New to The Glasgow Veggie Diaries? This series is where you’ll find me sharing the most awesome meat-free food options around town, so whether you or a member of your posse are vegetarian, feel free to use this as your official guide to who is doing it right!
You can also catch up with all of my previous Glasgow Veggie Diaries entries here.
The first time I tried Vapiano was a couple of years back, when Gary and I went to to their Soho restaurant during one of our London jaunts. Their relaxed approach to dining, plus the ability to customise pretty much any dish from the menu, made me wish we had one in Glasgow! Fast-forward to January 2018 and Vapiano have now opened their doors at 235 Buchanan Street – making Glasgow the latest addition to nearly 200 restaurants that Vapiano have under their belt.
I couldn’t wait to have some of Vapiano’s hearty Italian food in my home town, so I popped along last week for a pizza the action (sorry!)…
Vapiano opened their first restaurant about 16 years ago and now have locations in over 30 countries. Their newest is in the former Virgin Megastore on Buchanan Street – an iconic Glasgow building and one with a lot of personal memories for me!
The first thing that hit me when I walked in was how they’ve really made this space their own, with bright, spacious seating areas and a huge staircase.
Vapiano offer a range of classic Italian dishes – pasta, pizza, risotto, antipasti and lasagne are served alongside soup specials and salad options. It’s somewhere between table service and self-serve, with designated counters for different types of food. You want pasta? Go see the pasta guy. After some pizza (and I’m always after some pizza, let’s be real!)? The pizza counter is waiting, mama…
There are several options available on the menu, but one of the main attractions of Vapiano is being able to pick everything that goes into your dish. And I mean EVERYTHING! Ordering pasta, for example, I got to pick the type of pasta, the oil it was cooked in, the type of garlic that went in, you name it. The chef will then cook your meal in front of you. For veggies, vegans and buddies with other dietary requirements, the love is in the details – and being in control means you can order, chill out and enjoy your meal!
Also, in each area of the menu, the meat-free dishes are helpfully signposted in their own Vegetariano section.
What I Ate
I started with some pasta and the Crema di Funghi was calling out to me. I’m so glad I answered the call, you guys! It was so creamy, yet light and packed with oyster and button mushrooms – I asked for extra garlic and parmesan and it took it to another level. I’m not sure if I could order from Vapiano and not get this pasta again!
Anyone who knows me will know by now that pizza has a special place in my heart so it wasn’t too long before I headed over to the pizza counter and ordered the Verdure (roasted vegetable) pizza. This was ready super quick, full of flavour and plenty for one hungry person or a couple of people to share. Pro tip: get a pasta and a pizza and split them between two people – that way, there’s no need to choose!
I really wanted to try the salad, and by that I mean I really wanted to try the raspberry-maple house dressing (HELLO, IS IT ME YOU’RE LOOKIN’ FOR??) so I ordered a small side salad. I loved the dressing and have a feeling it’ll taste really awesome on one of the main salads with goats’ cheese…
Towards the end of my meal I must’ve found my second wind because I went from “oh no, I couldn’t possibly” to “I’ll have the tiramisu” in the blink of an eye. Trust me, at Vapiano you’re going to want to leave room for dessert – and anything you can’t manage can be boxed up and taken home to enjoy later.
Vapiano’s easy-breezy dining style makes their new Glasgow restaurant the perfect place to relax and enjoy a meal. And, by ordering with the chefs directly, you’re able to fully customise your dish, making the experience for vegetarians easy-breezy too!
Have you visited Vapiano? What’s your favourite dish? Has a salad dressing ever inspired you to sing Lionel Ritchie songs?