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City Centre Pubs

This is not an exhaustive list, but more of a list of places we have drank – there are some very well-regarded pubs, such as Babbity Bowsters, that I have never been in, and therefore am in no position to comment.

I've tried to lay them out in a logical order for a pub crawl, but given that Central and Queen Street are only 10 minutes walk away from each other these can easily be mixed and matched.

Note: if you are a visiting away supporter, check here for an interesting, sociological guide to "pub culture" (mostly aimed at London and the south-east of England)


Pub map of Central Glasgow

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Pubs near Queen Street Pubs near Central Station

Near Queen Street Station

The Iron Horse, West Nile Street – a typical city centre pub that can get very busy on matchdays, and not always pleasantly so. Bouncers on doors, and often full by 11.15am. May have had it’s day?

The Vale, Dundas Street – The better of the two pubs on the doorstep of Queen Street at the Dundas Street exit (off the mainline trains and turn right). Very popular with large tranches of out-of-town Tartan Army – I have no idea why! A very functional single room basic Glasgow boozer, with obscenely low prices. Note: if you’re in the market for a very cheap glengarry hat, the Army Surplus store up the steps (next to the Celtic Shop) knocks them out for under £20.

Waxy O’Connors, West George Street - possibly even more plastic than O’Neills, but a very pleasant place to have a drink. Lots of little alcoves and very little open space – better for smaller groups.

The Phoenix– out of Queen Street and turn right. Once a NATA favourite for meeting the Inverness Boys in. Used to be called The Hogshead.

The Counting House, George Square – Massive Wetherspoons pub on the corner of George Square. Once had an ambivalent attitude towards football colours, but now seems to have seen the light with Scotland games. Very popular, and very handy for Queen Street (and on the way to Central).

O’Neill’s, Queen Street – Not universally popular, but this chain Irish pub does offer excellent Guinness. Next pub down from the Counting House.

The Station Bar, Port Dundas Road - not next to the rail station, and around 500 yards north of the bus station, this excellent back street local has well kept beers and some big tellys.

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Near Glasgow Central Station

The Horseshoe, Drury Lane – claims to one of the longest uninterrupted bars in the world, this is a favourite of Glasgow meedja tart Ally McCoist, and once hosted Travis practice sessions upstairs. Opens at 10am, but can get very, very busy. One for midweek matchday lunchtime drinks (although then you’ll be vying for space with the “suits”). There's a more detailed description at

O’Briens, Drury Lane – a faithful Horseshoe overflow option directly opposite in Drury Lane. A mezzanine floor and big screen packs them in – crowded, but happy enough.

The Brewhouse, Renfield Street (I think!)– a late opener near Central Station. A favourite of some, but I wasn’t too impressed. review it here. Now renamed.

The Buchanan, Howard Street– don’t. Honestly, don’t.

Fat Boab’s Ale Hoose, Howard Street– at the back of St Enoch’s Square, and therefore handy for the station, this bright-and-breezy, friendly pub is a favourite with students, but is usually not too busy for a lunchtime drink.

The Scotia, Stockwell Street – NATA’s favourite pre-match watering hole. A small, tight pub with plenty of character and pie and beans for around £1.50. Check out their own website. Loads of character (and Glasgow’s oldest pub, to boot), and home to the Glasgow folk club, this place is definitely worth a visit, as is…

The Clutha Vaults, Stockwell Street – sister pub of The Scotia, and just over the road on the corner by the bridge. A slightly different shape, and more open, which is better for nutter-watching (“anyone want to buy a carpet?”), less so for enjoying a quiet pint.

Victoria Bar, Stockwell Street - right next door, and just around the corner, to the Clutha. Another pub with a musical heritage.

The Steps Bar, Glassford Street - amazingly historic art deco style pub, halfway between George Square and the Scotia Bar.

Blackfriars, corner of Bell Street and Albion Street - insanely popular pub with a fantastic selection of real ales and continental lagers.

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Near the ground

Due to the vagaries of public transport in Glasgow, more and more fans are wisely choosing to sup their last pints (often preceded by a few, mind!) closer to the ground. I have looked at three different areas for this guide:

  • Victoria Road - far and away the most popular area
  • Pollokshaws Road - close to Vicky Road, but slightly further away
  • Other areas - this is an amalgamation of 4 pubs that form a semi-circle around the east of Hampden. I've not been in any of them, but it's still worth letting you know about them.

Pub map of area near Hampden Pubs in other areas Pubs in other areas Pubs in other areas Pubs in other areas Pollokshaws Road Pubs Vicky Road Pubs Pubs in other areas

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Victoria Road

A very popular drinking area for the Tartan Army, and around 15-20 minutes walk from Hampden (see directions from Queens Park station). Again, I can’t vouch for all of these, but the following are pretty popular:

The Pandora, corner of Victoria Road and Calder Street – Ridiculously popular pub, a big favourite with the users of the TAMB. Get here early or don’t get in (bouncers enforce a one-out, one-in policy). Expect a fantastic atmosphere, Tartan Army karaoke, singing and camaraderie– the prices is long waits at the bar, obstacle courses to the toilets, and the toilets themselves… think the Somme!

Victoria Arms, corner of Victoria Road and Allison Street – Used as an overflow for The Pandora, however it has been known to shut it’s doors to all but regulars. If you do get in, it’s very friendly, and very reasonably-priced, with a big screen, lots of seats and good service.

O’Donnells (or similar!), formerly Nickie Tams, corner of Victoria Road and Torrisdale Street – the closest pub to Queens Park station. I haven’t been in since the refurbishment, but before then it was a pretty standard southside boozer, most likely to appeal to those of a green and white hooped persuasion. There are TA-friendlier pubs in the area.

McNeills, Torrisdale Sreet - (next to Queens Park Station), come out of Queens Park and turn right before doubling back on yourself – McNeills is a two-storey grey building, and was formerly owned by ex-Celtic and Scotland captain Billy McNeill. This was a great place to drink in the past, although again Rangers fans may not feel quite as comfortable, although reports reach me that it has lost some of it’s allure since Billy sold the place on.

The Queens Park Café, Victoria Road – tea and scones? Not quite - situated at the end of Vicky Road closest to Hampden, the QPC is not a café but a large, multi-roomed boozer. Once the pub of choice, then fell out of favour – now it seems to fill up quite quickly, and relies on plastic glasses to satisfy the packed clientele. Not a bad place, but not the best either.

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Pollokshaws Road

If drinking here, allow extra time, as it’s a good 25-minute walk (either via Langside Avenue or Vicky Road).

Allison Arms, Pollokshaws Road – a Real Ale favourite, this traditional pub is a great boozer, but has fallen out of favour with the Tartan Army over the past few years. I like it because of the name!

Heraghty’s, Pollokshaws Road – an enigmatic single-roomed pub with a ladder in the Gents, and a Ladies toilet added as an afterthought. Great Guinness, if you can find the bar staff!

Shawlands Cross – at least two pubs here (but I can’t remember the names!), and a nightclub (The Shed), that isn’t generally much good for a lunchtime drink. Popular with buses from Ayrshire.

Budda Southside, Langside Avenue – the walk from Shawlands Cross down Langside Avenue will bring you up to a large pub on the right hand side called Budda Southside. Never been in, but there were plenty of Tartan Army using it last time and it has a reputation for drinks deals and a warm welcome for Scottish fans.

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The “other side” – Aikenhead Road, Cathcart and the Gorbals

I’ve not been in any of these, but they are there, and are handy (of sorts) for Hampden. The following are observations based on the outside of the pub, the location and other people’s opinions:

The Brazen Head – Just about the first pub you’ll get to if walking from the city to Hampden. The Brazen Head stands forebodingly on a major road junction in The Gorbals, and is famous for being Glasgow’s only Italian-Irish theme pub. Very much a Celtic pub – there have been rumblings of trouble recently (the integral “nightclub” has had problems with it’s licence renewal. I’ve seen from many a taxi window and never felt the need to go in. It has it's own website here, which may give you an inkling of the customers' inclinations!

The International Bar – At the top end of Aikenhead Road (between Hampden and the City), the International has a reputation as being a “functional” (read: spit and sawdust) Glasgow boozer. See the review here (second pub down).

The other one on Aikenhead Road – A social-club like exterior, but yet again I’ve never been in, and I’ve only ever been past it after games on the way to Kings Park station (the pub is about halfway from the ground to the station). Looks like it gets very busy, and is in a residential area, so wouldn’t be surprised if they have a regulars-only policy.

The Clockwork Beer Company, Cathcart Road – Near Cathcart Station (on the same circle as Mount Florida and Queens Park) – the Clockwork is a pretty nice pub, by all accounts, and is famed for it’s beer range. The beers on offer range from the in-house brew, a good selection of real ales and normal beers, through to the more eclectic: pear cider (it’s only an alcopop!) and the like. Now for the bad news – the Clockwork is almost always ticket only, and the tickets are taken up by Supporters buses and locals. Might be worth a try if you’re in the area or visiting the Hampden museum.

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