Hidden Gems of the West End

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The West End is one of the best places to shop and get a bite to eat. However, if you are used to heading out to the main thoroughfare of Byres Road, you might be missing out on some of the best-hidden gems this area has to offer. Here are some of the best places to eat in the West End that are slightly more off the beaten path – you won’t regret eating here! 

Chaakoo 

If you have already explored the eateries up and down St Vincent Street in the city centre, you might have already visited Chaakoo. However, did you know that they have a restaurant in the West End too?  

Tucked away on Ruthven Lane, just a little off Byres Road, is Chaakoo West. These restaurants are based on the railway cafes of Bombay, India, and they serve small and ever-so-delicious plates of food. It is great to visit on your own, but even better when you go with a big group of friends so you can all try a little bit of everything! 

The menu is incredibly diverse so there should be something for everyone to enjoy. We can recommend the butter chicken and garlic lamb bhuna from the Humble Curries menu, plus the aloo baigan from the Special Curries and anything from the Irani Kebabs! Wash it down with an Indian beer, or a delicious lassi. 

Cafezique 

Cafezique is a gorgeous café on the intersection of Hyndland Street and White Street, and is a stone’s throw from the Kelvinhall subway stop. It is an utterly gorgeous restaurant and bakery with warm lights that draw you in from the moment you spot it.  

This is the place to go if you want something that is simple yet unbelievable to taste. They make their own bread and pastries and grow all their own herbs themselves, and it really does bring that extra bit of freshness to each dish. 

One of the best-hidden gems for their brunch menu, available from 9 to 11 AM on Monday to Saturday and 9 to 4 PM on Sunday – perfect for a lazy brunch. You can sample delights such as Eggs Benedict or Florentine, or toast loaded with eggs, halloumi, and more. The evening menu is available from 12 to 12 PM Monday to Saturday. Start with the baked goats cheese or caramelised celeriac. You can then enquire as to what the handmade pasta of the day is, or dig into pan-seared pork or braised lamb shoulder. 

Tchai-Ovna 

A quick walk away from the University and down Otago’s Lane lies Tchai-Ovna House of Tea. Seats in this tea house are a higgledy-piggledy mix of cushions and benches, and one nook with a low table that can easily squeeze a whole party of friends in. 

Tchai-Ovna can be quiet and peaceful on some days, with maybe a student or two relaxing between lessons, and other days it can be packed to the rafters and full of energy. Whichever you walk into will still leave you feeling refreshed and energised. Don’t just come here for the tea, they also offer art exhibitions, live shows like spoken word and live music, plus tea events and more. 

Of course, you have to try some of the tea while you are here too. Don’t be surprised if you find more tea on their menu than you ever would have expected – your only disappointment will be that you have to narrow it down to one to try! We recommend the honey spice blend or the yogi yogi tchai as great places to start, but definitely take your time to browse the full menu to find one you like! 

Hanoi Bike Shop 

Right off Byres Road on Ruthven Lane lies the Hanoi Bike Shop. This is Glasgow’s first Vietnamese canteen and is a wonderful place to go if all you want is a big bowl of pho.  

This vibrant restaurant is decorated beautifully in wood and bicycle décor. It might be a small space but it is an incredibly warm one. If you have never had Vietnamese food before, you need to go to the Hanoi Bike Shop. 

We think the best thing on the menu by far is the pho – a Vietnamese soup filled with noodles, protein, and lots of other delicious things. On Monday to Wednesday, they are open for pho only, and you get to build your bowl yourself! On Thursday to Sunday, 12 to 5 PM, the full menu is available so you can try tofu, pork shoulder skewers, lamb dan dan, and a whole lot more! 

These are four places best-hidden gems in the West End! Which will you stop by first? 

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