13 of the best Italian restaurants in Glasgow

From cheerful pizzerias to fancy ristorantes, this list has it all...

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13 of the best Italian restaurants in Glasgow

While Glasgow is primarily famous for its art and culture scene, it’s also an excellent place to enjoy great Italian food. A place where many Italians call home, some of the best Italian restaurants in Glasgow are family-run, top-drawer institutions, each one totally different from the next. There are humble trattorias, offering up affordable family favourites, pizzerias that supply you with pizza prontissimo and upscale ristorantes, serving up more lavish dishes in refined settings. There are also neighbourhood delis where you can pick up a pack of bresaola, perhaps stopping in for an espresso for good measure.

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If you aren’t a resident, there are some essential stops to make before you leave, like the Burrell Collection and Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. Aside from the big attractions, however, you can simply walk around the city and enjoy the beautiful architecture (the university looks like Hogwarts). There are plenty of cosy pubs and cafés to pop into for a coffee, pint or snack, as well as great restaurants dotted around for a more substantial meal (those seeking haggis should definitely head to Ubiquitous Chip for the real deal).

But, if you’re looking to grab a bite in Glasgow and fancy Italian in particular, then this is the list for you. We searched high and low, from Bishopbriggs to Clarkston, Paisley to Bargeddie, gathering up the best spots we could find. Some are true institutions, dating back to the sixties, while others are newer, more unusual settings. Given the many regions of Italy, there is so much choice, from the heartier Tuscan cuisine to the lighter, more seafood-focused Sicilian diet. Each restaurant has a picture and address, so you can get a clearer idea of if it’s the right fit for you. There is also a ‘book now’ link so that when you find the right place, you can book a table right away. After all, why wait?

Sarti

Sarti has been referred to as “not an Italian restaurant, but a restaurant in Italy”, and delivers on this time and time again. There is tons of choice (even the starters are split up into seafood, meat and veg), and the menus feature lesser-known Italian family favourites alongside more internationally known dishes. Unlike many Italian restaurants, at Sarti, you can swap your pasta or bread for a gluten-free version.
Where: 121 Bath Street, Glasgow, G2 2SZ
Book now: Sarti

Gloriosa

Another more global, loosely Italian entry, Gloriosa is a restaurant and bar offering independent wines and playful dishes in a relaxed, pared-back space. Colourful creations here include grilled partridge with pomegranate, pistachio, radish and orange blossom and violet artichokes with pine nut kernels, capers, sultanas and mint. Those seeking more well-trodden ground can opt for pappardelle with haricot beans and parmesan or a cod and squid ink risotto.
Where: 1321 Argyle Street, Glasgow, G3 8AB
Book now: Gloriosa

Caprese don Costanzo

This is a restaurant with regulars who have been coming every week for years. Peruse the menu of truly traditional dishes like pollo alla Milanese, spaghetti vongole or carbonara. There is a real emphasis on truly excellent service here, and guests can expect to feel at home in the familial Italian dining experience.
Where: 13 Woodside Crescent, Glasgow, G3 7UL
Book now: Caprese don Costanzo

Sugo Pasta

Sugo Pasta allows you to take a tour around Italy’s regional pasta dishes, without leaving Glasgow. This industrial dining room has a buzzy vibe and the offering is simple: excellent, affordable pasta. Visit Calabria for fettuccine with spicy nduja and pork ragu, or travel south to Sicily for squid ink spaghetti with monkfish, white wine, chilli and garlic. Alternatively, head north to Tuscany for a classic pappardelle with slow-cooked beef ragu.
Where: 70 Mitchell Street, Glasgow, G1 3LX
Book now: Sugo Pasta

Paesano Pizza

You can’t write a guide to the best Italian restaurants without featuring a proper Neopolitan pizzeria, and Paesano is just that. This airy space is home to authentic pizza at a seriously affordable price. Go for a classic Margherita, or push the boat out a little with Tuscan fennel sausage, friarielli (wild Italian broccoli), potato and fior di latte. Vegan options are available too, such as asparagus, red onion, sugo, garlic and red onion.
Where: 94 Miller Street, Glasgow, G1 1DT
Book now: Paesano Pizza

La Lanterna

Having started in 1970 and having won numerous awards, including Scotland’s best Italian restaurant in 2021, La Lanterna needs no introduction. But for those who have been living under a burrata, this family-run institution is not to be missed. Start off with a meat or seafood sharing platter, or various classic antipasti like calamari and minestrone. Pasta or risotto comes next, again featuring long-lasting staples we know and love. Choose from meat and fish dishes such as steak or grilled seabass, before finishing with zabaglione, pannacotta, apple tart or, of course, tiramisu.
Where: 35 Hope Street, Glasgow, G2 6AE
Book now: La Lanterna

Amarone

This Scottish destination has branches in Aberdeen and Edinburgh too, each one turning out comfort food prepared nicely. Expect typically standard dishes elevated to new heights with ingredients like Tuscan leccino olives, Palourdes clams, Brindisa parilla chorizo and more. Finish with a decadent dessert such as affogato, tiramisu, pannacotta, creme brulee or a mixed cheese selection for those wanting something a little less dolce.
Where: 2 Nelson Mandela Place, Glasgow, G2 1BT
Book now: Amarone

The Italian Kitchen

This is another true staple of the city. Offering the option of takeaway as well as dining in, this versatile establishment does the classics and does them well. Sample the focaccia, antipasti, pasta, pizza, carne, pesce, and dolci in this relaxed setting. There is an extensive wine list to match the food menu, so you can sample some lovely vino with your meal.
Where: 64 Ingram Street, Merchant City, Glasgow, G1 1EX
Book now: The Italian Kitchen

Pulcinella

Pulcinella is another truly classic Italian, serving up traditional pasta, freshly baked pizza and a selection of meat and seafood dishes. Starters include staples like arancini and bruschetta alongside some more unusual creations like spicy chicken wings with red wine and herbs or deep-fried garlic mushrooms with garlic mayo. While pasta and pizza are obvious go-tos, there are also burgers available, as well as a Mediterranean fish stew and roasted salmon with grilled vegetables.
Where: 167 Hope Street, Glasgow, G2 2UQ
Book now: Pulcinella

Santa Lucia Merchant City

For proper southern Italian food, head to Santa Lucia. This Neopolitan restaurant showcases the best dishes from Naples and the Amalfi Coast, including linguine with prawns and chorizo, arancini with ‘nduja and salsiccia and seafood risotto. Don’t miss the frittura Santa Lucia sharing platter, which includes deep-fried squid, king prawns, king scallops, langoustines, sea bass and tuna with a side salad and tartare sauce.
Where: 68 Ingram Street, Glasgow, G1 1EX
Book now: Santa Lucia Merchant City

Café Antipasti

Café Antipasti has been a staple of the city centre since the nineties. Open every day from noon, this casual eatery ticks all the boxes: classic dishes, great atmosphere, lovely service. Alongside lighter options, there are some big hitters like a 9oz 21-day dry-aged sirloin, a Scottish salmon fillet with a potato and leek gratin or even a meatball and ragu filled calzone. Café Antipasti also has a great kids' menu for the wee ones.
Where: 305 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, G2 3HQ
Book now: Café Antipasti

O Sole Mio

As Glasgow’s oldest Italian restaurant, O Sole Mio is a household name when it comes to Italian food in Glasgow. Having relocated up the road to 22 Bath Street, this firm favourite is back, doing what it does best: delighting diners. There is plenty of choice at O Sole Mio, with tons of antipasti, pasta, risotto, pizza, meat, seafood and even ‘per cominciare’ to snack on while you peruse the extensive menu.
Where: 22 Bath Street, Glasgow, G2 1HB
Book now: O Sole Mio

Celentano’s

There is a warm and friendly atmosphere at Celentano’s, and a menu that branches out from more traditional Italian classics. Here you might see BBQ squid with new potato, sorrel and a seaweed cracker, or even a smoked cod doughnut with kimchi. For those sticking to the straight and narrow, there are dishes like ricotta agnolotti, octopus linguine or pork and fennel salumi.
Where: 28-32 Cathedral Square, Glasgow, G4 0XA
Book now: Celentano’s

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