Welcome to Glasgow! A few years ago, Glasgow was voted the most vegan friendly in the UK by PETA. And ever since then I’ve been dying to come here and find out what all that fuss is about, and that’s exactly why we’re here today.
To make the most of my free time, I decided to come here by train rather than car. If you’re traveling from London, the journey by train will take you four and a half hours. But if you are driving, it will take you more than seven. So that just didn’t add up for me. But that’s not all. Most importantly, I was able to just sit back and relax. So I did some writing, I watched some TV, but mainly, I just looked at the world from my window and it was gorgeous. It was really, really beautiful. In other words, I am very well rested and ready to get some food. Woo!
So our first stop on this amazing foodie journey around Glasgow is Kimchi Cult. Now, it’s a small fast food that serves Korean food, and they do have meat dishes, but a lot of their stuff is vegan and it looks absolutely incredible. I’ve heard some really good things about it, and I am starving even though I did get fed on the train, but let’s just ignore that, and let’s head in.
My name’s Donnie O’Sullivan. I’m the chef and owner of Kimchi Cult in Glasgow. Spent a couple years living in Korea, learned how to cook the food, and then moved to London to start a street food stall. And did that for a few years. Then moved back up to Glasgow, and opened an actual place. Glasgow is such a big vegan place. You can’t really ignore vegan options. It’s also just great to provide more choice to people as well, it doesn’t really take much, either.
Alright, so as you could probably tell from the faces I was pulling, the food was incredible. And getting to meet the chef was just the cherry on top. He was so passionate and just so knowledgeable about Korean food. It was super cool. And now we’re gonna go for a little dessert.
Well, I have some bad news. And the news is that I haven’t found dessert yet because the two vegan donut places that I found online don’t actually do vegan donuts. So one of them is Tantrum Donuts and the other one’s called Nick’s NYC Deli. They’re both gorgeous. The desserts look really great. But they’re not vegan.
I have found dessert! I am so happy. I found this incredible coconut and pistachio vegan rice pudding at a place called Hillhead Bookclub, which is in the West End and that’s the area that we’ve been in this entire day. And let me tell you, this dessert was well worth waiting for and it was huge. So I am now really full, which bodes badly for dinner, but if there’s one thing I’m good at it’s pushing myself to eat more.
Before we move on, I quickly wanted to take you to one of my favorite places in Glasgow. It’s called Ashton Lane, and it’s this gorgeous little side street in the West End. And there are tons of restaurants, really great places for cocktails.
So before we head to dinner, I’ve decided to make a little unplanned pit stop at a place called Tchaiovna. Tchaiovna is a cute little tea house here in central Glasgow, and what makes it interesting to me is that it’s based on teahouses not from China or India or any place like that but from the Czech Republic, which is where I actually happen to come from. Tchaiovna has about 80 different types of tea, which was kind of challenging when it came to choosing one, but I made the right choice and I’m pretty sure there were 79 right choices, which gives you a great idea of how good the tea was. And what makes the place really good for vegans is that they have quite an extensive vegetarian menu that has tons of vegan options.
Alright everyone, it’s dinner time! And I am so excited because the place we’re going to, called The 78, is a vegetarian/vegan pub. And I love British pubs. Sometimes they even have live music on, I’m not sure about tonight, but maybe. So fingers crossed. I am gonna go order some food and maybe have a drink or two.
Well, just as I expected, the food was absolutely stunning, guys. I had a really lovely burger with some vegan cheese and chili jam. It was really moist. I’m sorry that I used that word. But I mean, it wasn’t dry. You know how veggie burgers are really dry sometimes? This one wasn’t. And yeah, this actually marks the end of our first day of this incredible vegan bonanza in Glasgow. But tomorrow, we’re gonna continue.
Good morning! Today I’m introducing you to one of my favorite parts of Glasgow, which is called Southside. Not that many visitors actually come here, but I know it because I used to live here! I’m sorry I’m only telling you this now. I used to live in Glasgow for about a year but I wasn’t actually veggie back then, so I’m still learning new things on this trip. And one of my favorite cafes when I did live here for, you know, working in and stuff like that was called Gusto and Relish, and that’s exactly where I’m taking you for breakfast! Which is really exciting for me. I’m really glad I get to share this with you guys.
Before we leave Southside, I’m gonna let you in on two secrets. Number one is the Locavore, which is a cute little store that sells healthy foods, different cleaning products that are completely eco-friendly, toothpaste without fluoride, and groceries. And they also do home delivery, so you can order these weekly vegetable boxes which is really useful. I kind of wish I’d done it while I was living here, but unfortunately I travel too much to, you know, do weekly subscriptions. But it’s an amazing service, and they also work with local refugees and different charities which I find incredible. Hello!
My second secret is the place we’re standing in right now. This place is called Hidden Gardens, and it’s a wonderful community center here in Glasgow which does different events like yoga classes for moms and kids, and really cool gardening courses, things like that. And it’s really great for the locals. It’s all about promoting peace and tolerance, and they also do vegetarian/vegan food here which I would actually highly recommend. But let’s head back to the city center now and grab some lunch because I am very excited about this one.
Well, I just finished my meal at the Red Onion and I am finally going to tell you why I was so excited about it. So the restaurant was started by John Quigley, who used to be a private chef to people like Tina Turner or Bryan Adams, maybe you’ve heard of them? And I actually got to speak to John himself, so I’m going to let him tell you a little more about the restaurant.
Hi, I’m John Quigley, chef [inaudible 00:06:37] of Red Onion restaurant in Glasgow. I was a private vegan chef to Bryan Adams for five years. And I toured with Paul McCartney and I toured with Morrissey, so I had a reputation for vegetarian cooking. Bryan was a vegan, and a customer knew that, and she said, “Oh, can you put together a little menu for me? For my birthday.” So we did, she shared it on her Facebook page, and that was it. So it grew totally organically. I call it inclusive dining. We cater for gluten free, we cater for dairy free, gluten free dairy free, gluten free vegan, and if you’ve got a cat, we could probably feed that as well.
Glasgow I think is per capita one of the largest vegan populations in Europe. And I think it has the largest amount of vegan eateries in Britain as well, per capita.
My time in the city is almost up because remember, this was a short city break. But now I’m going to take you to two more places that do really quick takeaway food.
And that’s it for me today. If you enjoyed this video please give it a thumbs up and subscribe to my channel. I bring out new videos every Friday. Also, comment below to let me know which restaurant was your favorite.
Welcome to Glasgow!
I’d really love to know. I’d like to say a special thank you to Virgin Trains for helping me organize this trip. I had an amazing time and I really hope you did too. I’ll see you soon.