Cafe Gandolfi

Discover Cafe Gandolfi

Nestled in the heart of Glasgow, Cafe Gandolfi is a treasured dining establishment that captivates patrons with its exquisite stained glass, meticulously crafted furniture and a team of dedicated staff. A destination for both locals and globetrotters, this cherished restaurant offers an unparalleled experience. As you enter Cafe Gandolfi, you are immediately immersed in an ambiance of artistry. The dining room is graced with stained glass windows, adorned with the masterpiece ‘A flock of fishes’ by John Clark. These exquisite windows infuse the space with a unique, ethereal glow, setting the stage for an exceptional dining experience.

Your dining experience is further enhanced by the handcrafted furniture, skillfully created by Tim Stead. Each piece exudes a sense of artistry and craftsmanship, adding to the ambiance. The combination of stained glass and handcrafted furniture creates an environment that is both inviting and aesthetically pleasing. Gandolfi is renowned for its staff, who epitomize exceptional service. The team is not only professional but also genuinely helpful, ensuring that your dining experience is memorable and enjoyable. The dedication to providing top-notch service is a hallmark of the restaurant. Whether you visit in the cozy embrace of winter or the light and airy atmosphere of summer, the British restaurant welcomes you with open arms. It is a versatile and inclusive establishment that caters to a diverse clientele, making it a beloved fixture in the Glasgow dining scene.

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Cafe Gandolfi’s History


In 1979, Glasgow’s Merchant City bore little resemblance to the vibrant, cosmopolitan hub it has become today. The elegant streets and stylish buildings, a testament to the city’s 18th and 19th-century architects, had fallen into disrepair, exuding a shabby and downtrodden aura hardly an attraction for restaurant-goers. Notably, at that time, the concept of restaurants in this area was nonexistent. All that was about to change. Iain MacKenzie, the founder of Cafe Gandolfi, saw an opportunity when he laid his eyes on the vacant offices of the city’s old cheese market. With unwavering determination, he embarked on a venture that would define an era, opening an original, trendsetting, and stylish cafe right at the heart of Glasgow.

It was a bold leap of faith on Iain’s part. As a photographer, he brought a refined aesthetic to both the interior and its culinary offerings. The name, “Gandolfi,” drew inspiration from the legacy of Louis Gandolfi, the founder of a company synonymous with fine photography for over a century. Iain infused Cafe Gandolfi with a pioneering spirit and an authentic European sensibility. The establishment introduced Glasgow to its first cappuccino machine and its first taste of genuine cafe society. The timing was impeccable; Glasgow was in dire need of a transformation, and Gandolfi arrived just in time to usher in this change.


In 2002, another milestone in history was marked with the launch of the restaurant. This beautiful loft space, once the cheese store for the market, underwent a remarkable transformation under the meticulous supervision of Iain’s close friend and architect, John MacLeod.

By preserving the original cheese store tiles and optimizing natural light, combined with the master craftsmanship of Tim Stead’s signature furniture, the connection with the restaurant downstairs was artfully maintained. Over time, menus, both in terms of drinks and food, evolved, accommodating various events from weddings to funerals and everything in between, all within the intimate atmosphere that the British restaurant offered. Its warmth and distinctive style also inspired artists and artisans to host exhibitions of the work from time to time, a concept enthusiastically promoted and nurtured by Seumas.


The hospitality industry endured a severe blow from the devastation of the Coronavirus Pandemic, making the effort to rebuild businesses more critical than ever. In this phase, Cafe Gandolfi’s focus shifted to creativity, sustainability, and evolution, all under the guidance of its owner. With unwavering determination and an undiminished passion for exceptional food and drinks, the aspiration remained firm – to continue as a significant destination in Glasgow’s Merchant City. Notably, Cafe Gandolfi celebrated its 40th anniversary in November 2019.

Seumas has now been joined by his twin sons, transforming the business into a family affair under the owner’s watchful eye. Both Donald and Alasdair have spent several years working alongside their father, the owner. Donald has taken on the role of General Manager, responsible for the day-to-day operations, while Alasdair has emerged as one of the most talented and innovative chefs. Both have long shared their father’s love for food and impeccable service, and they eagerly anticipate the opportunity to continue the tradition that has solidified Cafe Gandolfi’s reputation as one of Scotland’s most renowned and iconic restaurants.

Cafe Gandolfi’s Cookbook

For those who cherish the delectable flavors of Cafe Gandolfi, the opportunity to recreate the restaurant’s classic dishes is now at your fingertips. The beloved Cookbook, a culinary treasure trove, offers an array of timeless recipes from throughout the years, with the iconic Cullen Skink recipe standing out as a celebrated gem. The Cookbook is a compendium of the restaurant’s most cherished recipes, meticulously curated from its rich history. It provides an exclusive glimpse into the culinary artistry that has made Cafe Gandolfi a culinary institution.

Among the standout recipes, the Cullen Skink recipe shines as a beloved favorite. This traditional Scottish soup, hailing from the fishing village of Cullen, is a hearty and flavorsome delight. Featuring smoked haddock, potatoes, and onions, the dish is a celebration of Scotland’s rich maritime heritage. The Cookbook provides you with step-by-step guidance to recreate this iconic dish in the comfort of your own kitchen. Whether you are a seasoned chef or a novice in the kitchen, the Cookbook offers an opportunity to savor exceptional cuisine without leaving your home. It allows you to experience the essence of culinary expertise and explore a diverse range of dishes, from starters to desserts.

Cafe Gandolfi’s Diverse Menu

Nestled in the heart of Glasgow’s Merchant City, Cafe Gandolfi offers a dining experience that stands out for its extensive and diverse menu, making it a favorite among food enthusiasts seeking quality meals at incredibly reasonable prices. This unique eatery caters to a broad range of preferences, including those with specific dietary needs, such as gluten-free and vegan options. Explore the tempting selections across various menus, from brunch to dinner, that showcase the culinary prowess of the British restaurant.

A Morning Delight

For those who appreciate a hearty and flavorful start to the day, the breakfast menu is a true delight. The diverse offerings ensure that there’s something to please every palate. Whether you’re a fan of sweet or savory breakfasts, the choices here are both delectable and accommodating.
– Brioche French Toast: Served with a choice of caramelized banana and candied walnuts for a sweet twist or bacon with maple syrup for those seeking a savory kick.
– Poached Eggs on Toast: This dish combines whipped feta, creamy avocado, perfectly poached eggs, pine nuts, and a drizzle of harissa oil, providing a harmonious blend of flavors and textures.

A Midday Delight

The lunch menu at the restaurant continues to impress with a range of scrumptious options. From indulgent treats to healthier choices, this menu offers a diverse array of dishes to suit every diner’s preferences.
– Basque Cheesecake: A delectable dessert option that combines creamy cheesecake with a crispy caramelized top, providing a delightful contrast of textures and flavors.
– Fried Crushed Potatoes: Served with aioli, these crispy potatoes are the perfect snack or side dish to complement your meal.

A Culinary Experience

The dinner menu at the restaurant elevates your dining experience with innovative dishes that highlight seasonal ingredients and expert craftsmanship. It’s an opportunity to savor exquisite flavors in a warm and inviting atmosphere.
– Jerusalem Artichokes, Goats Cheese, Hazelnuts: This vegetarian option combines the nutty richness of Jerusalem artichokes with creamy goat’s cheese and the satisfying crunch of hazelnuts.
– Barra Scallop Tartare, Apple, Dill, Capers, Cucumber, Croutons: A seafood delight that marries the freshness of scallops with crisp apple, aromatic dill, and the tang of capers.

Discover the Allure of Gift Vouchers

Gift vouchers have long held a special place in the realm of gifting, providing a versatile and thoughtful way to express sentiments. These tokens of appreciation, often exquisitely designed and personalized, extend a world of possibilities to recipients.

Whether for birthdays, anniversaries, or other special occasions, gift vouchers are an embodiment of choice. Gift vouchers empower the recipient to curate own experience, whether it’s an indulgent spa day, a memorable dining experience at a favorite restaurant, or a shopping spree for the latest fashion trends.

The allure of gift vouchers lies not only in flexibility but also in universality. Gift vouchers transcend generational and cultural boundaries, making them suitable for all. From the youngest members of the family to the most discerning of tastes, gift vouchers offer a wealth of options to cater to individual preferences.

Reservations at Cafe Gandolf

To secure reservations at Cafe Gandolfi, please contact the British restaurant via phone at +44 141-552-6813. The establishment is here to assist you in ensuring that your dining experience is both memorable and hassle-free. Whether you’re planning a special occasion, a romantic evening, or simply wish to savor the diverse menu, the restaurant invites you to call and book a table. The team at Cafe Gandolfi is ready to accommodate your preferences and make your visit a delightful one.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Cafe Gandolfi dog friendly?

Certainly, this restaurant warmly welcomes canine companions, making it a pet-friendly dining destination for dog lovers. Enjoy your meal with your four-legged friend by your side.

What are the Cafe Gandolfi opening times for today?

Cafe Gandolfi welcomes you during the following hours:

Tuesday to Saturday: 08:00 AM – 10:00 PM
Monday: 08:00 AM – 05:00 PM
Sunday: 09:00 AM – 05:00 PM.


How can I find out if this restaurant is near me?


Certainly, you can use Google Maps to determine the distance from your location to the restaurant. It’s a convenient and reliable way to plan your visit to Cafe Gandolfi.

Customer Reviews

Cafe Gandolfi offers the best haggis I've ever had.

October 23, 2023

Cafe Gandolfi offers the best haggis I’ve ever had. The server kindly jotted down the name, Cockburn’s, for me, as my Glaswegian isn’t the best. The restaurant’s atmosphere is enchanting, with custom tables, chairs, and cozy lighting that makes it the perfect escape on a rainy night. I highly recommend giving Cafe Gandolfi a try.

Avatar for Christopher Thompson
Christopher Thompson

Don't miss the chance to visit!

October 14, 2023

Our brief stay in Glasgow led us to Cafe Gandolfi, and even though we typically explore different places to eat, this charming cafe made us break that rule. The historic building itself is impressive, and the breakfasts are simply incredible. However, what truly won us over was the exceptionally friendly staff. Don’t miss the chance to visit!

Avatar for Charles Dufour
Charles Dufour

The food is exceptionally delicious

October 12, 2023

I had the pleasure of visiting Cafe Gandolfi a year ago, and it remains a remarkable place. The food is exceptionally delicious; it’s the yummiest breakfast I’ve ever had. The atmosphere is delightful, and the staff are incredibly welcoming and friendly.

Avatar for Mani

Cafe Gandolfi pays meticulous attention to every interior detail.

October 12, 2023

Cafe Gandolfi pays meticulous attention to every interior detail. From the weighty wooden chairs to the exquisite table tops and the stunning stained glass on the large window, every element is special. The food is delectable, and the staff is both polite and attentive.

Avatar for Ольга Оля
Ольга Оля

Cafe Gandolfi is a hidden gem nestled beneath a pub, and it's a real treasure.

October 9, 2023

Cafe Gandolfi is a hidden gem nestled beneath a pub, and it’s a real treasure. The wooden floors and furniture add a warm and inviting touch to the place. We savored every bite of our Smoked Salmon & Scramble and Full English/Scottish Breakfast (Fry Up) before embarking on a day of sightseeing.

Avatar for Robin Marie
Robin Marie

See more reviews on Tripadvisor and Yelp!

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