Cafe Gandolfi

Price guide: Mid-range

64 Albion Street , Glasgow, G1 1NY

Price guide: Mid-range

Cafe Gandolfini

By Mike MacEacheran, your Glasgow expert

I write for Bangkok Post, Business .... Read more
#9 of 30
expert-rated restaurants in Glasgow
Expert overall rating:4.4 out of 5
Food and drink:
4.4
4.4
Ambience:
4.2
4.2
Service:
4
4.0
Location:
4.1
4.1
Value for money:
4.2
4.2
Recommended for:
Culture vultures, Foodies, Mature travellers, Seasoned travellers, Singles, Design and architecture, Escaping the crowds, No fuss, Trendiness

Expert review of Cafe Gandolfi

Glasgow’s Hebridean empire continues to prove that tradition and nostalgia is often best.

I love this place. With a proud Caledonian heritage, the owner Seumas MacInnes is one of the city’s most recognisable gourmands. As he himself admits, prior to Gandolfi, Stornoway black pudding was used mainly to grout brickwork. Now it’s on as many menus as Highland Spring. Reading the restaurant’s inspirational Gaelic proverb “Deagh Bhiadh, Deagh Bheannachd”, with help from a translator of course (my Gaelic language skills are non-existent), I really do feel ‘well fed, well blessed’ when I come here.

Food and drink: 

Passionate about the all-day dining experience, it has an extensive breakfast menu, the food is gutsy, artfully rudimentary and it doesn’t mess about. With a definite emphasis on Scottish cooking – Cullen skink soup, Arbroath smokies, peat smoked salmon, Scottish cheese, Finnan haddock and haggis, neeps and tatties – it’s easily one of the best choices in the city for a gastronomic Glaswegian experience. It’s the kind of my place my Gran would have loved.

Recommended dishes: 

Whether you know what it is or not, the Stornoway black pudding with mushrooms and pancake sourced from Macleod and Macleod of Stornoway is one of Gandolfini’s signature dishes. It shouldn’t be missed under any circumstances. I’d also opt for the divine smoked venison with gratin dauphinoise sourced from Rannoch Smokery.

Ambience: 

Laidback and rustic, the warped wood tables sit alongside walnut stools, the café strikes a fine line between being an Art Deco gem – with angular bottle green flourishes – and a nostalgic west coast fishing village brasserie.

Service: 

Friendly and personal. Check out Gandolfi’s website where Seumas has a collection of cooking videos to help you find some Hebridean kitchen inspiration. There is also a shop selling a fine line of Gandolfi branded merchandise.

Location: 

Slap bang in the middle of the Merchant City.

Price advice: 

The canapé deals – four for £10, seven for £15 and 12 for £20 is the perfect way to work your way through the highlights of the mouth-watering menu. The starters hover around the £7 mark and mains are a punch at £12 or £14.

Other useful branches: 

Over the years, Cafe Gandolfi has expanded its empire - all along the same street. In the same building Bar Gandolfi (64 Albion Street, Glasgow, G1 1NY, 0141 552 4462) is a more laidback affair for a drink, while further up the street Gandolfi Fish (84-86 Albion Street, Glasgow, G1 1NY, 0141 552 9475) is slightly more a la carte and focuses on - what else? - Scottish seafood.

More information on Cafe Gandolfi:

Price guide:
Mid-range
Type:
Bistro, Café, Restaurant
Food:
British, Scottish, Traditional
Address:
64 Albion Street , Glasgow, G1 1NY
Telephone:
0141 552 6813
Website:
http://www.cafegandolfi.com
Serves:
Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch, Dinner
Opening times:
Monday to Sunday from 9am to 11.30pm.
Accepts Credit Cards:
Yes
Reservations:
Not necessary

Have you been to Cafe Gandolfi? Would you recommended it?