Saramago Cafe Bar

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 37 reviews )

350 Sauchiehall Street (at Centre for Contemporary Arts), Glasgow, Scotland, G2 3JD

Cafe within the Centre for Contemporary Arts. There is a tapas style menu for sharing, daily specials, as well as a large menu of varied options. Pre-theatre options available. All vegan except for cows' milk. Kitchen closes 10pm. Open Mon-Fri 12:00am-12:00am, Mon-Sat 10:00am-12:00am, Sat-Sun 12:00am-1:00am, Sun 12:00pm-12:00am.

Category: International, Western, Scottish

Reviews (37)

First Review by alimac

a must visit - Edit

i wanted to update saramago after a recent visit.
it's probably my first choice for eating when in glasgow which is probably as big a compliment as it needs. the menu has such a variety of options and sunday brunch is always a winner.
i always feel as though there is an emphasis on healthy food as well as an attempt to combine new flavours. i also like it as it avoids going down the burger and fries route that so many places thrive on. you can get the fried craving if you require and i would always suggest the haggis balls which are fantastic.
i always get food envy and its a good place to share and the many small plate options thet have. they always have a snadwich soup combo which work well and they have some fanatstic salads which leave you stuffed and full of goodness.
i have to mention there are two parts to saramago, the cafe downstairs which is great if you have kids and the bar upstairs which has a great selction of beers also.
back again and loved a pizza without cake cheese, so much healthier and better tasting.
another visit and the pea and tempeh salad. the side of tofu tempura was fantastic, as was the salad.

Pros: big selection, great combos, a lack of processed food.

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Delicious bread and soup - Edit

The soup and the bread was so amazing, can't stop thinking of it.
The pizza not so good though. The cakes and coffee are nice for a light breakfast.

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Disappointing - Edit

They have a fully vegan menu, which is the ideal, but I can't shake the feeling of 'plantbased' rather than being particularly "vegan". They never ever seem to acknowledge this when it comes to social media, Vegfest, World Vegan Day, nothing. I never bother reserving because the last three times I have done so there've been people with their coffee cups around my reserved sign blatantly ignoring it and we've had to squeeze in somewhere else - twice under the table under the leak in the roof.

They always have scones, this is good. They have no syrups for coffee - server didn't really seem to care that this disappointed me a bit. The time before last they'd closed the kitchen an hour early and couldn't even bring us out cake, so we left. One day I'll go back in for a full meal, probably when someone else suggests there.

Pros: Scones always available, All food is vegan, Easy to get to

Cons: Lacklustre in "veganism", Hard to get seats, full of folk on laptops with 1

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Saramago used to be great... - Edit

The CCA is a special location, not your regular restaurant, and so is the Saramago menu. The mezze platter is particularly good, and you can choose from so many vegan mail dishes it can take a while to decide. It can be very busy, so be prepared to wait for your meal and / or even book a table in advance.
It is not posh, so just show up in jeans and t-shirt. The menu is online, so you can choose your favourites before you go.

Ok, just 2 years ago I listed this place as my favourite, but now I have to edit my review, sadly. A couple of times when we were there, they were out of everything that we wanted to order, so had to make new choices (they could've told us when they gave us the menu, not when they came to take the order), and we had to wait for a loooong time, not matter if it was full or not. We still accepted this because we really liked the place and the food (that is, the food which WAS available).
Then, the last time we were there, I was not happy at all. We had reserved a table and when we arrived, they had no clue who we were and obviously our reservation had not been taken. Ok, a few tables were still available, so they placed us (2 people) at the smallest table in the most remote corner, which led to them never seeing us when we wanted anything. It took AGES before they took our order, then again, what we wanted to order was not available, so we had to make new decisions, then it took AGES for them to come back to the table, took the order, but then we did not get anything for about an hour, and when finally a waiter came to our table, we got everything at once: the starters, the drinks, AND the main courses. Of course the table was far too small for everything, and even though there were other tables available, we were not allowed to move, so we had to place plates on top of one another in order to eat. By the time we finished our starters, of course the main courses were cold and I was fed up anyway. It was impossible to order more drinks, and the toilets did not work either - there was just one big sign saying OUT OF ORDER. To top it all, when we wanted to call the waiter to order coffees or cakes, after waiting for more ages, the waiter finally came and banged the bill on our table! When I gave him my surprised look, he said "Oh, I thought you wanted to leave". And I just said "Ok then, we better go".

The saddest bit is that I really, really liked this place but the totally incompetent staff that evening ruined it for us.

Updated from previous review on 2016-10-05

Pros: Food is delicious - if available, Very central location

Cons: Can be very busy, Chosen dish might not be available, Waiters(mostly students?)can be really incompetent

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Heaven - Edit

I can't fault it! Very good value pre-theatre deal, food was divine and loads of it, good choice of drinks, lovely staff and very pleasant atmosphere. The biggest surprise was the coffee, I didn't expect anything special but I got the best coffee I've ever had! It is roasted in Glasgow and tastes incredible, perfect match for my delicious dessert.

Updated from previous review on 2016-02-13

Pros: Fresh, delicious food, good pre-theatre deal. Exce

Cons: Cow's milk as a default, must ask for plant one, Same menu for years (just new prices)

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Food and service both okay - Edit

After placing our order at the bar we sat outside for 45 minutes waiting for our food. When I came in to check, it turned out our order had not been sent to the kitchen.

When the food finally arrived, it was okay but a bit boring. The Linguine was mostly just pasta, with hardly any other ingredients.

On top of that, one of the drinks we ordered was out of stock, as was one of the desserts. We ordered another one instead and then received our desserts about 15 mins apart.

However, the girl at the bar did deduct one of the desserts from the bill because of everything that had gone wrong. So while the service could be better, at least they are customer friendly.

I also noticed that they use regular milk for their tea and coffee, which is strange for a place that claims to be vegan.

Pros: Vegan except for the milk

Cons: Friendly staff

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lovely food and atmosphere - Edit

Nice little cafe. A bit fancy but not in a pretentious way. Very nice food, but the tofu sausage sandwich was a tad dry. No other complaints, will be coming back!

Pros: friendly staff, great selection, large menu

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Phenomenal vegan meal! - Edit

Seriously, this was outstanding. We shared a scone, the butternut squash/avocado/sage & sunflower seed mayo on fresh homemade flatbread, smoked tofu tempura, and hand cut fries with rosemary & chili salt. Every single dish was excellent. Also, the service was really great too! Can't say enough about this place.

Pros: vegan scones!, wide ranging menu

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spoiled for choice! - Edit

The food here was yummy! Would give five stars except they were out of a lot of things when I went there, which was disappointing. The sandwiches are big and tasty, coffee is good.

Pros: healthy options , lots of choice, tasty

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Awesome Food, cozy atmosphere - Edit

This place was a pleasant surprise. There is a vegan brunch available even. We had a Sandwich, soup, sweet potato fries and everything was amazing! The atmosphere is cozy and nice and staff friendly and helpful. Don't miss this if youre in Glasgow, 5 star recommendation!

Pros: great food, good atmosphere, nice staff

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Worth a visit - Edit

On our last visit to Glasgow, we decided on Saramango's, as we didn't really fancy the menus of the other vegan restaurants, they all seem to be mainly burger/fast food places.

It's very well hidden and you definitely won't stumble upon this café by chance, as it's inside the Centre for Contemporary Arts. But if you know where to look, you'll have no trouble finding it, you just walk through the main entrance of the CCA, then the café is to your right.

I had the Mezze Platter, which was very good, but the portion was a bit too large for my taste, I couldn't eat everything, so unfortunately no dessert for me.

The room reminded me of a typical old continental railway station restaurant with the high ceiling, but the furniture was contemporary. The atmosphere is relaxing, but it doesn't invite to stay for hours.

Pros: great, airy atmosphere

Cons: portions too large

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Very nice - Edit

We loved the scones here and had like 2 of them. The portions are small though. This was the 2nd best cafe we went too in Glasgow from the 5 Vegan cafe available.

It was situated inside some gallery and the sign is written in choke.

Pros: Vegan Baby!

Cons: A bit difficult to find

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Worth persisting - Edit

I am a stranger to Glasgow and found this place difficult to get into. The large "Saramago" sign led to the Terrace Café, which was locked. When we got inside the building it took us a moment to figure out how to get down to the café on the ground floor. The staff were not very friendly; one particularly dour Scot kept ignoring my existence though I did get a smile out of her in the end. Interesting selection of dishes involving things I hadn't eaten at a restaurant in years, such as paella. Especially delightful and inventive desserts.

Pros: Superlative food

Cons: Poor service, hard to find

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Pretty good vegan cafe - Edit

Although I live in Glasgow, I hadn't been to the CCA for ages, so popped in here for a long overdue lunch.

Overall, I was impressed. Service was prompt and pleasant and food tasted fresh.

My salad was a bit oily but I'll bear this in mind for my next visit.

There was a good choice and the place has a relaxed cafe vibe, although I would prefer a slightly more intimate room.

Prices reasonable too. Recommended.

Pros: Friendly service, Good selection of food choices, Prices reasonable

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Excellent Food - Edit

The food is excellent. I'm a keen fan of the pizza, the tofu sausage sandwich and the 'haggis'. They have a list available of coeliac options too. I'm looking forward to future visits to continue to work my way through the menu. There is a friendly informal atmosphere and the venue is certainly interesting.
Updated from previous review on Sunday October 12, 2014

Pros: Friendly Staff, Varied Menu, Great Food

Cons: Service Can Be A Bit Haphazard

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Best in Glasgow - Edit

There are some good vegan pubs in Glasgow, but Saramago goes beyond just pub food. Food was terrific as was the experience.

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best meal I've had since becoming vegan - Edit

Had to hang about a bit for a table but it was worth the weight. Risotto and root veg fries. Devine!! Orange and coconut tea was gorgeous too. I'll be back!!!!

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Impressive variety of vegan food, unexpected place - Edit

My friend and I had lunch here today expecting it to be pricey. We figured we'd check out the Centre for Contemporary Art and have lunch here. The atmosphere was lively and we were attended to by a friendly member of wait staff. There was such a range of tempting dishes that I found it hard to decide but eventually settled on a pizza with cherry tomatoes, capsicum and roast garlic. (It was a toss up between the roast garlic pizza and the artichoke pizza and the garlic won). There were also a number of pasta dishes I wish I could have tried. While I was excited about the menu, I have to say that the pizza was fine but nothing remarkable. It was in the trend of simple, minimalist pizzas and the highlight was the roasted garlic, which was delicious, but otherwise the pizza was unremarkable (and lacked vegan cheese). My friend ordered the roasted red pepper and sweetcorn chowder and told me it was very tasty and enjoyable. It was a pleasant surprise to find a vegan cafe inside a significant attraction such as the CCA and it impressed my friend (along with other places we tried) as to Glasgow's wide variety and high quality of vegan food establishments. As for the price, it was perfectly reasonable for a cafe (around six to eight pounds for a meal) and comparable to other places we ate in Glasgow. I would have loved to come back to check out some other dishes here.

Pros: Interesting variety of vegan dishes, All vegan in a popular gallery

Cons: Pizza not as good as expected

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