Glasgow is one those cities that feels as historic as it does contemporary, it is constantly unmaking and remaking how it sees itself, without ever completely shedding its skin. Its food, in particular, has boomed in recent years, a huge wave of vegan and vegetarian restaurants turning it into a bit of a Mecca for plant-eaters. Their coffee game is just as strong, regardless of what part of town you happen to find yourself in. Our Glasgow expert, Harry Harris, gives us a collection of his favourite cafés in the city.
A recent addition to Glasgow’s Southside, Lagom is a real blend of home comforts and Scandi-cool. There’s plenty to do on the Southside, from Bellahouston Park to the Citizens Theatre, but few places in the vicinity that match Lagom’s quality and panache.
This place feels very Glasgow. A stone’s throw from the Glasgow Art School, it emanates a creative spirit, putting on a full programme of events on evenings and weekends — open mics, poetry readings, life drawing all feature. A beautiful hidden gem with great veggie scran too.
Once you’ve clocked the stairs down to Singl-End you’ll be glad you did. This bakery-cum-brunch spot is always packed in the mornings, and you’ll struggle to find a bad thing on the menu. Great coffee too, with a local focus.
Another Scandi inspired café, this time in Partick. For Fika Sake is a freelancer’s heaven, with a mezzanine set up for co-working, and plenty of tables downstairs too. Expect a selection of independent coffee roasters sourced from all over.
The Cran’s history is one of the most interesting in the city, having been a trading post to serve the industry of the area. Now, it acts as a veggie café and a pop-up for local artists and creatives, who rotate their wares. Coffee changes regularly, with a focus on Scottish roasters.
James McCune Smith was a key member of the Scottish enlightenment and, also, the first African American ever to receive a medical degree. He's immortalised in this simple, unfussy café with a strong local focus, right in the heart of historic Glasgow. Exactly the kind of café you'd imagine those thinkers of the enlightenment would have spent much of their time in.