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Jan 26, 2007 09:31 AM

Glasgow or Edinburgh - Better Eats?

My husband and I are considering a trip to Scotland. However, having limited time we find outselves in the terrible position of possibly having to choose between Glasgow and Edinburgh as far as the main city to visit, since there is too much else we want to see in the more rural areas as well.

I'm slightly leaning towards Glasgow, mainly because of the Victorian influence and I work in architecture, and have a desire to see Mackintosh's work.

I'm totally torn about this, as both cities are equally appealing to me for vastly different reasons as I'm sure you are all aware. However, what it may come down to is which one has a better restaurant scene, since all things being equal otherwise, it's a coin toss as far as which one we wind up picking to visit. Food matters a lot to both of us.

Any opinions? It would be most helpful to hear what others have to say about this.

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  1. I haven't been to Edinburgh yet, but Glasgow has some great restaurants and with the CRM architecture to see, has won out every time to date. (Reserve a tour of the Art School ahead of time -- well worth it -- and get out to Helensburgh to see Hill House) You can find some good references to specific places by doing a Glasgow search here, but we particularly like the Ubiquitous Chip, the Babbity Bowster (downstairs for drinks and music, upstairs at Schottishe for fancier fare), Stravaigin (perhaps my current fav), and Cafe Gandolfi.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Joan Kureczka

      Thanks Joan, especially for the Art School tip. We don't know anyone who has been there and things like that are very helpful.

      I'll start doing some research as suggested.

    2. Don't know if this post is too late, but here it is anyway. Glasgow is more of a working city and isn’t as pretty/touristy as Edinburgh. There is a lot to see in Glasgow, and loads of fantastic places to eat, and very friendly people, it just doesn’t have the same look as Edinburgh. The train ride between Glas & Edin is only about 45 minutes, so you can visit both on your trip if you like. All the restaurants/activities listed above are fab, also try No Sixteen in the west end and Two Fat Ladies, city centre and west end. I like Arisaig on St. Vincent’s street. For architecture and CRM please see House for an Art Lover, it is fantastic and has a lovely café for lunch. They are closed for special events at times, so call ahead or check their website. Also see the Lighthouse, Scotland’s Centre for Architectural Design. It has different exhibits so check their website. They also have a café on the top floor, The Doocot, it is a must see for a light lunch and views to die for. There is also a very fun bar across the street from it, Bar 10, serves food and has a great atmosphere for a drink. I would also recommend taking the open top bus tours, if weather permits, it gives you the best view of the buildings in Glasgow ,gives you a good lay of the land, and the tour guides are A LOT of fun. Very knowledgeable and very willing to share the knowledge! Enjoy your trip

      1. Stravaigin was highly recommended to me by a friend. We had a wonderful trip to Western Scotland a few years ago, and I preferred Glasgow but maybe that's because I saw more of it plus the surrounding areas like Ayrshire which is lovely. Make sure you also see the Burrell Collection if you choose Glasgow and the Kelvingrove which has recently been remodeled.

        1. Hey there. I have one night in Glasgow and was wondering if you happened to hit ay of the following: Gmaba, 78 Vincent, No Sixteen? Or if you have any other recommendations....

          1. As you mentioned you like Victorian architecture and Mackintosh, definitely head to Glasgow. It is very much an underrated city. I second the suggestion to visit the House for an Art Lover - especially if you will be going during spring/summer as the garden is very pretty as well.

            For food, if you like seafood, I recommend Gamba. I had a starter there of crab and watermelon and could have eaten bowl after bowl of it!