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18 Bars In Glasgow You Need To Visit

The *real* drinking capital of Scotland.

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1. Kelvingrove Cafe

Instagram: @petite

When it comes to Glasgow bars, your first port of call should be Kelvingrove Cafe. A gorgeously atmospheric bar, it's a dream to sit in and even more of a dream to drink in. Despite being more than a little tipsy there on NYE, we still managed to unanimously agree the cocktails were some of the best we'd had in the UK, full stop.

FYI, if you go and don't order a "Death On The Nile" (gin, violette and orange liqueurs, topped with prosecco), you've played yourself.

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2. Stravaigin

Primarily a restaurant, this Glasgow joint is a triple threat: Full marks on drinks, food and ambiance.

Heads up non-drinkers and on-the-wagon dry January-ers – the bar has one of the most enticing non-alcoholic selections I've ever seen. Turkish delight lemonade and white grape and madagascan vanilla soda, for less than the price of a coke in a London bar.

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3. The Finnieston

The Finnieston

The Finnieston is my favourite kind of trendy drinking spot. It's the perfect blend of old and new; gorgeous exposed brick interiors and a gin-based cocktail menu that's up with the best of them, but with cosy lighting and comfy booths. Because this trend for putting your customers on the kind of benches and stools we had to sit on in school is bullshit and needs to be stopped.

Go, order yourself some of their signature Scottish seafood, then start on G&Ts and don't stop until you're all the way down to a Corpse Reviver.

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4. Ubiquitous Chip

Ubiquitous Chip

A Glasgow institution, you just can't come to the city and not visit this place. They do a fantastic brunch, and the food in general is stellar. They also have their heads screwed on right, as they know that, "intrinsic to good eating is good drinking". So, here you'll also find a solid wine list, a strong cocktail menu, and a "wee pub" – the smallest in Scotland to be exact.

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5. Blythswood Square

Graeme Milton

If you are looking for the fanciest in fancy drinking, then my friends, look no further than Blythswood Square Hotel. Their bar is lush, and their cocktails served in the kind of glassware that will make you question if you aren't in fact a character in an F. Scott Fitzgerald novel.

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6. Chinaski's


We all know Bukowski liked a drink. How fitting then, that there's a bar named after his alter-ego, with a whisky collection he'd have thoroughly approved of. And, may I add, it's far, far classier than any of the dingy LA dive bars the Bluebird writer used to knock about in.

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7. Nice N Sleazy

Instagram: @nicensleazy

Our last *big night out* in Glasgow, we ended up here, drunk as skunks, and while I can't give you any specifics (as I don't remember them), I can tell you we had a grand old time. Don't be put off by the name. The bar is cheap and the tiny dancehall downstairs more than fitting to sway drunkenly on for at least the latter half of an evening.

Feel free to visit when the sun's up too – their Mexican food menu is not to be sniffed at.

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8. The Tiki Bar & Kitsch Inn

The Tiki Bar

It's a two-for-one bonanza. The Tiki Bar is in the basement, serving up all the tropical rum cocktails your heart desires. The Kitsch Inn is above it, serving up Thai food. What more could you want?!

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9. Cafe Gandolfi

Cafe Gandolfi

Glasgow have got their bar scene nailed, in that most of the very good bars come attached to very good restaurants. At Gandolfi, forget bog standard bar snacks; their not-so-secret gem of a bar is up above their cafe, and serves all the food you'll find downstairs, which spoiler alert, is delicious.

Order a round of martinis with a plate of smoked haddock and tiger prawn pasta on the side, and prepare to live your best life.

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10. Allison Arms

Instagram: @drinksenthusiast

Glasgow has more than a few pubs, both modern and old-man, but the Allison Arms stands out as one of the better ones. It's been open since 1884 (I love a historical pub), and has an impressive selection of whiskies and craft beer. Plus they allow dogs, and IMO the only thing that can make a pint better is being able to pet someone else's dog while drinking it.

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11. Distill


I feel like calling a bar unpretentious in Glasgow is a moot point, because as a rule the whole city is the antithesis of pretentious. But Distill is just that. Unpretentious, reasonably priced and home to bar staff that know their stuff.

They do all sorts of cocktails here, but it's the rum ones that stand out (hello Rum'n'Raisin Old Fashioned, you can come home with me *any* time).

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12. Stereo

Instagram: @fraserfuckinnangle

If you're looking for electrifying live music performances, and the best vibes in the city, look no further than Stereo. The place is literally always buzzing. If you ever find yourself wandering around Glasgow looking for a good time, just put this place into Google Maps.

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13. Lebowski's

Instagram: @lebowskissouth

A Big Lebwoski-themed bar loaded with, you guessed it, White Russians. They've got over 25 twists on the classic cocktail, so you'll be more than able to try something new... just as long as it's a White Russian.

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14. The Old Hairdressers

Instagram: @laurahalpin__

Owned by the guys behind Mono (a live music venue well worth checking out), and located opposite sister venue Stereo, this tucked away bar is part of big network of fun Glaswegian bars, and lives up to its family reputation. It's down to earth, has a great atmosphere and hosts top notch live music upstairs.

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16. Hillhead Bookclub

Hillhead Bookclub

£3 strawberry Mojitos, £2 gin/voka/rum of the week (plus mixer) and £2.50 Tennents Monday to Thursdays. Served in a bar that isn't finely coated in a mysterious sticky layer. In fact, it's pretty bloody decent – the decor is nicely bohemian, they have a ping pong table, a video game corner and the quirk factor is covered by cocktails served in gramaphones.

I'm telling you, it's a different world up here.

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17. Brel

Instagram: @hhdocherty

Serving up some of Belgium's finest exports (hint: it's beer), this bar is aptly named after a Belgian singer (Jacques Brel). These guys have been bringing international beer drinking to Glasgow since 1996, and continue to import some of the best beers from around the world, as well as brews from local Scotland.

Their use of fairy lights and hanging balloon lamp decor is also highly impressive. What can I say? I'm a sucker for a fairy light and a fancy imported beer.

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18. Flat 01

Flat 0/1

It's a house party. No, really. It's a house in Glasgow decked out in chintzy decor your granny would love, but with a bar and DJ deck set up in it. And bath tubs hanging from the ceiling for you to swing in. It's weird and wonderful and I don't know what further proof you need than this that Glasgow is a magical place.

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