To the west you have affluent Clifton, while, to the east, you’ll find leafy student favourites Redland and Cotham. Both sides are lined with scores of delightful independent restaurants, historic pubs, cosy bars and more. Here are some of our favourites places to eat, drink and relax:
A Bristol institution, the Cowshed is a carnivore’s dream, serving British food with a focus on quality locally sourced produce, in a relaxed and comfortable environment.
The meat comes courtesy of butchers Ruby & White next door and the chic farmhouse décor provides a smart yet cosy setting. The set lunch menu offers up three courses for £12.95, or you can splash out on a steak tasting plate (£34.50) and cook your own steak just as you like it on a sizzling hot lava stone.
44-46 Whiteladies Road, Bristol BS8 2NH
This bar and kitchen is known for its tapas deals (all you can eat Mondays, or three tapas and a glass of house wine for £15 on Wednesdays), but it also serves up a mean Sunday roast.
Brace and Brown's sun terrace is well used during the summer months, and the pub-like interior provides a cosy setting for when the weather’s a bit more… well, British.
43 Whiteladies Rd, Bristol BS8 2LS
Previously known as Papaji’s, Flipside is a lively cocktail bar with loud music, energetic bar staff and delicious concoctions.
Try the mango-coloured pornstar martini – served with a shot of Prosecco – or one of their fruity sharing teapots. Be sure to take advantage of happy hour, each weekday evening from 4pm to 7pm.
109 Whiteladies Rd, Bristol BS8 2PB
This pint-sized coffee shop serves a delicious selection of smoothies, coffees and breakfast treats. In spite of its diminutive size, Brew’s a light and airy spot and, on sunny days, customers spill out to the outdoor seating.
Try the avocado toast with chilli flakes or the maple-toasted granola and yoghurt. They also do takeaway sandwiches, salads and quiches at lunchtime.
45 Whiteladies Rd, Bristol BS8 2LS
Located in a pretty Georgian building, the Townhouse is a welcoming spot for either lunch (when they do a three courses for £10 deal) or dinner (the same deal is available as an early bird offer most evenings).
The food is beautiful – and the three course deal is a total bargain.
85 Whiteladies Rd, Bristol BS8 2NT
The Burger Joint allows you to build your own burger from just about anything you’d want. First choose your meat (lamb and mint, beef, venison, wild boar, grilled chicken or even kangaroo). Then pick a few toppings (chilli con carne, black pudding or beer battered onion rings, to name a few) and, finally, add a couple of sauces (including wasabi mayo, peanut butter, horseradish, alongside more traditional ketchup).
Just remember, if your final construction tastes unusual, you may have to take some responsibility...
83 Whiteladies Rd, Bristol BS8 2NT
Nomu is an independent Japanese kitchen and cocktail bar with a comfortable, relaxed vibe. Friendly staff, tasty drinks and beautifully made sushi dishes add up to a very pleasant dining experience – be it a casual lunch with friends or more of a special occasion. They’ll even spoil you with a free cocktail if you book a table for your birthday.
81 Whiteladies Rd, Bristol BS8 2NT
Aside from also serving great food, Bento is the total opposite of Nomu. Located above the Clifton Down shopping centre, it’s spacious, modern and provides great views of the street – perfect for a lazy, people-watching kind of lunch.
Food comes very quickly and you can mix and match various items to create your own bento box. The steamed bau buns are fun to construct yourself.
1st floor, Unit 6, Clifton Down Station, Whiteladies Rd, Bristol BS8 2PH
This restaurant belies its humble name and is in fact located in a converted nineteenth century church; all high ceilings and stained-glass windows. As you'd expect from a River Cottage, you'll find fresh flavours and seasonal, organic dishes.
St Johns Court, Whiteladies Rd, Bristol BS8 2QY
There are now five branches of this independent café in Bristol – and the Boston Tea Party on Whiteladies Road is a great, spacious location.
This delightful brunch spot serves up baps, bagels, eggs cooked every which way, and a full West Country breakfast. The quiet, cosy atmosphere makes it a firm favourite of students, who you’ll regularly find in there hunched over their essays.
97 Whiteladies Rd, Bristol BS8 2NT
A great seafood restaurant with a great name, the Spiny Lobster brings the best of the Cornish coast to Bristol. Choose from the daily specials, the majority of which are cooked over charcoal, or plump for the lunchtime and early evening menu (three courses for £18).
Fresh, salty flavours, creamy desserts and quilted green leather banquettes make for a spectacular sensory overload.
128-130 Whiteladies Rd, Bristol BS8 2RS
With locations down at the Harbourside as well as in Bath, Milton Keynes and Portishead, Aqua is a stylish and modern Italian restaurant that you can pop into any time of day, for any occasion.
Enjoy a slice of cake with coffee on a lazy weekday morning, enjoy sparkling bellinis at the bar, pop by for a Sunday roast or stop in for an evening meal.
153 Whiteladies Rd, Bristol BS8 2RF
One of Bristol’s worst kept secrets, Hausbar is hidden away under Indian restaurant Rajpoot at the very top of Whiteladies. Once you enter (having rung the doorbell), you’ll realise that you have in fact opened the door – 'Monsters Inc.' style– to a Berlin speakeasy.
It’s a classy kinda joint, with intimate seating and dimmed lighting. And it’s goes without saying that the cocktails are killer.
52 Upper Belgrave Rd, Bristol BS8 2XP
This isn't an exhaustive list, of course. There are plenty of other places to choose on Whiteladies Road, including Alterego and Bar Humbug, not to mention pubs like the Jersey Lily and The Blackboy Inn. Plus, if you're looking for international cuisine, there's Entelia, Bosco Pizzeria, Kohi Noor and many more...
While you're in the area, it's just a short stroll to Clifton Village, where you'll find unique gifts galore.