The best lunch spots for busy office workers in Glasgow’s city centre.

Written by Emmy Todorova, aka Food Notes.

Emmy from Food Notes

I’ve worked in Glasgow City Centre in the past few years and I always look out for places to enjoy some nice food over lunch which is also on the healthy side, while not being crazy expensive. Glasgow is currently thriving with good food and there is a lot of choice in the city centre. However, I wanted to compile a list of great places to grab a quick bite for around £5, and certainly under a tenner. 

Here are 10 of the best spots for a quick lunch in Glasgow city centre:

Panko

Panko Glasgow

You’ll find this little gem of a joint near Glasgow’s Central Station. Specialising in Japanese food you can expect to find freshly made katsu curry and teriyaki dishes for under £6. They also have a delicious chicken salad, if you are looking for a slightly healthier option. You’ll often see a queue out of the door (with food this good and cheap, it’s no surprise!) but the service is really quick so don’t let that scare you away. There isn’t much room to sit inside, so most people go for a take out.

Martha’s

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When I want to have a solid lunch which is also healthy and delicious, Martha’s is always my top choice. They specialise in healthy, fast food and do it really well. You can find a good selection of wraps or mains which come with brown rice and Martha’s own lighter coleslaw, as well as a variety of fresh salads and freshly made soup of the day. They also have a delicious selection of fresh smoothies, and plenty of tasty options for the cake lovers too! Most dishes would be around £5-6 and the service is really quick, so it’s a perfect spot for an inexpensive, healthy and fast lunch. Plenty of space to sit inside so great to get all your workmates together! You can find Martha’s on St. Vincent Street, a short walk away from Glasgow Central Station.

Riverhill Café

Not only do they have delicious coffee and a fantastic selection of cakes, the little Riverhill Café situated on Gordon Street, also has a really good selection of sandwiches and wraps. They also have soup of the day (usually a choice of two) and a salad of the day too. Their sandwiches are truly delicious and as everything is freshly made there is a good variety throughout the week. Not much space to sit inside though and you can often see a queue out of their door too. But don’t let this put you off as their shawarma is worth the short wait!

Where The Monkey Sleeps

Where The Monkey Sleeps

Another fantastic little independent café which serves freshly made sandwiches, alongside delicious soups, stews and salads. They have a really good sandwich, wrap and bagel menu to satisfy your every craving. And for the colder days, their freshly made stews and soups are really hearty and filling. You can find their two shops on Argyle Street or West Regent Street. Most options are around £6.

Piece Sandwich Shops

Staying on the theme of freshly made sandwiches and salads, Piece has to have a mention on this list. With a number of shops in the city centre (West Regent Street, Miller Street and more recently Waterloo Street), there are a few places where you can satisfy your craving for a delicious Piece sandwich or a salad. Everything is prepared fresh in-store and they have a good choice of delicious bread for your sandwich. Their menu has a fantastic variety already, but you can also build your own sandwich or salad. Sandwiches are around £5 and salads around £6, making Piece really good value for money. Though their Miller Street shop doesn’t have much space to sit in, you can bring the work crowd to Waterloo St or West Regent St and sit in there.

Social Bite

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No lunch list should ever be written without a mention for Social Bite. A wee sandwich shop with a big purpose. As most places on this list, they offer freshly made sandwiches and meals, but they also have a fantastic mission behind their sandwich shop. A social business, all Social Bite profits are used to support projects with the aim to end homelessness in Scotland. Their mission is very much worth supporting, which isn’t hard to do because their food is really good too! With a great variety of fresh sandwiches and salads on offer, they also have delicious soups and main courses that you can enjoy sitting in or taking away. You can find Social Bite in Glasgow on Bothwell St or St Vincent Street.

Picnic

Slightly further afield, in Merchant City, you can find this charming little vegan cafe. Both their food and interior enjoy a spot of colour to brighten up any day. They have a really good selection of salads, wraps and bagels – all of which are completely plant-based and homemade. They also offer a variety of vegan cakes. Enjoy a lunch bite at Picnic for around £6.

Temaki

This is one for the sushi lovers. Though the service can be a bit slow sometimes, it’s a really nice little restaurant for a lunchtime treat. They do have a nice lunch deal, where you can grab a katsu curry or sushi for around £6, but most importantly, Temaki specialises in sushi burritos (around £9 a pop). Their sushi burritos are perfect for lunch as well as dinner and available to take away as well as sitting in. The place is rather small, though, so not much space to sit in. Temaki can be found across from Glasgow Central Station, on Hope Street.

Paesano Pizza

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Paesano is also perfect for a more special and filling lunch. With plenty of space in Paesano on Miller Street, you can bring the whole work crew and enjoy freshly baked pizzas from £5! Their pizzas are fantastic quality and value and nice to share (or have a full one for yourself). It’s definitely a bigger lunch so one for the hungry ones. If you don’t want to sit in, you can take out your pizza as well.

Platform

Finally, a mention for the newly opened Platform at The Arches. Platform is the newest addition to Glasgow’s Street Food venues, but unlike others, it’s open every weekend and also on Friday. With a good choice of vendors offering everything from Indian street food, seafood, burgers, Japanese specialities, Thai curries, ice-cream tacos, a crème brûlée van and so much more! There is definitely a fantastic variety of flavours and foods available. As if this wasn’t enough, they also have an awesome Friday lunchtime offer where everything is £5! With the fantastic atmosphere of The Arches, the brilliant street food vendors (which are also going to be regularly changing), and plenty of space to sit in – this is a great place for a Friday lunch with your workmates!

About the author:

Emmy is a Bulgarian foodie living in and loving Glasgow. She’s stayed in Glasgow for almost 11 years now and enjoys cooking food from all over the world while also exploring Glasgow’s marvellous food scene. She started her blog Food Notes to share some of her favourite recipes as well as her musings about eating out in Glasgow and the world.

Read more at Food Notes and follow Emmy on FacebookTwitter & Instagram.