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June 23, 2014

Cafe Andaluz has been a Glasgow West End institution since its arrival on Cresswell Lane in 2003. One of the first tapas restaurants to open in the city, it helped introduce Glaswegians to the Spanish way of dining.

Launched by the Glasgow based Di Maggio’s group, Cafe Andaluz was a new direction for the brand who had built their success on Italian restaurants.

Watch Cafe Andaluz’s chef Allan MacDonald cook Ensalada Sevillana in the video below.

“The company were looking at trends, what they thought was going to be big,” Cafe Andaluz Head Chef Allan MacDonald said. “They are very good at tapping into new markets and keeping their finger on the pulse.”

“I think they wanted another string to their bow, to get away from the Italian side of things but continue with the method of using good quality products without an increase in price,” General Manager Andy Knight added. 

It was a decision which paid off; Cafe Andaluz West End proved such a hit, the group opened more restaurants in Glasgow City Centre and Edinburgh with plans to open a fourth in Aberdeen.

Watch  Allan create Tabla de Ibericos  in the video below.

“Tapas has been the buzz word for a while and it’s still on trend,” Andy said. “Now everyone is doing that style of dining, not just Spanish restaurants.”

“I think the choice thing is a major selling point.” Allan said. “People like coming out with four or five friends and been able to choose exactly what they want. They aren’t stuck with just one main course.”

“People normally order three to five tapas and if you don’t like one you still have three or four to choose from,” Andy added.

“Tapas lends itself to a nibbling, picking at it style of dining which everyone seems to enjoy.”

Watch Allan create hot and cold tapas  in the video below.

Cafe Andaluz certainly offers plenty to choose from, with a mammoth 45 tapas dishes on their menu, separated into meat, seafood vegetarian and paella, not forgetting dessert.

There’s even a gluten free section for health conscious diners.

“The menu we have is extensive and there’s something for everyone,” Andy said. “You can come in two or three times a week, as people do, and have different things every time.”

“I would say the patatas bravas is the most popular along with the pollo rebozado which is chicken fillet in crispy batter with honey mustard. Paella is also very popular, as well as the goat’s cheese with the sweet chilli marmalade which flies out the door.”

“People tend to order their own tapas along with a patatas bravas for the table and a paella to share.”

Watch Allan cook hot tapas in the video below.

Eleven years on, while other Cresswell Lane restaurants have come and gone, Cafe Andaluz continues to be hugely popular with 5pm diners.

“Most people say the West End Cafe Andaluz is the best one of the the three,” Andy said. “I’m biased of course, but customers do like the atmosphere here as it’s an underground, subterranean, wine cellar type vibe.”

“It doesn’t take a lot of tables in here to be a nice atmosphere. So you could be in on a Monday afternoon and it’s the same sort of vibe as a Saturday night when it’s buzzing.”

“It’s a cracking location in Cresswell Lane. A bit more relaxed and informal than the City Centre. A great place to work and a great place to dine.”

If you fancy giving Cafe Andaluz West End a try, they’ve got some fantastic offers on 5pm Dining including £13.95 per person for a choice of 3 tapas and complimentary dessert – view menus here.