From tapas to sushi, from spicy Indian curries to fine French dining, Glasgow’s City Merchant quarter offers an eclectic mix of gastronomic delights in its many restaurants and bars. No visit to City Merchant would be complete without sampling the acclaimed Scottish cuisine, revered for its use of fresh local ingredients and quirky sounding dishes.
Nothing could be more quintessentially Scottish than the national dish of haggis served with neeps and tatties, or Cullen skink, the traditional Scottish soup made of smoked haddock, and Merchant City has restaurants specializing in these national treasure dishes. For a real taste of Scotland include a visit to one of these three Scottish restaurants: Babbity Bowster, Arisaig and City Merchant.
Babbity Bowster on Blackfriars Street offers a taste of genuine Scottish cuisine, steeped in history. The historic building was originally an eighteenth century tobacco merchant’s house. The building fell into a derelict state before being restored in 1985 to its current use.
The name originates from an eighteenth century Scottish dance, and a shield above the original fireplace depicts dancers dancing the Bobbity Bowster. Sepia prints of Glasgow street life add character to the walls.
An open plan bar serving food is sited on the ground floor, below the first floor restaurant Schottische. There is also an outdoor patio with a boule court. Plan a visit for a Saturday night to sample real Scottish ale or a dram of malt whisky, while enjoying live Scottish folk music.
Bobbity Bowster’s menu is packed with Scottish delicacies prepared from fresh ingredients. Dishes include Cullen skink, haggis, beef collops, stovies, and sweet clootie dumplings.
Arisaig is a restaurant specializing in traditional Scottish fare, sited in Merchant Square. Diners can eat indoors, outside in the covered cobbled terrace, or on the balcony overlooking the vibrant square.
The menu is created from locally sourced Scottish produce and there is a fine range of Scottish malt whiskys to enjoy.
Typical dishes include fried haggis fritters served with onion gravy, aged Scotch beef, Perthshire venison, mixed greens with whisky sauce, Stornoway black pudding, clootie dumplings, baked Scottish brie, and vegetarian haggis.
Scottish seafood includes west coast oysters, Shetland mussels and Shetland salmon. The classic Cullen skink is served with sourdough and seaweed butter.
City Merchant Restaurant
City Merchant Restaurant is located in the heart of Glasgow’s City Merchant quarter, in Candleriggs. This family run Scottish themed restaurant has an acclaimed reputation for serving the finest Scottish produce, with fresh seafood from the coastal waters and rivers of Scotland, and steak and game from the Scottish highlands.
The building features the original stained glass windows and the menu reflects the traditions of the area. The restaurant also features a VIP loft dining area, offering intimate ambiance for private parties of up to sixteen.
Typical Scottish seafood featured on the menu includes Shetland blue mussels, Fencebay west coast langoustines, and Shetland salmon. The restaurant offers a ‘Flavours of Scotland’ dinner menu, with dishes such as Cullen skink, a duo of poached and smoked salmon, haggis, neeps and tatties, haggis croquette with clapshot, and a selection of Scottish cheeses.