The Balcony Café
- Telephone 0141 427 9550
- Opening times Mon–Fri noon–10pm; Sat & Sun 10am–6pm.
- Seasonal times Opens at 11am on school holidays
- Food served Mon–Fri noon–9.30pm; Sat/Sun 10am–6pm.
- Average price £6 (lunch); £8.50 (evening meal)
- Website www.glasgowclimbingcentre.com
It isn't completely about the ambience inside this converted late-1800s church – the food and coffee are good as well – but it is no doubt its USP. A wrought-iron spiral staircase leads up to a cosy, laid-back space where the view is of a mesmerising live climbing show – unless you choose to sit farther back under the impressive stained-glass window. From a small kitchen, friendly staff offer an array of soups, sandwiches, starters and mains (and energy bars) but the choice is far from predictable: haggis cakes come with a sun-blushed chilli mayo, there’s salad with home-made coleslaw and mains include couscous, salmon with ginger and soy noodles, and a tempting venison burger. Top-notch too is the invention among the sarnies: duck egg mayo with morcilla (a Spanish black pudding with a hint of chorizo) and whisky smoked brie served with house red onion marmalade and salad are two fillings that stand out.
This review is taken from the current (2016) edition.
To the uninitiated entering the Glasgow Climbing Centre is like walking into Tim Burton’s head. A tall ex-church with soaring walls and gothic spires with surreal, lumpy shapes spilling out of the eaves and strange figures dangling about. A spiral stair to the old choir loft reveals the Balcony Café, which attracts daytime lunchers and serious evening food-lovers, demonstrating that a good kitchen turning out imaginative, properly cooked food can pull in the punters no matter how incongruous the setting. Everything is freshly created by chefs who enjoy the buzz and love their vocation. There’s squash soup laced with breezy Thai highlights of coconut and lime leaves alongside the stuffed Ruben’s sarnie featuring oodles of peppery pastrami with slow-roasted onions and Bloody Mary mayo. Main of pulled pork enchilada is slow-cooked in Dr Pepper and seasoned with chipotle, smoked chilli, squashed into a bulky soft tortilla. Maybe not the classiest of settings, but the food really works.
- High point: Great cooking, great portions and great prices
- Low point: Slothful guilt amid the air of healthy activity
- Notable dish: Haggis nachos
Upstairs at The Glasgow Climbing Centre you will find a gem of a café.The Balcony is run by our fantastic Café Manager, Liam. He has created a menu of freshly made sandwiches and delicious main meals served along with our 'real bean' coffee. Pop in for great food, freshly prepared, and enjoy this unique venue. Watch others climbing, or use our free WiFi.
Text supplied by third party.
- Private dining: Whole centre can be hired for climbing day.
- Provides: Vegetarian options (at least ¼ main courses), Children's portions, Children's high chairs, Outdoor tables, Free wi-fi
- Music on stereo: Modern pop/folk/chill out music
- Capacity: 50 (12 outdoors)
- Largest group: 50
- Open since: 2011