THE BELLE 617 Great Western Road, 339 2299. Mon–Sun noon–midnight. Basic pint: £2.90

What it lacks in size (think your average living room), The Belle makes up for in atmosphere. Cosy and quaint with an open fire, it’s a perfect winter warmer. The bar is well stocked with quality continental European and American beers you’ll get a better pint here than at Stravaigin, to which it overall comes a close second best in the west. High point: Anchor Steam and Brooklyn lagers on tap

THE CAPTAIN’S REST 185 Great Western Road, 332 7304. Mon–Sun noon–midnight. Basic pint: £2.80

Owned by concert promoters PCL, the Captain’s Rest has been an essential fixture in the West End since 2008, as a gig venue, hip drinking den and cheap’n’cheerful eatery. A refurbishment due in January will see the lounge area torn-up to make way for booths and a big screen telly. High point: Small but great music venue in the basement

THE DOUBLET 74 Park Road, 334 1982. Mon 11am–11pm; Tue–Sat 11am–midnight; Sun 12.30–11pm. Basic pint: £2.90

The Doublet prides itself on being a rock of friendly, traditionalist reliability in the West End’s ever-shifting pub scene. Pints are reasonably priced, you’ll get good chat from the regulars in the bar while the lounge up the back with its tastefully-stocked jukebox is a hidden gem. High point: Andalucian lager Cruzcampo

THE UBIQUITOUS CHIP 8–12 Ashton Lane, 334 5007. Mon–Sun noon–1am. Basic pint: £3.50

STRAVAIGIN 26–30 Gibson Street, 334 2665. Mon–Sun 11am–1am. Basic pint: £2.70

This always-popular eating and drinking spot has doubled in size since a major extension job in the summer, but it retains all of the rustic, cluttered charm that makes it a favourite with all from young families to local pop stars. The bar previously squished under the stairs has been shifted into an old hairdresser’s studio next door, and the adjoining wall knocked-through, meaning quicker service and much better chance of a seat. The old clocks, wrought iron railings and wooden roof beams that give the café bar its character endure untouched. For quality, classy Scottish-centric cuisine and a good pint from lunchtime until late, it’s hard to see past this ever-buzzing all-rounder. High point: Superb food

With its seven-days-a-week 1am licence rare for the area you’ll find a colourful mix of business, arts and media types drinking until late most nights at this West End institution, which boasts three different bars upstairs, downstairs and the adjoining Wee Pub. The roof terrace is a choice spot on long summer nights, and the food is delectable. High point: Good grub

HILLHEAD BOOKCLUB Vinicombe Street, 576 1700. Mon–Fri 11am–midnight; Sat & Sun 10am–midnight. Basic pint: £2.50

14 THE LIST 2–16 Dec 2010

Housed in the grand old Salon cinema, Hillhead Bookclub opened in May is the kind of chintzy, boho hangout that Byres Road lacked. Drinks are cheap enough to pull in students (£2 for gin and vodka shorts). Cocktails served in old gramophones is a quirky touch, as is a ping-pong table and retro video games corner. High point: Granny Would Be Proud vintage market on fortnightly Sundays

THE DRAKE 1 Lynedoch Street, 332 7363. Mon–Fri noon–midnight; Sat 10am–midnight; Sun 9am–midnight.

Basic pint: £3

The West End’s newest watering hole and its highly- rated upstairs restaurant quickly found a crowd by luck of opening as Stravaigin closed for a refit. Situated in a basement at the top of Woodlands Road, The Drake is well-placed for the city centre crowd, and has a chic feel to it between its bare-brick walls and leather couches. High point: Beer garden out the back

THE LANSDOWNE 7a Lansdowne Crescent, 334 4653. Mon–Sat noon- midnight; Sun noon-11pm. Basic pint: £3.20

This basement bar on the leafy, residential Lansdowne Crescent is inconspicuous but surprisingly big. There’s a long bar area with a multitude of plasma screens and a restaurant at the back. The conservatory is soon to be refitted with comfy couches. Enjoy out-of- the-ordinary draft pints aplenty, from local brewery WEST’s St Mungo to fruity Belgian Früli. High point: TVs galore for live sports ALSO RECOMMENDED: OranMor (731–735 Great Western Road) for the arty crowds and a fine shorts selection.