Stravaigin means “to wander” in Gaelic, and that’s what the menu does at this Kelvinbridge café and restaurant. Yes, there’s great Scottish produce, but also flavours from Asia. Where else can you find dishes such as Korean braised ox cheek, brown rice cake, kimchi, tempura oyster, sesame-dressed cucumber and bean sprouts? The wine list follows suit, with bottles from China, Tasmania, Lebanon and even England.
28 Gibson Street, Kelvinbridge, Glasgow G12 8NX; stravaigin.co.uk
This Glasgow institution opened in the then rundown Merchant City in 1979, and had the first cappuccino machine in town. Though the area has changed, Gandolfi remains true to its founding principles – great cooking and a friendly atmosphere. Joanne Munro’s menu features favourites such as smoked venison and dauphinoise potatoes or Gandolfi crab cakes, while changing daily specials may include marjoram and chilli-marinated mozzarella or a panzanella salad. Monthly dinner events have special menus with wines to match.
64 Albion Street, Glasgow G1 1NY; cafegandolfi.com
A much-loved compact neighbourhood restaurant in the West End with just 40 covers. Co-owners Gerry Mulholland and Joel Pomfret split the kitchen and front-of-house duties. Local ingredients are augmented by international touches, such as roast Gressingham duck breast with quince, rhubarb, poached plums, aromatic sauerkraut and plum sauce. Cheeses from George Mewes down the road seal the deal.
16 Byres Rd, Glasgow G11 5JY; number16.co.uk
An eclectic menu from John Quigley, who previously worked as private chef to Tina Turner and Guns N’ Roses. Traditional dishes such as Ramsay’s haggis and neep croquette with soft fried duck egg and HP sauce vie with the likes of five-spice and honey roast duck breast with caramelised sweet potato and steamed pak choi. As well as a separate vegan menu, Quigley offers what must be the only gluten-free pre-theatre menu in town.
257 West Campbell Street, Glasgow G2 4TT; red-onion.co.uk
The Sisters Kelvingrove
Jacqueline O’Donnell and her sister Pauline showcase classic Scottish cooking. Scallops and langoustines arrive daily from North Uist, and are paired with a Stornoway black pudding croquette, spiced cauliflower purée and crispy kale. Scotch beef comes from Galloway, and ham from Ramsay of Carluke.
36 Kelvingrove Street, Glasgow G3 7RZ; thesisters.co.uk
Andrew Webb is author of ‘Food Britannia’ (Random House)