Commonwealth Games: complete travel guide to Glasgow

20th Commonwealth Games - Opening Ceremony

Courtesy Of: Jeff J Mitchell

McCune Smith Cafe

This sharp, modish, East End cafe, with its Harris tweed lampshades and shelves lined with deli goods, provokes an evangelical enthusiasm in its regulars. The pastrami sandwich – just £3.80 to take away – was a sandwich of the gods. Every element was terrific, from the unusually light, fresh rye bread to the sweet, crunchy homemade red onion coleslaw. This was a sandwich that had been lovingly assembled. A flat white was equally precise, the coffee’s roasted, chocolatey notes asserting themselves amid expertly textured, velvety milk.
• Takeaway breakfast items from £1.60, lunch from £2.20. 3-5 Duke Street, 0141-548 1114,

The Hyndland Fox

Even at night, this West End newbie serves big salads, gourmet sandwiches and a handful of mains, such as coq au vin or pappardelle with artichoke and roast peppers, for under £10. By day, such dishes are joined by a full complement of all-day brunch plates. Eggs Benedict, served not with ham but with dry-cure bacon, was A1, the hollandaise silky but nicely acidulated. The space, like the background music, is a bit MOR but clearly the lure of good food is trumping any concerns about interior design.
• Breakfast from £3.50, light dishes from £6, mains from £8. 43 Clarence Drive, 0141-341 6633,


The gorgeous stuffed and topped breads, focaccia and pizzas by the entrance, or the trays of roasted vegetables spilling out of the open kitchen, give you a sense of what this Italian is about. Swerving trattoria cliches, this is an interestingly designed basement space (a mishmash of post-industrial and Amalfi coast influences) that aims to serve fresh, affordable dishes using a mixture of first-rate ingredients and Puglian peasant savvy: a couple could share some sort of bread, a salad and a couple of hot dishes for about £16.
• Lunch dishes £3.95-£5.95. 265 Renfrew Street, 0141-611 7270,

The Glad Cafe

A short walk from Hampden Park, which hosts the track and field events during the Commonwealth Games, the cafe at this Southside arts hub/music venue is a non-profit social enterprise, with fair prices and high quality. Glad’s rarebit was the real deal: a proper grain mustard and Worcester-spiked paste, on toasted slices of the house Crossmyloaf, a rustic bread made for the Glad Cafe by West End artisan bakery-cafeKember & Jones. In the evening, sharing platters of continental meats and/or cheeses are the main attraction.
• Breakfast from £2.50, lunch from £4.50, sharing plates from £8.95. 1006a Pollokshaws Road, Shawlands, 0141-636 6119,

Babu Bombay Street Kitchen

This small, colourful basement space, decorated with Bollywood posters and imported Indian groceries, is much-loved for its daily curries and specialities such as its dhokla, a baked rice and semolina cake from Gujarat. Owners Rachna Deer and Gail Finlayson play irreverently with tradition, serving their curries not just with rice but also with traditional Scottish morning rolls. Babu’s bhurji pau sees one filled with spicy scrambled eggs, for the ultimate Scots-Indian crossover.
• Breakfast from £3.50, snacks and meals from £2.50. 186 West Regent Street, 0141-204 4042,


Inn Deep

Given the ubiquity of its beers in Glasgow’s bars, you might wonder why Alloa’s William Bros felt the need to open one of their own. But they did, and, not unsurprisingly, Inn Deep is a cracker. Whether by accident or design, its fridges seem to contain not just the biggest names in craft beer, but, arguably, and more specifically, the best beers (Kernel’s London Sour, Beavertown’s Gamma Ray, Marble’s Dobber) from each of those A1 micros. In the modern pantheon, these are iconic beers. Inn Deep itself is a cool space. Built into an arch beneath Kelvinbridge, it has a riverside terrace area that feeds into Kelvingrove Park.
• Pint from £2.90. 445 Great Western Road, Kelvinbridge,

Brel Bar

If less-discriminating mates have dragged you into the noisy, neon-flashing cluster of restaurants and bars around Ashton Lane, Brel Bar may prove a lifesaver. As the name suggests, Brel originally majored on Belgian beers and it retains a core of gems from Belgium and Germany. However, that has expanded to include a cask pump rotating beers from Glasgow brewery Kelburn, Joker IPA on keg, and a modest but high-quality range of US and British craft beers. Brel feels like a boozy, no-frills, no-nonsense late-night drinking den. Yet, out back, it has a large and lovely beer garden. On a warm summer’s night, it is the perfect place to escape the crowds.
• Pint from £3.40. Ashton Lane,


Amid the beautiful parkland and grand buildings of Glasgow Green is West, a Bavarian-style bierkeller, brewery and restaurant. On a sunny lunchtime, West was clearly gearing up for a very busy day, as drinkers spilled out on to the astroturfed terrace. They had even put Post Office-style barriers up to, presumably, manage the expected queue at the bar.
• Pint from £3.50. Templeton Building, Glasgow Green,

The 78

If you are looking for an experience unique to Glasgow, try the 78 in Finnieston. It’s a vegan cafe-bar – and, on Thursday nights, a reggae and dancehall hotspot – it serves vegan-friendly and often organic beers from William Bros (12 bottles and three weekly rotating cask beers), Sam Smiths and Scottish brewery Black Isle. Be warned, though, such eco-friendly drinking does not come cheap.
• Pint from £3.30. 10-14 Kelvinhaugh Street, 0141-576 5018,

The Squid & Whale

A trendy bar and Mexican cantina, the Squid & Whale is big on cocktails but carries a serviceable craft beer range. In the fridges you will find a selection of William Bros bottles, a Mexican craft beer called Red Pig, and others from the big US craft breweries, Brooklyn, Anchor, Founders, Sierra Nevada.
• Bottles from £3.40. 372-374 Great Western Road,



With its low ceiling, wall of speakers and bodysonic dance floor, Glasgow’s historic Subclub is literally tingling with vibrations. Add to this 400 people going nuts to world-class DJs, throwing their tops in the air and chanting along to dance music melodies, and it’s easy to see why this club, which opened in 1987, has earned a reputation as one of the best in the country.
• 22 Jamaica Street, Open Tues-Sun 11pm-3am


This vegan cafe, microbrewery and venue is a one-stop culture shack. Sharing a roof with Monorail record store and the Good Press Gallery, a ’zine store and show space, it epitomises the intersection of the city’s art and music scenes. As well as playing host to the likes of Belle and Sebastian, Mogwai and Franz Ferdinand – the city’s original art school rockers – the venue is a place for new bands to cut their teeth.


By: Tony Naylor, Will Coldwell and Audrey Gillan


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