The Knowledge: The American Cook’s guide to a day in Glasgow
Bar Brel September 2014

When she’s not lecturing at the University of Glasgow, Liberty Vittert moonlights as The American Cook, a food blogger and regular on local TV. Here, Liberty offers an insight into her perfect day in Glasgow, involving some exercise and plenty of tasty food

Americans don’t know a lot (I mean obviously we think we do…) but what we definitely know about is food.

From Crispy Buttermilk Fried Chicken of the South to Philly Cheesesteaks of the North and Sweet Profiteroles doused in homemade chocolate sauce of the Midwest, we pretty much got you covered on all fronts.

So, trust me to take you on a day out in Glasgow exploring all things foodie (maybe some cultural aspects thrown in) and potentially even a gym workout so you can knock off a couple of those calories (just kidding).


I like to start my morning off with the teensiest bit of health involved so that I feel better about imbibing as the day progresses.

For hands down the most delicious healthy food you can get your hands on in Glasgow head on over to the Juice Garden on Byres Road.

The smashed avocado on rye bread with smoked salmon might just be my favorite breakfast or go the fruity route with a Breakfast Acai bowl (frozen yogurt mixed with smoothie texture).

There is also this raw pistachio cheesecake (oops forgot it is breakfast-but it’s healthy so it counts as breakfast food obviously).

Late Morning

Post breakfast I usually nap, but we have a lot to do today, so just for you, I am going to skip my morning siesta and do one of two things: Exercise or Begin the Drinking and Eating Cheese Process.

Should you choose to exercise (give yourself a big pat on the back), then I have the least painful, most calorifically exuding, and most visually impressive: a yoga class at Bikram Yoga Glasgow on Byres Road.

You will sweat, you will burn, and you will love it…once it’s over. Plus, they have a fabulous deal right now of £30 for 30 days unlimited classes (think of how much you can eat during that month!)

Standing separate leg stretching #bikramyoga #glasgow #workout

A photo posted by Bikram Yoga Glasgow (@bikramyogaglasgow) on

The view is pretty good too, guy or girl, there are some hottie patotties who do this regularly (Disclaimer: you do not need to be as naked as the people in the pictures if you aren’t currently rockin’ your usual bikini bod).

I’m exhausted just writing about all this exercise, but just think, you have a whole day of eating ahead of you.

Early Afternoon

Whether you exercise or not, you can still enjoy the late morning/early afternoon concept of day drinking.

If it’s a sunny day (hope is an important commodity), pop over to George Mewes Cheese shop on Byres Road and buy the makings for a picnic: a tart goat’s cheese, a crusty baguette, and a bit of rustic prosciutto…

Our Foodies magazine ad.

A photo posted by George Mewes (@georgemewes) on

…then take a stroll through the University of Glasgow, the fourth oldest university in the world (they had KNIGHTS)…

…on the way to Kelvingrove Park (basically what Central Park is to NYC)…

…and pop a squat under a beautiful willow tree while eating cheese and drinking the wine (or beer, I don’t discriminate) that you bought from Valhalla’s Goat on Great Western Road.

Valhalla Glasgow

If the weather’s not cooperating or you just aren’t a grass sitter (I get it), then you have to try out Brel’s beer garden (which has both a conservatory and a full on beer garden) on Ashton Lane, the cobblestoned walkway with restaurants, pubs, and even a gorgeous little cinema topped off with twinkling fairy lights to light your way.

Bar Brel September 2014
Photo: Bar Brel

Watch: 60 Second City Guide: Hillhead, Glasgow


Now, after an afternoon siesta (this one is probably unskippable) you have two really excellent choices of evenings ahead. I’m not even sure I could decide between the two.

If you want super fun and super delicious, but really like to stay in one place for all of it (it is okay to be lazy), then I know the perfect spot.

It’s a quite decadent, hidden gastropub/bourbon joint (elements of a speakeasy) called Chinaski’s on North Street, who’s crowd morphs from cool hipster to party people late into the night at its sister place The Berkeley Suite (only five steps away, which can be very important when factoring in footwear or weather).

But whatever you do, make sure you dive into the Chinaski’s burger…

#chinaskis 👌😋

A photo posted by Gemma Connolly (@gemy85x) on

…and take a swig of one the many divine cocktails.

While Chinaski’s is one of my favorite places, should you wish to go the whole hog, you will have to make two stops, but they are conveniently located 217ft from each other. Sorry, 66.14 meters (take the American out of America but can’t yada yada).

This one requires a bit of forethought since Porter and Rye on Argyle Street is constantly booked solid, but for the best steakhouse in Glasgow without the old/snobby feel, this is THE place. They have a bone marrow mac n’ cheese that I would literally do just about anything for.

Porter & Rye

The buck does not stop here (it might considering that it is a bit pricey, but remember we are going the whole hog) and you will walk that 66.14 meters to my favourite bar in Glasgow, The Kelvingrove Café, also on Argyle Street.

#kelvingrovecafe #kc #oldfashioned #handcutice #soundtrack #ambience #amarobar #lefthandcocktail

A photo posted by Kelvingrove Café (@kelvingrovecafeglasgow) on

Literally, the place to be in Glasgow if there ever was one, is here. Smashing cocktails (the Kentucky Tea is a favorite), ear boggling music, and an ambience to surpass any, this is it.

Don’t be fooled by the shabby chic exterior, inside you’ll find seasonal drinks and large copper sinks behind the bar used to hold the ice that is expertly chopped with a 14 inch Japanese saw.

Also did I mention that both Porter and Rye and Kelvingrove café take pooches? No need to leave Fido at home, you can party together all night. Next time you’re there, come over and say hi to Henry.

Henry's Saturday #Newfie #saturdaydrinks #newfoundland #sanmiguel

A photo posted by Liberty Vittert (@theamericancook) on

Discover more of The American Foodie’s tips on her blog and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

Main image: Brel