Bristol is now regarded as being one of the best places on the planet for food and drink.
That might sound like a bold and slightly biased claim, but we have proof to back it up.
In November 2019, the city was crowned Best Food or Beverage Destination of the Year at The Food Trekking Awards, which celebrates ‘excellence and innovation in experiences for food tourism’.
The accolade followed hot on the heels of numerous other culinary awards for Bristol, including being dubbed the Vegan Capital of the World by foodie website Chef’s Pencil.
READ MORE:Bristol named best culinary destination in the world
Alongside the awards, a number of fantastic new restaurants have opened in the city in recent years, joining the wealth of brilliant existing places already here, a handful of which are regarded among the best in the UK.
From ritzy bars to shipping containers serving the best street food around; from Michelin-starred fine dining establishments to generations-old Italians still serving up great food – Bristol has it all.
But with so many options, knowing where to go for your next meal out is not always easy.
To help, we’ve put together a round-up of the 40 best restaurants and places to eat in Bristol right now.
This article was first published in 2017 and updated in July 2021.
The Olive Shed
Known for its delightful tapas, including a range of vegetarian and vegan offerings such as zesty rice stuffed vine leaves, The Olive Shed has a lot to offer runners looking to unwind with friends, family, and a large glass of wine.
Tucked away the restaurant is easy to miss, but you’d be a fool to miss out on one of the best waterfront views in Bristol by simply passing it by.
Princes Wharf, Floating Harbour, Bristol BS1 4RN
Tagliarini pasta and chopped asparagus from Sonny Stores
(Image: Mark Taylor)
Sonny Stores has proved to be a hit since replacing Birch in Southville.
It’s headed up by husband and wife team Mary Glynn and Pegs Quinn, who was formerly head chef at top Bristol restaurant Bianchis and sous-chef at Pasta Ripiena, and before that the highly-rated River Cafe in Hammersmith, London.
Bristol Live food critic Mark Taylor awarded it five stars in his glowing review.
47 Raleigh Rd, Southville, Bristol BS3 1QS
Handmade gyoza from Eatchu
(Image: Copyright unknown)
Eatchu launched at the Harbourside Market back in 2016 and opened a permanent stall inside St Nick’s Market later that same year.
They’ve gained a huge following for their gyoza dumplings and will be looking to replicate this success with the launch of The Yaki Shak, which will serve nothing but noodles.
The Old Mess Room, Exchange Avenue, Bristol BS1 1JQ
Confit duck tortellini, celeriac puree, caramelised endive and Pedro Ximenez
Pasta Loco opened its sister restaurant Pasta Ripiena in 2018 and it has become just as popular. With impressive reviews and often a lengthy waiting list, it is the destination for all pasta lovers.
Specialising in stuffed pasta, the restaurant can be found in St Stephen’s Street.
33 St Stephen’s St, Bristol BS1 1JX
Under the Stars
It’s not just a great place to enjoy a drink – this restaurant-on-a-boat does some cracking food too. Its range of tapas dishes is both creative and expansive and is perfect for a warm evening with some friends.
Narrow Quay, Bristol BS1 4QA
Oowee / Oowee Vegan
Oowee is loved by both meat eaters and vegans
After launching their first restaurant on Picton Street in 2016, the dirty burger specialists now have three sites to their name in Bristol, after following up the small Montpelier eatery with further openings on North Street and Baldwin Street.
The latter is a vegan offshoot of the brand, which means both meat eaters and those who choose to lead a plant-based lifestyle can enjoy the indulgent burgers and dirty fries.
North Street, Picton Street, Baldwin Street
Prego in Westbury Park.
This North View spot is arguably one of Bristol’s best neighbourhood restaurants, with delicious pizza, pasta and wine all on offer.
The restaurant has a delightful outdoor area perfect for al fresco dining.
7 North View, Westbury Park, Bristol BS6 7PT
Box-E chef Elliott Lidstone
(Image: Chloe Edwards)
Headed up by Elliott and Tess Lidstone, Box-E was the first restaurant to open at the harbourside Wapping Wharf development and is small in size, with only 14 covers.
Typical dishes include a starter of heritage beetroot, Cornish plaice and charred hispi cabbage, while main courses include guinea fowl, hake and roasted yellow courgette.
In October 2019 it was awarded the coveted Big Gourmand award by Michelin, thanks to its ‘earthy, flavour-packed dishes served by a super-smiley team’.
10 Cargo 1, Bristol BS1 6WP
Kuch’s flatbread starter.
You’ve probably passed by this Whiteladies Road eatery dozens of times without giving it a second thought.
Well, it’s time to change all that, as Kuch is serving up brilliant Middle Eastern food without a hefty price tag. Make sure you tuck into the Taftoon flatbread with mast o khiar as a starter.
133 Whiteladies Rd, Clifton, Bristol BS8 2PL
Feta and watermelon fatoush salad at Souk Kitchen.
Souk Kitchen has two sites, in Clifton and Southville, both of which serve an impressive range of Mediterranean brunch, lunch and dinner dishes.
A popular choice is their mezze, which has delicacies such as chargrilled halloumi, roasted Turkish peppers with goat’s cheese and fried cod cheeks.
Aspley Road, Clifton / North Street, Southville
One of the many pizzas on offer at Bosco
It’s possibly the poshest pizza joint in Bristol – and it’s definitely one of the tastiest. Bosco’s amazing, filling pizzas need little introduction, but if you fancy something a little different, their pastas and salads are equally tasty.
The specials menu is always worth a look too.
Whiteladies Road / Regent Street
Koocha is moving to a new home on Cheltenham Road
Koocha is one of the most popular vegan restaurants in Bristol – and its Persian-inspired food is so good that meat eaters flock to it too.
Expect to find big, unexpected and delicious spices and flavours from Persia and the Middle East.
203B Cheltenham Rd, Cotham, Bristol BS6 5QX
Tare’s Matt Hampshire, Jemma Correll and Joe Wilkin.
(Image: Michael Lloyd)
Tare is a tiny 18-cover restaurant at Wapping Wharf which features in the Michelin Guide with a Bib Gourmand.
Its aim, according to its website, is to cook ‘tasty food with skill and care using the best produce we can find’.
Anyone who has visited will tell you they’re doing a pretty good job of that.
14 Museum St, Bristol BS1 6ZA
Good Mexican food isn’t the easiest thing to come by in Bristol, but Casa Mexicana do it better than most.
They’ve been on Zetland Road since 1986, so you can expect home-cooked, traditional food done incredibly well.
31 Zetland Rd, Redland, Bristol BS6 7AH
The Rancheros at Muino
(Image: Briana Millett)
In an area overrun with tapas bars and restaurants, Muino stands out thanks to its amazing deals.
It serves up five small plates for £25, or two courses for £16 before 7pm every night – and with dishes such as chargrilled steak skewers, tuna carpaccio and Somerset pork belly, it’s too good an offer to resist.
32 Cotham Hill, Redland, Bristol BS6 6LA
Inside Bomboloni on Gloucester Road, which is reopening as a café and deli
This Gloucester Road restaurant has gained a reputation as one of Bristol’s most affordable, family-friendly restaurants – without losing an ounce of style.
Earlier this year it announced its plans to double up as a café and deli, meaning its first-rate produce is available from morning through to evening.
225 Gloucester Rd, Bishopston, Bristol BS7 8NR
Confit duck leg at the Gallimaufry
The Galli is one of Bristol’s best-loved pubs – and it serves seriously impressive food to accompany the pints.
Expect to find modern European dishes cooked to perfection.
26-28 Gloucester Rd, Bishopston, Bristol BS7 8AL
The Lock Up
The Lock Up, Church Road, Redfield
(Image: Michael Lloyd)
Redfield and St George are becoming more and more popular among Bristol’s foodies, and it’s thanks to places like The Lock Up on Church Road.
It serves pub classics such as steaks and burger, but there are some more unusual dishes such as seafood chowder, veal and roasted cauliflower to get stuck into as well.
182 Church Rd, Redfield, Bristol BS5 9HX
Pasture serves the highest quality steaks
(Image: Faydit Photography)
One of Bristol’s best steakhouses, Pasture’s meat is sourced from top butchers Ruby & White.
Headed up by chef Sam Elliot, the classy restaurant doubles up as a late-night bar, playing host to regular live music.
2 Portwall Ln, Redcliffe, Bristol BS1 6NB
Chris and Jo’s Kitchen
Chris and Jo’s restaurant in St Michael’s Hill
There are few things better in life than a great little place to have lunch, and Chris and Jo’s Kitchen is exactly that.
It focuses on classic cooking at a great price, with the £12.95 bavette steak with garlic butter, courgettes and fries really turning our heads.
122 St Michael’s Hill, Bristol BS2 8BU
Marmo owners Cosmo and Lily Sterck
(Image: Copyright Unknown)
Marmo – meaning ‘marble’ in Italian – is run by husband and wife team Cosmo and Lily Sterck, who previously worked in a number of well-known London establishments.
Marmo is very much ingredient-driven and the kitchen is sourcing only the best raw materials for its uncomplicated dishes.
The results are simply beautiful, served in an equally stunning building.
31 Baldwin St, Bristol BS1 1RG
Thai Fishcakes, King Prawns with garlic and pepper and the Pangang Beef Curry at Thai Garden.
You don’t have to travel across the world to experience true Thai hospitality and cuisine – instead, you just need to head down to Bedminster.
It’s said to be great value for money, with three courses costing less than £30 per person, and you can also bring your own booze.
100 West St, Bedminster, Bristol BS3 3LR
Lamb Gosht from Joy Raj in Clifton.
(Image: Joy Raj/Facebook)
This quaint curry house is often the running to be crowned one of Britain’s best, which tells you everything you need to know.
There are plenty of unusual dishes on the menu here, which mean you’ll never need to order a bland tikka masala or be stuck with a korma.
31 Regent St, Clifton, Bristol BS8 4HR
La Piazza 1
La Piazza 1 is a true gem – hearty Italian cooking, friendly service and excellent prices.
Next time you’re looking for somewhere to take the family, you could do a lot worse than here.
777 Fishponds Rd, Bristol BS16 3BS
Freddy Bird, owner of Little French in Bristol
(Image: Kirstie Young)
Headed up by top chef Freddie Bird, Little French has cemented itself as a favourite among Bristol’s most discerning foodies since opening in 2019.
Here, you’ll find exceptional French food served at reasonable prices, capped off with first-rate service.
2 North View, Westbury Park, Bristol BS6 7QB
Seven Lucky Gods
Inside Bristol restaurant Seven Lucky gods
(Image: Seven Lucky Gods)
Headed up by the fantastic Hyde & Co hospitality group, the menu at Seven Lucky Gods features a selection of snacks, small plates and Japanese-style tapas.
The sushi is some of the best you’ll find in Bristol and the chicken Katsu arancini is simply out of this world.
Unit 26, Cargo, 2 Wapping Rd, Bristol BS1 4RW
Pizza from Ciao
Bristol is packed with great little Italian restaurants, and Ciao in Henleaze is no exception.
It has a huge range of pastas and pizzas to choose from, so you can be sure nobody will leave disappointed.
203 Wellington Hill W, Henleaze, Bristol BS9 4QL
Pipal Tree in Easton
Easton favourite Pipal Tree has been at the summit of the Tripadvisor rankings for a very long time, and with good reason.
The family run restaurant serves Punjabi cuisine with a unique British fusion twist, with husband and wife Kirpal Singh and wife Kulwinder Kaur heading up the kitchen.
28 Chelsea Rd, Easton, Bristol BS5 6AF
This tapas bar is one of a few Bristol restaurants to hold a Michelin star, so expect nothing but the best.
Dishes include the likes of pork ribs, chorizo and of course patatas bravas.
3A The General, Lower Guinea St, Bristol BS1 6SY
Jamaica Street Stores
Inside Jamaica Street Stores
Jamaica Street Stores dedicates a section of its menu to inventive raw plates, as well as making ample provision for those who choose not to eat meat with 50% of its menu consisting of plant based dishes.
It has quickly established itself as one of the city’s must-visit restaurants.
37-39 Jamaica St, Bristol BS2 8JP
Gambas at Wapping Wharf
When the sun’s shining, there are few places better to enjoy a bite to eat than Gambas.
Its terrace overlooking Bristol’s beautiful harbourside is the perfect spot to enjoy the delicious seafood small plates.
The aromas of the kitchen quickly transport you to restaurants on the Spanish coast, with meals served up such as Gambas paella, salmorejo with quail eggs, and chicharrones de pollo.
Gambas is run by husband-and-wife team Kieran and Imogen Waite, who also run Cotham Hill restaurant Bravas.
Unit 12, Cargo 2, Museum St, Bristol BS1 6ZA
Located right next to St Nick’s Market, Guiseppe’s claims to be the oldest and one of the most authentic Italian restaurants in Bristol.
This claim is certainly supported by its menu, which includes a range of pizza and pasta dishes, alongside chicken, and fish-based classics.
59 Baldwin St, Bristol BS1 1QZ
Adelina Yard owner Jamie Randall
(Image: Jamie Randall)
Chef couple Jamie Randall and Olivia Barry previously worked in some of London’s top restaurants before moving to Bristol to open Adelina Yard at the start of 2016.
The waterside restaurant has quickly gained a loyal following thanks to dishes like cured monkfish, crab and muscat grapes, and roast venison, artichokes, chestnuts, blackcurrants.
Queen’s Quay, Welsh Back, Bristol BS1 4SL
Headed up by one of the friendliest teams in Bristol, Urban Tandoor is renowned as one of Bristol’s best curry houses.
It has won more awards than you’ve had hot dinners, including Best Asian Restaurant in the South West at the Asian & Curry Awards 2018 and Best Healthy Curry at the Asian & Curry Awards 2017.
13 Small St, Bristol BS1 1DE
Salt & Malt
Classic cod and chips at Salt & Malt
If you love nothing more than a decent plate of fish and chips, Salt & Malt is one of the best places to go in Bristol.
The Josh Eggleton-owned brand has a restaurant at Cargo, Wapping Wharf and another overlooking Chew Valley Lake. Both are well worth a visit.
Chew Valley / Wapping Wharf
This quaint Indian at the bottom of Jacob’s Wells Road feels like you’re eating in a friend’s living room – and that is in no way a bad thing.
Expect to find unusual Indian dishes such as fragrant Achari chicken, aubergine and chana and aloo paratha alongside your usual classics.
4 Jacob’s Wells Rd, Bristol BS8 1EA
Sergio’s on Frogmore Street.
(Image: Dan Regan)
If typical Italian food done brilliantly is your thing, then Sergio’s should be next on your list.
It’s very reasonably priced and is also BYOB, which makes it a great choice for those looking to keep the overall cost of the meal down.
1-3 Frogmore St, Bristol BS1 5NA
Restaurants across the city will be empty once again when Bristol enters Tier 3
A hit with both vegans and meat eaters, Root serves vegetable-focused small plates bursting with flavour.
As with any restaurant at Cargo, expect to find a buzzing, intimate atmosphere to accompany your food.
Unit 9 Cargo 1, Gaol Ferry Steps, Bristol BS1 6WP
Mayflower chinese restaurant, Haymarket Walk Bristol
This Bristol institution might not look like much from the outside, but as the old saying goes, never judge a book by its cover. The food is out of this world, as its regulars will tell you.
Oh, and better still, it’s open until 3am, which makes it perfect for some much-needed sustenance after a few pints.
1a, 5a Haymarket Walk, Bristol BS1 3LN
(Image: Emli Bendixen)
Last but by no means least, Bertha’s serves some of the best pizza anywhere in Bristol.
It has a great range of white, tomato and vegan pizzas, along with house gelatos and delicious meats and cheeses.
Bertha’s Pizza The Old Gaol Stables, Cumberland Rd, Bristol BS1 6WW
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