Glasgow’s reputation for miserable weather hasn’t exactly been disproven so far this spring, but respite will eventually come, and when it does you’ll find a surprising number of good places citywide at which to enjoy an outdoor bite to eat. Just be prepared to pounce on a table quick, because when the sun shines in the Weeg, the whole city seems to come out to play. If you want to take full advantage of the fleeting sunshine, make sure and check out our guide to Glasgow's best beer gardens and the best things to do in the city.
Glasgow's best outdoor dining
In summertime vegan café-bar and music venue Mono sprawls out across the paved courtyard of Kings Court, with drinkers and diners sat at tables and chairs – some placed there on purpose, others smuggled out by patrons – or simply stood, leaned or perched wherever else they can grab a spot. Those spicy seitan burgers taste all the better under a hot sun.
Where else would you expect to find the best beer garden in Glasgow than at a Munich-inspired brewery and bar? WEST is almost as well-kent for its food as it is its beers these days. Enjoying a plate of Nürnberger bratwürstl and a pint of St Mungo’s or GPA of a sunny afternoon or early evening, with open westwards views over Glasgow Green? Wunderbar.
You can dine outdoors at both of pan-Asian street food and cocktail joint Bar Soba’s Glasgow branches. The West End outlet is lined with tables out the front along Byres Road, while Bar Soba on Mitchell Lane expands to a café on Buchanan Street in summertime, where you can watch the afternoon shoppers hurry by while slowly enjoying some Vietnamese chicken wings and a coconut and chili daiquiri.
More outdoor brewery drinking and dining in the East End. The sun is somewhat obscured after a certain point in the day by the huge tower blocks adjacent to Drygate’s sizeable elevated terrace, so start your session early with epic burgers and so much top-quality craft beer its hard to know where to begin.
Once just a dirty slope of grass out the back of this Belgian-inspired Ashton Lane bar and restaurant, Brel’s beer garden has been upgraded considerably in recent years to include rows of fitted benches and even a covered area (with heat lamps), where you can defy the elements by dryly tucking into mussels and strong beer even when its raining. There are a few tables out front on Ashton lane too.
Situated on a quirky little tree-lined residential street in Dowanhill just off the busy Dumbarton Road, family-friendly, community-spirited hangout The Sparkle House has claimed a little patch of pavement outside as its own, and it’s a fine spot to while away a few hours when the weather is fine, with affordable good food and pints.
One of the best new restaurants in Glasgow is also one of the few in Finnieston to boast a decent patch of outdoor space. But just a few stylish white wooden tables and chairs round the corner on Derby Street, mind, so grab one quick if you can. Getting any kind of a table inside or out at the fiercely on-trend small-plates centric Ox and Finch can be a challenge.
Summertime is barbecue time at Cottiers. They’ve got the outdoor grill fired up every weekend all season long at this bar-restaurant and theatre situated in a converted church, with its brilliant little walled beer garden wrapping around the western fringe. Waiting times for food can be quite long, but it’s sunny so what’s the rush anyway?