A Guide to Glasgow’s Excellent Coffee Houses

As you might expect, Glasgow is at the vanguard of Scotland’s coffee culture, which is putting the country on the international map. Coffee shops and specialty roasters abound throughout the city, demonstrating that their hometown knows its business when it comes to caffeinated beverages. Here are a few of Glasgow’s greatest coffee shops.


It was one of the first coffee shops to open in Glasgow, and today has six locations across the city, all of which use local ingredients. It all began in 1998 when the business set up shop with its first outlet in the West End at 189 Byres Road. However, Tinderbox Merchant City’s location on Ingram Street is the most enticing, with a comfy leather recliner waiting for you upstairs. You can get everything from croissants to bento boxes to the ideal pick-me-up coffee here, yet it’s not pompous at all.

A company that makes coffee in paper cups

For a decade now, Papercup Coffee Company has been serving up some of the world’s best-tasting brews from the likes of Rwanda, Brazil, Peru and Colombia. If you’re in the mood for something a little more down-to-earth, you’ll find yourself drawn to the ever-changing menu of sandwiches, baked goods and delectable omelettes at this West End favorite. The beans described above are available for purchase by regular customers, and the business also offers training courses for those interested in learning more about the roasting process.

Roasted to perfection by hand.

Located in the heart of Edinburgh’s West End, Artisan Roast is a coffee shop that has been around since 2007, when it opened its doors on Broughton Street. Edinburgh’s Stockbridge and Bruntsfield areas now have Artisan Roast outlets. To ensure that the java is the star of the show, beans are sourced directly from farmers, and roasted in-house many times a week. At £63 per year, the six-month or year-long gift subscription for 250g bags of coffee beans is an excellent way to show your friends that you care about them.

Jelly Hill (pronounced “jelly-hill”)

At Jelly Hill, you’ll find croissant-filled breakfast and lunch sandwiches as well as charcuterie platters and wine on the menu for the better part of two decades. There is a giant jelly bean dish on the counter for visitors to take as they exit the cafe, as well as a few weird wooden seats. You don’t have to leave your house to get your fix of caffeine and sugary treats.

A cup of coffee at Meadow Road

Using Dear Green Coffee Roasters beans, this hidden gem in the Thornwood neighborhood of Glasgow may be out of the way for weekend visitors, but that doesn’t matter when the place is so warm and welcoming, and the drinks are so tasty and cheaply priced. One of the best things about this coffee shop is the flat whites, which are only £1 on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday mornings. Enjoy a glass of wine while you dine on poached eggs with smoked salmon and avocado in front of floor-to-ceiling windows.

A coffee laboratory

If you’re looking to get your caffeine fix at a place that looks like it’s straight out of Milan, Laboratorio Espresso might be your best bet. You’re within a short distance from Glasgow’s Queen Street Station, which is just a few blocks away. It’s a fantastic area to sit and wait for the next train to arrive. Dear Green Coffee Roasters provides the bespoke blend, and there is a “special” espresso choice every week. There’s a lot of pride in the work at this coffee business, and it shows. From the selection of cakes and pastries, we particularly enjoy the cappuccino with micro-foam and textured milk.


Located on Gibson Street near Kelvingrove Park and the university, this big, bohemian cafe is a no-brainer for restless students and work-averse freelancers alike. It’s been here since 1999 and has full-length windows that look out onto the Kelvin River. It has a homey, comfortable vibe. This dog-friendly restaurant offers delicious cupcakes and pastries, as well as good sandwiches made with jacket potatoes. Relaxed and laidback, Offshore is a great location to enjoy a strong brew and a little downtime.

Inn at the Glade

The Shawlands region of Southside’s green Southside is home to a legendary cafe that always manages to hit all the right notes. Exceptional coffee and pastries from Glasgow’s famed Big Bear Bakery complement an extensive beer menu that includes the perennially popular Williams Bros Brewing Co. The stylishly bare brick walls are also home to rotating exhibits of prints and artwork. Film screenings, plays, and performances by local musical guests are regularly attended by devotees of the location. Make your way here if you want to meet some of Glasgow’s creatives.

The Cottonrake Bakery.

Located in a traditional stone townhouse together with other shops and cafes in London’s West End, this indie creative hub serves delicious cuisine and coffee. Aside from the delicate raspberry-and-white-chocolate pastries and the chard, cheddar, and spring onion quiche, Glasgow-based art and ceramics are just as painstakingly handcrafted. With Alistair Dearie’s pale-glazed earthenware, Passenger Press menu cards, and arty neon signs by David Shrigley, the interior is unique. Near the Kelvin River on the Great West Way, Cottonrake has tables and stools outside on Bank Street’s cobbled pavement.

Coffee from Gordon Street on Gordon Street

Coffee lovers should head to this Central Station location for an oat-milk cortado, or for an extra shot of espresso. The aromatic coffee beans are roasted on-site at this shop, which opened in 2014 and was the first of its kind in Glasgow’s city center. Many mixes are available, including the robust, chocolaty Glasgow Roast that won a Great Taste Award in 2020. Their Premium Collection, which includes delicious Kenya Blue Mountain and nutty Araku Valley organic beans from India, was just just introduced to the public. A steaming mug of coffee and a warm pastry are the perfect way to start your train trip.

‘Strange Brew’ cafe

It is possible to get gourmet coffee and innovative lattes, as well as Stornoway black pudding and eggs all day at this stylish, dog-friendly cafe on Pollokshaws Road in Queen’s Park. If you’re looking for the best brunch in Glasgow’s Shawlands neighborhood, look no further than this small diner. Some of the daily specials on the menu are bacon-blueberry or pineapple turnover pancakes. In the summer, air conditioning and iced lattes help put Scotland’s uncommon scorchers at bay.


At 300 Crow Road in Broomhill, where the first Kothel debuted in 2015, there are dangling pot plants and antique leather trunks that frame the windows, offering Greek spinach pie spanakopita and cappuccinos to the young professionals. You can enjoy the chocolate Guinness cake on a covered olive tree terrace as well. There are now two additional locations, each selling well-brewed coffee in vintage cups along with a variety of Mediterranean fare, such as baked moussaka or antipasti platters with grilled vegetables, olives, and hummus as well as other dips and sauces.

Happy Hour at the Smile Cafe

One of the most popular Italian coffee shops in town, Smile on Douglas Street near the old School of Art. Café-deli with gilded plasterwork ceiling and aisles of imported pasta is a match made in heaven for espresso and chocolate-hazelnut cannoli. Beautiful wood floors, blue-and-white walls, and post-box scarlet ironwork make this a happy, happy home. If you’re hungry, order a pizza or a pesto croissant with sundried tomatoes.

William Cafeteria

Organic milk from Mossgiel Farm near Kilmarnock, sourdough from Freedom Bakery, free-range eggs from Nith Valley (home to some of Scotland’s best producers), and coffee beans from Dear Green Roastery are all part of this ethically sourced breakfast. This neighborhood gem, located just across the Kelvin River from Glasgow’s botanical garden, serves hearty portions. The mushroom, tattie scones, avocado, and seeds atop the vegan all-day breakfast dish contrast with the oak-smoked haddock and truffle hollandaise in the fish bowl.

It’s the Coffee Cup!

On Clarkston Road, between Cathcart and Muirend stations, a little cafe called Coffee Cup is well-known for its warm service and old-fashioned home-made treats. There’s nothing better than a cup of joe paired with a dozen pastries and biscuits. From jam and coconut sponge to gluten-free lemon and lime, they’ve got it all…. Make arrangements in advance for afternoon teas that include the famous Mars bar cake. Everything from soups and sandwiches to the traditional soft breakfast roll with Lorne sausages and HP sauce is reasonably priced all day long.

Leave a Reply