Kask

Kask is all about keeping it “real” – a term it likes to use in favour of organic, vegan or sustainable, which is, however you label it, what this place is all about. Expect unusual wines served by tap at this unpretentious (yet stylish) bar in the heart of up-and-coming Bedminster. Order a charcuterie and cheese plate to nibble on as you enjoy sampling some unusual and exciting vinos. There’s nowhere else quite like in Bristol.

The Apple

On an old Dutch barge, permanently moored at the end of King Street, in the heart of the old city, this is this place to indulge in a favourite West Country pass time: drinking cider. It’s laid-back, lovely deck and dockside terrace are perfect for kicking off a summer evening. There are more than 40 ciders to try – if in doubt, go for The Apple’s own strong cider, Old Bristolian or, for the sheer joy of ordering, a pint of Tractor Fuel.

The Cadbury

This legendary Bristol pub – an old timber-framed warren of low-ceilinged rooms with a beer garden – is the heart of bohemian Montpelier. It’s always been a chilled-out place and for decades has served up “Reggae ‘n’ Roast” on a Sunday in a nod to neighbouring St Pauls. It does a nice lime in rum too.

The Milk Thistle

In a city brimming with historic buildings, this classy bar, spread over for floors, has nabbed one of the finest – think stained-glass windows, dark wood-panelled walls, grand fireplaces. Mixology is taken seriously here (book in for a masterclass if you’ve time), and its cocktail list is updated regularly. Try the Bristol Tea (whisky, blond beer, cordial, Bristol cream, Amaro Montenegro and peach liqueur).

  • +44 117 929 4429
  • Go to Website
  • Quay Head House
    Colston Avenue
    BS1 1EB

Dojo

There have been clubs tucked away under the shops and restaurants of Park Row for decades, ever since The Dug Out led the way in defining what became known as the “Bristol sound”. Dojo carries on that drum-and-bass tradition, with its Friday night parties.

White Lion at The Avon Gorge Hotel

A stalwart on the Bristol drinking scene for decades, the White Lion has unbeatable views from its lovely terrace overlooking Clifton Suspension Bridge – particularly when Bristol’s hot-air-balloon festival is afloat. Visit for sundowners on a warm evening and you’ll probably end up staying for nightcaps.

Little Victories

For top-grade coffee, hot buttered toast and homemade pies, head to this Scandi-style café in Wapping Wharf. It’s the sister venue of Small Street Espresso, which is often considered the best coffee shop in town. Caffeinated locals tap away at their laptops during the day, and from Wednesday the space offers up coffee cocktails, craft beer and organic wine alongside plates from Bristol Cheesemonger and Somerset Charcuterie.

Full Court Press

This cosy mid-century-style spot is one of the leading names on Bristol’s independent coffee circuit. Since 2013, it’s been something of an institution in the city, and owner Mat North (author of Coffee: A Modern Field Guide) is known as one of the country’s most passionate coffee experts. He has a background in physics which he brings to every cup, each made with unswerving precision using a series of intimidating glass contraptions. Grab a seat at the back beneath the stained-glass window and prepare for the shakes – there’s a handful of different blends on offer each day, and we’re pretty sure you’ll want to try them all.

Cosies!

Dancing to reggae beats in St Pauls is a no-brainer for a life-affirming night out in Bristol. Head to Cosies!, set in a Georgian mansion on Portland Square, at the heart of this pulsing community. It’s a bar, it’s a bistro, it’s a club – legendary for its drum and bass, and reggae nights (where the riddims can be heard even on a Sunday).

Thekla

A club on a boat? What could possibly go wrong? Well, not much really, as it’s been operating since 1982 and hosted the early performances of the likes of Massive Attack, when Bristol’s drum and bass scene boomed. Today, it attracts both indie and dance fans, and remains a great night out.

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