The 10 Best Cocktail Bars In Glasgow, Scotland

Photo of Madeleine Bazil
9 February 2017

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.

Glasgow by night | © Giuseppe Milo/Flickr

Rogano Oyster Bar

Restaurant, Diner, Seafood, European, British, Vegetarian, $$$

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.

Kelvingrove Café

Bar, Cocktail Bar, Pub Grub, British, Cocktails, Wine, Beer, $$$

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.

Boutique, The Corinthian Club

Bar, Brasserie, Restaurant, Nightclub, Contemporary, European, British
Champagne | © Yi Wang/Flickr
Champagne | © Yi Wang/Flickr

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.

The Finnieston

Bar, Restaurant, Seafood, British, $$$

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.

Bar Soba

Bar, Restaurant, Asian, Fusion, Street Food, Japanese, Thai, Vegan, Vegetarian, $$$

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.

Booly Mardy's

Bar, European, $$$
Booly Mardy's
Booly Mardy's | © STV Photos/Flickr
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.

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

The Butchershop

Bar, Deli, Steakhouse, European, British, Fast Food, Wine, Beer, $$$
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.

The Research Club

Charcuterie, European, $$$
Subcity Party at the Research Club
Subcity Party at the Research Club | © Luke Winter
For a laid-back night, The Research Club is the place to go. Order up a cocktail like the Honey and Basil Gin Fizz or a Whisky Sour, a sharing board of charcuterie or baked cheese, and soak up the ambiance. For competitive types, Tuesday evenings at 7.30 see an amateur poker game with cash prizes.

Blue Dog

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

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