Restaurants, Coffeeshops Kelvinside
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© Stephen Robinson

The location is the best thing about this roomy coffee shop, although the drinks and small menu of bought-in lunch fare are also decent

You have to wonder what a premises like Offshore’s would be worth to a big chain coffee shop. Curving around the corner of Gibson Street and Westbank Quadrant overlooking the River Kelvin through massive floor-to-ceiling windows, with the university at the top of the hill bringing in a steady stream of students, it’s perhaps the best spot for a café in all of Glasgow.

There since 1999, and looking about as careworn as its age would suggest, Offshore is a rock of simple dependability – bright, airy, packed with scuffed tables and chairs and couches. New management have come in within the last few years and done a spot of marketing – playing up the social appeal of such a big, relaxed hangout (it can seat about 50 people, plus a few more outside in summer). But they’ve sagely made few other changes, save for adding occasional theatre and exhibition bookings to the downstairs arts space.

Offshore doesn’t have a kitchen, only a very small prep area behind the counter, so they get all their food in from outside. It’s basic but enjoyable stuff – freshly made sandwiches, baked potatoes, soup, that kind of thing, plus cakes and sweets from a local artisan baker. There’s no denying the place could probably use a little cosmetic sprucing up sometime soon. Other than that, it’s as pleasant, unfussy and unhurried a place to have a coffee as you’ll find in the city.

By: Malcolm Jack


Venue name: Offshore
Address: 3-5 Gibson Street
G12 8NU
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