If you live in Glasgow – or visit often – you know there is no shortage of a well-pulled espresso whichever end of the city you happen to be wandering about in. Glasgow abounds with third wave speciality coffee shops from the hygge-ish Artisan Roast in the west end to coffee roaster and commuter favourite Gordon St on, well…Gordon Street.
But we’re not just in it for the coffee anymore. When you’re only 1 oat milk latte down yet hours into an ex’s instagram feed with your uni essay STILL to write… we need a little more from these cafes-cum-second homes. We. Need. Food (and maybe more accessible sockets for our ever dwindling laptop batteries).
Below I’ve compiled through painstaking (absolutely not painstaking) first-hand research, a wee list of the Best Coffee Shops to get Proper Vegan Food. You’re Welcome. So grab yourself a damn fine cup of coffee and settle in.
72 Victoria Road, Glasgow.
Open everyday 7.30-5, except Mondays.
First up is a new one on the scene, czech owned: Buchta. Opened for a few months, situated up on Victoria Road, Buchta is a coffee-lovers much-adored and well-kept secret. Walk in to their wee place and be greeted with the biggest smiles and a week’s worth of decent chat from these self-confessed coffee geeks.
While what’s in their hopper changes as often as the weather, you can be guranteed an expert quality coffee, a range of non-dairy milks and brew options. And guys. Their food. Based on Czech cuisine (often their grandmother’s recipes), their cakes – all in made inhouse – unbelievable. What’s great about these guys is that, as Tomas tells me, they understand how hard it is on a specific diet to get something nice and original. Which is refreshing to hear, and to see on my plate, instead of yet another dry, mealy cookie. Tomas and Katerina will serve you up decadent peach cake, avocado and oat flour brownies and anything else they’re able to conjure up in their tiny space.
Buchta’s focus is on cakes and coffee, but with a recently updated menu, you’ll see well-priced snacks and breakfast options up for grabs too, all served with a side of friendly and interesting conversation. (I was genuinely told you prepare you guys… they do love to chat!).
994 Argyle Street
Open every day, most of the day
Wandering west-wards just before you reach the Finnieston strip, you’ll hit The Cran. VC Festival favourites, this place dedicates much of its menu to vegans, and will offer a range of comforting soups, sandwiches and salads, alongside your perfectly brewed, ethically sourced espresso. Ran by a stalwart team of independent vendors who’ll always make you feel at home, this place is perfect for when you’re a little hungry, not quite in the west and still far from town. The cran is for ‘locals and those who work locally’ ideal to pop into for a quick lunch or a lazy brunch and relax in the hyper-‘gram’able interiors. It’s the perfect pit-stop to fill up on amazing and inspired vegan lunches and a cinamon bun…or two… to pick you up on driech weekday afternoons.
278 St. Vincent Street
Open Monday-Saturday 7.30-4
Moving into the city centre we have Primal Roast. Open for breakfast and lunch, this place suits the 9-5’er in need of a decent coffee and filling food. Deceptively large and bright for a basement cafe, Primal is friendly with super approachable staff (I recently had a 10 minute conversation about Ben and Jerry’s while I was in there) and a great Dear Green roast on their rotating coffee menu. You’ll get oatly here, alongside almond and bonsoy soya milk, beautifully prepared by well-trained baristas. Primal is famous for their cakes, and there’s no reason to wonder why. Decadent cheesecakes, brownies, tarts and sponges it’s impossible to choose just one. Iain Walker, the owner of Primal and former sous chef at the Chip tells me ”All baking is done in-house and all cakes are dairy and refined sugar free. A lot of our cakes are also wheat and gluten free! According to Iain, the most popular cake is the raw caramel cake which is made using dates, nuts, coconut oil, agave syrup and raw cacao.
On top of that, they have an entire vegan menu, offering staples with a clean-eating twist for the health focused. Chia bircher with maple and the perennial millenial fave avo toast served on rye with slow baked tomatoes are just some of the breakfast options. For lunch you can choose from a seasonal selection of buddha bowls, plates of grains and hearty soups. Primal focuses on the epically (imo) underappreciated plant-side of Veganism: good food, that is good for you…leaving you a little extra leeway for that cake…
5 Hyndland Street
Open every day 8-5
It’s unassuming for sure. Tucked up on Hyndland street just off Mansfield Park amidst polish delis, Kaf is a scandi-delight. Walking into the place feels like stepping into a Kinfolk magazine spread. With the smell of freshly ground, very purposely chosen single origin roasts from the likes of The Foundry and Round Hill Roastery on offer and an array of vegan food, it’s a place you’ll find yourself dreaming about long after you leave.
Kaf’s menu like their decor is simple, with a twist. Big breakfast plates, comprising of avoacdo, haggis, potatoes and sourdough or filled rolls with a difference (think artichoke hearts and homemade hummus over square and tattie scone).
It’s a place for the days where the world is too much and you want to bury your head in some work while being freshly topped up with delicious coffee and healthy plant based food.
Other notable but unmentioned but I’ll mention them now places:
3 West Nile Street, open every day. Dear Green coffee and a much recommended vegan brunch. Mothers like this place.
43 Alexendra Park, open Wed-Sunday. For the east-enders, stan’s studio is the go-to for decent selection of non-espresso based coffee, vegan toasties and a hella good doorstop sized flapjack… also there’s a dug so do you need another reason?
603 Great Western Road open every day. A favourite amongst west-enders Papercup offer a bounty of vegan cakes and sandwiches, alongside one of the best long blacks you’ll get in the area. They also do vegan friendly smoothies and juices, you know…if you hate coffee for some godforsaken reason.
Whitehill Street (east)
Pollockshaws road (south) open every day. The veteran veggie and vegan coffee-house has outposts in the east and south. Organic food and friendly service, head to the southside for a proper breakfast and a catch up with the pal you haven’t seen for ages.