Reaching The Cran on a cold winter night, I’m struck by its laid back, comfortable atmosphere with wooden benches and old armchairs covered with blankets in tartan patterns. On the naked brick walls there’s a remarkable piece of wood hanging, one of those your dog would find upon an empty Scottish beach. Opposite the entrance, a series of framed artworks also serve to brighten the space.
My eye is immediately caught by the counter, stocking various big pots of appealing food. A quick glance at the daily’s board and I opt for a haggis samosa (don’t be fooled, it’s vegan haggis we’re talking about here) and a vegan stovie (yes, it’s possible to recreate the meaty all-round texture, but cruelty-free). To wash all the food down I opt for the green machine, a smoothie with broccoli, celery, spinach, banana and pineapple. This should be enough to stave off any midday hunger pangs.
Delving into the haggis samosa, served with a slightly spicy apple puree on the side that goes hand in hand with the balanced, generously stuffed vegan filling, I have the immediate impression this food hasn’t lingered long in the counter. It’s fresh, crusty and an extremely succulent starter.
Sampling the vegan stovie, served with oaties on the side, this traditional Scottish recipe is revisited with loads of lentils, beans, mushrooms, potatoes and carrots. Halfway through I’m knocked down. The stovie is so creamy and filling that it immediately gives a sense of appeasement to my empty stomach. With this bonanza for foodies, I quickly feel satisfied having eaten my fill.
Luckily, a few sips of the most refreshing of smoothies bring me back to normal and I discover some space for a sweet treat, a lavish chocolate caramel cake.
The Cran aims to be a crossroad for crafted food, drinks, arts and work. The food at the counter is partly in-house made, partly provided by Face-plant Foods, a well-established plant-based kitchen, providing the best of stews, curries and soups.
With desserts provided by an artisan Glasgow-based baker, The Cran makes it even easier for you via their Instagram stories for the latest updates on the menu. Artisan traders can also set-up a pop-up shop here, present their products at tastings and showcase their arts and crafts (from jewellery to vintage clothing, ceramics and plants). The Cran aims to serve as a community space, a venue for events and workshops.
The philosophy of this wee pearl is to try and shop as local as possible. Have you ever met a cow in Glasgow? Well, next time you sink into the Cran’s creamy cappuccino, rest assured it’s a weegie cow’s milk you’re tasting.
994 Argyle Street G3 8LU
0141 237 3435