**This is a collaborative post**
Bristol’s lively culture is best represented by its bars and restaurants. And we’re not just talking sleepy (but infinitely charming) traditional British pubs, either.
Sure, you’ll find more than a few of those lining the streets of Bristol, but this city has a vibrant and diverse culinary landscape, and the bar scene has exploded with craft cider, speciality cocktails, and unique concepts.
A trip to Bristol without exploring a few interesting restaurants and grabbing a drink somewhere interesting would be a waste. Fortunately, these places are easy to find, and you won’t regret taking a detour to find your new favourite Indian spot or sidling up to the bar to explore the world of craft cider.
If you’re on a pub crawl throughout Bristol, you won’t want to be lugging your bags around. Find a secure luggage storage spot in the city and leave the bags for a few hours while you eat and drink your way through this amazing town!
This critically acclaimed restaurant showcases the best of contemporary British cuisine, with a heavy focus on using locally foraged and sustainable ingredients. While there are familiar favourites, the menu offers creative and beautifully plated dishes that really stretch the boundaries of what constitutes British food. Bulrush is famous for its tasting menu, which is the best way to experience the chef’s culinary artistry, and the wine pairing is particularly impressive.
This popular vegetarian and vegan restaurant offers a diverse menu of plant-based dishes inspired by a wide array of international cuisines. The menu features everything from vegan burgers to modern interpretations of curries to funky salads and even mezze platters.
Nadu has gained a solid following among local vegetarians and vegans, but it’s become a staple of Bristol’s trendy food scene. With its commitment to using ethically sourced local ingredients, Nadu has earned its place as the go-to spot in Bristol for sustainable and responsible cuisine.
If you’re looking for classic Italian fare, Pasta Loco is your best bet in Bristol. This classic trattoria serves up delicious handmade pasta and other Italian dishes. Some of these are as authentic as it gets, and some of their specials come with a creative twist.
Pasta Loco is also one of the best places in Bristol for wine enthusiasts, as their deep cellar is impeccably well-curated by an in-house sommelier. If you’ve been indulging in the ever-trendy Negroni cocktail, this should be your first destination in Bristol.
Situated on Bristol’s scenic harbour, Adelina Yard is a stylish and contemporary restaurant that’s perfect for a splashy meal to celebrate a milestone or impress your date.
The menu focuses on modern European cuisine, with beautifully-presented dishes made with the finest produce and locally-sourced meat and seafood. The restaurant’s waterfront location adds to the overall ambience, especially for romantic occasions. If you’re into cured meats, this upscale spot is the place to be.
Tucked away in an old Georgian building, The Milk Thistle is a hidden (literally) gem and the premier cocktail bar in Bristol. This speakeasy-style bar is reminiscent of modern cocktail joints in New York and Chicago, and its stylish interior makes for an elegant setting for a nightcap or pre-dinner drink. Their menu rotates regularly, which makes it ideal for exploring new flavours.
Whether it’s a hearty steak or traditional British dishes, carnivores flock to this high-end chop-house. Known for its top-quality steaks and carefully crafted menu, The Ox offers a cosy atmosphere that pairs well with its warming and substantial offerings.
Wine lovers will appreciate the encyclopaedic menu filled with robust reds that pair perfectly with a cut of beef or some seafood. The dimly lit space is great for a romantic meal, but you’ll want to reserve a table ahead of time. If you’re popping in, there’s a perfectly serviceable bar menu for a casual bite.
While craft beer has become ubiquitous in most cities, Bristol features a superb brewing scene that’s absolutely worth exploring. One of the best spots to sample local brews is Small Bar, which sets out to feature the best selection of unique IPAs, stouts, lagers, and sours available.
With several dozen rotating taps, you never know what will be on offer at Small Bar, this place’s excellent reputation is warranted. A big part of the Small Bar experience is exploration, so don’t be afraid to ask their expert staff for recommendations.
In recent years, one of the most prominent themes in British dining is sustainable and responsible food practices, and Root is the premier spot in Bristol for showcasing how delicious plant-based food can be. With a menu that highlights the versatility of plant-based ingredients, Root offers the best guilt-free flavours in Bristol and is a worthwhile dinner spot for vegans, vegetarians, and curious foodies.
If you’re into craft cider, your first port of call in Bristol will be this floating cider bar located on a converted barge in Bristol’s historic harbourside. The quirky setting makes for a delightful spot to sample a wide selection of craft ciders from the UK and beyond. Like beer, cider production has become increasingly experimental, so you’ll encounter some surprising and fascinating flavours when sipping through their extensive menu. With stunning views of the waterfront, there’s no better place in Bristol to have a few drinks!
And finally… a British pub
The Coronation Tap, locally known as “The Cori,” is one of Bristol’s most historic pubs. It holds a special place in the city’s culture, and its iconic “Bristol Cider” has been served here since the 19th century. The pub has all the charm you’d expect of a place that’s been around for over a century, with traditional decor and a cosy atmosphere. The place attracts plenty of tourists, but the fiercely loyal crowd of regulars is a constant feature here.