At a time where buckets of lukewarm foamy syrup and industrial strength coffee are being shunned for independently roasted beans and artistic baristas, Glasgow is an exciting place for any coffee lover.
This trend is no longer the fare of exclusive hipster hangouts – the demand for better coffee has allowed unique venues to grow in every corner of the city, from the far reaches of the west end to the busy streets of Dennistoun.
Here’s our pick of some of the best places in Glasgow for a much-needed caffeine injection.
— Laboratorio Espresso (@LabEspr) May 1, 2015
Tucked behind the vast expanse of Buchanan Street, the visually pleasing and wonderfully friendly Lab Espresso is the very definition of a hidden gem. It’s not just their fantastic coffee – the staff are all knowledgeable and friendly to a man and their enthusiasm for coffee culture is reflected in their blog. Their range of blends is formidable and they are always happy to talk you through the choice at hand. Take the extra two minutes to escape the madness of the high street and relax with a little piece of cosmopolitan Italy in the heart of the city.
93 West Nile Street, G1 2SD, 0141 353 1111, labespr.tumblr.com
Meadow Road Coffee
Meadow Road Coffee is a new addition to the coffee scene in Glasgow, established earlier this year. Located down the far end of Dumbarton Road – think Velvet Elvis and beyond – Meadow Road is somewhat off the beaten track for a typical west end establishment, a fair walk from Partick station and Byres Road. One sip of their product though, and Meadow Road becomes a destination in itself. Served in beautiful ceramics, each coffee is a piece of art and this aesthetic is reflected in their menu (decorated by Glasgow’s own Libby Walker) and lovingly restored interior. Combined with delicious bakes from Bakery47, Meadow Road is one to watch.
579 Dumbarton Rd, G11 6HY, facebook.com/pages/Meadow-Road-Coffee
Perhaps best known for its bakery, Tapa is an established name on the Glasgow coffee scene. Its green cups and perfectly roasted beans are reliable in their excellent quality, and both venues (east end and southside) boast great food to boot. It is rumoured that some ex-pat fanatics will scavenge these beans back to places as far flung as Chicago. If you’re not keen on coffee, Tapa also offer a matcha latte – the visual combination of green on green is like something out of a fairy tale.
An eclectic labour of love from artist Sarah J. Stanley, Stan’s Studio serves as an exhibition space, live music venue and tuition space. Stan’s is also Glasgow’s first (and only, so far) Pay What You Want café – donations are suggested but the ethos of kindness adds a special magic to the homebrewed ginger ale and fantastic coffee. In a break from some of the bigger names on the independent coffee scene, Stan’s house blend ‘Get Up Stan Up’ is the brainchild of Mr Eion, and offers a rich taste of independent roasting at its best. Keep an eye out for Stans’s Cold Brew, rumoured to be the best in the city. Don’t just stare into Stan’s – take a seat and enjoy.
43 Alexandra Park Street, G31 2UB, 0141 258 2930, sarahjstanley.com
Gesso’s has recently taken up residence on Charing Cross, which despite its plethora of fast food outlets, is somewhat lacking in interesting cafes. Gesso functions as a tea and coffee lounge, and something of a Tardis inside; despite a humble exterior the lounge extends far back into the Mansions and offers stylish seating and a pristine exhibition space. As well as a fabulous cup of coffee, pekoe tea is available for the Jennys among us, and the selection of sandwiches, bakes and treats is exceptional.
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