Glasgow's best breakfasts and brunches
Originally opened as Delizique before becoming a café-bar in 2008 (the deli can now be found two doors up Hyndland Street), Cafezique is one of the few eateries in Glasgow that does breakfast, lunch, dinner, casual drinks and cake to a consistently high standard. Cafezique’s full breakfasts – with phonebook-thick toast slices, Aberfoyle Butcher sausages and Puddledub bacon – are among the best in Glasgow, and they do a mean eggs benedict too.
Opened in 1995, and taking its title from the an old Scottish word meaning ‘to wander aimlessly with intent’, the ambience here is artfully bucolic – think exposed stone walls, open fire, chunky wooden roof beams, an iron staircase tangled with twinkling fairly lights and huge floor-to-ceiling windows that swing fully open in summertime (when there are also tables outside on Gibson Street). The weekend brunch menu – featuring everything from full Scottish breakfasts to nasi goreng and maple syrup drenched French toast – are a great way to while away a lazy Saturday or Sunday afternoon.
This popular West End café and fine food emporium does a short but rather splendid breakfast menu, available daily until noon. You're not going to come here for a fry-up but you could push the boat out with a warm Wiltshire ham and Gruyère croissant, some honey-toasted granola with fresh fruit and Greek yoghurt perhaps or good sourdough toast with butter and jam. Alternatively there is a patisserie selection. Wash it down with some of the signature house coffee: 100% Arabica as you would expect and they roast and grind the beans in- house. There is also hot chocolate to be had, Green & Black's Organic of course, plus a range of teas and fruit juices.
The Fox was a 2014 debut on its corner site among the red sandstone tenements of Hyndland. The premises were formerly occupied by a long-established deli and this café-restaurant aims to continue in its foodie tradition. Its compact breakfast offering – available until noon weekdays, 2pm weekends – involves organic muesli and porridge, breakfast rolls, eggs benedict, fry-ups in meat and vegetarian versions or superior fishcakes with a poached egg and hollandaise. If you're in the mood for a posh hot drink, you can have some small-batch and hand-roasted coffee in a Chemex jug, or Sencha green leaf flowering tea which is big in Japan.
With cafés ten-a-penny in and around Byres Road, Avenue G has done exceptionally well to not just survive but thrive since opening in 2011. Coffee-making is elevated to little short of an art form by well-trained baristas, who’ll happily offer advice on just the right roast and brew for you. They take food just as seriously, using lots of ingredients sourced from the Scottish larder. Breakfasts include all sorts of British and continental standards – bacon sandwiches, croissants, pains au chocolat – as well as a few less-common options such as eggs en cocotte: French baked eggs with a toasted muffin and your choice of cheese, ham, bacon or salmon.
Gandolfi is not a thing, it's several things: Café Gandolfi on Albion Street dating to 1979, Bar Gandolfi upstairs plus Gandolfi Fish a few doors along on the same street with its Fish To Go takeaway. If it's breakfast you want however, you head for the local legend that is the original Café Gandolfi. It was fairly revolutionary when it opened, less so now of course but it still occupies a fond place in the city's heart. You could have anything from a basic scrambled egg roll or a croissant to such wonders as Stornoway white pudding with apple, crispy onions and Cumberland sauce, or the full Gandolfi Scottish with mandatory tattie scone.
The best restaurant in Glasgow? When the Ubiquitous Chip is on top form, there’s no question about it. And there’s so much more besides fine dining to be experienced within this Glasgow institution of more than four decades standing. One of its highlights is brunch in the Brasserie, where a mean full Scottish sits alongside smoked haddock kedgeree, black pudding and even steak.
A transformation of an old West End drinking den, and only open since late 2012, the Sparkle Horse is a family-friendly bar, it does superior pub grub with a great specials menu and it still manages to be a place to go for a beer or three in the evenings, or a pub quiz. Having planted its eclectic flag in the West End, just behind Kelvinhall subway station, how could it not do weekend brunch? So on Saturday and Sunday, from noon until 3pm, you can have a full Scottish breakfast here, in carnivorous or vegetarian versions, or a hot filled roll to go with your coffee – or with your pint given that it's afternoon.
While the selection of vegetarian and vegan sweet and savoury bites at this very trendy caffeine haven can be gone before lunchtime, the quality is very high. From phonebook-thick sandwiches accompanied with a cup or bowl of soup, to quiche or veggie rolls and sweets ranging from banana and blackberry loaf to chocolate vegan cake, everything is made fresh in-store daily, and sold at remarkably reasonable prices.
Despite being quietly owned by the biggest generic pub and club chain in central Scotland, Hillhead Bookclub manages to do a just about convincing job of passing itself off as a chintzy, boho independent café-bar. The reasonably-priced brunch menu impresses, with pancake stacks and all manner of egg options alongside brunch burgers, sandwiches and bloody marys.