Glasgow's East End might not be the first place you think of when it comes to eating out in style but, hopefully, that's about to change. In recent years Duke Street has become a wee bit of a foodie haven just waiting to be discovered. Whether you're talking about the stalwarts of Duke Street, such as Coia's Cafe, or new joints on the block, like Drygate Brewing Co, the prices are always reasonable and the welcome forever friendly. So here's four of Duke Street's best you should be checking out the next time you're in the East End and feeling a bit peckish.
An absolute mainstay of Duke Street life, Coia’s has been operating in this neck of the woods since 1928. In 2006 the business expanded and the café was given a massive overhaul, with a top class takeaway and delicatessen being added into the mix. Ice cream fans should visit the Deli for Coia's own Italian ice cream, whilst wine lovers won’t be disappointed by their selection of vino.
Italian staples such as pizza, pasta and seafood rule the day when it comes to their a la carte menu. But there's also a fantastic selection of steaks, burgers and salads, as well as Coia's very own mince'n'tatties. And we’ve not even mentioned their delicious breakfasts yet.
Coia’s Café, 477 Duke Street.
Tibo opened in 2006 and offers up breakfast, lunch and dinner with a welcome dose of banter. Unpretentious and always interesting, their lunch and dinner menu is full of unique but delicious options, including an excellent selection of starters, sandwiches, salads, burgers, pizzas, mains, platters and desserts (phew). There really is something for everyone, including haggis, neeps and tatties croquette starters, grilled brie and goats' cheese salad and the tongue-tinglingly spicy monkfish curry for mains.
Wash it all down with a selection of draught beers, spirits and mixers. Or maybe even try one of their delicious teas. Lemon ginger anyone? I hear it's good for digestion.
Café Tibo, 443 Duke Street
OK, so it’s not officially 'on' Duke Street, but Drygate Brewing Co is literally a two minute jaunt off the main road. There’s craft beer aplenty and also some delicious and well-priced grub. The Brewhouse menu starts from £3.95 and offers starters such as pan fried mackerel and mains like the Drygate beef burger with jerk ox cheek. Yum. Veggies are catered for too with falafel and cauliflower options.
If DIY food is more your thing (and why wouldn’t it be?) then the Drygate Flat Pack Sandwich Board will do the trick. You choose the bread and fillings, then wait for it to be delivered, ready to be assembled. Options include steak, halloumi, salmon and cheddar, and you can even add a bowl of soup for £1.50. A bargain and no diagrams required.
Drygate Brewing Co., 85 Drygate.
The Duchess of Duke Street relaunched just last year with a brand new refit, and the décor wasn’t the only thing getting an overhaul. The menu too has had a spruce up and offers a selection of hearty foods at decent prices. Starters include Thai fishcake, soup of the day and their absolutely delicious mushroom crostini.
For your main you could be sinking your teeth into slow roast pork belly, chickpea and mixed veg tagine or their homemade gnocchi just to mention a few. There’s also daily (Monday to Friday, 11am–4pm) £5 lunch deals on selected main meals, such as fish and chips or steak pie. If Sunday roasts are more your thing, they offer two courses for £9.50 or three courses for £12.50 from 12pm–9pm every Sunday, and kids sizes are available too.
The Duchess of Duke Street, 380 Duke Street.
Still hungry? See Time Out's guide to Glasgow's best restaurants.