Few cuisines spring to mind as quickly as Italian does, when we think of comfort food that hits all three markers of being delicious, tummy-filling and sought-after around the world. Glasgow’s Italian restaurants have a history that spans decades and at the more renowned ones, you’ll often find dishes prepared with love to the highest standards and served in a welcoming atmosphere – the true hallmarks of Italian hospitality. Glasgow’s Italian restaurants count among the most popular dining establishments in the city, so which one will you pick for your next dinner date? Let Quandoo be your friend in searching and booking a table at your soon-to-be favourite Italian restaurant in Glasgow today!
Although the first wave of Italian migrants is often argued to be the Romans, who had arrived around 40CE, most Italian-Scots today can trace their lineage to the later part of the 19th century, when their forefathers escaped the famine, drought and poverty that had struck their homeland and came to Scotland in search of a better life. However, it wasn’t until World War I when the Italian population in Glasgow saw a sharp increase to become the third largest in the United Kingdom. Despite some dark times that followed during World War II for Italians living in Britain, they continued to flourish and are responsible for many family-run fish and chip shops, ice cream parlours, pizzerias and the many Italian restaurants in Glasgow.
The Italians have a saying, “A tavola non si invecchia”, which translates to mean “a table does not age”, and nowhere does that statement ring more true than at the Italian dinner table where family life typically revolves around. It is here where lavish homemade feasts are made to be shared with loved ones, forging and strengthening familial bonds that endure through generations. Among the Italian restaurants in Glasgow, hearty, homecooked affairs can be found at trattorias, where inexpensive meals are served to you in a casual and rustic setting by the family who runs the establishment. Since 1943, the folks at Amalfi have made a love for their national cuisine known across Glasgow from their humble kitchen located in the city centre. Not only are their housemade pizzas, pastas and mains to-die-for, you’ll quickly feel like a part of the family whenever you visit this charming Glasgow Italian restaurant.
Now that you know what you can expect at a trattoria, what about an osteria? Would you even know the difference between a ristorante and an enoteca? Don’t speak enough Italian to make sense of them? Fret not; we’ll walk you through them and have you speaking like an authority on Italian restaurants in Glasgow in no time! Let us start with ristorantes, or restaurants, often upscale and allude to haute cuisine, just like at Ristorante La Parmigiana – a West End Italian joint that counts among Glasgow’s finest, with frequent mentions in Michelin, AA and Good Food restaurant guides.
Osterias, on the other hand, tend to offer a casual yet trendy hangout for unpretentious and wallet-friendly Italian fare, such as what you’ll find at Osteria del Tempo Perso in central Glasgow. This collaboration between the Tony Macaroni chain of Italian restaurants and brothers Marco and Matteo Acobelli holds steadfast to its philosophy of serving only freshly-made items on its menu, a rarity in today’s trend towards fast and mass-produced food. Finally, there are the enotecas: the modern incarnation of classical Roman wine taverns to while away the hours with your loved ones, accompanied by a varied selection of Italian wines and small plates. For that, you can’t go wrong with the Italian Caffe Enoteca – the very first of its kind in Glasgow to plug the gap in quality and affordable Italian wines in Glasgow’s up-and-coming restaurant and bar scene.
The next time you go to an Italian restaurant in Glasgow, don’t just have a pizza or pasta. There’s plenty more to Italian cuisine beyond your tried-and-tasted favourites to discover. For instance, how about whetting your appetite with arancini, or fried stuffed rice balls of Sicilian origin? There’s also ribollita, a hearty Tuscan soup made with bread and vegetables; as well as saltimbocca, or thin veal slices topped with prosciutto> ham and herbs. Last but not least, how about opting for a panna cotta (sweetened cream pudding) for dessert, instead of the usual tiramisu, washed down with a standard Italian espresso? Experience the rich flavours of Italian cuisine at the numerous Italian restaurants dotted around Glasgow – a testimony to the passion, heritage and diversity of Italy and its people, including those who have made a home for themselves here. Reserve a table at one with Quandoo today!