The cute, cobbled street of Ashton Lane in Glasgow’s West End is pretty magical, especially with those iconic fairy lights hung above your head. Despite being a short street, which you can approach from either Byres Road or University Avenue, there are plenty of things to get up to from sipping pints to admiring street art.
1. Cosy up in a beer garden with a cheese or chocolate fondue
Belgian bar and restaurant Brel has a large beer garden great for outdoor and indoor meet-ups. Plus, this Ashton Lane go-to is perfect for all seasons and occasions from cocktails and beers in the garden, gooey cheese fondue in their conservatory and mezzanine or a warming hot chocolate and roasting marshmallows by a roaring fire pit.
2. Munch down on some epic Scottish cuisine
Ubiquitous Chip has been a foodie staple of Glasgow since 1971. Here you can enjoy staple Scottish dishes on their charming rooftop, from Venison haggis with neeps and tatties to Shetland mussels. It’s entrenched in the sea of West End restaurants and has always been a top-class spot to enjoy some hearty grub. Ubiquitous Chip also serve brunch and from 10am to 1pm everyday and if you simply fancy a pint and a snack, you can always nip into The Wee Pub at The Chip.
3. Catch up with friends over coffee and cocktails
The Gardener on Ashton Lane is a lovely hideaway day and night whether it’s a catch up over coffee and/or cocktails. The restaurant also serves up small plates, sandwiches, main meals, late night bites and more on their menu to satisfy any craving you may have. The garden theme runs throughout their drinks menu with floral cocktails and bottles of Prosecco brought to you in watering cans. If you fancy shaking things up on your trip to Ashton Lane, you can even take part in a cocktail masterclass at The Gardener.
4. Discover one of Scotland’s best craft beers
One of the first beers by Innis & Gunn was The Original bourbon barrel-aged beer and is still a favourite nearly 20 years on. The award-winning beer company has set up shop in Ashton Lane serving their craft ales and lagers as well as limited edition beers such as their Irish whiskey barrel stout, with aromas of dark chocolate, espresso and vanilla. Their Ashton Lane Taproom offers one of the most extensive craft beer selections in Glasgow, with a varied and rotational range featuring 23 craft taps, so it’s well worth a visit for a pint or two.
5. Try a haggis pakora at this curry house
Head up the steps to this Ashton Lane curry house where you can sample some Indian culinary classics, as well as some Scottish-influenced dishes. With Glasgow being recognised as the home of the tikka masala, this city sure knows how to serve up a good curry and The Wee Curry Shop is no different. This Indian restaurant features haggis pakoras and even a beef curry named after the lane it’s situated on, which includes slow cooked beef in whole spices and topped with okra.
6. Get a proper eyeful of colour
Many of the walls in Glasgow are draped in wonderful works of art and Ashton Lane is no exception. In April 2020, street artist The Rebel Bear took its talent to Ashton Lane by producing a mural inspired by the pandemic which featured a doctor in a blue protective mask and gloves. The artist said this mural was dedicated to all front-line medical workers and symbolised “our collective gratitude”. If you’re after a bit more art not far from Ashton Lane, you can explore a mural trail across Glasgow’s West End or simply head to Hillhead Subway for some beautiful tile art.
7. Tuck into a comforting bowl of ramen
Ramen Dayo first began serving the beautiful noodle broth back in 2016 from a hand-built ‘yatai’ ramen cart on Gordon Street Lane next to Glasgow Central station before moving to a permanent location on Ashton Lane. The Japanese restaurant serves comforting bowls of ramen which are great for a cold Glasgow day. Ramen Dayo offers various flavours such as a spicy sesame based ramen with a choice of spicy ground pork, chicken or veggie protein and a miso-based ramen. Plus, it serves up a deluxe ramen with extra noodles, extra broth, an extra boiled egg and all the trimmings, as well as donburi dishes like katsu curry.
8. Catch all the latest movies or join The Great Outdoors Club
Grosvenor Cinema is Glasgow’s only fully-licensed cinema equipped with cosy sofa chairs as well as full size couches. Visitors can expect to see the latest movies, attend special events or even join a film club for cinema lovers called The Great Outdoors Club. The cinema also hosts boozy brunches with activities such as ABBA sing-alongs or Sex And The City 90s parties.
9. Attend the Ashton Lane seasonal street parties
Every year, two seasonal street parties take place on Ashton Lane: the Hogmanay Street Party and the Summer Street Party. The Summer Party is a free event with live music, good vibes and all the aforementioned venues taking place, offering special treats to party goers. In 2023, the party is on for two days on June 24 and 25 and starts at midday. The Hogmanay Street Party is a ticketed event and it gets as busy as it sounds, with plenty of acts and happy folk greeting the new year on Glasgow’s cutest street.