That’s what makes it such a great place to live and to visit. My favourite days in the city involve a smorgasbord of all of that – a stroll round Glasgow Green, followed by brunch, a visit to a museum, a little browse round the shops and maybe a cocktail before enjoying a film or a bit of live music.
My view on food is exactly the same. I love a little bit of this and a little bit of that, which is why my favourite kind of restaurants serve Tapas. It’s such a relaxed, sociable way to dine. You can graze slowly, and order more as you go if you feel like it. There’s no agonising over menus when you don’t know what you want, and no danger of ending up making the wrong choice and then lusting after you’re dining companion’s dish. It’s romantic, adventurous and downright tasty.
Glasgow has some old favourites on the tapas scene. Original kids on the block include Café Andaluz (St Vincent Street) and La Tasca (Hope Street) - still good reliable choices with consistent quality.
A firm favourite is Bruitti Compadres, tucked away on Virginia Court. With a laidback relaxed vibe this hidden gem is well worth a visit. Order their delicious mini pizzas and their angry prawns, which, with their chilli kick, will get you firing on all cylinders. It’s also the first place I ever had a chilled red wine – a great choice and perfect if there’s debate over a red or white accompaniment. The cool slip of this wine makes it a light and refreshing choice to accompany the spectrum of flavours awaiting your tastebuds.
For a while a colleague and I dined there frequently, to the point where the waiter allocated us our own table and chairs and didn’t even need to give us a menu. When we’d worked through the food and even our conversation became deja vu (work, holidays, men, handbags) we felt the need to try somewhere new.
And so, we headed to Torres Tapas (Sauchiehall Street) which has both Spanish and Mexican influences, serving firm favourites such as patatas bravas as well as filled tacos. Wash down with their lovely sangria. Yum.
Recently, I’ve also been a regular at All Bar One (St Vincent Street) for their Tapas Tuesday deal – 4 tapas and a bottle of wine for £20. The price might be bargain, but the food quality is high and the customer service is excellent. Start with the duo of hummus, served in dinky little pots, and the halloumi; creamy and melt in the mouth, and add in the rest depending on your mood. If you’re really peckish, order a portion of parmesan and rosemary fries – totally moreish!
Another little gem is the Italian Caffé (Albion Street). As the name would suggest, its an Italian restaurant, but they offer an amazing selection of small plates for you to choose from.
Also in the Merchant City is Boteco Do Brazil (Trongate) - a great weekend choice. It’s a lively bar/restaurant open to 3am 7 nights a week with exotic Brazillian options as well as more traditional tapas dishes.
For decadent glamour and sophistication, head to Princes Square and enjoy a pre- dinner drink in the sumptuous bar at Barca Tapas before enjoying your meal – they have a good vegetarian choice including Spanish blue cheese with honey and walnuts on toast and Cumin roasted butternut squash with pine nuts.
So next time you’re hungry but not quite sure what you fancy – hunt down a Tapas restaurant and have a bit of everything. I guarantee you’ll be hooked by the relaxed, companionable dining experience and your tastebuds will be fizzing, popping, smooching and tingling. What’s not to like?