Despite a slow burn, Michelin starred restaurants in Glasgow are finally a reality.
For years, Edinburgh ruled the roost in the Scottish Michelin star league tables, but 2021 and 2022 have seen Glasgow make a rousing comeback. First, Lorna McNee’s Cail Bruich won the first Michelin star in 17 years for Glasgow’s restaurant scene, before Graeme Cheevers doubled the star tally in 2022 with his exceptional tasting odysseys at Unalome.
Glasgow’s two Michelin stars are about more than the stars themselves. This city is so much more than just two star-crossed restaurants, in fact, some of the best restaurants in Glasgow aren’t even in the Michelin Guide! That said, Glasgow’s growing presence in the Guide is certainly a step in the right direction, and a testament to the city’s exciting, rejuvenated food scene.
Look past the stars and you’ll find a host of Michelin Bib Gourmand-awarded eateries too. The Bib Gourmand is handed out to restaurants that demonstrate good quality and value – something that, in truth, Glasgow has had in spades for a little while now. The Guide also includes local favourite Ox and Finch, Bearsden bistro Monadh Kitchen, and as of 2022, Celentano’s – a new Italian-inspired restaurant from Dean Parker, who moved to Glasgow after many years as head chef under Robin Gill at The Dairy, Darby’s and Sorella.
Aside from those given a star or Bib Gourmand, the guide features yet more Glasgow restaurants, recognised for quality food even if it doesn’t quite meet award levels. Glaswegians have fallen head over heels for Julie Lin’s Malaysian-inspired cooking at Julie’s Kopitiam, for example, and there’s more love for south east Asia at Hanoi Bike Shop, as well as mentions for Glasgow institutions like The Gannet and Ubiquitous Chip.
- Michelin-starred restaurants in Glasgow
- Bib Gourmand restaurants in Glasgow
Still, we’re focusing on the award-winners here – a compact list for sure, but one that only looks set to grow in the coming years. Let’s take a look at Glasgow’s Michelin-recognised restaurants.
Michelin-starred restaurants in Glasgow
What: Lorna McNee is a Scottish chef with a serious pedigree – after years spent at prestigious Restaurant Andrew Fairlie, McNee broke out on her own at Cail Bruich, and channelled years of Fairlie’s tutelage into a Michelin star. McNee and her team cook with total confidence, in the quality of local Scottish produce that they showcase, and in their own skill. Keep an eye out for absolutely stunning dessert courses, where McNee’s long stint as Restaurant Andrew Fairlie’s pastry chef is on display. Cail Bruich has since birthed a couple of equally fantastic, more casual spots in Epicures by Cail Bruich and the much-hyped Bar Brett, making it a shoe-in for the most influential restaurant group in Glasgow right now.Where: 725 Great Western Road, Glasgow, G12 8QXBook now: Cail Bruich
Unalome by Graeme Cheevers
What: Energy efficient, 100% green energy powered and committed to zero waste, low water usage and a low carbon footprint, Unalome is blazing a trail for a new age of sustainable restaurants. Head chef Graeme Cheevers has been successful everywhere he’s been – he held a Michelin star for five years with Martin Wishart at Loch Lomond, before winning a star at Isle of Eriska Hotel in 2018. In 2022, Unalome received a star in its debut year thanks to innovative tasting menus, with Scottish produce tied together by Cheevers’ precise, Asian-inspired techniques.Where: 36 Kelvingrove Street, Glasgow, G3 7RZBook now: Unalome by Graeme Cheevers
Bib Gourmand restaurants in Glasgow
What: As Robin Gill’s right hand man in London, Dean Parker was instrumental to the success of restaurants like The Dairy, The Manor, Sorella and Darby’s, so it’s no surprise that his solo Glasgow restaurant Celentano’s is equally fantastic. Opened alongside wife Anna, Celentano’s really does feel like a family Italian trattoria. That said, dishes are a little more elevated and interesting than your standard Italian fare, and Celentano’s does a lot of fermenting, pickling and preserving to make sure seasonal ingredients can be used all year round.Where: 28-32 Cathedral Square, Glasgow, G4 0XABook now: Celentano’s
What: Buzzy Bearsden bistro Monadh Kitchen has held a Bib Gourmand for a few years now, and despite being a good distance out of Glasgow’s city centre, it still manages to fill up the dining room on most evenings. Monadh really takes Scottish food seriously, championing Scottish ingredients from haggis and Aberdeen Angus beef to local seafood, whisky and cheese. The lunch menu is very reasonable too – £26 for three courses at the time of writing – so Monadh Kitchen really earns the good value portion of its Bib Gourmand award.Where: 19 New Kirk Road, Glasgow, G61 3SJBook now: Monadh Kitchen
What: The team behind Ox and Finch are also responsible for this Bib Gourmand winner, which boasts the same buzzy atmosphere but a slightly more focused menu than its older sibling. The venue is a treat – this Category A-listed basement was once the oldest motor garage in Glasgow, but the arched windows and old details are lovely to behold whilst you feast on south east Asian sharing plates like salt and pepper mushrooms, crispy pork belly with calamansi and coconut and pandan soft serve ice cream. Cocktails flow here too, with the dedicated bar shaking up Insta-worthy sips that are fun and fruity, if a little sweet at times.Where: 26 Vinicombe Street, Glasgow, G12 8BEBook now: Ka Pao
Ox and Finch
What: It’s a testament to the quality of the food at Ox and Finch that the restaurant is still absolutely packed seven days a week years after opening. An eclectic menu takes inspiration from far and wide, and you’re encouraged to share your way through plenty of international small plates. Admittedly, it sounds like cause for concern, but the team handles the wide culinary brief admirably. There’s also a brilliant, varied veggie menu too so vegetarians aren’t left feeling left out.Where: 920 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, G3 7TFBook now: Ox and Finch
There’s lots more to find outside of Glasgow, believe it or not. If you’ve got the appetite, why not plan a trip to the other coast and check out some of Edinburgh’s best restaurants. Or even better, tour the whole country and tick off each of our best restaurants in Scotland list.