A coffee and toastie bar that’s so cool it’s almost a bit ridiculous. Food is good, even if it is dealt out in miserly portions
Situated in a boxy little old standalone workshop building down the cutely cobbled Eton Lane, Pena looks fantastic and surreal, with fake grass stapled across the frontage surrounding a large shuttered window and sliding glass door, and a wooden deck laid in front with bike racks on the wall beside. Inside they make clever and resourceful use of extremely minimal space across two floors, with stripped back walls and colourful tables, lampshades and decorations, and a tiny service area crammed in beneath the stairs in the semi-basement’s lower half.
Factor in the building’s history as a music recording and rehearsal studio – where Glasgow bands from Snow Patrol to Frightened Rabbit have all honed their chops – and you’ve got one of the coolest coffee shops in town.
Prices seem ludicrously low: just £4 for a toastie and coffee. The former come in varieties from the West Ender (chorizo, mushrooms, brie) to the excellently titled Jean-Claude Van Ham (smoked ham, fresh tomato, mozzarella cheese, ‘knockout’ relish). The latter is made with discerningly selected beans roasted by Workshop Coffee in London.
There’s a catch of course, and it’s that portions are tiny – you’ll need to order two toasties to leave feeling anywhere near full (they do sweet ones too, such as The Nigella with raspberry, white chocolate, ricotta and almonds), or at least top-up with a bit of rocky road, banana loaf or chocolate brownie (all also tiny). But even then, it’s still inexpensive. The freshness and boldness of thinking on Pena’s behalf has to be commended – there’s literally nothing else like it in Glasgow.
5 Eton Lane
|Opening hours:||Mon-Sat 8.30am-5pm|