Street food can often be associated with vendors on bustling city streets, where the aromas of local food drive the attention of walkers looking for a quick hunger fix. In Glasgow, however, street food comes with a few characteristics of its own: it mostly takes place indoors (ahem, not the best weather?), it’s culturally diverse featuring mixed culinary origins; and its climax is in the ever-changing and compelling street food markets.
Street food markets in Glasgow are revitalising the concept of street food in the city. Rather than food you get in a hurry, it’s more about creating an experience. In these markets, you find a range of choices to please any palate – think juicy burgers, vegan food, loaded fries, tacos, chocolate churros; pretty much anything. You can go with your pals, your kids or dogs, you can enjoy music in the background, food that is freshly prepared and very affordable, and go for drinks at the bar or some entertainment.
Glasgow, a city where international gastronomy has harmoniously come together with Scottish cuisine, has recently seen the evolution of some fantastic street food markets that are taking the city by storm with their dynamic hubs comprising quality produce and entertainment.
Platform at Argyle Street Arches
Sitting within the refurbished Argyle Street Arches under Glasgow’s Central Station, Platform could not enjoy a more central and convenient location. It brings together independent food traders every weekend, frequently changing them to ensure a fresh line up. With a vast space under colourful lights in the arches, the atmosphere in Platform is always lively. There’s plenty of seating space and an impressive bar from craft brewer Innis & Gunn.
All traders produce locally, seasonal and sustainably sourced food, so whatever you go for, you can be sure to find something tasty. And Platform is free entry!
My foodie recommendation: if you find them on-site, get a bao from Ginger and Chilli; these buns are fluffy and packed with flavour! Complement it with some loaded sweet potato fries from Freddy and Hicks, which you can top with halloumi cheese for the ultimate side.
The Dockyard Social
The Dockyard Social in Finnieston made a comeback in 2019 after a break for refurbishment and has quickly grown in popularity as a vibrant social dining place. Occupying a spacious industrial unit on Haugh Street, it features murals and colourful graphics on the walls, a well-stocked bar, ever-changing food stalls, live music or on-site DJs and pool tables.
The Dockyard Social certainly creates a great atmosphere for people of all ages (and dogs) to enjoy the best of Glasgow street food. It’s open on the weekends; the entry ticket is £5 which includes a food item, and under 16’s can go for free.
My foodie recommendation: Yalla is a Middle-Eastern food stall that makes flavourful and rich shawarmas with lamb, pepper hummus, roasted chickpeas or other ingredients. Give them a go if you see them! For a fiver, the lamb shoulder shawarma was amazing value.
Last but not least, Big Feed: the other big contender for the street food marketplace, with a big and exciting indoor space, a fully licensed bar and a wide range of vendors, plus outdoor seating for when the sun is shining!
This is also a kid and dog friendly market. There’s usually live music and DJs making the place buzz with good tunes, and a play area with cool arcade machines to entertain the little ones (or the big ones too, let’s not pretend!).
Entry to the Big Feed is only £2 and there’s free parking.
My foodie recommendation: if you like duck meat, then The Duck Street stall which is usually at the Big Feed will be right up your street. Their burgers and roasted duck pancakes are delicious!
Street food is definitely having a moment in Glasgow; it’s all the rage and everyone’s loving it. I can’t wait to see how the movement further develops in the city, with new vendors appearing constantly and the markets getting trendier and busier than ever – I know we can expect great things to come our way!