Let's be honest: some people are pretty divided about Strathbungo. And being Glaswegians, they have strong opinions on the matter. When the Guardian featured Glasgow's Southside in their February 19th 2016 weekly column, Let's Move to... one Glaswegian shared their opinion, which might be shared by quite a few:
We, however, love Strathbungo. True, property is overpriced (why!? What is even happening over there?), a person can barely manage to walk on the cramped pavements (assuming a car hasn't parked on it) and there are WAY. TOO. MANY. CARS. parked on the narrow streets. Full disclosure: we are based nearby in Pollokshields (considerably cheaper even though we could probably slingshot a stone from our window over onto Moray Place).
Ok, I hear you say, what's to love about Strathbungo then?
First and foremost, the architecture and history. Strathbungo has some truly stunning architecture, most notably 1-10 Moray Place designed by Alexander "Greek" Thomson. Thomson himself lived at 1 Moray Place until his death in 1875. If you haven't had the pleasure of strolling along Moray Place in the Glasgow sunshine, we would urge you to do it. You might even bump into a couple of black kitties slinking around ("Treacle", who is friendly and has a snaggletooth, can often be seen basking in the sun around here). We won't go into too much detail as there are literally a half dozen blogs / blogposts dedicated to the history and architecture of Strathbungo.
Secondly, the sense of community. Perhaps a lot of areas in Glasgow are similar but we love that Strathbungo residents organise various clean-ups, societies and events in the neighbourhood. In fact, our very first pop-up event - and second day of trading - was at Bungo in the Backlanes. Earlier this year there was also the first ever Window Wanderland.
And finally, all the amazing places to shop, eat, and enjoy coffee. Here's our rundown:
Image via Potluck's crazy delicious-lookin' Instagram
Potluck - Only just opened in May, Potluck and the two talented women who run it are getting loads of love and admiration (rightly so!) for their ambitious and tasty food. With a glowing review from Briony at The Glasgow Food Blog, it's easy to see how this place is already a Strathbungo staple. On top of the ridiculously delicious food, it's also reasonably priced. We've been a couple times now and both times were blown away with our meals and creative effort put into each dish. Right. Sorry to gush. It's just good, aight!?
Image via Southside Roasters lovely instagram feed
Southside Roasters - Another (reasonably) new place in Strathbungo and another favourite, here at LAKE&LOCH. They make some of the best coffee this side of the river (maybe all of Glasgow but we dunno, to be honest, 'cause we're just amateurs). With an Instagram-esque interior, the food and cakes are also delicious. Of course, we also love the fact that some of their coffee beans are named after various bits of the Southside.
Locavore - A social enterprise that runs a shop, vegetable delivery box and farm; they do a lot to inform and engage the community about food and where it all comes from. A great wee store that does their best to stock local food and drink they will be moving, alas, over to Victoria Road to open a bigger shop and deli in the next few months.
The Bungo Bar & Kitchen - Opened in December 2011, the Bungo is a local stalwart. The food and drink are really good (not so much the coffee) and it's dog-friendly.
The Rum Shack - With over 100 rums on offer, The Rum Shack is Glasgow's "original Caribbean" restaurant and bar. They also offer pub grub with a Caribbean flavour. Alongside the bar, there is also an event space/club where we attended a PURE BANGIN' night a couple weekend's ago. Recommended. Dog-friendly.
The Allison Arms - We love this pub. As do most of the locals. It's so good we're almost reluctant to bang on about it 'cause it's always heaving (rightly so). The amazing selection at the Ally Arms is everything: from the tunes on the jukebox, to the beer, to the gin; it's all good. Again, dog-friendly too.
Gusto & Relish - Wee cafe favoured by locals with kids (not sure why?) that make quality home-cooked grub.
Lebowski's South - Just over a year old, Lebowski's opened a branch on the Southside offering their usual menu and white russian cocktails. Dog-friendly.
Ranjit's Kitchen - We're not sure where Ranjit's falls under - whether it's Pollokshields, Strathbungo or just veggie heaven - but nevertheless, this place is glorious. Making Panjabi food, it's family-run and totally unassuming. They're currently ranked as the number one restaurant in Glasgow on TripAdvisor. Cheap, bountiful and really really good.
As you can see, there's a lot on offer in Strathbungo (and periphery). Just don't call it the West End of the Southside.
What are some of your favourite places in Strathbungo?