Best Food in Dennistoun Glasgow

Telling someone you live in the East End of Glasgow often comes with mixed feelings and looks of concern (especially from family members who already assume moving to a big city means you’re going to get mugged and have your handbag stolen within hours of arriving).

But, given a chance, the East End of the City Centre – Dennistoun – is actually a great place to live (and not just because flats are a fraction of the cost of those in the West). Friendly people, local businesses, parks, and a fantastic community are just some of the things Dennistoun offers – in fact, it feels more like a small town in itself rather than another part of Glasgow.

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Perhaps one of my favourite things about living in Dennistoun are the great places to eat. Duke Street and Alexandra Parade boast a few great names that, due to the reputation of the area, are probably overlooked by most. So I thought it was high time to point out a few of the best places to eat in Dennistoun that won’t leave you disappointed.

Celino’s 620 Alexandra Parade

Celino's Dennistoun GlasgowThis is a lovely little place. They only have about fifteen tables, so it is advisable to book ahead to avoid disappointment. The menu is vast and the staff are always friendly. The atmosphere is great, especially for such a little place. The food is fantastic, and there’s an extensive appetiser menu, pastas, pizzas and calzones and of course, desserts. My personal favourite is the chicken liver pate appetiser served with homemade caramelised onion chutney.

Celino’s also boasts a widely stocked deli (fresh bread, meats, cheese, pates and great wine) which means that you can recreate most of their meals at home. They also do take away in pre-made microwave friendly boxes, for a quick meal when you’re heading home.

Coia’s Cafe 473-477 Duke Street

Coia's Cafe Dennistoun GlasgowCelinos’ competition, Coia’s, is another Italian restaurant and deli combination, which has won me over with its extensive range of ice cream flavours.

Much bigger than Celino’s, it would be a great place to go in a group or for a work dinner, and the staff would be happy to accommodate you. Their menu is just as extensive as Celino’s however it’s much more varied, with a seafood, salad and burger section as well as dishes such as steak pie, mince ‘n’ tatties and chicken curry and chips – there really is something for everyone here!

On the downside, I’m not sure that there is as much of an atmosphere here as there is in Celino’s. It has more of a family orientated feel to it, which is nice, and you really get the feeling that the staff care about each individual customer, however it does lack a certain “je ne sais quoi.” Their deli also isn’t as extensive as Celino’s, however the quality is just as good – they also offer takeaway dishes – including a traditional fish and chips!

Tibo 443 Duke Street

Tibo Dennistoun GlasgowOn first glance at the menu outside the door of Tibo I was unconvinced, as it shows an underwhelmingly small selection of dishes. However on my first visit here for lunch, my friend and I both ordered macaroni cheese, which turned out to be some of the nicest I’ve ever eaten! Made to order (so beware of a slight wait if you’re in a rush!), extremely cheesy and served with the best garlic bread I’ve ever eaten in a restaurant. The portion sizes are comfortably large, so you definitely don’t need to worry about not being full!

I’ve visited a couple of times since and tried various dishes, including the chicken burger and the beef and black pudding chilli. All just as delicious as each other!

The restaurant itself is small, but probably seats around forty people. The tables are lovely and have candles always lit. The décor is an alternative mix of unusual items hanging from the ceiling, to paintings by local artists (which can also be purchased). When walking past at night Tibo’s gives off the most wonderful cosy atmosphere that just seems to draw you in to enjoy its warmth and friendliness. Perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner or even a quick drink in a chilled out, intimate setting.

Dennistoun Bar-B-Que 585 Duke Street

Dennistoun BBQ GlasgowNew on the scene (December 2013), Bar-B-Que is one to check on Facebook before your visit in case they’re sold out of food (it happens nearly every day!) This place has been so popular with locals and those that travel to it. It’s adopted a typical American menu of a variety of burgers, ribs and sandwiches.

The décor is pretty low key, summed up perfectly by the sign outside, which consists of an imported lightbox with simple black lettering. Inside it feels more like a fast food cafe than a sit-down restaurant, but I guess that adds to the American-ness of it all. It almost feels a bit temporary to me… a bit like a pop-up that’s only hanging around for as long as the food will last.

The food itself is good, but you get what you pay for. The burgers come in at a similar price to those in Tibo’s and certainly don’t match the standard. The fillings are good, but the bread roll that it comes in is disappointing and tastes a bit cheap. The ‘wet fries’ that they offer (chips with cheese and BBQ sauce) reminded me of something I’d get from one of those dodgy looking chippies after a night out – taste great when you’re drunk, not so great when you’re sober and have just paid good money for a meal.

Having said that, it’s the first of its kind in the area and it’s generally been received well. The food is good for the money you pay and it’s great to have a more casual place to go and eat amongst the other restaurants on offer – a great one for catching up with friends!

You can follow Kristen, the author if this article, on Twitter at @iamnotkirsten or read more from her on her own blog.

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