Glasgow really comes to life at night, when the cobblestone streets fill up with people heading out for a night on the town, in search of some Scottish delights washed down with a punchy cocktail. As you’d expect, many bars have whisky on high rotation, but there are also some other interesting concoctions on the menu. Here are some of our favourite bars in Glasgow.
You’ll never go thirsty in Scotland’s largest city, thanks to its array of traditional pubs, classy cocktail bars, and of course, the best whisky in the world!
The Corinthian Club
Right in the heart of Glasgow, the Corinthian Club is an elegant space set over five levels for food, drinking and dancing housed in a beautiful Victorian façade. There are several different rooms you can rent for private functions and events, but if you’re just coming in for a drink, head straight to Charlie Parkers, a sophisticated cocktail bar with live piano music playing all nights of the week. Their speciality here is martinis – whether you go for a Corinthian classic or create your own with the help of the friendly barman.
For reasonably priced cocktails in Glasgow, try Bar Soba, a small chain of Asian-fusion bars. There are three Bar Sobas in town – Mitchell Lane, Byres Road, and Merchant City, although the flagship Mitchell Lane branch is probably the best. Decked out in an industrial-cool style with Japanese graffiti on the walls, the crowd is young, hip and relaxed. The inventive cocktail menu changes all the time, and there are shared cocktail ‘buckets’ if you’re drinking with friends, à la Ko Pha Ngan full moon party. For cocktail connoisseurs, Bar Soba also holds weekly Masterclasses where you can learn all the tricks of the trade. The food draws on inspiration from all Asian cuisines, such as Thai curries, Japanese tempura, Chinese steamed buns and Vietnamese noodles.
The Salon at Blythswood Square
You don’t have to be a guest at the 5-star luxury Blythswood Square hotel to come in for a drink at The Salon, voted as one of the best bars in the world by Class Magazine. It’s the perfect spot for daytime drinking (you’re on holiday after all!) and the bar puts on a delectable afternoon tea that comes complete with a glass of Moët & Chandon champagne. For more serious cocktails, try their renowned Bumbo cocktail with rum, spiced tea, lime and sugar, or the Glandula del Mono, with tequila, absinthe, lemon, orange and grenadine.
The Riding Room
The Riding Room is a burlesque bar in Glasgow’s Merchant City area, where you can get a cocktail with a side of cabaret! It’s a bit of a sexy fun, with titillating-yet-tasteful live shows every night of the week. Your drinks all have naughty names such as ‘Giggle Water’ for spirits, ‘Hanky Panky’ cocktails and the ‘Bubble Pop Electric Flamingo Hooch’ which is designed to be shared and is served with love hearts and candyfloss. If sequins and showgirls aren’t for you, then there are other regular Riding Room nights featuring funk and disco bands, magic shows, stand-up comedians and MCs.
If you prefer gin to whisky, then the Finnieston is for you. Part seafood restaurant, part cocktail bar, you can order a fresh Scottish oysters while you watch your drink being made before your eyes. The bar boasts over 60 different types of gins as well as speciality cocktails and tonics. The Finnieston also has a great range of boutique beers that you can take out to the little outdoor terrace for a relaxing afternoon in the sun.