Glasgow food districts: Finnieston
A tour of the city’s top food districts with local writers
In the Glasgow heat of Area Transformation Idol, all except one candidate is looking troubled. For Finnieston, a place once associated with urban drudgery, has not so much shed its old coat in recent times but had it relaundered and updated to startling effect.
It is possible to mull this change over at Old Salty’s fish and chip shop. An old-school choice that, the chippie, yet Old Salty is doing things differently. Its fish and chips taste like they’ve been multiplied to the power of themselves and patrons can sit in to enjoy them in trendy surroundings, finishing off their meal with homemade jelly and ice cream.
Old Salty’s fish supper squared is axiomatic then not just of the new generation of restaurants and bars that have opened in the area, but of the area’s spirit. Finnieston brims with repackaged tradition – eateries remain in-tune with their history and provenance but are revised to bring them in-line with modern trends and techniques.
Ladder-like in shape, Finnieston centres primarily round its Argyle Street offerings. Recently established Kelvingrove Café, with its original fascia and superlatives cocktail ingredients lives opposite seafood institution Crabshakk, where diners perch elbow to elbow at the bar for a chance to get at some of the city’s finest oysters. Further down, The Gannet focuses on reinventing Scottish ingredients with flair and invention. This is the definition of a quality street.
Parallel to this, is Sauchiehall Street’s Ox and Finch – the food critic’s toady – where diners coorie in under typically lofty tenement ceilings, but by serving squid with blood orange and saffron aioli it’s clear that the building is just about the only thing that feels familiar here.
Gabriella Bennett is a freelance food and drink writer consuming all Scotland has to offer for readers of HeraldScotland, The Evening Times and The List.