Victoria Road is one of the city's great thoroughfares, running as a channel through the different neighbourhoods of the Southside.

There's a new energy in the area and a sense of confidence as businesses continue to open and thrive in an era of uncertainty.

As you walk up towards the edge of Queen's Park and look around it's clear that this is one of the most interesting places for food and drink in Glasgow.

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This provided the first topic for discussion on the Glasgow Times' latest podcast. Both reporter Sarah Campbell and myself have food chat every day, now you will be able to be part of the conversation by tuning in every two weeks to catch the latest episodes.

We will set out to celebrate the best of Glasgow and highlight the people and places worthy of your immediate attention. To start, we spoke live on the Glasgow Times Facebook to Darryl Docherty from coffee star Short Long Black, Daniel Radu from neighbourhood favourite Transylvania Shop and Cafe alongside Michael Onorati who is opening a new Italian deli in the area.

Glasgow Times: Paul Trainer and Sarah CampbellPaul Trainer and Sarah Campbell

Michael spoke about his pride in the area as someone who grew up nearby. "The road speaks from itself. There's a massive buzz about it, different characters who are always there. You meet everybody, there's always people outside. My dad owned a restaurant on Victoria Road 40 years ago called Cesca's. He's my big inspiration for doing this and bringing the best Italian produce together with lots of regional food."

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Darryl added: "I grew up in Govanhill just off Victoria Road so I've seen it during boom times when there were lots of independent businesses then during quieter periods with a lot of shutters. In the last six years that has changed. The neighbourhood has always been changing but now there are more people looking for coffee and food and that has created a support for local businesses and made the area a desirable place to be.

Short Long Black are among the cadre of coffee shops that have become a support network for neighbourhoods during the pandemic: "I remember when we did reopen after the first lockdown, within the first few days we had some customers in tears because talking to us and picking up a coffee was the only interaction they had during the day.

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"They appreciated that we would take the time to talk to them to make sure that they are okay. That's one of the reasons I feel we have to stay open while being as safe as possible" he said.

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Daniel is keen for Transylvania to be as involved in the local community as possible organising regular markets and events at the shop. He sees people moving from the West End and other parts of the city to around Victoria Road or cycling along the new bike lanes. "People arrive on Victoria Road and they are maybe going to the park but they come see us first. I really like when I see new businesses open up around me because I know that we can all work together and that it is making this a cool area, bringing more people to here."

Other local highlights include Sacred Tum Tacos, Errol's Hot Pizza and Big Counter. The Queen's Cafe will soon be the latest outpost for Loop & Scoop which started on Great Western Road.

You can listen to the full Glasgow Food Chat podcast on Spotify.

Talk of the Town

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Joanne Munro is one of my favourite chefs in Glasgow. I first tried her food when she was head chef at Cafe Gandolfi. When she moved to devise the opening menu at 226 Gallowgate I would regularly pop in for lunch and glasses of Catalan wine. I last saw her at West Brewery during lockdown where she was in charge of the kitchen.

On Tuesday I was writing in Kelvingrove Cafe. As I admired an oversized pain au chocolat that had arrived on our table, I noticed Joanne was here. She is the new Head Chef in the Finnieston favourite.

I'm told a menu is currently being devised and will be in place next week. This is good news for Argyle Street. Worthy of a toast with a Bloody Mary from the bar.

Gala screening

The Three Kings is a remarkable film that tells a Scottish story, from the Oscar winning producers of Senna and the director of I Believe in Miracles. It’s to receive its first gala screening in Glasgow at Saint Luke’s to benefit the John Hartson Foundation on Wednesday 13 October.

A celebration of the football legacy of legendary managers Sir Matt Busby, Bill Shankly and Jock Stein; director Jonny Owen will introduce the movie, talk to his friend John Hartson about football and the making of the documentary, before taking questions from the audience.

Jonny is an actor, writer and director who has appeared in TV shows including Shameless, Murphy’s Law and My Family. He presents Jonny Owen & Friends on TalkSport Radio. He will travel to Glasgow next week with wife Vicky McClure - her fellow Line of Duty star Martin Compston has voiced his support for the event.

Jonny said: "The Three Kings is my love letter to football, especially Scottish football, and to my father. It's a tribute to the three men who created modern football and started off down a pit, just like my dad Brian. I was the first male in my family in a century-and-a-half who didn't work underground.

"The three men may not be here anymore but they live on through these great football teams. The heartbeat of Stein, Shankly and Busby are still felt in all those football teams."

The John Hartson Foundation is dedicated to testicular cancer and support – the most common type of cancer to affect men between the ages of 15 and 45. You can find tickets to the screening in the events section of

Brunch Bunch

With the River Kelvin and the Forth and Clyde Canal running through it, Maryhill was often playfully referred to as the Venice of the North.

The canal is an often forgotten escape from the city with vantage points across the West End. A weekend stroll often starts at Spiers Wharf where you will find Ocho, a cosy cafe sat in the corner of a building that dates back to 1851. It was a takeaway coffee hub during lockdown but is now returning to its more familiar roll as brunch hangout.

Stack up ingredients like chilli fried eggs, brie and bacon on bread from Soja's bakehouse and then add chorizo jam to kickstart your day. Currently serving pumpkin spices lattes for that autumn vibe.