Best restaurants in Bristol

Bristol is an incredible city. Initially this south-western spot was known for its famous suspension bridge, iconic music scene and street art, but in recent years it has become just as well renowned for its restaurant scene, now being home to some of the best eateries in the UK. Banksy's hometown has seen a torrent of new spots opening in the last 5 years, and now that the torrent has slowed down to a steady and delicious stream, we thought it would be a good time to compile a list of the best restaurants in Bristol. It's been incredibly tasty work; you can thank us later.

Updated on 25 January 2022

Bristol was named the coolest city in Europe in 2018 and someone - with a lot of time on their hands - has worked out that over three Londoners up sticks and move to Bristol every single day. So, it’s fair to say that the largest city in the south west has set some high expectations. As we do, we just had to explore the foodie scene here to see what it's all about and it definitely did not disappoint.

There are a lot of draws pulling us towards Bristol. It's an incredibly vibrant and multicultural city with the allure of the beach and the countryside on its doorstep, so it's not hard to see why it is the place to be. Sprinkle in some of the best restaurants in the country and were packing our bags.

Whether you’re on the lookout for award winning dining, new foodie finds, quirky venues, authentic food or intimate, family run restaurants, Bristol has exactly what you are looking for.

Our list of the best restaurants in Bristol includes our thoughts on menu items, price, restaurant decor and ambience and (of course) the all-important taste test. Our honest reviews mean you won't miss a trick when choosing your next meal. 

Riverstation

Riverstation

1 The Grove, Bristol, Gloucestershire, BS1 4RB

This former police headquarters hosts incredible views across the harbour. The extended dockside terrace offers unrivalled alfresco eating in the city while you can expect a warm welcome and a cool, laid back atmosphere.

Under £30
Modern European
The Lido Restaurant

The Lido Restaurant

Oakfield Place, Clifton, Bristol, Gloucestershire, BS8 2BJ

Sit poolside in this picturesque lido restaurant (yes, we're still in Bristol) and dive into fuss free, Mediterranean inspired food. Alternatively, throw yourself into the deep end with an early swim followed by a delicious brunch. Memberships or one off visits available.

£30 - £49
Mediterranean
BOX-E

BOX-E

Unit 10, Wapping Wharf, Bristol, BS1 6WP

Tiddly BOX-E is another of Bristol's wonderful Wapping Wharf container restaurants, but it might be the most ambitious of the lot. Co-founders Elliott and Tess Lidstone manage to conjure some very special food from the smallest of spaces here - doubly impressive given that they're often the only staff working. Dishes like charred hispi cabbage with lemon butter, and duck breast with Puy lentils are rustic but beautifully executed - when you're cooking in a shipping container, there isn't much room for messing around.

£30 - £49
Modern European
SquareMeal UK Top 100
The Spiny Lobster Seafood Grill

The Spiny Lobster Seafood Grill

128-130 Whiteladies Road, Bristol, Bristol, BS8 2RS

Dubbed the best seafood in Bristol, The Spiny Lobster serves a daily changing menu dependant on the fisherman's catch of the day. The spoils of this catch are then cooked on an open fire - from the sea straight to your plate, quite literally.

£30 - £49
British
Fish
Souk Kitchen - Clifton

Souk Kitchen - Clifton

59 Apsley Road, Bristol, Bristol, BS8 2SW

With an often-changing menu of fun mezze dishes alongside beers and wines from Turkey and North Africa, Souk Kitchen is one of the best places in the city for group get-togethers and occasions. The Clifton location is more accessible for most but there’s also a Souk Kitchen in Southville for those south of the river. Don’t miss out on the brilliant sweets and desserts!

£30 - £49
Persian
Middle Eastern
Mediterranean
Paco Tapas

Paco Tapas

3A The General, Lower Guinea Street, Bristol, Bristol, BS1 6SY

The myriad branches, canals and quays running through Bristol provide many a gorgeous waterside spot for food, and Paco Tapas is up there as one of the most picturesque. The food and drink is even better than the view - superb tapas as good as anything the country has to offer and a carefully curated sherry menu to go with it. No less than one would expect from Peter Sanchez-Iglesias.

£30 - £49
Tapas
Spanish
One Michelin star
SquareMeal UK Top 100
The Ethicurean

The Ethicurean

Barley Wood Walled Garden, Bristol, BS40 5SA

Potentially the most famous restaurant in Bristol, The Ethicurean is named for it's whole-hearted appreciation of plants, and puts vegetables at the centre of its serves. The restaurant itself is located in two rustic glasshouses, allowing diners to be as close to the natural environment as possible while enjoying the spoils of the season. The Ethicurean offers two tasting menus, a weekend six course lunch and a 14 course 'Ethicurean Experience', with experimental, low-intervention drinks too.

£50 - £79
British
Rosemarino

Rosemarino

1 York Place, Clifton, Bristol, Bristol, BS8 1AH

Nestled away in Clifton’s quaint backstreets, Rosemarino has maintained its place as one of Bristol’s best Italian restaurants for some years now. The menu is tightly focussed around antipasti and cicchetti (Venetian tapas-style dishes) but the ingredients are top quality. They also do a fantastic brunch menu but be prepared to queue or book.

Under £30
Mediterranean
Italian
Adelina Yard

Adelina Yard

Queen Quay, Bristol , Bristol, BS1 4SL

The kitchen at Adelina Yard is bursting with talent - co-owners Olivia Barry and Jamie Randall worked at the likes of The Wolseley, Galvin la Chapelle and Odettes before founding this quay-side restaurant just off Queen’s Square. The restaurant is open four days a week and bookings for the tasting menu can run well in advance, so get your table booked early.

£50 - £79
Modern European
Root

Root

Unit 9 Cargo 1, Gaol Ferry Steps, Wapping Wharf, Bristol, Gloucestershire, BS1 6WP

Adding to Bristol’s already burgeoning reputation for vegan and vegetarian food, Root offers a modern, veg-centric menu, all cooked in a cosy shipping container in Wapping Wharf. There are still meat and fish plates available, but sustainability and seasonality are the watch words here.

Under £30
International
Bokman

Bokman

3 Nine Tree Hill, Bristol, Bristol, BS1 3SB

In many ways Bokman feels like a microcosm of Bristol’s food scene - authentic, a little off-kilter, and heaps of fun. Husband and wife team Duncan Robertson and Kyu Jeong Jeon are cooking up genuine Korean comfort food here, but they’re not afraid to follow it up with marshmallow soft serve ice cream. One for the adventurous.

£30 - £49
Korean
SquareMeal UK Top 100
The Ox

The Ox

The Basement, 43 Corn Street, Bristol, Bristol, BS1 1HT

The team behind renowned bars Hyde & Co and The Milk Thistle also head up The Ox. With seasonally evolving menus, incredible cocktails and loud music, this hidden basement is the place for a late night steak soiree.

£30 - £49
Steak
British
Bravas

Bravas

7 Cotham Hill, Bristol, Gloucestershire, BS6 6LD

Allow the husband and wife team of Bravas to take you on a tour of Spain, via Bristol, if you will. They take the authenticity of their dishes very seriously, taking their staff to Spain yearly for research. Where do we apply for jobs? 

Under £30
Tapas
Spanish
The Thali Café - Bristol Easton

The Thali Café - Bristol Easton

64-66 St Marks Road, Bristol, Bristol, BS5 6JH

Starting life as a food truck at Glastonbury festival, Thali has come a long way but kept its cool roots. It offers a taste of everyday Indian food with a laid back atmosphere.

Under £30
Indian
Salt & Malt

Salt & Malt

Cargo 2, Whapping Wharf, Bristol, BS1 6WD

As if you needed more reasons to head to Wapping Wharf, Salt & Malt offers fish and chips to rival anything in Bristol. Bristol’s own Josh Eggleton is behind the project so there is real attention to detail here, which adds up to proper crispy batter, perfect chips, as well as scampi, sausages, mushy peas and all your usual accoutrements. 

£30 - £49
Fish
Marmo

Marmo

31 Baldwin Street, Old town, Bristol, BS1 1RG

A compact menu of osteria dishes with a biodynamic wine list to match, Marmo is a modern Italian restaurant that is right on trend, but few do it as well. The towering ceilings and tall windows of the old Guardian Assurance Building make this a beautiful airy spot for lunch or dinner if you’re showing the city off to visiting friends or family. Marmo also boasts another great lunch set menu, right in the heart of the city.

£30 - £49
Modern European
Italian
Poco Bristol

Poco Bristol

45 Jamaica Street, Stokes Croft, Bristol, Gloucestershire, BS2 8JP

Renowned Tom Hunt is the executive chef at award winning Poco tapas. Thanks to cratefulls of locally sourced produce, an open kitchen and communal tables, Poco is one of the most inviting restaurants in Bristol.

Tapas
Spanish
Casamia

Casamia

The General, Redcliffe, Bristol, BS1 6FU

Though this hugely impressive harbour-side restaurant is located in the old Hospital building there are sure to be no casualties in the stylish Michelin starred dining room. With space for just 35 diners and restricted opening hours, this ambitious eatery is one of the hottest tickets in town.

£50 - £79
Modern European
One Michelin star
SquareMeal UK Top 100
Bulrush Restaurant

Bulrush Restaurant

21 Cotham Road South, Bristol, Bristol, BS6 5TZ

George Livsey’s spin on seasonal British dining makes this spot perennially popular. This Michelin Starred restaurant may be neatly tucked away but is by no means hiding. Every foodie in Bristol has visited or wants to.

£50 - £79
British
One Michelin star
SquareMeal UK Top 100
Tare

Tare

Unit 14, Museum Street, Bristol, BS1 6ZA

A small restaurant with a big identity. Tare is a 22 cover restaurant situated on Bristol’s harbour-side development inside an unassuming shipping container. This is incredible food with real finesse, with none of the pomposity.

£30 - £49
Modern European
Little French

Little French

2B North View, Bishopston, Bristol, BS6 7QB

Freddy Bird’s neighbourhood restaurant has been one of Bristol’s very best for some time now. There’s a real emphasis on authenticity here - Little French remains faithful to quality ingredients and French bistro cooking, including some superb whole roast meat and fish to share. The spacious outdoor courtyard is a real highlight in the summer too. 

£30 - £49
French
SquareMeal UK Top 100

Looking for even more fine dining inspiration (who isn't)? Check our our list of the best Michelin star restaurants in London. Or if you're staying in Bristol for the time being you can find everything the city has to offer in our complete list of Bristol restaurants, including cuisines of all types, image galleries, information on dietaries, opening hours, booking information and more.