Impressive city centre bistro committed to local produce and catering for specific dietary needs with extensive gluten-free and vegan menus.
Red Onion is a quiet stalwart of the Glasgow restaurant scene. Open since 2004, this city centre bistro has drummed up a solid following over the years with keen diners popping back regularly to sample seasonal changes from the mainly Scottish menu. The place has a low-key luxury feel, with a mixture of booth seats and chunky wooden tables. Generously portioned dishes are cleverly devised – a simple chicken salad is elevated thanks to a tangy and memorable peanut dressing. Seafood dishes are particularly accomplished, each spiked with flavour in different interesting ways (Thai spiced sea bass is served with coconut rice and green mango salad.) A focus on local produce runs throughout the many menus on offer. In his previous life chef-owner John Quigley worked as a private chef for some of rock and roll’s biggest names. Perhaps as a result of that brush with celebrity, Red Onion demonstrates real dexterity when it comes to catering for special diets. Gluten-free, vegan, dairy-free – they’ve got a menu for that. Far from a gimmicky attempt to draw in difficult crowds, the specialised menus are as full and varied as their standard à la carte.
With seasoned Scottish chef/owner John Quigley at its helm you can rest assured of enjoyable dining at this established restaurant. Ten years on it’s still going strong, testament to the quality of dishes served that everyone knows and loves – a twist on classic home-style Scottish cookery using the best market-fresh ingredients. With a modest exterior, it’s surprisingly spacious inside – mixed seating includes booths and a mezzanine to accommodate couples, families or bigger parties. Starters of meaty king prawn trio wrapped in crisp tempura batter, or the silky smooth chicken liver parfait with crunchy oatcakes serve to tease palates for what’s to follow. Large sea bass fillet with perfectly seasoned crisped skin and velvety flesh beneath surfs high on plump risotto of tomato and crayfish dressed with fresh basil oil and parmesan shavings – it’s big on flavours that marry beautifully. Innis & Gunn four-hour braised blade of beef is also cooked to perfection – its rich emollient gravy sheen is a thing of wonder. Flavours ensue with every chunky forkful melting on the tongue, complemented by black pudding mash, house pickles and seasonal vegetables. Loosen belts for classic puds of crumble and cheesecake. Pre-theatre and lunch menus offer good value so book ahead – and specialist dieters can enjoy dedicated menus.
- Provides: Vegetarian options (at least ¼ main courses), Halal options, Gluten-free options, Children's portions, Children's high chairs, Wheelchair access, Pre-theatre menu, Free wi-fi
- Music on stereo: Pop/Rock
- Capacity: 86
- Largest group: 86
- Open since: 2004
- Number of wines sold by the glass: 12
- House wine: £18 per bottle
Reviews & features
Best for gluten free and other dietary requirements in Glasgow31 May 2018
We've sussed out Glasgow's best restaurants for those with food allergies
Whether you're just following the gluten free lifestyle or have a genuine food intolerance, here's a list of some of Glasgow's best restaurants that make dining with dietary requirements easy.
Best restaurants in Glasgow for good pre-theatre deals31 May 2018
Including fine dining and small boutique style restaurants
Whether you're after a quick pre-show drink and a bite to eat or three courses at a price that won't break the bank, Glasgow has plenty of pre-show dining deals so you don't have to go to the theatre on an empty stomach.