A customary end to the whole Graduation event is a meal to celebrate with friends or family the culmination of your career as an undergraduate. There is absolute freedom in choosing where you can go for these meals. Somewhere dead fancy? Golden. Somewhere a bit more casual where you’ll get no funny looks for letting your hair down? Perfect. We’ve went ahead and compiled a wee list of places for both the east and west coast, a mix between formal joints and more chilled out locales, places you can go with your family and places that’d suit your pals.
We’ve laid out a wide range of venues; bars with great food menus, small eateries, big fancy restaurants, vegetarian and vegan friendly places so everyone can have some great food that isn’t mushroom risotto!
Crowne Plaza Glasgow
This is your one stop venue for all your graduation celebration needs. If you’ve family and friends coming to Glasgow for the ceremony, they’ve plenty of stylish and spacious rooms to accommodate – best get planning ahead though as they’re always busy around graduation time. Extra bonus points for that iconic view across the Clyde and into the city – not something to quickly forget. Then there’s the beautifully sunlit Mariner restaurant and bar for your celebratory meal and drinks, full details still to come on their grad menu but if it’s anything like their regular menu you’re in for a treat.
Fancy working off last nights fun before heading back to reality? They’ve a gym and swimming pool to help clear your head and straighten you out.
All this plus they can accommodate gatherings of all sizes from small intimate family parties to a full on graduation ball. Give them a shout for more details – 0871 942 9091
Good for: Single venue celebration with style
Address : Congress Road Glasgow (Near the SEC)
One of the most popular bars to grab a bite in the west coast, Bloc is a punky basement bar with an absolutely insane food menu, good for carnivores and vegans alike.
The bar is pretty snug, sitting maybe 80 people, but the small size, and the orange neon really add to the kind of speakeasy dive bar feeling that the bar carries off perfectly. The whole vibe of the venue really enforces close knit conversations, on account of the music, which can be a good or a bad thing depending on what you’re going for. As for the food, the menu is super varied, including hotdogs, burgers, tacos, and steaks, with vegan options a plenty for those who do not partake of animal products. Some highlights that should in no way be missed are the Sloppy Jock, a beautiful Scottish beef burger, topped with a massive bit of fried haggis and smothered with peppercorn sauce, there’s also The Bru Boy Grilled Sandwich, “Glasgow in a gourmet sandwich” filled with Irn-Bru pulled pork, melted cheese and grilled between two beautiful slices of buttered bread.
Bloc’s the perfect place to grab dinner, weather with your family to celebrate or with your friends alike. Also, they do a meal deal every weekday and on Sundays so if you’re on the skint side you don’t have to miss out. If it’s reasonably priced grub you’re looking for, Bloc’s the place for you. Priced between £3 and £5 through the week and a tenner for a T-bone on Sundays. General themes are hot dogs, burgers, pasta, and chicken, each specific to the day.
Good for: Celebration with friends, veggie/vegan friendly, large groups
Address: 117 Bath Street, Glasgow
Bag O’ Nails
Named after the famous Soho pub from the 60s which was frequented by Jimmy Hendrix and Paul McCartney; the Glaswegian iteration is a big open planned pub with a great bourbon and beer list as well as a cracking menu, perfect for a nice family dinner or celebration.
Located where the old Partick Tavern used to be, Bag O Nails has breathed new life into the old venue. The bar has a really open, warm homely feeling with a big emphasis on comfort; nice leather seats and a focus on wood – floors, ceilings plus whatever else they could salvage and make out the material. It’s the kind of place you’re as likely to see a bunch of guys out for a pint as you are to see an older couple enjoying a nice meal, adding a real nice feel of inclusiveness which is aided and abetted by the layout of the pub.
As for the food, the pub grub is slightly more refined than what you might find in other drinking dens around Glasgow, with a good roster of burgers, varied main courses and a great pizza list. A highlight is the Buffalo Soldier, a riff on a totally normal cheese burger, instead with buffalo mozzarella cheese and jalapeños to add a wee kick to a groovy burger. There’s also the Shredded Brisket Chilli which features delicious shredded pieces of brisket slow cooked in chilli and served with wraps and rice.
One thing to note if you’re considering Bag O’ Nails is a real lack of vegetarian and vegan options which can make it a difficult place to eat at if anyone in your party doesn’t eat meat. They do however have a kids menu which is nice to see in a pub, allowing more members of the family to take part.
Good for: Family dinners and celebrations, big groups, child friendly
Address: 165 Dumbarton Road, Partick
Nestled just off Byres Road is a tiny wee restaurant which consistently hits out with some of the tastiest, heartiest food in Glasgow. Kimchi Cult is a smashing wee Korean food spot which deals mostly in street eat type stuff with baos, rice bowls and fried chicken – all of which are dangerous in their addictive properties.
This is definitely more on the casual side in terms of eateries with only about 20 seats in the restaurant itself. You can however take away and enjoy the delicious food at home. While this place doesn’t lend itself very well to family celebrations it’s great for friends to get together in, share some tasty food and catch up.
One highlight are their baos, small steamed buns filled with protein and vegetables. Definitely not to be missed is the pulled pork bao, formed of delicious braised pork, drizzled with hoison sauce, sriracha, and topped with pickled cucumber. There’s also the the delicious fried chicken, which unlike American fried chicken, has only a thin layer of crispy batter, the flavour is then communicated through the sauce that is fried onto the chicken, they serve with a soy garlic or a hot sauce glaze. All meals are also served with a side of kimchi (normally spicy pickled cabbage but also comes from different vegetables).
The joint is also very inclusive on the basis of folks eating behaviours with prawn panko options for pescitarians and tofu for vegetarians and vegans.
Good for: Cosy celebration with friends
Address: 14 Chancellor Street, Glasgow
The cornerstone of vegan restaurants in Glasgow, Mono is one of Glasgow’s first vegan restaurants and has provided great vegan food, great drinks and great live acts since 2002. With sausage suppers and To-fish and chips on the menu, the cafe takes classic Glasgow foods and reworks them, letting anyone get in and about them.
The space has a really bohemian vibe, really open plan and roomy. A big bar takes up most of the back wall adjacent a multi tiered eating area. Mono really hits all the mark for a nice metropolitan cafe/bar. Food wise there are plenty of great options that vegans might find less restrictive than those found in other restaurants. The food is really quite superb and will do vegans and meat eaters alike. Some items from the menu you should give a whirl would 100% include the To-Fish and Chips, which is just a straight reworking of fish and chips into a vegan version, with crispy fried tofu in batter served with handcut chips and tartar sauce. There is also the seitan burger, probably the easiest jumping off point for people who haven’t tried vegan foods before. The build of the burger is totally simple; mayo, barbecue sauce, mustard, pickles and tomatoes. It’s the the seitan that will throw people as the texture is spookily close to that of animal protein.
The open plan, beer hall kinda vibe really lends itself to big groups, be it family celebrations or groups of friends getting together. The space serves this purpose fabulously with the high ceilings of the restaurant making the room feel large and cavernous, reflecting the big ideas in the restaurant.
Good for: Family Celebrations, dinner with friends, big get togethers, kid friendly, vegans
Address: 12 Kings Court, Glasgow
Set right in the heart of Glasgow’s city centre is Viva Ristorante, an Italian restaurant with a great selection of food including pasta, pizza, seafood, and steak. It has toned down colours and a relaxed but keen feeling which creates a real sense of comfort.
Viva doesn’t go out of its way too look like the sleekest eatery ever but it knows that the food it puts out is absolutely interstellar. The steak at Viva is just perfect, served medium rare it cuts like butter and is just perfectly tender – served with potatoes and greens. The carbonara is absolutely classic in its delivery; fantastically creamy but not overly rich.
The look of the restaurant is how you might imagine a small place in Italy might look, all terracotta and soft warm autumnal colours. It’s really good for big family get togethers and celebrations as you can also book private dining for up to 80 people, and with large tables available in the main dining area.
If it’s a choice of great seafood, amazing pasta, pizza and different types of meats then Viva Ristorante is the place to be.
Good for: Family celebrations, intimate dinners
Address: 77 Bothwell Street, Glasgow
A taste of modernized traditional Scottish cuisine. Sitting just off Byres Road it serves great food, has a fabulous collection of scotch whiskey and the staff are all absolutely lovely – plus they all wear kilts.
The Bothy is like a slice of Brigadoon in the west-end and it’s perfectly geared towards serving large groups of people tasty, heartwarming food. The eatery is pretty cosy and dimly lit, the tables are all wooden and the building has a very rustic feeling which really adds to the feel.
The food has a quality over quantity edge to it with the plates being quite small but absolutely bursting with flavour. One meal which has to taken with the highest recommendation is the fish and chips, served with a pickled egg, mushy peas, and tartar sauce. The Bothy takes a iconic Scottish food and reworks it into something more fine dining…ish. The batter on the fish is light, crispy and somewhat flakey while the chips, despite lacking all the wee crispy bits, are big beautiful fluffy skin-on guys that are more like roast potatoes. Another thing you must try is the Scottish breast of chicken, served with haggis croquettes, roast parsnip, and crispy chicken skin. Desserts wise there’s the sticky toffee pudding which is dangerously moreish, being sweet enough you know it’s bad for you while not quite getting to the level where you can feel teeth rotting in your head in the process.
Good for: Perfect for family celebrations, kid friendly, intimate dining
Cost: ££ – £££
Address: 11 Ruthven Lane, Glasgow