THESE three beloved Glasgow cafes are still going strong after more than 100 years. 

Cafes, bars and restaurants come and go in Glasgow. Some have sadly lasted less than a year due to the harsh climate of the cost-of-living crisis, while others have suddenly shut down after decades in the hospitality scene.

Among the hundreds, perhaps thousands, of cafes that have popped up and faded away in our city, some have not only stood the test of time – more than 100 years – but are still loved and valued institutions today.

Today we take a look at some of Glasgow’s oldest cafes, all of which have been going strong for more than a century, and have been serving us, our parents, grandparents and maybe even great-grandparents.

Henry Healy

Glasgow Times:

When Henry Healy came to Glasgow from Ireland as an immigrant in 1912, he started his own business selling eggs from a cart. Soon that business grew to 30 Henry Healy sandwich shops across the city – and a status as a Glasgow institution.

In the old days, you’d go to Henry Healy to buy freshly made rolls, various groceries and some things that you just wouldn’t get in your Tesco, Marks and Spencer and Morrisons today – it was very common to purchase loose butter and bags of broken biscuits.

Glasgow Times:

Nowadays, while the broken biscuits and most of the Henry Healy shops are gone, the name is still a powerhouse on Queen Street. Loyal customer Lynn Mortimer took over the shop in 2009, while another owner took over at Mitchell Street.

She said: “I always remember it growing up - they were the shops everyone went to. My parents said they would go into Henry Healy for this and that. You never had these big supermarket chains.

“It was a personal thing to me too. I was based in the city centre and there was Greggs and all that, but Henry Healy was a sandwich shop to go in and see everything in front of you and pick it yourself, and I like the idea of that.”

University Café

Glasgow Times:

There are probably hundreds of places in Glasgow to get a decent fish supper followed by a 99, but one of the best – and oldest – is on Byres Road.

University Café was first opened by Italian-born Pasquale Verrechia on September 1, 1918, and he has passed the business down across four generations.

Glasgow Times: Actress Juliet Cadzow at University CafeActress Juliet Cadzow at University Cafe (Image: Newsquest)

As the name suggests, it’s popular with the local student population and when the warm weather approaches, queues form down the street for a generous helping of ice cream and raspberry sauce.

Speaking of which, the family recipe of the ice cream remains a secret and the exact same since 1918. That’s a pretty good run.

Only adding to its charm, the decor of the University Café has barely changed since then, with wood-panelled walls, booths for sitting in and rows of traditional boiled sweets in jars behind the counter. 

Kelvingrove Cafe

Glasgow Times:

Now a category-C listed building, this humble Victorian cafe opened its doors in 1896 as a lunch spot and ice cream parlour for Glaswegians visiting the brand-new Kelvingrove Park nearby.

It has changed faces several times over the years, but its doors have never closed, apart from a brief spell during the Covid pandemic. But with 190 days in limbo came the opportunity to breathe some new life into an ageing building.

The Argyle Street bar underwent a significant makeover with the aim of transforming the site into a brunch and coffee spot by day and a dinner-and-drinks location by night.

Its stunning original features, such as the dark wood panelling and the long bar, have been maintained, as well as the classic signage which has faded over time but still clearly reads “Kelvingrove Cafe, established 1896".