This sharp, modish, East End cafe, with its Harris tweed lampshades and shelves lined with deli goods, provokes an evangelical enthusiasm in its regulars. The pastrami sandwich - just £3.80 to take away - was a sandwich of the gods. Every element was terrific, from the unusually light, fresh rye bread to the sweet, crunchy homemade red onion coleslaw. This was a sandwich that had been lovingly assembled. A flat white was equally precise, the coffee's roasted, chocolatey notes asserting themselves amid expertly textured, velvety milk.
• Takeaway breakfast items from £1.60, lunch from £2.20. 3-5 Duke Street, 0141-548 1114, mccunesmith.co.uk
The Hyndland Fox
Even at night, this West End newbie serves big salads, gourmet sandwiches and a handful of mains, such as coq au vin or pappardelle with artichoke and roast peppers, for under £10. By day, such dishes are joined by a full complement of all-day brunch plates. Eggs Benedict, served not with ham but with dry-cure bacon, was A1, the hollandaise silky but nicely acidulated. The space, like the background music, is a bit MOR but clearly the lure of good food is trumping any concerns about interior design.
• Breakfast from £3.50, light dishes from £6, mains from £8. 43 Clarence Drive, 0141-341 6633, thehyndlandfox.co.uk
The gorgeous stuffed and topped breads, focaccia and pizzas by the entrance, or the trays of roasted vegetables spilling out of the open kitchen, give you a sense of what this Italian is about. Swerving trattoria cliches, this is an interestingly designed basement space (a mishmash of post-industrial and Amalfi coast influences) that aims to serve fresh, affordable dishes using a mixture of first-rate ingredients and Puglian peasant savvy: a couple could share some sort of bread, a salad and a couple of hot dishes for about £16.
• Lunch dishes £3.95-£5.95. 265 Renfrew Street, 0141-611 7270, singl-end.com
The Glad Cafe
A short walk from Hampden Park, which hosts the track and field events during the Commonwealth Games, the cafe at this Southside arts hub/music venue is a non-profit social enterprise, with fair prices and high quality. Glad's rarebit was the real deal: a proper grain mustard and Worcester-spiked paste, on toasted slices of the house Crossmyloaf, a rustic bread made for the Glad Cafe by West End artisan bakery-cafe Kember & Jones. In the evening, sharing platters of continental meats and/or cheeses are the main attraction.
• Breakfast from £2.50, lunch from £4.50, sharing plates from £8.95. 1006a Pollokshaws Road, Shawlands, 0141-636 6119, thegladcafe.co.uk
Babu Bombay Street Kitchen
This small, colourful basement space, decorated with Bollywood posters and imported Indian groceries, is much-loved for its daily curries and specialities such as its dhokla, a baked rice and semolina cake from Gujarat. Owners Rachna Deer and Gail Finlayson play irreverently with tradition, serving their curries not just with rice but also with traditional Scottish morning rolls. Babu's bhurji pau sees one filled with spicy scrambled eggs, for the ultimate Scots-Indian crossover.
• Breakfast from £3.50, snacks and meals from £2.50. 186 West Regent Street, 0141-204 4042, babu-kitchen.com
WHERE TO DRINK
Given the ubiquity of its beers in Glasgow's bars, you might wonder why Alloa's William Bros felt the need to open one of their own. But they did, and, not unsurprisingly, Inn Deep is a cracker. Whether by accident or design, its fridges seem to contain not just the biggest names in craft beer, but, arguably, and more specifically, the best beers (Kernel's London Sour, Beavertown's Gamma Ray, Marble's Dobber) from each of those A1 micros. In the modern pantheon, these are iconic beers. Inn Deep itself is a cool space. Built into an arch beneath Kelvinbridge, it has a riverside terrace area that feeds into Kelvingrove Park.
• Pint from £2.90. 445 Great Western Road, Kelvinbridge, inndeep.com
If less-discriminating mates have dragged you into the noisy, neon-flashing cluster of restaurants and bars around Ashton Lane, Brel Bar may prove a lifesaver. As the name suggests, Brel originally majored on Belgian beers and it retains a core of gems from Belgium and Germany. However, that has expanded to include a cask pump rotating beers from Glasgow brewery Kelburn, Joker IPA on keg, and a modest but high-quality range of US and British craft beers. Brel feels like a boozy, no-frills, no-nonsense late-night drinking den. Yet, out back, it has a large and lovely beer garden. On a warm summer's night, it is the perfect place to escape the crowds.
• Pint from £3.40. Ashton Lane, brelbar.com
Amid the beautiful parkland and grand buildings of Glasgow Green is West, a Bavarian-style bierkeller, brewery and restaurant. On a sunny lunchtime, West was clearly gearing up for a very busy day, as drinkers spilled out on to the astroturfed terrace. They had even put Post Office-style barriers up to, presumably, manage the expected queue at the bar.
• Pint from £3.50. Templeton Building, Glasgow Green, westbeer.com
If you are looking for an experience unique to Glasgow, try the 78 in Finnieston. It's a vegan cafe-bar - and, on Thursday nights, a reggae and dancehall hotspot - it serves vegan-friendly and often organic beers from William Bros (12 bottles and three weekly rotating cask beers), Sam Smiths and Scottish brewery Black Isle. Be warned, though, such eco-friendly drinking does not come cheap.
• Pint from £3.30. 10-14 Kelvinhaugh Street, 0141-576 5018, the78cafebar.com
The Squid & Whale
A trendy bar and Mexican cantina, the Squid & Whale is big on cocktails but carries a serviceable craft beer range. In the fridges you will find a selection of William Bros bottles, a Mexican craft beer called Red Pig, and others from the big US craft breweries, Brooklyn, Anchor, Founders, Sierra Nevada.
• Bottles from £3.40. 372-374 Great Western Road, squidwhale.com
With its low ceiling, wall of speakers and bodysonic dance floor, Glasgow's historic Subclub is literally tingling with vibrations. Add to this 400 people going nuts to world-class DJs, throwing their tops in the air and chanting along to dance music melodies, and it's easy to see why this club, which opened in 1987, has earned a reputation as one of the best in the country.
• 22 Jamaica Street, subclub.co.uk. Open Tues-Sun 11pm-3am
This vegan cafe, microbrewery and venue is a one-stop culture shack. Sharing a roof with Monorail record store and the Good Press Gallery, a 'zine store and show space, it epitomises the intersection of the city's art and music scenes. As well as playing host to the likes of Belle and Sebastian, Mogwai and Franz Ferdinand - the city's original art school rockers - the venue is a place for new bands to cut their teeth.
• 12 King's Court King Street, monocafebar.com. Open Sun-Thurs 11am-11pm, Fri-Sat 11am-1am
La Cheetah Club
A tiny club in the basement of Max's Bar, this is another late-night venue that you can expect to find crammed full of people dancing with the kind of energy that makes Glasgow's nightlife scene special. The sweaty 200-capacity room calls in big names to play in an intimate setting, where they blast out electronic sounds through its Funktion-One soundsystem.
• 73 Queen Street, maxsbar.co.uk. Open daily until 3am
The Berkeley Suite
There's a dreamy David Lynch-esque feel to this bar and "ballroom" in a former Victorian pub. Art-deco chandeliers, matched with dim red lighting, a smoke machine haze and a retro-looking DJ booth make the club feel almost like Glasgow's answer to Paris's Silencio - without the icy door staff and extorniate prices. It's a strangely sophisticated space where you can expect to see anyone from Mungo's Hi Fi to James Murphy behind the decks.
• 237 North Street, berkeleysuite.com. Open daily 11pm-3am
Bang in the middle of Glasgow, this delicately named bar and basement venue hosts an endless stream of indie gigs and club nights. Expect to hear resident DJs upstairs playing moody rock, post punk and garage, while bands thrash it out on stage below. It also sells Buckfast by the glass, making it a veritable place to drop by on any late night meander through the city.
• 421 Sauchiehall Street, nicensleazy.com. Open Mon-Sat 12 noon-3am, Sun 1pm-3am
Opened in 2011, Zaha Hadid's soaringly angular, multi-award-winning building is home to Scotland's Museum of Transport and Travel. The collection features transport of a bygone era including Glasgow's trams, and iconic pieces from Glasgow's days as a maritime powerhouse and the second city of the Empire. It is at the point where the rivers Clyde and Kelvin meet, the building's structure celebrates the city's industrial and shipbuilding heritage.
• 100 Pointhouse Place, glasgowlife.org.uk/museums/riverside. Open Mon-Thurs and Sat 10am-5pm, Fri and Sun 11am-5pm. Free
The People's Palace, Glasgow Green
The fabulous People's Palace museum gives an unapologetic social history of the people of Glasgow from 1750 to the end of the 20th century. Through prints, photos, films and interactive displays, the visitor can see how Glaswegians worked, lived and played. Highlights include Billy Connolly's "banana boots".
• Next to the Winter Gardens on Glasgow Green, glasgowlife.org.uk/museums/peoples-palace. Open Tues-Sun 10am-5pm, see website for opening times during the Games. Free
The Common Guild
Turner Prize-winning artist Douglas Gordon has turned the lower floors of his family home into a gallery that overlooks the trees of Kelvingrove Park and up to Loch Lomond. Gifted to visual arts organisation the Common Guild, it now runs a programme of projects, events and exhibitions.
• 21 Woodlands Terrace, thecommonguild.org.uk. Open Weds-Sun midday-5pm, 7pm Thurs. Free
Barrowland Park and Ballroom
An "album pathway" - made of multi-coloured strips stacked like the spines of record covers - cuts a swathe through the newly created Barrowland Park and notes almost every band that has ever played the nearby Barrowland Ballroom, Glasgow's most famous music venue. Walk the path and you'll find a roll call of more than 2,000 bands including the Smiths, the Stone Roses and the Happy Mondays, as well as great Scottish bands including Teenage Fanclub and Travis.
• Access from Gallowgate, London Road and Moir Street
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
In a spectacular sandstone building on the edge of the park of the same name, this is the perfect wet afternoon drop in, with a vast hall and collections in 22 themed galleries. The natural history section includes dinosaurs, the Glasgow Boys Gallery features the work of painters who created "Glasgow style", and others house the explosions of oranges and reds in the palette of the Scottish Colourists. Another highlight is Salvador Dali's Christ of Saint John of the Cross and a Charles Rennie Mackintosh gallery.
• Argyle Street, glasgowlife.org.uk/museums/kelvingrove. Open Mon-Thurs and Sat 10am-5pm, Fri and Sun 11am-5pm. Free
Glasgow School of Art Shop
Choose from work by the cream of the school's design talent from the past, present and future. Affordable textiles, jewellery, ceramics, paper products, books, clothing and homeware are on display in a shop within the Charles Rennie Mackintosh-designed building.
• 164 Renfrew Street, gsa.ac.uk. Open daily 9.45am-5.15pm
This highlandwear shop sells full kilt outfits and sharp tweeds as well as tartan trews and plus-fours. Slanj's T-shirt line plays with the Glasgow vernacular and the city's love of the patter with gems such as "och wheesht and get oan wi it" and "100% pure Weegie by the way".
• 67 St Vincent Street, slanjkilts.com. Open daily 9.30am-5.30pm, 11am-6pm Sundays
The Shop of Interest
Finnieston has become very fashionable in recent years and this wee shop was at the vanguard of the area's regeneration, selling a collection of limited editions and one-off pieces with a particularly Glasgow bent - including a redesigned Glasgow subway map or a print based on the city's famous cone-headed Wellington statue that says "Yaldae" ("yeeha" - almost).
• 1058 Argyle Street, theshopofinterest.co.uk. Open Tues-Sat 10.30am-5.30pm
Tam Shepherd's Trick Shop
This strange but wondrous joke and trick shop has been in the same family for 100 years, selling fancy dress costumes, magic and conjuring tricks, masks, whoopee cushions, exploding packets of wonder as well as plastic flies and other "I got you" jokes. You may leave with a daft moustache and a matching smile on your face.
• 33 Queen Street, tamshepherdstrickshop.co.uk. Open Mon-Sat 10am-5.30pm
One of Scotland's most high-profile design companies sells its take on Napoleonic toile de Jouy fabrics from its West End shop. The social realism of "Glasgow Toile" wallpaper features high-rise flats, a junkie shooting up on a bench and the twin blights that are the urban seagull and the man relieving himself en plein air.
• 384 Great Western Road, timorousbeasties.com. Open Mon-Sat 10.30am-6pm
THREE OF THE BEST BUDGET AND BOUTIQUE HOTELS
This hotel takes pride in being cutting-edge. Its website says: "Absolutely no trouser presses, bellboys, towel swans, or boring pillow chocolates." Instead, guests relax in rooms created by award-winning Dutch design agency Concrete and enjoy the cool canteen that's open 24/7.
• Doubles from £63, room only, citizenm.com
Above Central Station, with great city views across the city, this penthouse hotel has wood-panelled walls, handmade wallpapers and Caledonian oak floors. The 30 rooms are bright and well-appointed. Pluses include satellite HD boxes and discounted passes for the LA Fitness gym and pool nearby.
• Doubles from £105 B&B, grasshopperglasgow.com
New this year in the centre of town, next to George Square, Z Glasgow is boutique and budget. Once an old printworks, the stylish rooms are paired with en suite wet rooms, the Z Café serves tasty fare and the city's right on your doorstep.
• Rooms from £40, thezhotels.com