Ιn this Vegan Travel Guide with the Vegan Restaurants Glasgow in Scotland, you will find Vegan tips, how to get around, things you should not miss but the most important is the delicious Vegan food around the city.
Glaswegians are really friendly and due to the city not being a major tourist destination like its sister Edinburgh, you’ll have a relaxed time and some may say authentic Scottish experience. With great vegan food options in supermarkets and restaurants, as well as a vibrant live music scene and a variety of things to see and do, Glasgow is a great destination to visit!
Let’s get started with this Glasgow Travel guide and The Best Vegan Restaurants in Glasgow!
Veganism in Glasgow – Vegan Restaurants Glasgow in Scotland
Despite being the largest city in Scotland, Vegan Glasgow often gets forgotten on the tourist itinerary. I spent most of July there and found it to be one of my favorite vegan stays this year! According to Happy Cow, Glasgow has 17 fully-vegan restaurants and 13 vegetarian ones. This doesn’t include restaurants that cater to vegans, and some of those even have separate vegan menus! With its famous university (the 4th oldest in the English-speaking world), Glasgow also has a young and international population and many restaurants are well-aware of what ‘vegan’ means.
Places to stay in Glasgow
Glasgow is the most famous city to visit Scotland, next to Edinburgh and the Highlands. It is located on the banks of the Clyde River, in the southern area of the so-called lowlands of Scotland.
Where did I stay?
The West End
The Airbnb I stayed in was located in the West End between the famous Western Road, Finnieston and Hillhead, which forms almost a square with Kelvingrove park in the middle. These areas have hip bars, live music, cool vintage shops and a variety of grocery stores. On Western Road alone, there are specialty grocery stores for African, Middle Eastern, Indian, Asian, Mexican and American, organic and vegan foods, all within a 5-10 minute walk from each other. You’ll also ﬁnd the majority of vegan restaurants are between this area and the city center, which is a 30-40 minute walk away or a quick ride on the train or bus.
For more Hotels and the Best Neighborhoods to stay you can read this post -> Where to Stay in Glasgow, Scotland
Vegan Groceries in Glasgow
The UK is an expensive place to travel to in regards to public transport and accommodation, but it makes up for it in the food department. Groceries from Tesco, Co-op and even Waitrose are really affordable and some I would regard as quite cheap. There are clearly marked vegan products, taking the guesswork out of your shopping. Although I did eat out at quite a few vegan restaurants, I did a lot of cooking too and had such a large variety of ingredients available to me, all within a 10-minute walk of my accommodation.
What makes eating out in Glasgow so good?
There is a diverse range of vegan cuisine to choose from; you’ll get your fast food burger-type places, Asian cuisine and I even had some great Persian food too, but that isn’t all: there are several live music venues that are also vegan restaurants! This is quite a rarity in the countries I’ve traveled in and some might say a risky business endeavor, but it works in Glasgow. Did you know Glasgow is one of the best cities in the UK for live music too? There is music everywhere — mostly indie, rock, and folk — and the establishments have a welcoming yet hipster vibe. I visited each of the vegan music venues (Mono, Stereo, The Flying Duck, Hug and Pint and The 78) and they were all wonderful. There are even two themed cafes to make vegan eating out more fun: one an ode Nirvana (In Bloom) and the other to Seinfeld (Serenity Now).
Best Vegan Restaurants Glasgow and Vegan and Vegan-Friendly Restaurants
Yes, I tried a lot of places in that month. My list was long, but I’ve narrowed it down to places that were stand-outs for me:
A bright and quirky Seinfeld-themed cafe in the West End. We had the seitan chicken and wafﬂes breakfast and French toast with berries, baked banana, and strawberry buttercream. Both an enjoyable start to the day. For lunch, the phish wrap with its battered jackfruit and tofu with creamy tartare sauce and slaw was so very tasty and they weren’t stingy on the ﬁlling either. The food is so nicely put together and more creative than your regular breakfast and lunch fare. Address: 380 Great Western Road; Open hours: 10 am – 17:00 am from Monday to Sunday
A vegan pub with live jazz on Sunday evenings. I loved the vibe here and the service was great. We had drinks with some delicious lemon curd and elderﬂower churros with some excellent vegan ice cream. Address: 10-14 Kelvinhaugh Street; Open hours: 11 am – late from Monday to Sunday
Small dishes for about £5 each. Looks can be deceiving. The dishes were quite rich so the size was perfect and it is designed to share. We had chili tofu and a sweet soy eggplant with rice. Great for a pre-show bite. Smaller indie bands tour here. Address: 171 Great Western Rd; Open hours: 12 pm – 12 am from Monday to Sunday
A small space in hip Finnieston. One of the best faux chicken burgers out there! We had our loaded fries with BBQ jackfruit which was actually the perfect topping combined with the moreish cheese sauce they use. The soundtrack was electronic music; in that small space eating ‘dirty’ food, it actually seemed appropriate here and we enjoyed the ambiance. The chefs were super friendly too. Address: 994 Argyle street; Open hours: 17:00 pm – 21:00 am from Monday to Sunday
The menu looked great and the food matched it. We ordered a piece of garlic bread with BBQ jackfruit and
cauliﬂower pizza. Two thumbs up. It’s a big, open space with a record store attached and a large
stage for live music. Address: 12 Kings Court; Open hours: Bar open: 11am-11pm Sun-Thu, 11am-1am Fri-Sat
Kitchen open: 12pm-9pm every day.
A cute cafe at the beginning of the West End area. The haggis melted cheese toastie was a big ‘yes’. The salted caramel donut was very sweet. I enjoyed the ambiance here too; cool 90s grunge music, Nirvana posters and memorabilia around, especially the ‘In Bloom’ ﬂower signage. Address: 48 Clarendon Place;
Non-vegan places that did excellent vegan food:
We tried Mayze from the stall they had at the Vegan Connections festival. They made a variety of vegan sausage rolls: the haggis sausage roll was a hit. They also make cinnamon scrolls, cookies and a huge variety of pound cakes. We had a mango and passion fruit cake. The cake and cream were very rich and tasted just like the conventionally-made variety. Address: 974 Argyle Street, Finnieston; Open hours: Monday – Friday 8.30 am – 6 pm, Saturday 9 am – 5 pm, Sunday 10 am – 4 pm
It was hard to ignore this place given it was a 5-minute walk from where I stayed. Some of the best churros outside Spain can be found here. They had just the right amount of crunchiness with a soft center. The vegan ﬁlled options included peanut butter or Biscoff. Any vegan who doesn’t know Biscoff probably shouldn’t if they’re trying to be healthy, because that stuff is addictive! It’s a cinnamon cookie spread, is totally delicious, and makes life complete. Address: 665 Great Western Rd; Open hours: Mon – Thurs 12pm-10pm, Fri – Sat 11am-11pm, Sunday 11am-10pm
Delicious home-made tofu and creative Vietnamese dishes with a funky interior in a little laneway in Hillhead. The only thing I didn’t love here was the pho. Although a generous serve, the broth didn’t taste like the pho I’m accustomed to. The rest of the food was great though: satay tofu (called ‘coconut and peanut tofu’), ‘banana curry’ (fried salted banana), and kimchi spring rolls were all winners. Address: 8 Ruthven Lane; Open hours: Mon – Sund. 12pm-23:00pm.
Given they have the B12 burger patty and vegan poutine (which none of the other vegan restaurants in the neighborhood offered), it was worth going to this meat restaurant for these two items. They had a great range of vegan options and the burger patty was very realistic. The UK version of Beyond Meat. The burger was ﬁlled with sweet potato chips and crispy fried onion and smothered in sauces. We chose the sweet potato poutine and the serve was HUGE. The chunks of vegan curd were too. Service was prompt and the music was rockin’. Obviously, it would have been awesome if no meat was served at all. Address (3 locations): 1. 104 St Vincent Street, 2. 701 Great Western Road, 3. 92 Lothian Road.
Things to do in Glasgow- Visit Glasgow – Places to visit in Glasgow
Most museums are FREE.
Yes! Although I’m not much of a museum person, I made time to go to the impressive Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, and I was not disappointed. Currently, there is an exhibition of Linda McCartney’s photography called ‘Retrospective’. It is currently running until January 12th, 2020. This exhibition is ticketed (£7) but worth every pound. It is an extensive collection and I have a new-found appreciation for this talented photographer.
The Glasgow Botanical Garden is also really beautiful (and free) and the park around it is a lovely green space to enjoy some time in (when the weather is good, of course). It is located in the hip West End. If you’re in the city, visit Glasgow Green park. Walk along the River Clyde back towards the central station to take in some of the lovely bridges on the way.
If you drink alcohol, you can’t go to Glasgow and not try the single malt whiskeys. Like ﬁne wines, good whiskeys go through a distilled and aging process that give it its unique ﬂavours, which is also inﬂuenced by the region it’s produced in. A distillery is a great way to learn more and try some whiskeys to see what type you like. We recommend the Clydeside Distillery because it is in the city and easy to get to, and the tour was not only informative, but we learned how to do a proper tasting too!
The Necropolis is an old cemetery situated on a hill with panoramic views of Glasgow city and some interesting-looking tombstones. Any Greek-inspired ones are attributed to architect Alexander ‘Greek’ Thomson who designed many of the beautiful buildings you see around the city that have that ancient Greek vibe to them such as the Doric columns and the meandros design motifs.
Our Airbnb apartment building was designed by him too. Another free and fun activity I like to do in cities is looking for street art. First, I do a Google search and often ﬁnd street art maps with a wee write-up on the artists and artworks. The murals in Glasgow is very impressive and host many works by Australian artist ‘Smug’ who paints realistic images of people.
Street Art – Visit Glasgow
Exploring street art is a great way of exploring a city too, as you always see other things along the way, such as lovely architecture and statues. Trying various vegan restaurants also has the same perks; discovering new neighborhoods and discovering other things along the way (and don’t forget getting some exercise!). https://www.citycentremuraltrail.co.uk/
Summer in Glasgow – Things to do in Glasgow
Summer is a great time to visit Glasgow. There are festivals every weekend. I went to the Canal Festival, the Vegan Connections festival (at which I did a talk about vegan travel), vegan markets, and the Merchant City Festival. The Merchant City Festival is one of the best free festivals I’ve been to, with entertaining theatricals on the street and live music everywhere.
If you like treasure hunt type activities, there are ‘Oor Wullie’s’ statues scattered around Scotland. Apparently there are over 300 in 5 different cities and they are all decorated uniquely. All for a good cause: to raise money for the children’s hospitals. This will be ﬁnished by the end of August though.
The weather this July, the weather ﬂuctuated from 13 to 22 degrees (which actually feels quite hot in Scotland). A light coat or rain jacket is recommended because it also rains on and off a lot!
How To Get Around (Transportation)
Getting around Glasgow better with the Glasgow Walking app developed by Glasgow City Council and discover hidden gems by walking.
Here are the main means of Transportation:
- Subway: The Subway runs from 06:30 to 23:40 Monday to Saturday and 10:00 to 18:12 on Sunday. Smartcards are FREE if you register online, however anonymous Smartcards purchased in the station incur a £3 admin charge.
Single £1.55 £0.80 All-day £3.00 £1.50 7-day ticket £14 £7 28-day ticket £54 £27 10-week ticket (online only) £120 £60 6 Month ticket £270 £135 12 Month ticket £485 £245
Travelcards are a great way to save time and money. SPT’s ZoneCard and day tickets are designed for regular commuters, tourists, and people who want to explore the region.
- Train: Check out the ScotRail website for all the routes and timetable.
- Bus: The, First Bus Glasgow operates over 100 routes across the city. Check the First group to check all the bus tickets prices.
- City Sightseeing Bus: The City Sightseeing Glasgow open-top tour is one of the most convenient and popular ways to visit Glasgow’s top tourist attractions and iconic sights.
- Taxi: Glasgow Taxis, the distinctive black cabs, operate 5 and 6 seater cabs in and around the city. Look out for their People Make Glasgow ruby-colored cabs too! If their yellow light is on they can be flagged down on the street, or alternatively call +44 (0) 141 429 70 70 to book.
- Bicycles: Nextbike Glasgow has 400 bikes for hire in 43 locations, available 24/7. You can rent a bike via nextbike’s Android/iPhone App, by the on-bike computer, or by phoning +44 (0)20 816 69851. Rental starts at £1 for the first 30 minutes – get started here.
Day trips around – Visit Glasgow
Drive a mere half an hour and you are in some very pretty nature. In less than an hour by car, you will arrive at the Loch Lomond area full of picturesque lakes and quaint towns and the beginning of the Scottish Highlands area. In just over 2 hours, you will reach Glencoe.
This took us much longer, however, because we often pulled over and took photos of the jaw-dropping landscape which really became mythical about 15 minutes before reaching Glencoe. Another weekend, we drove to Stirling and enjoyed a short forest walk to the Wallace monument.
There is also the famous Stirling castle which looks much more impressive from the highway as it towers over the landscape below.
Edinburgh is less than an hour’s drive too but if you’re venturing in this area, a stop at The Kelpies monument is a must. It is an impressive structure of 2 horse heads inspired by the shape-shifting water spirits of Scottish folklore and is also a dedication to the workhorses of times gone by. These apparently light up every night, but when we went back to capture this stunning light show (that we had seen in photos), it just never happened.
The only negative thing I would comment on, and this goes for Edinburgh too, is that Glasgow has a trash problem. There is litter everywhere and I can’t understand why it’s worse here than other Western cities I’ve traveled in. My partner and I did a small clean-up in Kelvingrove Park and had several people come and talk to us about their frustrations with it. It sounds like a mixture of the city council not doing enough and a strong need for public education.