If you want to visit one of the coolest cities in the UK, if not the world, head to Glasgow. The largest city in Scotland was once a center of industry and manufacturing, but now is more well-known for its thriving arts and music scene. It is home to many theaters, museums, and arts festivals, and dozens of live music venues which have helped catapult bands like Oasis and Belle and Sebastian to fame. Where entertainment thrives, the food and drink scene often do too, and Glasgow is no exception. World-class chefs can be found at many restaurants and bartenders mix up distinctive cocktails around the city. If you want to try the best drinks the city has to offer, check out our list of the 10 best cocktail bars in Glasgow, Scotland.
Metropolitan is a classy bar and restaurant located in the heart of one of Glasgow’s shopping destinations. The bar is located inside of Merchant Square, a bustling indoor market housed inside of the original marketplace building. Metropolitan takes advantage of its location by offering dining areas in the courtyard, so you can be a part of the Merchant Square action, and on the balcony, where you can people watch from above. The bar offers a wide variety of affordable cocktails which are new twists on old classics, like the Salted Caramel White Russian and the Orange and Vanilla Mule. They also offer meals that range from bar bites to high tea pastries to full dinners.
Address: Merchant Square, Candleriggs, Glasgow G1 1LE
Opening hours: 10 am - 12 am, Friday and Saturday open until 3 am
Average price for two people: 18-26 USD
2. The Gardener
True to its name, cocktails at The Gardener are inspired by fresh botanical flavors. They range from inventive takes on classics, like the lavender and rose martini, to drinks made with local ingredients, like The Blossom, to seasonal favorites, like the Alpine Spritz. Besides cocktails, they also serve craft beers and wines. If you aren’t having alcohol, try one of their delicious mocktails or something from the espresso bar, like a latte, cappuccino, or mocha. No matter if you come in for coffee in the morning or cocktails at night, The Gardener serves delicious food made from local ingredients.
Address: 24 Ashton Lane, Glasgow, G12 8SJ
Website: The Gardener
Opening hours: 9 am to 12 am
Average price for two people: 18-23 USD
3. Bilberry Cocktail Bar
For chic drinks in a hip space, head over to the Bilberry Cocktail Bar. This bar is located inside The Lorne Hotel, right in the heart of the Finnieston neighborhood. Once an industrial port, Finnieston is now where you can find Glasgow’s coolest restaurants and bars and was voted the hippest place in Britain by the London Times. The Bilberry Cocktail Bar fits right in, with upscale décor that combines minimalism with luxury. The drinks are made with ingredients from around the world by some of the city’s best mixologists. The bar itself doesn’t serve food but is right next to a delicious Indian restaurant for when you start feeling peckish.
Bilberry Cocktail Bar
Address: 923 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, G3 7TQ
Website: Bilberry Cocktail Bar
Opening hours: 5 pm to 11 pm
Average price for two people: 18-26 USD
If gin is your drink, it’s worth planning a trip to Glasgow just to have a few cocktails at Gin71. As you can guess from the name, Gin71 focuses on gin drinks. Their extensive menu has dozens of varieties from around the world, with a focus on those made in Scotland. The menu is highly detailed, organizing the gins by region or taste profile, with a short description for each. They also list all of the mixers and garnishes you can add to your drinks, so you can craft something specific to your taste. Gin71 has three locations, with the most extensive food and drinks menu at the Merchant City location. The Buchanan Street bar also serves food, and the Renfield Street location only has drinks.
Gin71 Merchant City
Address: Virginia Court, 48 Miller St, Glasgow, G1 1TN
Opening hours: 5 pm to 12 am
Average price for two people: 20-30 USD
While the places on this list so far are mostly chill bars where you can relax with drinks and a meal, October is a cocktail bar that also has a fun club atmosphere at night! October hosts some of Glasgow’s hottest DJ’s to spin a wide variety of music genres and get people dancing. A cool rooftop bar adds to the feeling that you are at an exclusive nightclub. However, what you won’t find at October is expensive club prices: they offer deals most days of the week, with discounts on cocktails on weekdays, a flatbread offer seven days a week, and 25 percent off your food with a ticket from the local cinema.
Address: Princes Square, Buchanan Street, Glasgow City Centre, G1 3JN
Opening hours: 12 pm to 11 pm, open until 3 am Friday and Saturday
Average price for two people: 18 USD
6. The Finnieston
Another spot gin lovers should check out is The Finnieston Bar and Restaurant. Their claim to fame is both as Glasgow’s premier gin cocktail bar, and also as one of the city’s most delicious seafood restaurants. They serve up locally sourced food right from the shores of Scotland. As for cocktails, you can choose from over 60 kinds of gin which have all been carefully selected for their tastes. Whether you have a traditional gin and tonic or an inventive gin cocktail, you’re sure to be blown away.
Address: 1125 Argyle St, Glasgow G3 8ND, UK
Website: The Finnieston
Opening hours: 11 am to 12 am
Average price for two people: 14-26 USD
7. Bar Soba
Another cocktail bar in Glasgow that also serves delicious cocktails is Bar Soba. Bar Soba appears to be a trendy new spot, but they have actually been perfecting their food and drinks for 20 years. Their affordable cocktails are exploding with flavors and perfectly complement the menu. The food is inspired by markets in southeast Asia and ranges from snacks like coconut onion rings to entrees like Singapore Street Noodles. Share some apps and meals with a few friends, and try one of their sharable cocktails like the Mango Tango Skull, served in a giant, skull-shaped glass.
Bar Soba Mitchell Lane
Address: 11 Mitchell Lane, Glasgow, G1 3NU
Website: Bar Soba
Opening hours: 12 pm to 12 am
Average price for two people: 18-26 USD
8. The Corinthian Club
Take your pick of several cocktail bars at the Corinthian Club. This club housed in a gorgeous historic building from 1842 which has previously served as a bank and judiciary court. Today, it has been fully restored and turned into a hotspot for food, drink, and more. At Teller’s Bar and Brasserie, dine on premium food and sip delicious cocktails under the building’s glass dome. View the dome from the outside at the stunning rooftop terrace while having drinks and a bite. If a fun night out is on your agenda, visit Charlie Parker’s, which has live music and late night drinks, and The Club, where you can dance all night! There is even a casino on site if you’re feeling lucky.
The Corinthian Club
Address: 191 Ingram Street, Merchant City, Glasgow, G1 1DA
Website: The Corinthian Club
Opening hours: 10 am to 1 am, open until 3 am on Friday and Saturday
Average price for two people: 97 USD
9. Kelingrove Café
The Kelvingrove Café is another historic spot in Glasgow. It dates back to 1896, but the current restaurant has been in operation since 2013. They pay beautiful homage to the bar’s Victorian origins by replicating the interior of an 18th-century European café. However, with contemporary French and Scottish art on the walls, the historic atmosphere is balanced with modern flavor. Also contemporary is the Kelvingrove’s cocktail offerings. They are thoughtfully inspired by regional flavors and rotate seasonally, along with the food offerings.
Address: 1161 - 1163 Argyle Street, G3 8TB, Glasgow
Website: Kelingrove Café
Opening hours: 9 am to 1 am
Average price for two people: 18-22 USD
10. The Riding Room
If you’re looking for a spot that has cocktails with a side of entertainment, head over to The Riding Room. Along with an extensive cocktail and wine list, you can see a performance here nearly every night of the week. Entertainment ranges from bands and singers to magicians, puppeteers, burlesque dancers, and more! Be sure to have a bite to eat beforehand, as their menu does not include food.
The Riding Room
Address: 58 Virginia St, Glasgow G1 1TX, UK
Website: The Riding Room
Opening hours: 9 pm to 3 am
Average price for two people: 12-14 USD
Treat yourself in Glasgow
Glasgow is the kind of city where you can create an experience suited to your travel desires. Whether you like your cocktails after a day of cultural events, before a show at the theater, or during a raucous night out, there are cocktail bars to fit your plans. The city’s inventive food and drink scene is the perfect compliment to a city that is rooted in history yet always full of exciting change.
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