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Swap Edinburgh for Glasgow: how to eat and shop your way around the city
Take a day trip to Glasgow with our guide to the best shops and lunch spots
Fancy swapping Edinburgh's history and culture for a day exploring Glasgow's best shopping? Hop on a train at Edinburgh Waverley or Haymarket and jump off again just 50 minutes later at Queen Street and you're smack bang in the middle of the action. Buchanan Street and Argyle Street are lined with high-street stores and if you dig deeper down the lanes and alleys, there are designer boutiques, vintage shops, old school record stores and more. But where are these hidden treasures?
To save you roaming the streets, we've picked out some of our favourite independent stores to help you find the good stuff. While you're at it, you may as well stop off somewhere for a bite to eat: from hipster pizza hangouts to wholesome vegan offerings, Glasgow's got lunch well and truly covered.
City Centre Eating
If all that shopping's got you craving carbs, head to Pizza Punks on St Vincent Street where their artisanal sourdough wood-fired pizzas are served alongside craft beer, Italian wine or killer milkshakes topped with sweets, cake and lashings of whipped cream.
90 St Vincent Street | read our review of Pizza Punks
Saramago Café Bar
Vegans and vegetarians should take a trip to the CCA, where they'll find Saramago Café Bar occupying the atrium. Fresh sharing dishes like curly kale with soy and ginger, smoked tofu tempura and mezze platters are on the menu. Leave the car behind, settle down with a glass of Sauvignon and take the train home later.
CCA, 350 Sauchiehall Street | read our review of Saramago Café Bar
City Centre Shopping
Browse for new and used indie and alternative vinyl and CDs at LOVEmusic. This record shop is a big supporter of the local music scene and specialises in indie, rock, punk and Americana but is good for 60s and 70s reissues too.
34 Dundas Street | lovemusicglasgow.com
If you're after stylish menswear and art supplies, visit Fat Buddha, where you can find both under one roof. Carhartt, Nike, Patagonia and Adidas are stocked on the ground floor while the basement is full of street-art supplies including spray paint by Monstercolors and MTN, sketchbooks and paint pans.
73 St Vincent Street | fatbuddhastore.com
East End Eating
Head over to Duke Street to Bilson Eleven, which is dedicated to dishing up inventive takes on Scottish flavours in a grand 19th-century Dennistoun townhouse with beautiful stained-glass windows. The precision in each dish is impressive and the friendly, attentive team add to a homely atmosphere.
10 Annfield Place | read our review of Bilson Eleven
A 10 minute walk from High Street and Argyle Street stations is the former covered market in the Barras, now the Barras Art and Design centre (BAaD), which houses artisan producers, jewellery makers, photographers and more. A'Challtainn sits above the BAaD and specialises in Scottish fish and shellfish. Generous portions and online offers make it an affordable dining experience.
54 Calton Entry | read our review of A'Challtainn
East End Shopping
In need of a good bargain? The East End's Barras Market offers a weekend mash-up of street markets, indoor markets and shops selling antiques, bric-a-brac, carpets, vintage accessories and more. It's one of the most historically significant shopping districts in Glasgow, supporting a number of independent traders and stores.
Gallowgate | theglasgowbarras.com
West End Eating
The Hanoi Bike Shop
Just off Byres Road and opposite Hillhead subway station, the brightly-coloured Hanoi Bike Shop serves enticing Vietnamese dishes in a relaxed, canteen-style environment. Enjoy a selection of street food or a classic bowl of Pho, perfect paired with a Ho Chi Minh Mule.
8 Ruthven Lane | read our review of the Hanoi Bike Shop
Also just off Byres Road is this Ashton Lane institution. It's great for all weathers, with a cosy bar, intimate conservatory and expansive beer garden. Brel are famous for their mussel pots, served with crispy frîtes, and the menu also features burgers, sharing platters and a wide range of seafood. Or you could go retro and share a fondue pot.
39-43 Ashton Lane | read our review of Brel
West End Shopping
Head up Byres Road towards the Botanics and you'll find Cresswell Lane, where there are several quirky boutiques, galleries, gift shops and cafes to explore on one wee cobbled street. Visit The Cup and Saucer at De Courcy's Arcade for a slice of cake if you've room after lunch.
Starry Starry Night
A rickety green exterior leads into the ultimate dressing-up box with clothing and antiques from decades gone by. Brooches, silk scarves and stockings are scattered around the shop among costume jewellery, quilts, top hats and tails.
19 Dowanside Lane | starrystarrynightvintage.co.uk