So the past few months have been exciting. Singl-end have opened their second Glasgow restaurant and you can now find their delicious cakes and plentiful brunches in Merchant City as well. In addition to that, El Perro Negro, have moved from being a pop up to having their own place in Finnieston. Obviously, I couldn’t wait to finally go in and have their fantastic burgers again…
As for the other two on the list, well, I’ve been making a point of visiting all the amazing cafes and brunch spots in the south side and being healthy by cycling to them (calories don’t count that way, right?). So I beat the crowds, and headed down to the uber popular Cafe Strange Brew on a Tuesday. Finally, we have Brel for some cheesy goodness.
Singl-end Merchant City – Brunch – Merchant City
Freshly opened just a couple of months ago, the new Singl-end is already popular with the Glasgow crowds. They have a really good breakfast and lunch menu, with a lot of options ranging from baked eggs, to toast, sandwiches, salads… They also bake their own bread (delicious!) and have vegan options too. Finally, they have a tasty selection of fresh bakes and cakes, and serve alcohol, so if you are like me and enjoy a boozy brunch then you will be in the right spot. It’s quite big inside, much like Singl-end Garneth Hill, however it’s also usually full so you might be safer with a reservation (though we managed to grab a table without one). On a sunny day you can also sit outside and soak up all the sun Glasgow can offer.
A friend and I went there for a late brunch/early lunch a few weekends ago. I ordered a portion of the baked meaty eggs with mozzarella and my friend went for one of the daily salads. The eggs were delicious and I struggled to finish a full portion – there was a lot to get through! My friend also enjoyed her salad of the day. You can find a fresh seasonal salad and sandwich options in both restaurants. Overall, it’s definitely a fantastic addition to the restaurant scene in the city centre and I will be back soon!
- ££: Dishes around £6 – £10. Well priced and the portions are HUGE!
- Good for: Breakfast, brunch, lunch, coffee & cake. Also quite big so perfect for big crowds too (though you probably want to book first).
Cafe Strange Brew – Brunch – Strathbungo
Cafe Strange Brew is one of these places which has taken Instagram by storm. Their stacked pancakes are very popular and look delicious. It’s such a popular brunch spots that some weekends people might wake for an hour for a table. Now, I’m one of these people who regardless of how much I want a solid brunch, I won’t wait more than 20ish minutes for a table, so I headed to the popular spot on a midweek day off and got a table instantly. Always a win!
I went for a slightly different option and had the chorizo hash while my friends also had other savoury options. We were all very satisfied with our food though I felt that my hash was 90% potato and only 10% chorizo (slightly disappointing). Regardless, it was really tasty and I woofed it down with two nice cups of coffee. It does indeed live up to it’s reputation and I will be back to try those delicious looking pancake stacks…
- ££: About £10 for a breakfast dish and coffee. Well priced.
- Good for: Breakfast, brunch, lunch. Also, look out for pop up events held there!
El Perro Negro – Burgers – Finnieston
I first tried El Perro Negro back in 2017 when they were doing a pop up in the Hippo Taproom, which sadly has closed since. They are often associated with praise like “best burger” so I had to see for myself. Since then, they have now opened a little burger joint in Finnieston and are doing their finest burgers, along some tasty wings and sides, every day. I was very excited for their opening, even though I often say that Glasgow’s burger scene is overcrowded. However, I also think there is always space for restaurants who care about a decent burger and using the best quality beef. You can absolutely taste the difference.
This is the case with El Perro Negro. The restaurant itself is small, with limited seating space, yet cosy. They also offer takeaway, and have a nice deal going with The Brass Monkey – you can buy your burger and sit in in the close by pub for a few drinks too – so there, the limited seating space ‘issue’ sorted. As for the burgers, I had the NYC while my other half went for the Top Dog. They were both juicy, with a good amount of delicious toppings, but the meat was the star of the show. The patty had so much flavour and was probably the best burger patty I’ve had. El Perro Negro state that they use beef from small local farms and you can definitely taste the quality of it. We also had a portion of Korean Gochujang Wings to share which were also very juice, hot and delicious. I would definitely encourage everyone to go give them a try!
- ££: Burgers from £7 – £10.50, sides from £3. Not the cheapest burgers in town, but definitely worth it for the quality you get.
- Good for: when you want a really tasty burger! Great for a quick, tasty meal. Also close to The Hydro and SEC so perfect for a pre-gig burger and drinks (if you take your burger to The Brass Monkey).
Brel – Dinner – West End
Brel is here to make all your cheese dreams come true, as they have, I believe the only, Fondue and Raclette on offer in the West End. That’s what we went for, but beyond that they are also often praised for their Frites (chose from Moules, Langostine, Steak…) and quite an extensive menu beyond that. They also offer a good selection of drinks, cocktails… and now that summer is here… Pimm’s on tap!
We went there to try the Raclette which I’ve never had before. We had a choice of 8 different ‘toppings’ and we chose the venison sausage (delicious!), chorizo, broccoli and parma ham, along with plenty of bread. The Raclette itself is kind of like a small grill (see picture) on which you melt chunky slices of Gruyere cheese which you can then spread over your choice meats and veg. This is what the dreams of cheese lovers like me are made of. I’d definitely recommend trying this when you are in Brel next, though I still prefer a Fondue myself.
Couple of important things to note. Brel have a Fondue and Raclette night on a Tuesday where you can get a fantastic deal on both (£15 for 2 people for a Fondue and slightly more for the Raclette). They also offer Gluten-Free options too which is fantastic news for some of my friends!
- ££: If you go on a Tuesday it’s an absolute bargain for the Fondue/Raclette sets. Otherwise the restaurant is medium priced so a meal with drinks would be around £20 pp.
- Good for: dinner, big groups, cheese nights, drinks – they also have a lovely garden outside for when the sun is out!
I’ll be posting Part 2 towards the end of next week, where you can read about my visits to one of my favourite cafes, Kelvin Pocket, trying new menu options at Smashburger, attending the Scottish Street Food Festival and also a return visit to Babs.