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Photograph: Dominika Scheibinger / Casamia

The 19 best restaurants in Bristol

Feeling peckish? Whatever cuisine you’re after, our pick of the best Bristol restaurants will have you covered

Written by
Sammy Jones
Shonette Laffy

You’re never far from a good munch in Bristol, whether you’re grabbing a doorstop bacon sanger from a kiosk on the harbourside or enjoying a chef’s table experience in one of the city’s top restaurants. The difficult part? Knowing what to try first.

Some of Bristol’s best bites can be sampled at the various markets dotted around town, with the hotly anticipated BOXHALL set to bring even more choice to the street food scene. But if you’re hungry to really understand the beating stomach of the city, book a table at a few of the restaurants below, all of which show off what the Bristol food scene is about: local, seasonal and casual. No need to dress up, even if you’re going for a Michelin-starred meal – but make sure you’re hungry. Go on, tuck in: from the coolest coffee shops to the most moreish brunch, here are the best restaurants in Bristol.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best bars in Bristol

Top Bristol restaurants

  • Restaurants
  • Spanish

What is it? Sumptuous Spanish small plates.

Why we love it: Get a true taste of Spain at this tapas bar and restaurant owned by couple Kieran and Imogen Waite. This duo take their staff to Spain annually to ensure their food remains on point and to cement their connections with Spanish suppliers.

Time Out tip: Try its sister restaurant, Gambas, too – it’s based at the harbourside and focuses on fish.

  • Restaurants

What is it? Top-notch eats with epic views.

Why we love it: Set inside a restored Victorian walled garden 12 miles outside Bristol, the Ethicurean stuns with sweeping views over the Mendip Hills and beyond. Make the most of their deliciously curated special offering, ‘The Ethicurean Experience’, an immersive visit with dinner, drinks and outdoor exploring.


What is it? Seriously tasty Sri Lankan dishes and cocktails.

Why we love it: As familiar as many of us are with Indian and Bengali cuisine, Sri Lankan food is still a bit of a blindspot in the UK. Nadu prides itself on giving you a mouthwatering introduction to typical dishes and drinks from this part of the world, from their mega sharing dosas to fragrant curries, spicy sambols and punchy cocktails. 

Time Out tip: Book one of their personalised rum tastings if you want to learn more about the history of this deliciously potent spirit (maybe line your stomach beforehand, though).

  • Restaurants
  • Vegetarian

What is it? A place to eat well and feel smug about it.

Why we love it: Ethical is an industry buzzword some restaurants only pay lip service to. Not so at Poco. The majority of its ingredients are sourced from the UK, most of the vegetables come from community farms in the Bristol area, and fish caught in Lyme Bay and certified by the Marine Conservation Society is served. None of this would matter if the food wasn’t up to scratch – thankfully, it is. 

  • Restaurants
  • Vegetarian

What is it? Excellent-value Middle Eastern-inspired small plates.

Why we love it: Purveyor of Middle Eastern cuisine, Souk Kitchen offers a fantastic array of mezze, including Cretan tomato salad and Aleppo chicken thighs. However, it isn’t just exotic ingredients on offer here. The sausages are from Gloucester Old Spot pigs, and most of the bread is made by Mark’s Bread, a few hundred yards away.

Time Out tip: Order lots of plates and share around. You’re not going to want to miss out. 

What is it? Indulgent and comforting French classics.

Why we love it: Looking for a hug on a plate, or somewhere relaxed for date night? Head to this cosy bistro in Westbury-on-Trym and fill your boots with all the good stuff, from unctuous lamb sweetbreads to light-as-a-feather cheese soufflé. The wine list is also a serious force to be reckoned with.

Time Out tip: The sharing mains are a must, as are pretty much all of the sides. We recommend the aligot: cheesy mashed potato with a gooey stretch to rival any pizza slice.


What is it? A charming Italian joint known for huge portions.

Why we love it: This Italian neighbourhood joint has won breakfast and best Italian restaurant at the Bristol Good Food Awards, and its dishes are certainly deserving. Vegetarians can eat here happily, and there’s more than enough on the changing menu for meat-eaters. Choose from antipasti, risotto, pasta, gnocchi and homemade bread.

Time Out tip: Make sure you leave room for dessert. 

What is it? A Mexican kitchen with a Californian twist.

Why we love it: The perfect addition to colourful Old Market, this Mexican restaurant ticks all our boxes for a night out with pals: fun, fresh, friendly and affordable. Cheekily named dishes, like tacos called Carne-Val and Deep Sea Realness, sit excitingly next to killer cocktails including mouth-watering mezcalitas and jugs of margaritas.


What is it? Homely Korean cooking from super talented chefs.

Why we love it: Bokman does understated food that you’ll be thinking about for a long time afterwards. Go with friends to try a proper selection of Korean stews, mandu, banchan and noodle dishes: you’ll leave very full and very happy.

Time Out tip: Tongdak is the star of the show here – charcoal grilled whole chicken stuffed with sticky rice, best eaten with a selection of pickles.

  • Restaurants

What is it? Organic Korean café serving dishes with a (delicious) twist.

Why we love it: One of the joys of Sky Kong Kong is not knowing what you’ll be eating. What you do know is that you’ll be eating well and paying little. Korean chef and owner Wizzy moved to Bristol after working in Michelin-starred restaurants in London. This is Wizzy’s showcase of her considerable talent: depending on the day, you might be served provençal fish stew, paella, Korean-style sashimi or pad thai.


What is it? Yet another must-visit from the Pasta Loco team.

Why we love it: The Bristol cousins who launched the wildly popular Pasta Loco and Pasta Ripiena have opened yet another jewel in their culinary crown. Taking over the building that once housed much-loved Bell’s Diner was going to be no mean feat, but this tight-knit family team have more than met expectations. Think impeccable Italian food and an incredible wine list – all served with a twinkle.

What is it? Mediterranean small plates, with a few surprises thrown in.

Why we love it: This perky little restaurant in Bedminster has been the talk of the town since it opened in late 2022, headed up by well-respected chef Mark Chapman, who had already made his mark on the city with his stints at local favourites Bravas and Gambas.

Time Out tip: Order their trademark dish of cannellini beans with lemon beurre blanc, smoked caviar and panko breadcrumbs (trust us, it’s a delicious wallop to your taste buds).

  • Restaurants

What is it? Quality steak plus expertly made cocktails.

Why we love it: A lowly, easily missed basement on Corn Street is where you’ll find cocktail bar and steak joint, The Ox. Warmly lit by an array of small lamps, the atmosphere here is cosy and upmarket. Leather-bound chairs stand in neat rows while food comes out on oh-so-hip wooden boards. Sample the Hyde & Co cocktails too.

  • Restaurants

What is it? Food with a pool view.

Why we love it: This first-floor restaurant overlooking the water is easily one of the best rooms with a view in Bristol. There aren’t many places where well-dressed gourmets mix with fellow diners in fluffy dressing gowns who’ve come straight from the spa. The food here has a Spanish feel, and the wine list is comprehensive.


What is it? Always special sourdough pizza with a story.

Why we love it: Right at the top of Wapping Wharf, behind some big yellow doors, is some of the best pizza in the South West. This team live and breathe sourdough pizza, and it shows. Alongside the best local suppliers in the region, they whip up pizzas with passion and creativity.

What is it? Inventive dishes celebrating seasonal ingredients.

Why we love it: Well-known for taking a veg-first approach to its menu (you’ll only find a couple of meat and fish dishes), Root puts some wildcard combos together which you’ll raise an eyebrow at before fighting over the last morsel – whether it’s carrot hash browns or beetroot with hazelnuts.

Time Out tip: Nab an outdoor table for some scenic harbour views, or sit up at the bar to watch the chefs in action.


What is it? A welcome glimpse into our meat-free future.

Why we love it: Oowee is a Bristol-born restaurant brand that’s turned its back on serving IRL meat and is leading a plant-based revolution in Bristol and London. Their classic Sneaky Clucker burger somehow tastes like the dirtiest chicken burger ever while containing no animal products at all. Feed a carnivorous friend one of their many meat-free creations and they won’t believe their tastebuds.

  • Restaurants

What is it? Tip-top pub grub.

Why we love it: Sophisticated pub grub is what you’ll get here, perfect for after your harbourside stroll. The Pump House, tucked inside a beautifully renovated Victorian pumping station, belongs to top chef Toby Gritten, who serves fish fresh from the coast, fruit and veg from nearby allotments and pours local brews from Butcombe and Bath Ales.

  • Restaurants

What is it? Festival food in the city centre.

Why we love it: Pieminister was founded in Bristol and serves a selection of classic and creative pies. We reckon it’s possible to survive for days on Pieminister pies and cider alone at Glastonbury Festival – this is especially true of the Mothership, a behemoth of a meal, with a pie on top of mash, mushy peas, gravy, grated cheese and shallots.

Time Out tip: The bottomless brunch banishes any hangover. 

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