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Photograph: Kevin J Thomson

Pollokshaws Road neighbourhood: What to eat, drink and do

Stuck for activities in Southside? These are the best things to eat, drink and do in Glasgow’s Pollokshaws Road

Written by
Gabriella Bennett
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History has it that Pollokshaws Road was once home to a merry band of Flemish weavers – known as the ‘Queer Folk’ – who were brought over to work in the city during the 19th century by local landowners. These days it’s still a thriving creative hub, threading down Glasgow’s Southside and linking up the districts of Govanhill, Strathbungo and Shawlands. Rows of sandstone tenements loom over traffic separated by wide pavements, behind which stand ornate townhouses designed by Alexander ‘Greek’ Thomson.

There’s a juicy chunk of Pollokshaws Road where bars, cafés and boutiques jostle for space; pick it up from Allison Street and wander down past Queen’s Park. Since it’s a largely residential area, there’s a distinct feel of community – something that’s enhanced by the indie businesses that have popped up over the past few years. In particular it’s a brunch haven, with queues leaking out of living-room-sized cafés come rain or shine.

You can also expect to find organic fruit and veg at Stalks & Stems, a fresh produce emporium with a florist next door, and (almost) a different coffee shop for every day of the week. It’s not all hipster territory, though. Punters tired of mustachioed baristas and bar staff will be cheered by the decent selection of old man pubs complete with smoked-glass windows.

Recommended: Full guide to the best things to do in Glasgow

Best things to do in Pollokshaws Road, Glasgow

Do this
Photograph: Alicja Jaskiewicz

Do this

Listen to an evening of spoken word at the not-for-profit Glad Café, the Southside home of arts events. You’ll find theatre shows, gigs and film screenings downstairs in the 120-capacity venue.

Perfect a plié – or see a show – at a Scottish Ballet class. The dance company’s HQ is housed in a jolly yellow-and-white building tucked away on Albert Drive.

Drink this

Drink this

A ‘half and half’ – otherwise known as a nip of whisky and a half-pint of dark beer – at the Allison Arms, which has been trading since 1885.

Something that can be poured quickly when the queue is ten-deep at The Rum Shack. Visit this Caribbean bar when it’s hosting local bands or a club night.

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Eat this
Photograph: Kevin J Thomson

Eat this

Porridge, but not as you know it, at Gnom. Bowls of oats are topped with cardamom baked plums, hazelnut dukkah and ginger syrup. With luck the dark chocolate cake will be on – it’s richer than Bill Gates and almost impossible to resist.

Hakka ground pork from Julie’s Kopitiam, a tiny Malaysian restaurant owned by bright young ‘MasterChef’ contestant Julie Lin MacLeod. Served with fish sauce, greens, peanuts and snow-white rice, this is comfort food done right.

Anything carby – but especially the skyscraper stacks of pancakes – from Café Strange Brew, the place where breakfast dreams come true. Get the fried chicken edition with maple, hot sauce and a fried egg.

The sabji of the day with a paneer roll at Punjabi deli Ranjit’s Kitchen. The food is authentic, not westernised in any way, and ingredients are locally sourced.

Buy this

Buy this

A very good loaf of sourdough from Tapa Coffeehouse. It’s all about that open crumb structure. They also do the best vegan brunch on the Southside.

Super-detailed illustrations of the city at artist Libby Walker’s shop. Choose from tea towels, tote bags and wall prints, or grab some cards and cushions.

Our top tip? Hone your horticultural skills by asking the staff for tips at Aperçu (open Wednesday to Sunday). It’s an Aladdin’s cave filled with indoor plants. Soon, your flat will live up to Glasgow’s reputation as the Dear Green Place.

Need more inspiration?

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