verde:


Two Fat Ladies