The Two Figs (5 Byres Road, offers two very reasonable Christmas set menus; both lunch (£16.95) and dinner (£19.95) include classic turkey-and-stuffing options, as well as more exotic Persian halloumi or Brinjal masala dishes. Boteco Do Brasil (62 Trongate,, pictured) presents a more South American twist: traditional Brazilian pork and turkey dishes feature on both lunch (£18.95 for two courses) and dinner (£26.95 for four courses) menus. The Ivy (1102 Argyle Street, offers its own Christmas menu (£14 for lunch, £18 for dinner), with traditional, venison and fish dishes alongside the bar’s excellent cocktail selection.



WEST Basic pint: £2.20

Templeton Building, Glasgow Green, 556 3397. Sun–Thu 11am–11pm; Fri & Sat 11am–midnight. Basic pint: £3.10

A brilliant location at the edge of Glasgow Green (beer garden to match) and a microbrewery that’s home to St. Mungo’s: Glaswegian lager brewed in accordance with the German purity law. The elegant selection of bottled beers and Bavarian bar food make a journey eastward even more worthwhile. High Point: Cracking location on the Green

BLACKFRIAR’S 36 Bell St, 552 5924. Mon–Sat 11am–midnight; Sun 12.30pm–midnight. Basic pint: £2.95

It’s dead easy to feel comfy in this self-styled gastropub with an emphasis on specialist and premium brews (it’s a favourite CAMRA hotspot) and a youthful demeanour that sees various club nights held in the venue below. The city’s bohemians, students and suits keep it pleasantly busy. High Point: Always busy, and yet you always get a seat

CITATION 40 Wilson St, 559 6799. Sun–Sat 10am–midnight.

A thoroughly majestic building of stone pillars and relief sculptures might be a bit grandiose for some, but Citation combines homeliness with its spaciousness. Coffee, beer and wine all go down equally nicely, it’s well stocked, and even when busy, the buzz from other tables won’t interfere with your own. High Point: Broad appeal and gigantic size but has class and character too

MONO 12 Kings Court, 553 2400. Mon–Thu 11am–midnight; Fri & Sat 11–1am; Sun noon- midnight. Basic pint: £3

An arty favourite just south of The Merchant City, proper. Organic cider and excellent vegan food are the order of the day whilst the flicker of candlelight and an in-store record shop (Monorail, one of the best indies in the city) enhance the setting. See also Stereo in the city centre, and The 78 in the West End for similar pleasures. High Point: Good organic selections ALSO RECOMMENDED: Bar Gandolfi (upstairs at Café Gandolfi, 64 Albion Street) for gourmet bar snacks.

Basic pint: £3.10

This venerable bar, the oldest in Glasgow, has managed to move with the times while keeping hold of its rich heritage, particularly in the three floors of traditionally decorated bars, dining spaces and an impressive ballroom hosting ceilidhs and Eat Film events. High point: Soaking up some serious heritage

VARIETY BAR 401 Sauchiehall Street, 332 4449. Mon–Sat 11am–midnight; Sun 12.30pm–midnight. Basic pint: £2.70

This wonderful art deco bar has resisted any refurb, so the edges are lovingly roughened by years of wear from an eclectic range of punters from old boozers to students, artists and musos. It’s shabby, scruffy, and dimly lit, but is also one of the coolest and most stylish bars in the city, and all done effortlessly. High point: Art deco heaven

ALSO RECOMMENDED: Firewater (319 Sauchiehall Street) for student kicks. Lebowski’s (1008 Argyle Street) for cocktails. Blythswood Square Hotel bar (11 Blythswood Square) for high style.

BRUTTI MA BUONI 106–108 Brunswick St, 552 0001. Mon–Sun 11am–midnight. Basic pint: £3.10

A little slice of Mediterranean cool that still feels like an upstart, despite being a few years old now. Bars and restaurants in this area can bow to their surroundings; almost overawed by the splendour of the buildings. Not Brutti, which embraces every colour of the spectrum with neon beer signs, Spanish and Italian bric-a-brac, and paintings by local artists. And though the floor-to ceiling window looks out onto an (invariably rainy) Glasgow street scene rather than one from Barcelona or Rome, there’s much solace to be found: eight different European lagers on tap, for example, or the selection of cava, or the informal menu of pizzas and tapas. As the daytime café culture sexily dissolves into evening, DJs play house and electro, clubnights just occur downstairs and the atmosphere in the bar is fantastic. High Point: Immensely cool and cheerful, with a fantastic choice of lager

2–16 Dec 2010 THE LIST 13