Animal-loving pubs and cafes in Glasgow and Edinburgh
- The List
- 13 February 2015
Read our Tiplist to discover the best animal-friendly places to eat and drink
The opening of Edinburgh’s first cat café, Maison de Moggy, is a reminder that when we go out to eat and drink we don’t just eat animals but can also get convivial with them. Here’s our Tiplist of suggested venues for dog (or cat) friendliness and other animal magic.
Off La Belle Place, Kelvingrove Park, West End, kelvingroveparkcafe.co.uk
Still a little bit of a secret located in the corner of Kelvingrove park, this café has much to recommend it: scenic setting, local and seasonal ingredients, solid cooking, imaginative recipes and great veggie and gluten-free choices. With a name meaning ’the village’ in Gaelic, it’s appropriately full of families, dog-walkers and park strollers. Daily specials such as red pesto, leek and onion sausage rolls and seasonal selections of vegetables in stew, chilli or wraps means regulars don’t get bored, while some combos – such as pairing chorizo and tomato with a fruity butternut squash – indicate some sound thinking in the kitchen. An Clachan also plays host to creative writing workshops and craft activities during the summer months.
Mulberry Street Bar Bistro
778 Pollokshaws Road, Southside, mulberrystbarbistro.com
With its wide windows looking out towards Queen’s Park and seating spilling out over the leafy street corner it occupies, this dog-friendly, family-run bar-bistro is surely a contender for most relaxed bar in Glasgow. There’s always a couple of interesting guest ales on draught alongside the continental beers, and a handful of fine malts behind the bar. Swapping the cosy leather chairs for the tables of the separate dining room, an eclectic menu, channelling a vaguely New York-Italian vibe, offers a quick nibble or a three-course meal where most is homemade. Get out of bed for the Sunday brunch, which runs from a full breakfast with haggis and square sausage, through eggs Florentine, to light pancakes with maple syrup and caramelised banana.
10–14 Kelvinhaugh Street, Finnieston, the78cafebar.com
As part of the vegan/vegetarian empire which also includes Stereo and Mono, the 78 brings a laid-back West End vibe to meat-free proceedings. Known locally for its commitment to quality Reggae and dancehall, this bar offers a range of attractive choices for the discerning veggie with its falafel platter, classic 78 and daily special burgers. They’re happy to have dogs in the bar, and the pricing structure is similarly welcoming, with a malt of the month coming in at a pocket friendly £2.25 and a set two-course meal for under a tenner on Meat Free Mondays.
12 Ashton Lane, West End, ubiquitouschip.co.uk
You don’t normally associate dog-friendly venues with top-end dining experience, but this is just one of various elements that merit visiting Ubiquitous Chip. The setting is unique, relaxed and stylish, in a greenery-draped covered cobbled courtyard with delightful little design quirks such as sliced-in-half vintage glass drinks decanters hung as lampshades (and their stoppers turned into a kind of chandelier). The service exudes at once confident authority and down-to-earth charm. The wine list is long, and the food is near-flawless. All of these elements in combination make the Chip still one of Glasgow’s quintessential fine-dining experiences after over 40 years on the scene.
Building 4 Templeton Building, Glasgow Green, westbeer.com
Who would have thought you could set up a Bavarian brewery in the East End of Glasgow and establish yourself as one of the most talked about places in the city? Set in the old Templeton building on Glasgow Green, the beautiful architecture outside is continued inside, where a grand piano, sturdy wooden furniture, a huge bar and views of the on-site brewery offer great comfort to a vast space. Great German beer is matched with great German food using the best of Scottish produce – except their sausages, which are imported from the Fatherland. Dogs and kids as welcome as the Oompah band.
The Blue Bear
9 Brandon Terrace, Canonmills, 629 0229, cafebluebear.co.uk
Owners Ben Gillespie and Jemma Blake front up a relaxed and upbeat contemporary space, the kind of café that’s home to those with work to do, friends to meet, hangovers to cure, and those with dogs who do walks. There’s even the whiff-whaff of competitive juices in the air with a downstairs room featuring a table-tennis table and iPod dock. The café's eco-credentials are impressive: everything that is not edible is recyclable or compostable, and the food, focusing largely on breakfast/brunch options, is low on mileage as well as being fresh and seasonal.
Gorgie City Farm Café
51 Gorgie Road, Gorgie, 337 4202, gorgiecityfarm.org.uk
Set on a working farm, it makes sense that this café isn’t a pastel-coloured cupcake grotto. With an eye on the youthful clientele, the menu is geared towards simple meals and snacks that won’t take up too much of mum’s attention – baked potatoes, sandwiches, toasties and soups. The latter is made onsite, as is a daily quiche – brie, ham and red pepper perhaps – and you might find soup made from veg harvested 20 metres away. Before noon, the morning rolls feature farm-reared sausage and scrambled eggs that sometimes come from Gorgie chickens. Kids welcome but not dogs.
Maison de Moggy
26 Hamilton Place, Stockbridge, maisondemoggy.com
The first local sighting of a phenomenon that has its roots in Taiwan and Japan and can be found in various pun-ily titled venues around the globe, the Maison de Moggy is a temporary pop up – a separate venture, Cattitude, is looking to set up a permanent venue in Marchmont – where you can order what they describe as a ‘purrfect’ cuppa while petting, stroking or playing with various resident cats. A resident cat nanny pays particular attention to the sensitivities of the feline residents. You can book sessions in a dedicated relaxation lounge for more intense cat bonding, and all food and drink is prepared in a cat-free environment. No children under ten allowed and no, no dugs either.
49–51 London Street, Broughton, 556 9808, theoxedinburgh.com
The love-affair of the Edinburgh hospitality trade with animal names shows no sign of weakening, with this relatively new pub at the bottom of Broughton Street replacing The Bellevue. Run by the former head chef and general manager of Leith favourite The Shore, the aim is to create a cheerful, welcoming local and they’re on the right course with good value grub, some decent bottled beers and an appealing wine list. Alongside recognisable pub staples, they’re serving a number of interesting snacks and dishes including haddock tempura with curried parsnip and pickled carrot, or the slippery, salty and slightly spicy joy that’s courgettes, chilli and cheese on toast. Dogs are welcomed with water bowls and biscuits.
The Southern Bar
22 South Clerk Street, Newington, 662 8926, thesouthern.co.uk
A sister bar of the Holyrood 9A and Red Squirrel (yup, another furry friend), the quality beer and burger agenda is in sound hands on the Southside of town, just a block from the Meadows. Quirky and hospitable with a velvet curtain entry and a fire-heated interior, dogs are as welcome as their chilled owners. Choose from locally sourced 6oz beef burgers or tender chicken breast in sourdough artisan buns, or from a decent vegetarian line-up including a halloumi burger fired up with chilli mayo and crisp peppers.