You barely managed to pay for the day with two whole pennies to rub – but with omicron cases declining and a brighter social life on the horizon, it’s tempting to start making plans.
When it comes to nightlife, Glasgow is much more favorable to our bank balance than other major cities – Edinburgh, we’re looking at you – but not all of us have funds as big as our stomachs.
While you can’t put a price on a good time, you might want to put a budget on dinner.
However, saving money doesn’t mean skipping the best restaurants. Many of Glasgow’s best restaurants offer delicious dishes that will make you change for a dime.
That’s why we’ve put together a guide to the best places with cracking dishes that will set you back £10 – or much less, in many cases.
From authentic pasta dinners and upscale go-tos to humble curries, these are some of the best places to dine on a budget in Glasgow without sacrificing good taste.
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The father of Glasgow’s Indian restaurants, of which there are many.
This place is popular with Glasgow curry fans for a reason. Their Lamb Karahi is one of the best we’ve tried – and at £8.50 still gives you change for a ten.
We bet you didn’t expect to find a Michelin Bib Gourmand restaurant on this list, did you?
But luckily, South Asian-inspired restaurant Ka Pao makes dining in Glasgow’s posh West End all the more possible with its reasonably priced menu.
With the perfect blend of sweet, sticky and salty, the Spicy Caramel Fried Chicken is easily the highlight of the menu and costs just £7.50. Meanwhile, the Szechuan salt and pepper oyster mushrooms, with pickled mooli (a winter radish) are so delicious that eating them for just £6.50 feels like stealing.
And if you’re feeling really fancy, just £27.50pp will get you 13 courses of delicious bites, including coveted grilled beef skewers, crispy pork belly and shetland mussel jungle curry and ramiro pepper. Sharing is caring after all.
It’s far from a full meal, but if you’re looking for a bit of luxury to start the evening, you could do worse than munch on an appetizer at The Ivy.
Nobody does as much glamor as this downtown celebrity spot. Even if you can’t quite shell out for a full three-course meal, there’s still something to get excited about on the menu.
Starters like the £9.25 mozzarella served with crispy artichokes, pear and truffle honey or the £8.50 cream tea guarantee a top-notch experience without the sky-high bill.
The Good Inn
Simple yet elegant French cuisine is the name of the game at La Bonne Auberge. It’s a real family favorite and can always be counted on for a special occasion meal.
Their onion soup alone is worth a visit and will heat up your cockles for just £6.95.
Celino’s, Italian influenced, serves some of the best food in Glasgow. Its restaurants Alexandra Parade and Partick both offer magnificent breakfasts, exceptional lunches and dinners, all with a classic Italian touch.
They say the sign of a good restaurant is how well it nails the basics – and you’ll be hard pressed to find a better margherita outside of Italy. The best of all? It hits the budget of £10.
Little Hoi An
Where Strathbungo meets Govanhill is more than just a hipster paradise. Allison Street is also home to the best Vietnamese restaurant in town, Little Hoi Ann.
Run by married couple Julie and Raymond, the place is lively and charming — and the prices won’t break the bank.
The menu has many goodies under a dozen, including all of their delicious coconut curries, cold salted pork and crispy chicken in a sweet chilli sauce.
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Cult of Kimchi
We hate to play fast and looe with hyperbole here, but Honey Butter Fried Chicken will change your life.
Order it with the bulgogi fries – beef if you’re feeling greedy, mushrooms if you’re pretending healthy.
It’ll put you over your budget by £10, but split it with a friend (we promise you’ll struggle to eat it all yourself) and you’ll get paid.
The days when fish was a cheap supper and a fair fair are long gone: good seafood should be expensive. The likes of The Finnieston and Crabshakk offer some of the best in town – but the dishes are understandably at the higher end of the price scale.
So why not opt for the humble fish ‘n’ chips instead? Catch Giffnock is regularly voted Scotland’s best fish and chip shop, and their old-fashioned fish and sausage suppers are just as good – all small suppers costing £9.95.
Often overlooked, the east end of the city is full of delicious gastronomic gems, including Dennistoun Bar-B-Que and Bilson Eleven.
But our top pick is Scran, a pint-sized Alexandra Parade cafe serving up one of the best brunches in town. Dishes like Stornoway’s sensational poached eggs, heavenly fried halloumi rolls and brilliant brioche French toast really hit the mark, and all cost under £10.