McCune Smith Café
A historical theme may run through the menu but McCune Smith is very forward thinking in terms of its intelligent dishes and ethical, local sourcing.
James McCune Smith was an intellectual, abolitionist, and first African American to hold a medical degree. The café bearing his name is a classy combination of lovingly sourced food and history, with particular regard to Glasgow’s East End. There’s a massive commitment to local sourcing, like non-homogenised milk from Mossgiel Farm in Ayrshire (on Robert Burns’ old land). Struck by the quality and ethos, manager Harrie Burnie spread the word among other independent cafés to champion the now-thriving farm. This place is consistently impressive. Coffee is grand, served at the correct (not piping hot) temperature. Sandwiches are full-on artisan – their own marinated jerk chicken, or a bagel (baked in-house) with spiced seasonal veg and hummus. Vibrancy and freshness pervades. Brunch sees hand-pressed tattie scones (an utterly superior experience), and vegan alternatives aplenty. A real gift for the East End – though it’s so near High Street it’s practically the Merchant City.
- Delivery: corporate/group catering only
- Provides: Vegetarian options (at least ¼ main courses), Children's portions, Children's high chairs, Wheelchair access, Outdoor tables, Free wi-fi
- Music on stereo: Typically alternative and easy going
- Capacity: 26 (4 outdoors)
- Largest group: 26
- Open since: 2013
Reviews & features
Table Talk: Dan Taylor on the History of High Street16 Sep 2015
The owner of McCune Smith Café talks about his passion for Glasgow’s past
McCune Smith, my café just off High Street, was conceived after a slave walk with the author of It Wisnae Us, Stephen Mullen. His tour used architecture to illustrate the city’s involvement in slavery. I was not only struck by how architecture is so…
Food review: McCune Smith Café25 Sep 2013
The thought-provoking venue that breathes new life into a dining-out dead-zone in Glasgow's east end
This Duke Street premises just off the High Street was originally taken over by former GSA student Dan Taylor as a design studio, until spiralling costs necessitated a radical business re-think. When a friend suggested opening a café, of which…