Exploring Glasgow’s emerging street food scene

Photo Credit: “St Enoch Square Continental Market 7” by Paul Robertson via Flickr. License info.

Glasgow has everything you’d expect from Scotland’s largest city. Prestigious art schools, world-class museums, year-round festivals and green space everywhere you look. But there’s always been one thing missing from “Dear Green Place”— and that’s great food.

That’s all changing. With the lifting of outdated zoning laws that forbade street food and food trucks in the city, markets and vendors sprung up practically overnight — and with them, culinary innovation has arrived in Glasgow.

Grab your bike or take a stroll to any of these fantastic open-air food markets or food trucks around town for a taste of Glasgow’s emerging street food scene.

Photo Credit: Merchant City Festival, by S. Alexander Gilmour via Flickr. License info.

Best Glasgow Food Markets

Dockyard Social

Located near Finnieston (close to the SECC and West End) Dockyard Social is bringing a “new way of eating” to Glasgow with community at the heart of every meal. Featuring food fusion from a dozen global cuisines alongside vegan dishes, craft brews and local favourites, Dockyard Social is at the forefront of the new Scottish street food scene.

They’re currently hosting pop-up foodie festivals every week, with the grand opening of their massive street food market scheduled for December 2018. So grab a few mates and sample one of the newest dishes from oven-fired pizza to tacos.

Big Feed Indoor Market

The Big Feed Indoor Market is the largest indoor street food market in Scotland, and it shows. Winner of Best Street Food (Glasgow Live), this massive space near Festival Park features indoor and outdoor seating for year-round dining.

Come for the killer food, and stay for the retro video and board games, live music, tasting, DJs and weekly events throughout the year. They update their event calendar regularly, so check their website to plan your trip. As a food destination and social space, Big Feed is a big deal for Glasgow’s street food scene.

Merchant City Street Food

While not a formal market, the Merchant City neighbourhood is home to many street food festivals held by weekly farmer’s markets. Head down Brunswick Street for some of the best food trucks in Glasgow (especially on Saturdays).

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Photo Credit: Vegan Events UK

Best Glasgow Food Trucks

Thanks to the success of street food festivals like Good Food in 2016, dozens of quality food trucks can be found roaming the streets of Glasgow. Here are some of the best:

  • Bowl Food – If you can find the distinctive green food truck, you’re in luck. Soup, salads, stews, curry and more. Try the jerk chicken.
  • Firebird Pizza Truck – This popular food truck can be spotted at events and concerts all over Glasgow. Get in line early because these freshly fired pizzas are perfect for a chilly day outside.
  • Naughty Italian – This sinful street food is the brainchild of Roscoe West, owner of the popular Roscoe’s Deli in Hyndland. This retro-fitted Italian food truck is serving up some of the most scandalous mac and cheese in Scotland. Try the pesto.

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Photo Credit: Vegan Events UK

Best Glasgow Street Food Festivals

If you time your visit right, you could catch one of the great spring or summer street food festivals in Glasgow that take place in April and May.

  • Scottish Street Food Festival (May) – They celebrated their second year in 2018, and thanks to the massive turnout, this foodie festival is slated to return to the Riverside Museum next year.
  • Glasgow Vegan Festival (April) – With more than 50 stalls and vendors specialising in vegan dishes and live food demos, this is a food festival for even the most discerning foodies.
  • Eat & Drink Festival (May) – Back for another year in the sprawling SEC Glasgow, the Eat & Drink Festival is bringing the heat with dozens of vendors, food demos, samples and all the food and drink you can handle.

Glasgow is known for being affordable, rich in culture and unquestionably authentic — and those longstanding qualities are reflected in its new, vibrant street food scene. Glasgow now has something for everyone, from vegans to carnivores, at a price everyone can enjoy. And if you can’t find the flavours you crave, there’s always cheese toasties. You can never go wrong with cheese toasties.

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