Bristol may be hidden away in the hills, but in this city - often thought of as the cultural hub of the South West - there is plenty to scream and shout about. Effortlessly combining a countryside feel with city living amenities, Bristol is a popular spot for young professionals, families and staycationers, with increasing numbers of people leaving the stresses of London behind and starting a new (and more affordable) life down south.
The appeal of Bristol doesn’t just lie in its local attractions though. Bristol is also home to an exciting, dynamic restaurant scene which can cater to each and every one of your culinary whims. Everybody knows that these days, brunch is considered by many as the most important meal of the weekend. Every Saturday and Sunday, hordes of Bristolians gather their friends and family to head out to a nice brunch in town, whether it be a cute and cosy affair or a rowdy, boozy one setting the stage for a night out down by the harbour.
For the uninitiated, brunch is the name given to a meal that is typically enjoyed between breakfast and lunch, hence why it is so popular on the weekends when people tend to enjoy a lie in. These days though, the definition of brunch has been stretched pretty loosely, with some restaurants offering their brunch menu all day, or including the kind of hearty meals that would be more classically associated with dinnertime dining.
The title of best brunch in Bristol is a hotly contested one, with a whole host of Bristol brunch restaurants making a name for themselves with their weekend offerings (some even serve brunch during the week too). To discover the best brunch Bristol has to offer, check out our top picks below and book a table for the weekend.
The Ivy Clifton Brasserie
What: The Bristol outpost of The Ivy Collection hosts an elegant weekend brunch for guests looking to impress their date or just enjoy an afternoon of luxury with friends. The varied menu includes everything from pancakes and avocado on toast, through to lobster linguine and a Keralan sweet potato curry.
Where: 42-44 Caledonia Place, BS8 4DN
What: Fancy adding a German twist to your next brunch? At Klosterhaus, you can do just that, with the traditional likes of curry wurst and schnitzel on the menu. If you want to stick to more classic brunch fare though, there is also eggs and avocado and a buttermilk chicken burger to choose from.
Where: The Friary Building, BS1 3DF
Coppa Clifton Village
What: The Bristol branch of reliable chain Coppa Club serves brunch from 11am-3pm on weekends, offering a short and simple selection of fuss-free dishes. Tuck into a hearty full English, or try buckwheat and rye pancakes, all while sipping on brunch cocktails or a fruit smoothie of your choice.
Where: 2-10 Regent Street, BS8 4HG
The Square Club
What: Served every Sunday, brunch at bourgeois members’ club The Square (non-members can dine here too), is a sophisticated affair. Guests can tuck into the likes of eggs benedict and granola pots, or opt for something larger such as a southern fried buttermilk chicken burger. There’s even the option to enjoy a roast - it is a Sunday, after all.
Where: 15 Berkeley Square, BS8 1HB
What: Brunch is served daily at Rosemarino, with early risers able to take their pick from a menu of Italian fare. Choose between the likes of focaccia topped with nduja and honey, lemon and ricotta pancakes topped with salmon, pickled cucumber and soft cheese, or spicy baked eggs. Don’t forget to finish up with a scoop of gelato.
Where: 1 York Place, BS8 1AH
Restaurant at Harvey Nichols
What: After a morning of retail therapy, you’re sure to have worked up an appetite. Head to the Restaurant at Harvey Nichols on Sundays to enjoy its brunch menu, which features Bloody Mary’s followed by buttermilk pancakes topped with bacon and maple syrup, or poached egg on sourdough topped with chilli and avocado.
Where: Philadelphia Street, BS1 3BZ
Spicer + Cole
What: Serving up quality coffee and a range of artisanal pastries, Spicer + Cole is a hipster coffee shop you won’t mind spending all day in. Whether you visit with friends for a brunch date, or take your laptop to work remotely for the day, its menu will keep you going. Offering all your usual suspects like avocado on toast and a vegetarian full English, you certainly won't be short of options. Keep an eye on the specials board too for exciting additions to the menu. This is the place to go if you want a fuss-free, filling dish. Spice + Cole is housed in a super sleek, but still cosy, coffee shop, so you’ll be made to feel right at home.
Where: 1 Queen Square Avenue, BS1 4JA
Quay Street Diner
What: Serving up a wide range of hearty brunch dishes, Quay Street Diner is the place to go for an all-American diner experience in Bristol. On its brunch menu, you’ll find fried chicken and waffles (a diner staple), huevos rancheros and churros to satisfy your sweet-toothed cravings. We love the look of the restaurant too, decked out to look like a stylish take on the traditional diner; think vintage film posters, rustic wooden tables and retro red seating.
Where: 2 Quay Street, BS1 2JL
What: Open for more than 25 years, the Primrose Café knows what it’s doing when it comes to brunch. The quaint café, located in the Clifton Arcade, is the ideal spot to enjoy brunch after browsing the vintage shops. On the menu, you’ll find everything from kedgeree and bubble and squeak to the French classic Croque Monsieur. If it is a nice day, make the most of its outdoor seating area and watch the world go by.
Where: 1 Boyce Avenue, BS8 4AA
The Crafty Egg
What: Located in Bristol’s ‘cultural quarter’, you can expect lots of egg dishes at this aptly named cafe. Try the signature baked ones in a range of different flavours or enjoy one of its totally Instagrammable rainbow lattes to accompany your brunch. If coffee isn’t your thing, the smoothies will set you up for the day. In this bright and airy café you’ll find students and locals alike, but you will always be guaranteed tempting brunch dishes and imaginative coffee creations.
Where: 113 Stokes Croft, BS1 3RW
What: Surrounded by greenery, flowers and succulents, get a feel of the countryside while still being in the city at The Bristolian. Tucked down a back street not too far from the main town centre, try its Spanish tostadas with tomato and your choice of halloumi, bacon or aubergine fritters. If you are feeling particularly hungry or you’re just up for something different, order the Bristolian Challenge – a huge portion of any of its other brunch dishes. This is not one for the faint-hearted, so order at your own risk.
Where: 2 Picton Street, BS6 5QA
East Village Café
What: Located just outside the centre of Bristol, this pretty cafe is 100% vegetarian and 100% Instagrammable. The décor is neutral with the odd touch of pink and sparkle thrown in for good measure. It is in this setting you can enjoy its acai bowl, shakshouka or maple and coconut ‘bacon’ pancakes. If you want to add a bit of colour into your life, the huge selection of superfood lattes are super-impressive. Try the red velvet latte with chocolate that uses beetroot to give it its intense red colour. You really don’t want to miss this.
Where: Boyce's Avenue, BS8 4AA
At The Well
What: Have lots of washing to do but really need a coffee? At this cafe-cum-laundrette (find a better combination... we’ll wait), you can do both at the same time. No twiddling your thumbs while you wait for your clothes to be done either. Bring a friend and have a brunch date or get on with some work to pass the time. Try its transatlantic pancakes – American-style with scrambled eggs, mushrooms, bacon and maple syrup. Should you be so unlucky to spill food on your top, you're in luck - just throw it straight in the wash.
Where: 145 Cheltenham Road, BS65RR
What: Serving up all the usual brunch fixtures, with some exciting variations on the classics, Este Kitchen is a family-run cafe bringing the flavours of Latin America to Bristol. The rustic wooden interiors and quirky wall art make for a visually interesting place to enjoy your brunch (and a very Instagrammable backdrop if you’re into that kind of thing). Try the ‘pan con tomate’ with fried egg and chilli or the ‘Arepa con Perico’, a Colombian take on scrambled eggs. Caramba!
Where: 7 Greenbank Road, BS5 6EZ
What: Not in the mood for your usual brunch dishes? Offering up Middle Eastern and North African cuisine here you can enjoy a whole range of dishes, like shakshouka – a traditional dish of poached eggs in tomato sauce and served with flatbread. The modern decor with Middle Eastern touches will make you feel like you’re on an exotic holiday.
Where: 59 Apsley Road, BS8 2SW
Prince Street Social
What: Enjoy a quick breakfast or lazy brunch in this modern and quirky bar and restaurant. Located in the city’s downtown office district, if you have time to spare during your busy work day, give the super-varied brunch menu a try. Try its range of the increasingly popular shakshuka with a choice of toppings. Or if you really want filling up, Prince Street Social's burgers and kebabs make for tasty alternatives to eggs. By the way, you can go bottomless for two hours too – score!
Where: 37-41 Prince Street, BS1 4PS
Brace & Browns
What: If you’re looking for a slightly more formal brunch, the intimate tapas bar and kitchen, Brace & Browns, offer an all-savoury brunch. Try the savoury French toast with poached eggs and truffled wild mushrooms, for instance. If it’s boozy brunch you’re after, there's a three-course Prosecco brunch available. We suggest you get there early if you want a table– it gets busy fast. But no matter how long it takes you to get a table, a brunch is worth the wait, right?
Where: 43 Whiteladies Road, BS8 2LS
What: This bakery, coffee shop and brunch spot hybrid is a favourite among hipsters and we’re not surprised. The clean lines, wooden touches and mismatched counter makes for a fun and homely feeling – the perfect spot for an early morning breakfast of freshly baked pastries or a late brunch after a weekend lie-in. On the menu, expect the vegan skillet with beans, peppers and avocado. In a rush? Take one of its brioche sandwiches with salmon and cream cheese to go, although we recommend you stay to enjoy this brunch.
Where: 65 Whiteladies Road, BS8 2LY
Bakers and Co.
What: Inspired by the San Francisco brunch scene, this cafe was set up to serve quality coffee alongside a cracking brunch menu. Doing exactly that, you’ll find Spanish favourite huevos rancheros; its version of the full English; or the baker’s breakfast with sausage, pinto beans and sourdough toast. All sourdough is baked on site, by the way. If you’re lucky and get in early enough, you can take a leftover loaf of the freshly baked chewy goodness home with you to enjoy. San Francisco knows how to do brunch, and now you can experience what all the fuss is about in Bristol.
Where: 193 Gloucester Road, BS7 8BG
Don't want to leave your house for brunch? Check out the UK restaurants that offer a brunch delivery service.