Food and drink in Glasgow – beyond haggis

When you think of Scottish fare, a number of items might come to mind: black pudding, haggis, stovies and, of course, a nip of whisky. Like all countries, Scotland has some traditional items tied to its identity (think Canadians and maple syrup), but it’s also going through a bit of a food revolution. Shortbread, you are lovely, but you’ve got some competition.

If you are making the trek across the Atlantic, your internal foodie won’t be disappointed. With an abundance of national produce, game and fish, Scotland really has something for everyone. On a recent trip to Glasgow, I had the privilege to break bread with one of Glasgow’s finest foodies, the Glasgow Food Geek, and talk about all things Glasgow, food and Irn-Bru. Here are some of my recommendations from the Glasgow food scene and my (tasty) research.

The G in Glasgow could stand for gastronomic
Heart set on trying haggis? Change it up and try the haggis pakora. Wanting to change up your chicken? Try pigeon breast. Boring is one of the things you won’t call the food in Glasgow. There is also a gourmet burger (war) happening in Glasgow with numerous restaurants trying to claim their, ahem, steak of the prize.

The artisans have it
Craft products, including beer and spirits, are right on trend in Glasgow. Small independent breweries can give you a taste of different regions without ever leaving the city.

A modern take with nods to the past
In with the old and the new is a great way to describe the food scene in Glasgow. A number of the hottest restaurants in town can be found in reclaimed spaces that highlight Glasgow’s great industrial roots.

Try the Irn-Bru
In most countries, you’ll find cola at the top of the carbonated-beverage tower, but not Scotland. Irn-Bru, a neon orange soda, takes the top spot and seems to be consumed by everyone. I recommend pouring it over a big glass of ice before taking the plunge.

Sweet tooth
Afternoon tea isn’t just for special occasions in the United Kingdom. Taking a few minutes out of a busy day to indulge in tea, with the mind-boggling variety of sweets available to pair with it, is a great way to kick back and take in the city. Four words: white-chocolate raspberry tart.