Best Bars in Glasgow West End 2017
Last Updated: 30th January 2017
A short while ago, we took a look at 10 of the best bars in Glasgow City Centre. This time, however, we’re aiming our sights squarely on the West End. It may not be very big, but The West End of Glasgow certainly delivers a big punch in cultural terms. This area is densely packed with restaurants, shops and bars. Often seen as a very middle class area, the West End does tend to have slightly higher prices than the rest of the city, but these gaps are always narrowing and the pubs out here are so good you won’t grudge them an extra 5% or so. With the University of Glasgow nearby, the area also attracts a lot of students and on weekends you’ll see the likes of Ashton Lane heaving with activity. Read on to find out, in no particular order, 9 of our favourite bars in the area, with several inclusions suggested by our 4,000 followers on Twitter. Let us know if there are any real gems you think we’ve missed!
Curlers Rest, 256-260 Byres Road G12, ££
Formerly known simply as Curlers, this place went under a massive transformation a few years ago, changing from cheap, grungy, “old-man pub” to chic brasserie basically overnight. The prices skyrocketed to match it, but you’re really paying for a great bar now. With comfortable surroundings, a bustling atmosphere spread over 2 floors and one of the best beer selections on Byres Road you’ve got to give it a try. Decent food, too! Click here to read our full review.
The Rock, 205 Hyndland Road G12, £
Cheap and cheerful! This definitely isn’t the kind of bar you’ll find in many tourist guides, but it’s a real favourite with the locals, receiving more votes than any other bar when we put the question to Twitter! Sports a good selection of beers, often including a few unusual draft ales and decoratively is perfectly nice inside. Great beer garden for those rare Partick summer days, but get in early otherwise you categorically will not get a seat.
Oran Mor, 731-735 Great Western Road G12, ££
A real staple of Byres Road life, just across from the Botanic Gardens stands this ex-church now-bar, club, restaurant and gig venue. The bar itself is the big ground-level part and attracts a great mix of locals and tourists. Decent drink selection, if a tad on the pricey side, this is a very popular pub for a reason and always has a fantastic convivial atmosphere. Pretty good for gigs too with their venue downstairs, and a huge hall at the very top which can be hired out for functions, parties and the like. The restaurant (enter on the Great Western Road side) serves contemporary Scottish food – tasty, but not cheap.
The Belle, 617 Great Western Road G12, £
Great Western Road’s only entry on this list is the wonderful Belle. A very small pub, this one’s great for those cosy winters’ evenings with a roaring fire and lively, friendly atmosphere. Fantastic selection for such a small pub and an atmosphere all of its own, this one’s worth the walk despite the slightly awkward location. Can be hard to find a seat sometimes as there must be only 30 seats or so in the whole place, but worth it if you manage. Click here to read our full review.
The Sparkle Horse, 16 Dowanhill Street G11, £
New, and already extremely popular – but for very good reason! The Sparkle Horse is kind of old fashioned, but at the same time kind of trendy and modern and has great drinks and food. As one reviewer put it perfectly over on Yelp, it’s “a great option for anybody in the Byres Rd area who wants an option for a pint/spot of dinner that doesn’t involve G1 Hellzones (in Ashton Lane) or old man’s boozers (on Dumbarton Road).” Sound advice we think. Click here to read our full review.
The Ubiquitous Chip, 12 Ashton Lane G12, £££
A real love it or hate it kind of place, some people find it up a bit up itself, others love it! Either way, it’s a lovely bar with an excellent atmosphere, great for a pint or two if you’re in the area. Really on the pricey side for food, but you’ll be guaranteed a great meal made with the best local ingredients.
Tennent’s Bar, 191 Byres Road G12, £
A true staple of the area, Tennents has probably been about longer than any other bar on this list. Popular with the very young and the very old alike as it’s ridiculously cheap, it has a real “Glasgow pub” atmosphere, and a smell to match. There’s something very nostalgic about Tennents, and that’s something we here at GOG really like! Not everything has to be sleek and modern to please. Probably saw sales skyrocket when Curlers went upmarket.
Brel, 39-43 Ashton Lane G12, ££
Recently taken over by new management, Brel on Ashton Lane has always been a staple for Glasgow University students on a sunny day thanks to its generous beer garden situated on a convenient urban grassy knoll! Decent selection of lagers, really nice interior and good food. On the steep side when it comes to prices, but it is Ashton Lane. Click here to read our full review.