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  • Restaurants
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Recommended
Bravas, Bristol, Cotham
Photograph: Bravas

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

Sample classic Spanish small plates at this tapas bar and restaurant, where the focus is on authenticity

These days, it's rare to walk down the street in Bristol and not hear Spanish voices, such has been the level of migration to the city in recent years. However, the best Spanish bar and restaurant in town is owned by English couple Kieran and Imogen Waite (who can also be found at their San Fransisco-inspired café, Bakers & Co, in Gloucester Road).

The pair may have been born in Bristol, rather than Barcelona, but authenticity is taken very seriously here. Every January, they take their staff to Spain for research, and 2015 kicked off with a visit to Malaga – home of Bravas favourite fried aubergine with molasses (£2.90) – to meet producers, sample new products and source authentic recipes.

The tapas bar, which stretches almost the length of the room, displays the day’s dishes. Patrons can pull up a pew and sample the likes of chorizo cooked in cider (£5), chicken and spinach croquettes (£1.50 each), tortilla and alioli (£3.20), and, of course, the patatas bravas (£2.90) – here the potato is thinly sliced, rather than cubed, and served with a fiery sauce. 

Start your evening in Bravas with a gin and tonic, sherry or cava, follow that with a Rioja, and, if you fancy it, try the Estrella Damm Inedit beer created by El Bulli’s Ferran Adria.

Written by Betty James


7 Cotham Hill
Opening hours:
Tue-Wed 5-11pm; Thu 5-midnight; Sat-Sun noon-midnight
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