If you want to try a true institution you absolutely need to head to Cafe Gandolfi. It opened in 1979 and has been turning out top quality food and sending away happy diners with full tummies ever since. It was quite unique back then (they’re very proud to have had Glasgow’s first cappuccino machine) but their ethos of simplicity and attention to detail remains the same. Owner, Seumas MacInnes has been feeding Glaswegians since 1983 and takes the same pride and joy in it now as he did 30 years ago.
The food has a very slight Scottish bias, which isn’t surprising, given Seumas’ love for local produce. The cullen skink is (rightly) famous and hard to resist. The menu is varied though, drawing on cuisine from all over the globe. True cafe style there’s something for all your dining needs, from breakfast (the menu is extensive and covers all your favourites), to a light lunch or full 3 course dinner. For a mid afternoon coffee and dessert it’s a slightly classier, more comfortable alternative to a coffee shop. The daily specials are always interesting if you can tear yourself away from the regular menu.
One of the nicest things about Cafe Gandolfi is the fantastic community that has built up around the restaurant, owed largely to the friendliness and enthusiasm of Seumas and the staff. Regulars return again and again and help create a welcoming and upbeat atmosphere.
The L-shaped interior feels warm and cosy, with dark walls, high windows and large, wood panelled bar. Tim Stead’s comfortable, heavy wood furniture has been there as long as Seumas and is as much a part of the identity of the restaurant as the top quality food. It’s aquired a patina through years of constant use and is more beautiful now than it was when it was first installed.
For a real taste of Glasgow’s culinary history, as well as some of the best food you’ll ever eat don’t miss Cafe Gandolfi.
Cafe Gandolfi, 64 Albion St, Glasgow, G1 1NY