Home to the Scottish
Opera, Scottish Ballet, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, its own Poet Laureate, numerous museums, theaters, music venues, and art galleries
, and one of the largest research libraries in the world, Glasgow has cemented its reputation as the cultural beating heart of Scotland. It’s no surprise, then, that the nightlife scene is equally creative. Yes, the pubs are a dime a dozen, but Glasgow
is also full of extraordinary cocktail bars, from the high end to the funky. Read on for our top 10 cocktail bars in the city.
Rogano Oyster Bar
Diner, Restaurant, Seafood, $$$
Rogano Oyster Bar
For a taste of sophistication with a spicy kick, head to the oyster bar at Rogano, an Art Deco institution whose history spans over 75 years. Order up some seafood if it strikes your fancy but don’t miss the famous Chili Cocktail, just don’t drink it too fast.
Address & telephone number: Rogano Oyster Bar, 11 Exchange Place, Glasgow, United Kingdom, +44 141 248 4055
Bar, Cocktail Bar, British, $$$
A hipster’s paradise, the decor of this Brooklyn-esque spot includes exposed brick walls, brass fittings, and a lot of reclaimed wood. The drinks themselves, though, are refreshingly elegant. Intriguingly, Kelvingrove Café makes its own ice; take a peek behind the bar, and you’ll see the process in action.
Address & telephone number: Kelvingrove Café, 1161 Argyle Street, Glasgow, United Kingdom, +44 412218988
Boutique, The Corinthian Club
Bar, Restaurant, Nightclub, Pub Grub
Boutique, The Corinthian Club
Built in 1842 on the site of an 18th century mansion, later used as a bank, and meticulously restored in 1999, this sprawling five storey building encompasses a restaurant, several event spaces, casino rooms, a nightclub, a piano bar, and more. Settle in at Boutique, the Corinthian Club’s stylish champagne bar, for a fizzy cocktail. We recommend the kir royale.
Address & telephone number: Boutique, The Corinthian Club, 191 Ingram Street, Glasgow, United Kingdom, +44 141 552 1101
Bar, Restaurant, Seafood, $$$
This Argyle Street boîte boasts over 60 types of gin behind the bar, and the bartenders could probably mix their exemplary gin based cocktails blindfolded. Stick to a classic, like the elegantly-rendered Bramble, or try one of The Finnieston’s original mixed drinks, like the Seafarer: Caorunn Gin, seaweed-infused Fino Sherry, lemon juice, gomme syrup, and mint, served straight up.
Address & telephone number: The Finnieston, 1125 Argyle Street, Glasgow, United Kingdom, +44 412222884
Bar, Restaurant, Asian, Fusion, $$$
Bringing new life to the aesthetic of warehouse-chic, Bar Soba on Mitchell Lane features Japanese graffiti, industrial stylings, and mood lighting, with a menu of one-of-a-kind cocktails, ranging from a coconut and chili daiquiri to an apple and ginger mojito. For the even more adventurous folks, there are spiked Soba Shakes, served in milk bottles, including a pineapple lassi shake with yogurt, dark rum, pineapple syrup, ice, and lime juice.
Address & telephone number: Bar Soba, 11 Mitchell Lane, Glasgow, United Kingdom, +44 141 204 2404
Bar, European, $$$
Bring some friends along to enjoy the live music, energetic atmosphere, and peerless Bloody Marys at this fun-loving bar. With a full drinks menu, it’s hard to go wrong, but the best choice is the simplest: the classic house Bloody Mary, or the ‘Booly Mardy’, is unbeatable.
Address & telephone number: Booly Mardy’s, 28 Vinicombe Street, Glasgow, United Kingdom, +44 141 560 8004
The Riding Room
This quirky watering hole, which often hosts everything from cabaret to magic shows, serves up reasonably priced cocktails in any vessel they can find: jam jars, kettles, tin cans, and more. If you’re with a group, try a ‘punch kettle’ to share, like the Sin City: Smirnoff Red, Southern Comfort, Bacardi Rum, Triple Sec Orange Liqueur, Xante Pear Cognac, mixed berry syrup, lime and orange.
Address & telephone number: The Riding Room, 58 Virginia Street, Glasgow, United Kingdom, +44 845 659 5904
Bar, Steakhouse, European, British, $$$
Owner James Rusk learned his craft at New York City’s famed Balthazar, and true to form, The Butchershop is a little pocket of Soho amidst Glasgow’s Finnieston neighbourhood, but with its own special flair. For summertime, the bar has rolled out several new warm weather cocktails, including the Cardamom Cooler, comprising Beefeater gin, rhubarb liqueur, cardamom pods and syrup, and pineapple.
Address & telephone number: The Butchershop Bar & Grill, 1055 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, United Kingdom, +44 141 339 2999
The Research Club
Charcuterie, European, $$$
This fun place in the artsy West End makes a good first port of call for a big night out, or can stand alone for a casual evening. Enjoy a well crafted cocktail and tune into the live jazz piano music. A standout drink is The Dude, named for the iconic Jeff Bridges character in cult classic film The Big Lebowski, which consists of vanilla vodka, chocolate bitters, coffee liqueur, and fresh cream in a mouthwatering riff on a White Russian.
Address & telephone number: Blue Dog, 151 W George St, Glasgow, United Kingdom, +44 141 229 0707