Paco Tapas

Spanish, Tapas·
Gold Award

SquareMeal Review of Paco Tapas

Gold Award

It feels as though Paco Tapas has always flown slightly under the radar. Perhaps it has lounged in the shadow of nearby Casamia, but with the latter now sadly closed, Paco Tapas is in the limelight; and quite right too, because - spoiler alert - this is an absolutely cracking restaurant.

Michelin-starred though it is, Paco Tapas doesn't have an ounce of stiffness about it. Tabletops on the expansive terrace are propped up on old sherry casks, and friendly staff dodge nimbly between them with plates of honey-drizzled Manchego, gossamer-thin Bellota ham and piles of jamon croquetas. The terrace is the place to be on Bristol’s warmer days, where the view of boats in Bathurst Basin could almost be a Mediterranean postcard. There’s more seating inside too, and lots of counter stools up at the tiled bar, where you get a great view of Paco’s chefs doing their thing.

The menu keeps plates authentic, but it’s the quality and precision of the cooking that astounds. Simple nibbles - smoked almonds, olives and cold meats - are expertly sourced, and lovely with a chilly glass of manzanilla. There’s no messing with classics like tortilla Espanola, which arrives as a plump UFO of egg and potato, and oozes with custardy yolks as soon as you cut it open.

Paco Tapas demonstrates clever touches in other areas. Just when you thought a grilled prawn couldn’t get any better, Paco’s crustaceans are cooked over coals, then the shells are coated in a garlic and paprika emulsion, blasting this winning combo into the stratosphere. It takes some skill to bone out a quail, stuff it with dates and sobrasada, then barbecue it over applewood. The resulting dish has become a signature, and no wonder - sweet, salty, with background spice from the sausage, it’s a triumph.

Desserts are also faultless, and the drinks list matches stride for stride, with a hefty collection of sherries, Spanish wines and cocktails. Much has been written about the likes of Barrafina and Sabor in recent years - Paco Tapas may not have the London postcode, but it’s right in there with the best of the best.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £50 - £79
Spanish, Tapas
Cool, Fun, Lively, Traditional
SquareMeal UK Top 100
Food Occasions
Dinner, Lunch
Alfresco And Views
Great views, Outside seating, Terrace, Waterside
Special Features
Counter dining, Vegetarian options
Perfect for
Child friendly, Special occasions
Food Hygiene Rating


Owned by acclaimed Bristol chef Peter Sanchez-Iglesias, Paco Tapas is a Bristol restaurant serving traditional Spanish tapas in a cool setting right next to Bathurst Basin and marina. With a menu that changes every day, Paco endeavours to use the finest quality ingredients and to treat them all with the upmost quality to create dishes packed full of flavour. This means that while every meal at Paco Tapas will be completely different, you will always be guaranteed to try some pretty special dishes.

Based just on the edge of Bathurst Basin, you would be forgiven for thinking that the restaurants was just a bar from the outside, with large barrels covered by umbrellas providing space to enjoy a few drinks outside. However, once you head inside, it’s clear that this restaurant means business as amazing smells waft out from the open kitchen. The decor is simple yet stylish; black tiles cover the walls, with the odd piece of modern art on show and there are a mixture of counter seats and high tables.

The ever-changing menu begins with snacks such as manzanilla olives, manchego with honey, and fried almonds. However the main event is obviously the tapas dishes, designed to be shared by the whole table. These vary from meat dishes including jamón croquettes, pork ribs cooked over coals, and lamb rump, to seafood options such as scallops and lardo, and octopus from the Canary Islands. Expect vegetarian options such as Roscoff onion, patatas bravas, and purple sprouting broccoli. Puddings might include chocolate mousse with toast and olive oil, and a crema Catalana.

This is all accompanied by a fantastic range of Spanish wines, as well as sherries available by both the glass and bottle. On top of this Paco Tapas has decent list of cocktails on offer which go perfectly with the rich dishes on the menu.


Does it have a Michelin star?

Yes, the restaurant has one Michelin star.

Helpful? 0

Can you buy gift vouchers?

Yes, the restaurant sells gift vouchers which you can buy directly from the website.

Helpful? 0


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

0117 925 7021 0117 925 7021


Opening Times

Mon Closed
Tue Closed
Wed 12:00-15:00
Thu 12:00-15:00
Fri 12:00-15:00
Sat 12:00-15:00
Sun Closed
Mon Closed
Tue 17:00-22:00
Wed 17:00-22:00
Thu 17:00-22:00
Fri 17:00-22:30
Sat 17:00-22:30
Sun Closed


Share your thoughts with other diners

Write a review

3 Reviews 


24 July 2023   - Verified Diner
Food & Drink 3.5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 3.5

Ian B

25 March 2023   - Verified Diner
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5

Fun, quirky and delicious!!!

Peter S

11 September 2022   - Verified Diner
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5
A wonderful evening!

Great ambiance (we ate at the bar so that you are in the think of service), excellent service and a very knowledgable team. The food was fantastic and the wines expertly paired. A wonderful evening!

Book a table

Find a table

Sorry, you cannot spend SquareMeal vouchers here yet.

Other restaurants we like near Paco Tapas

Check availability