‘Cracking good food’ (geddit?) is the punning slogan behind Crabshakk – a popular seafood specialist in Glasgow’s funky Finnieston district that’s been going strong for a decade. Close to the west end, Glasgow University and Kelvingrove Park, Crabshakk is a bit of a schlep from the city centre, but well worth it if you’re craving top-notch fish and seafood in a homely setting.
Designed as an all-day kitchen with rough-hewn elbow-to-elbow tables, an industrial steel staircase and a glass-clad bar, Crabshakk is the sort of place you can rock up alone for a quick bite without feeling self-conscious, though fair warning: if you’ve not booked, you’ll be hard-pushed to get a table. It really is that popular.
Staff are smiley and accommodating, but it’s the exceptional food that keeps this place packed to the rafters. With a core menu that’s barely changed since day one, Crabshakk majors in shellfish, crustacea and mighty seafood platters. Crabs, lobsters (cold or grilled) and oysters au natural are its stock in trade, served simply with sides of bread, chips, mayo and salad, but you can also slurp bowls of shellfish chowder, nibble on dinky crab cakes, tuck into plates of pasta vongole or fill up on fish and chips.
Meat eaters and veggies get a token look-in, but given its reputation for excellent fish and seafood, “particularly scallops seared with anchovies”, Crabshakk would be an odd choice for anyone who doesn’t eat it. Puds are simple – think fruit salad, ice cream and panna cotta – and there’s a good selection of drinks. It’s worth noting that the owners also run the no-bookings Table Eleven oyster bar a few doors away, in case you can’t get a table at Crabshakk.