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Great restaurants for our Merchant City Music tour

a group of people sitting at a table with a green umbrella

a group of people sitting at a table with a green umbrella
Much as we all like those listicles which spell out ‘The Best Restaurants in Glasgow’ or ‘The Best Bars in Glasgow Ever’, we all know that one man’s best is another’s bleurgh.

So we decided to come up with something more useful and do a blog detailing some of the many great restaurants that are dotted on and around the route of our Merchant City Music tour.

The tours run every Saturday and finish at King’s Court at around 1pm. Handy if you fancy a spot of lunch or a couple of drinks after your tour.

It is not a comprehensive list but these are all places that we like.


a plate of food with a fork and knife

Keep it hearty with Mharsanta haggis fritters.

Glasgow Music City Tours have run several events and tours with Mharsanta and they are lovely people. But that is certainly not our only reason for including them. They source as much as possible from local suppliers and pack their menus with delicious produce such as Orkney crab, Shetland mussels and pork from Ramsays of Carluke. One of Mharsanta’s other big strengths is that you can go there and chow down on home-style dishes such as haggis, neeps and tatties, fish pie or soup of the day. Or you can treat yourself with Scottish steaks, hand-dived king scallops and top notch cocktails. Of course, there are plenty of veggie options. The background music usually features lots of well known, top Scottish tunes.

26 Bell Street, Glasgow G1 1LG Tel: 0141 552 9900

Van Winkle Bourbon BBQ Grill

a close up of a sandwich on a plate

Stack ’em high at Van Winkle.

To be honest, Van Winkle had us at bourbon and BBQ; two of our favourite things. Further plus points include a just-across-the-road from Barrowlands location and a beer garden. As you might imagine, the menus major on dishes such as pulled pork burgers, chicken and waffles, Texan tacos and a variety of wings. For something veggie, the kitchen can rustle up a five cheese macaroni or battered halloumi burgers. We’ll take the Philly cheese steak sandwich and a shot of Woodford Reserve.

There is a Van Winkle in the West End as well should you find yourself in need of a bourbon or some buffalo wings while over that way. Both locations have a separate menu for pampered pooches. We kid you not.

267 Gallowgate, Glasgow, G4 0TU Tel: 0141 552 1177


A much loved and laidback hangout for vast swathes of Glasgow’s muso community, Mono has been serving up vegan food and drink, great gigs and happenings plus good vibes since 2002. The kitchen gets creative with dishes such as celeriac schnitzel with sage butter, groovy salads and warm ginger pudding. There is a range of sourdough pizza, falafel wraps and, of course, a seitan burger. The outdoor space is a real suntrap and Monorail, the in-store record shop, always has something interesting and exotic in stock. It would be hard to overemphasise the contribution that the people behind Mono have made to Glasgow’s grassroots music scene over the years. We’ll just say that they also run The Flying Duck, Stereo and The 78. The tour finishes outside their door.

12 Kings Court, Glasgow G1 5RB Tel: 0141 553 2400

The 13th Note

a sign on the side of a building

The food never hits a bum note at The 13th Note.

The 13th Note and its role in Glasgow’s music scene of the Nineties gets a hearty mention during the music tour. In normal times, its basement bar puts on rocking gigs pretty much every night of the week. The upstairs bar and restaurant also does a good line in vegan treats such as crispy sweet potato tacos, aubergine polpette or gado gado. It is a dog-friendly joint that has also won awards for its Bloody Marys. What’s not to like?

50-60 King Street, Glasgow G1 5QT Tel: 0141 553 1638

St Luke’s & The Winged Ox

a large brick building with grass and trees

St Luke’s looking very alluring by moonlight.

A former church – the name is a bit of a giveaway – St Luke’s is an atmospheric function and gig venue that includes the Winged Ox Bar and Kitchen. As well as putting on their own concerts, it’s just a hop, skip and a jump from Barrowlands. Sarnies, burgers, pizza and BBQ are the name of the game here and they have had fun with the menu’s ecclesiastical theme. For example, the classic margherita pizza is The Old Testament while the chicken wings are, naturally, angel wings. Good range of cocktails, beers and spirits too. For extra cuteness, check their Dog of the Week page.

17 Bain Street, Glasgow G40 2JZ Tel: 0141 552 8378

Mood Food at BAaD

a pizza sitting on top of a wooden table topped with plates of food

It’s a culinary mix and match at MOod Food in BAad.

Within easy moshing distance of the Barrowlands, Barras Art and Design (BAaD) is a collection of indoor and outdoor spaces where guests can enjoy food, drink and entertainment. MOoD Food is the umbrella term for the hospo here and it’s a flexible offer that runs from soup and a sandwich to a curated tasting menu. The dishes on offer are ‘influenced by the diverse, rich cultures found in the East End of Glasgow and the Barrowland Market’. On the plate, that means dishes and flavours that take their cue from Scotland, Ireland, Italy, India, Catalonia and beyond.

54 Calton Entry, Glasgow G40 2SB