McCune Smith Café

This restaurant has ceased trading.

McCune Smith Café
3–5 Duke Street, Glasgow, G4 0UL
  • Telephone 0141 548 1114
  • Food served Mon–Fri 8am–4pm; Sat 9am–4pm; Sun 10am–3pm.
  • Average price £6 (set lunch)
  • Email
  • Website
Photo of 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.

Eating & Drinking Guide

The 2019/20 edition of The List's Eating & Drinking Guide is out now – only £5.95 (+p&p).

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.

  • High point: Quality and provenance of produce – handled with skill and sensitivity
  • Low point: When it gets busy, the low seats go fast and the high seats aren't for everyone
  • Average price: £6 (set lunch)
Glasgow Larder

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  • 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

Best cafés in Glasgow

4 Jun 2019

Glasgow's best spots for tea, coffee and cake – with a slice of good ambience thrown in too

Glasgow's café scene is a moveable feast – one that is always expanding and delivering new, exciting offerings. With an emphasis on good baking and quality coffee, Glasgow's cafes reflect every vibrant neighbourhood they're in. Relaxed brunch and vegan…

Table Talk: Dan Taylor on the History of High Street

16 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 Café

25 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…