Kember and Jones
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High-end café and bakery that specialises in hearty platters of meat and cheese, cakes and home-roasted coffee. It ain’t cheap, but the food’s great
There are few cafés in Glasgow where it’s harder to get a table at peak times than Kember and Jones on Byres Road. It has as much to do with the relative paucity of seating space in this self-styled ‘fine food emporium’ as it does with how successfully it lives up to its billing.
Opened in 2004, it’s a smart, bright and practically designed café and continental deli – airy, with exposed brick walls, a long glass counter and an open kitchen on one side and a ceiling-high stack of shelves stocked with speciality dry goods adjacent. There are tables both inside and outside the huge floor-to-ceiling windows at the front, and more on the mezzanine at the rear of the shop. But capacity is still only 34, so expect to have to queue if it’s busy.
As well as doing quality breakfast, lunch and snack foods, they’re open until 10pm Monday to Saturday, and offer dinner options plus a small beer and wine list too. Sandwiches are made using their own bread, baked fresh daily in inventive varieties from sourdough to rye and raisin, wholemeal spelt and pain de champagne. A highly recommended dish for two is one of the large platters for sharing, in British, French, Spanish or Italian styles. The latter comes stacked with pecorino cheese, sun blushed tomatoes, fresh pesto, passion fruit and a pile of cold meats (parma ham and salami). It’s an intimidatingly large feast. The patisserie selection, meanwhile, is a sugar addict’s dream – freshly baked fruit scones, meringues, tarts, biscuits, cakes and more.
While food has always been the key selling point of Kember and Jones, they also operate their own off-site coffee roastery. Prices are steep on pretty much everything here, but you get what you pay for.