Top Places For Those Awkward Tinder Dates in Glasgow (Cheeky Nando’s Not Included)
I’d like to stress that I have no beef with Nando’s. It is a perfectly average restaurant that sells average chicken you’d tuck into after an average day of shopping, but it hardly pushes the envelope as far as first dates go, does it? The location of a first date should keep both parties on their toes. Unless you’re both nutters for Nando’s; in that case you’re probably a perfect match.
We’ve all been there; you’ve both swiped right with eager enthusiasm and have grafted enough to warrant a date. But then the real fear kicks in. You have to doll yourself up to go and meet the beauty, not to mention having to think of actual words to say to another human being – a daunting thing for our wallflower generation.
So what better place is there to break the ice than Khublai Khans? Located in Glasgow’s Merchant City, this ever popular Mongolian restaurant serves up some of the most peculiar and daring dishes in and around Glasgow, so much so that they have their very own Bushtucker Trial night. After having the pleasure of watching your food stir-fried in front of you, you’ll be hoping your date isn’t a fussy eater, because much of that food ranges from crocodile and kangaroo to zebra and ostrich. There’s beef and chicken for the less adventurous too, of course. But let’s be honest, if your date’s turning down all that exotic cuisine for some chicken, you might’ve found yourself a bit of a Debbie Downer.
Sticking with the exotic theme to keep you and your date on your toes, why not try Renfield Street’s new Cuban restaurant, Revolución de Cuba. Primarily a rum and cocktail bar, it also sells an array of meals including your standard burritos and tacos, as well as paella dishes and Caribbean curries. Its cheap and cheerful, and a fun alternative to nearby Topolobamba (Topolobamba is also great, but we’re sure you know that already). And as you’ll see below, they’re a fun and fiery bunch.
There aren’t many restaurants in Glasgow that split opinions as much as Hanoi Bike Shop, but that doesn’t take away from it being a must-try on our list. Tucked away down Ruthven Lane, this odd little place is sure to create a big impression and give you lovebirds something to fawn over. It smells a bit like a rabbit hut at first but don’t let that deter you – this is all part of the charm. The food is made from the ‘spirit of Vietnam’, and they certainly succeed in taking you to a whole other culture!
Maybe things went well in Hanoi Bike Shop and you decide you’re both actually getting along. Or perhaps it was all just too strange for you, and you need a few drinks to calm down after tasting tofu for the first time. Whatever you’re feeling, there are plenty of bars in Ashton Lane that have you covered. Vodka Wodka and The Grosvenor opposite are consistently popular places for drinks. Vodka Wodka even has a garden space outside with fires to cosy up to, or even scorch your partner if the date is just that bad. Kidding, please do not burn your date; Glasgow is small and Tinder horror stories travel fast.
Some of the places we’ve named are pretty popular, so perhaps you’re feeling a littled jaded, especially if you’re a Tinder veteran. Luckily we’ve saved the best for last then. RollerStop on Middlesex Street is not to be scoffed at, especially given the difficulty of the whole thing (I grudgingly sucked at it). Luckily you’ve got the experts on hand to help you up if you fall, though not before they’ve whizzed by a few amateurs and done some tricks and flips. This would make for the ultimate Tinder date, and you’re sure to get more than a few laughs throughout your night. 80s night is prime for good tunes. By that we mean the likes of Michael Jackson and Lionel Ritchie. There’s enough disco balls and luminous tutu’s for all, although I was quite unimpressed with the lack of Donna Summer.
It should also be noted that RollerStop is just around the corner from Springfield Quay so, as much as it is painful to inform you, a cheeky Nando’s might still be within your reach if you both just need a bit of familiarity.
By Fraser Currie