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Smile Cafe, Queen Margaret Drive, Glasgow

Smile Cafe, Queen Margaret Drive, Glasgow

Smile Cafe

The single shot

Italian culture with a Scottish twist.

Smile Cafe, 102 Queen Margaret Drive, Glasgow G20 8NZ. Map »

Tel 07528 661275
Email smilecafe@live.com
On Facebook
Open Mon-Fri 8am-5.30pm
Sat 9am-5.30pm
Sun 10am-5.30pm

Ah, la bella Italia. (Not the restaurant chain, the actual place.)

Famous for many a year for its wines, its food … and its coffee, of course. Drunk in a specific way – cappuccinos with breakfast, espressos at all other times.

I approve thoroughly – when in Rome, and all that. But back home, we’ve developed a slightly different taste.

And so I was intrigued when I finally made it up to Smile Cafe, half-way up Queen Margaret Drive a couple of hundred yards before even the most optimistic estate agent stops calling it “North Kelvinside” and resorts to the simpler Maryhill moniker.

A note, first. While I’d heard of this place, it was one I got a fair few emails recommending I go to try out. And so it was that a trip exploring the nearby river led me to end up here.

Smile Cafe isn’t a big place (again, our friendly estate agents might call it “deceptively spacious”) – a handful of tables inside and a couple more out on the street, which I wasn’t brave enough to sample on a chilly November lunchtime.

Their drinks menu includes the standards you’d expect here, as well as an “Italian cappuccino” separated out. I ordered the plain old British version, which was a fairly hefty size, so I’d assume its Italian cousin is the more continental, smaller, take on the drink. They were tasty, too. A group of students were next to me and one commented that one of their number, who isn’t normally a coffee fan, was impressed. That’s some achievement.

The cafe was buzzing when I stopped by – a constant parade of visitors, both stopping in for lunch or grabbing a quick drink to go. Many of them were greeted like old friends – and even on my first visit I was made to feel right at home.

Speaking of lunch: I don’t remember the last time I saw a menu this extensive. I started to count the sandwich options but I ran out of fingers. And toes. There were specials, too, and soup, as well as a good selection of cakes.

So. A slice of Italy in North Kelvinside. I’ll raise an Italian cappuccino to that.

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Dave. Lives in Glasgow. Likes coffee. Will travel. More »

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