A quick guide to veggie favourites in Glasgow
Going to university when you’re a vegetarian is an exciting getaway from hometown pub dinners where your best bet at a veggie option is rabbit food or a bowl of chips. Glasgow in particular is known for being one of the most vegetarian-friendly places in the UK, and it certainly didn’t disappoint when I started studying here. That being said, not all of your new uni pals will share your dietary preferences, so getting chances to eat at vegetarian-only bars (I’d highly recommend The 78 if you get the chance) and restaurants can be few and far between. With that in mind, knowing the best veggie dishes (and there are many) in student-heavy Glasgow restaurants is key. Below are some of my personal favourites.
Bread Meats Bread: Vegan Fried Chicken, Cheese and Bacon Burger with Vegan Poutine
If you aren’t from a city, finding a vegetarian burger that isn’t a vegetable patty or made from bean when you go out can be next to impossible. In Bread Meats Bread, however, being vegetarian or vegan doesn’t stop you from having the same level of choice as your meat eater friends. Bread Meats Bread is a student favourite with a plethora of delicious-looking and tasting burgers (seriously, check out their Instagram) for meat eaters and veggies alike. Their vegan fried chicken, cheese and bacon burger is particularly great, and I’ve got friends who’ll swear that the vegan poutine tastes even better than the regular one. And if you can’t be bothered to go out, you can get all of this delivered on Uber Eats.
Ichiban Noodle Bar: Yasai Curry, Inari Sushi and Yasai Gyoza
This incredible Queen Street restaurant is an absolute must for vegetarians. It’s a place I discovered in my second year after fierce and persistent recommendations from my friend – also a veggie – who swore it was the best food he’d ever eaten. Since then I’ve probably gone more times than you could count on five hands, and my meat-eating friends love it just as much. The yasai curry is absolutely delicious and enough to keep you full all evening; the yasai gyoza is just as popular with meat eaters as it is with veggies, and I genuinely think that the inari sushi (rice-filled fried tofu skin pockets) are the most addictive things I’ve ever eaten. The atmosphere in this noodle bar is relaxed and I’ve never experienced a wait to get a table, and it’s pretty reasonably priced too.
La Vita Spuntini: Bruschetta, Arancini Formaggio and Pennette Arrabbiata
La Vita Spuntini on Byres Road is without a doubt the best Italian food I’ve ever eaten outside of Italy itself. Conveniently situated a short walk away from the University, this is somewhere you should definitely eat during your time in Glasgow. Italian restaurants in general are crowd pleasers, so if you’re going out for a meal with your friends, suggest La Vita Spuntini. The bruschetta is only £2.95 and easily better than what other restaurants will provide for over double the price, the arancini formaggio is one of the nicest tapas dishes on the menu, and the pennette arabbiata is a great reprieve if you’re sick of spaghetti napolitana being your only veggie-friendly pasta option. The staff at the restaurant are lovely and extremely accommodating to any changes you may want to make to your dish, and the atmosphere of the restaurant is perfect for end of exams celebrations and Christmas dinners. If you’re like me and live far away from home, this is a particularly good one to take your parents if they come to visit (my mum now insists on coming here every time she visits).
Mario’s Place: Giant Veggie Breakfast
For only £5.90, you can get a massive hangover cure accompanied by a cup of tea or coffee in this small Byres Road cafe and chippy takeaway. The setup is humble, relaxed and somewhere you can easily stumble into having just gotten out of bed. The service is fast, the food is tasty and, most importantly, great value for money – other West End cafes will charge you almost double that for much yet. The Giant Veggie Breakfast includes a hash brown, two potato scones, onion rings, beans, two eggs, mushrooms and four slices of toast. And the best part? It serves its breakfast menu right up until its close at 12am. If fry ups aren’t your thing, their chips are some of the best in Glasgow too.
BRGR: Halloumi Burger and Kinder Milkshake
Although not quite as tasty or inventive as Bread Meats Bread’s extensive vegan and veggie menu, BRGR still offers a decent (and slightly more affordable) option for vegetarians. It offers either a halloumi or falafel burger as its veggie options, and my personal favourite is the halloumi. It’s not too overbearing and it’s mixed with vegetables, so if you’re looking for something a bit more surmountable (and cheaper) than the burger options at Bread Meats Bread, BRGR is the place to go. If you want a decent veggie burger, a side of fries, a can of soft drink and one of their legendary Kinder milkshakes for no more than a tenner, head to BRGR.