Where to Eat in Bristol, UK

restaurant

Pear Café

Bristol, United Kingdom

If there’s one person that captures the youthful spirit of Bristol, it’s Elly Curshen – columnist, cook and owner of the tiny but mighty Pear Café. This cosy, hole-in-the-wall affair serves up steaming soups, hefty frittatas, legendary brownies and sandwiches overflowing with ingredients from the surrounding countryside. We fell for this place when Elly (also known as “Elly Pear” by her fifty thousand Instagram followers) offered us piping hot sausage sandwiches and melty butterscotch brownies as soon as we stepped through the door. Everything is made fresh in the tiny kitchen, with no space for sitting hunched over a laptop. In here, it’s all about good, honest food – and a very cool owner.

Address

Unit 1, The Coach House, 2 Upper York Street, BS2 8QN

restaurant

Poco

Bristol, United Kingdom

Sustainable food warrior Tom Hunt is the chef behind Poco, which scooped up Observer Food Monthly’s “Best Sustainable Restaurant” award a few years back and has retained its reputation ever since. Tucked away on a buzzing street corner in Bristol’s art-splashed Stokes Croft district, this glowing nook serves up colourful, eclectic small plates using hyper-local ingredients and creating as little waste as possible. Expect seasonal dishes like deep-fried oysters, braised venison with mulled wine and broad-bean falafel, alongside natural wines and cocktails muddled with artisan British spirits.

Address

45 Jamaica Street, BS2 8JP

restaurant

Dela

Bristol, United Kingdom

Located in residential Easton, stepping inside Dela is like taking a gulp of fresh Scandinavian air. The bright, open space occupies a former art studio, with a reclaimed wooden bar stocked with natural wine and local beers, herringbone wooden floors, sharing tables topped with fresh flowers and a baby-blue tiled open kitchen. Co-owner Lara Lindsay also happens to be a talented leather maker, and you’ll find her handiwork all over the room. Dela means "to share" in Swedish, so the constantly evolving menu is all about food to squabble over, from a Scandinavian fish board (sea bass crackling, mackerel pate, hot smoke salmon terrine) to golden hasselback potatoes with goat’s curd or "top-to-tail" cauliflower. Expect Moorish flavours, the freshest ingredients and a welcoming day-to-night atmosphere.

Address

Mivart Street Bristol, BS5 6JF

restaurant

The Thali Restaurant Easton

Bristol, United Kingdom

Founder Jim Pizer fell in love with India’s cuisine after travelling around the country, launching a food truck at Glastonbury that would eventually become The Thali Café. This locally adored café is one of three outposts around Bristol. Founder Jim Pizer fell in love with India’s cuisine after travelling around the country, launching a food truck at Glastonbury that would eventually become The Thali Café. Each one is bright, makeshift and welcoming, with hot-pink paint splashed on the walls, sepia-toned family portraits and hand-painted wooden signs. With a focus on sustainability and locally sourced produce, The Thali Café serves a rainbow of dishes inspired by all corners of India, from Goan beach snacks to Bombay street food. They’ve recently teamed up with the celebrated Indian cook Meera Sodha to create a menu celebrating India’s most sizzling “hero dishes”.

Address

Unit F15 Bristol & Exeter House Lower Approach Road Temple Meads Bristol BS1 6QS

restaurant

Chomp

Bristol, United Kingdom

If an evening of American whiskey and high-grade meat sounds like your bag, head to this elegant steakhouse on St. Nicholas Street. If an evening of American whiskey and high-grade meat sounds like your bag, head to this elegant steakhouse on St. Nicholas Street. Chomp began life as a pop-up restaurant, proving their commitment to the best ingredients to crowds of carnivorous fans. All of their meat comes from West Country butchers Walter Rose & Sons, with each cut dry-aged for around 20-30 days. The result? Some of the most succulent steaks and hamburgers in town, best washed down with one of their house cocktails. Make yours the amber-hued old fashioned made with artisan bourbon, or their very own Chomp House Brew beer by master brewery Wiper and True.

Address

10 St Nicholas Street, BS1 1UQ

restaurant

Bulrush

Bristol, United Kingdom

Topping list after list of Bristol’s best restaurants is Bulrush, the neighbourhood fine-dining spot that has had critics drooling over its seasonal tasting menus ever since it opened. Head chef George Livesey (who’s worked at the likes of St. John and Club Gascon) creates modern British dishes, artfully plated and created using local produce and foraged ingredients from the surrounding area. Expect local meats, West Country cheeses and organic veg alongside biodynamic wine and seasonal cocktails served in a serene room of grey wooden floors, white bricks and copper touches.

Address

21 Cotham Road, BS6 5TZ

restaurant

Harts Bakery

Bristol, United Kingdom

Follow the scent of freshly baked bread to the emerald-green doors of this Victorian railway arch at Temple Meads station. This constantly buzzing artisan bakery has a couple of wooden sharing tables at the front, while a flour-dusted army of bakers knead away in the open kitchen at the back. Grab a coffee and choose from an irresistible selection of sourdough toasties, sausage rolls, pasties, cakes and sticky pastries.

Address

35 Lower Approach Road Bristol, BS1 6QS

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restaurant

Root

Bristol, United Kingdom

Bristol Harbour has become a breeding ground for experimental restaurants, with some of the city’s best chefs setting up shop on the riverside. Wapping Wharf is home to CARGO, Bristol’s first retail yard made up of converted shipping containers, and Root is a vegetable-focused fine-dining restaurant from the team behind Eat Drink Bristol fashion festival. Vegetable small plates are at the heart of the menu, with locally sourced meat and fish used to create inventive side dishes. Head chef Rob Howell works away in the open kitchen while guests sip natural wines at high sharing tables or on the wraparound terrace overlooking the water.

Address

Unit 9, Cargo 1 Gaol Ferry Steps, BS1 6WP

restaurant

Birch

Bristol, United Kingdom

This sunny little restaurant shines like a beacon on a nondescript residential street in Southville. It’s been a local favourite since opening in 2015, and it’s easy to see why. The room is understated and stylish with a small bar, Formica tables, tin lights and biodynamic wine posters lining the walls. Owners Sam Leach and Beccy Massey (who are, incidentally, probably the nicest people in southeast England) get the majority of their ingredients from their field on the southern edge of the city. The “regional British” fare is simple, comforting and lovingly made, with a daily changing menu of dishes like Jerusalem artichoke and poached egg, pumpkin dumplings, sage butter and ewes’ curd, or beef shin with pickled red cabbage and potato. All go down well with a few glasses of their homemade cider. Sam is a trained butcher and baker – ask nicely and he might just wrap up a slice of sourdough with a golden slab of salty homemade butter for you to take home.

Address

47 Raleigh Road, BS3 1QS

restaurant

Box-E

Bristol, United Kingdom

Another star of the Wapping Wharf circuit is this 14-cover modern British restaurant. It has been praised by the nation’s toughest critics for its inventive seasonal dishes, attention to detail and passion for produce. Their Cadillac of a stove (her name’s Sandra) shimmers in the open kitchen, while the stamp-sized dining space is made up of chipboard surfaces, hanging light bulbs and large windows overlooking the deck. For the full works, book a spot at one of their four kitchen counter seats, where you’ll get to watch head chef Elliot Lidstone whip up an unwritten seven-course tasting menu for £45. We recommend going in for the wine flight too.

Address

10 Cargo 1, BS1 6WP

restaurant

Elemental

Bristol, United Kingdom

While you’re perusing the street art and independent galleries of Stokes Croft, drop by this anti-supermarket which stocks a range of products from local businesses. Look out for local artwork, fruit and veg from Bear Fruit, homeade preserves, coffee from their in-house roastery and freshly baked bread. You can’t miss it, just look out for the looming purple dragon on the roof.

Address

123 Stokes Croft, BS1 3RZ

restaurant

The Crafty Egg

Bristol, United Kingdom

Right in the heart (or should we say yolk?) of Stokes Croft, this toasty café serves up heart-warming fare helped along by cheerful staff and endless cups of artisanal coffee. Pull up a window seat and choose from a locally sourced menu of toasted bagels, fluffy pancakes, “crafty” cooked breakfasts and baked eggs, washed down with spicy masala chai or craft beer.

Address

113 Stokes Croft Bristol, BS1 3RW

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restaurant

The Canteen

Canteen boasts its own Banksy mural, a vast beer garden and live music and DJs every night. Oh, and the food’s pretty good too. Embracing a slow-food movement that’s “good, clean and fair” it serves delicious plant-based dishes such as broccoli jambalaya. Ask where its fish is from and the waiter will even tell you the name of the fisherman who caught it.

Address

Hamilton House, 80 Stokes Croft, BS1 3QY

restaurant

Spicer & Cole

Eat. Drink. Meet. Think. Spicer & Cole’s catchy strapline and its ethos are all about delivering good, unhurried food. Sophisticated Clifton Village isn’t short on swanky little cafés, but this cosy place is our favourite for a weekend brunch. Order the field mushrooms cooked in thyme butter and served with sourdough bread, and watch the sophisticated Cliftonites stroll by.

Address

9 Princess Victoria Street, BS8 4BX

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Rice & Things

Don’t leave Bristol without sampling some Jamaican food. Rice & Things is a tiny 12-seater place on Cheltenham Road that dishes up the food from chef Neufville‘s childhood to a soundtrack of reggae and soul. Try the Mitchell Town curry goat or Faith’s Pen jerk chicken served with rice and peas. On Fridays, there’s an all-you-can-eat buffet.

Address

120 Cheltenham Road, BS6 5RW

restaurant

Casamia

With a Michelin star and harbourside location, this is one to either save for a really special occasion or go just for the hell of it. The menu on Casamia’s website reads like the fanciest of shopping lists – it’s actually what the chefs are currently cooking with. Expect lovely sounding things such as GrowBristol nasturtiums, Tahitian vanilla and copper Maran eggs.

Address

8, The General, Lower Guinea Street, BS1 6FU

restaurant

Sky Kong Kong

Okay, it may not have the best location, near the Bear Pit (the name locals give to the underground roundabout in downtown Broadmead). However, the Korean food from chef Hwi Shim (known as Wizzy), who previously worked at both Nobu and Hakkasan, is worth this un-scenic detour. Dinner is whatever is organic and locally sourced (often from Wizzy’s own allotment), so expect creative bento boxes for lunch and innovative Korean paella for dinner.

Address

2 Haymarket Walk, BS1 3LN

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Bravas

Doubt you can get authentic Spanish tapas from the English husband-and-wife team behind this restaurant? Think again, because Kieran and Imogen Waite take their research seriously, often nipping to Spain to meet producers and source new recipes. On the menu you’ll find salt-grilled wild red prawn, Catalan lamb bombas with mojo rojo and alioli and, with a nod to their Bristolian roots, chorizo cooked in cider. Small plates start from as little as £3.20.

Address

7 Cotham Hill, BS6 6LD

restaurant

St Nicholas Market

Located beneath a splendid Victorian wrought-iron vaulted glass arcade, St Nicholas Market is flanked by queues come lunchtime, when locals are hungry for couscous aux sept legumes from The Moorish Café and jerk chicken with coconut spinach at Caribbean Wrap. Browse boozy, botanical and downright naughty-looking cakes at Ahh Toots art-focused bakery.

Address

The Corn Exchange, Corn Street, BS1 1JQ

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restaurant

The Rummer Hotel

Secreted down a narrow alley near St Nicholas Market and housed in what was once a historic inn, The Rummer Hotel (which isn’t a hotel) has a micro gin distillery in its medieval cellar. Book in for a tasting before heading upstairs to the cocktail bar and restaurant, known for top-notch British pub grub with a twist (try the salted duck). The minder on the door is an indication that you’ll need to book ahead.

Address

All Saints Lane, BS1 1JH

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restaurant

The Crafty Egg

Right in the heart (or should we say yolk?) of Stokes Croft, this toasty café serves up heart-warming fare helped along by cheerful staff and endless cups of artisanal coffee. Pull up a window seat and choose from a locally sourced menu of toasted bagels, fluffy pancakes, “crafty” cooked breakfasts and baked eggs, washed down with spicy masala chai or craft beer.

Address

113 Stokes Croft, BS1 3RW