Best for swimmingly good food
If you take the plunge to eat at the Lido, a restaurant overlooking a restored Victorian outdoor swimming pool, you won’t be disappointed — and you don’t need to turn up in your bathing suit (though other diners may be wearing fluffy dressing gowns). The à la carte and set menus have hints of the Moorish and the Mediterranean, and the five-course Bird Food for £50 refers to the chef, Freddy Bird, not nuts and seeds! Tuesdays are BYO wine days.
Address: Oakfield Place, Bristol BS8 2BJ
For sample menu and reservations: www.lidobristol.com/eat-drink/
Best for Indian cuisine
Located in Bristol’s smart Clifton Village, Nutmeg is fast getting the reputation as the best Indian restaurant in the city. With bright murals on the wall, and a menu inspired by the diversity of India’s 29 states, diners can savour delicious spicy cuisine, with mains averaging around £12. A tasting menu, which changes on a regular basis, focuses on one particular region and means there’s always a few new dishes to try.
Address: 10 The Mall, Bristol BS8 4DR
For sample menu and reservations: www.nutmegbristol.com/
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Best for Wapping Wharf
This restaurant may be small — there’s just 18 seats, four of which are outside — and some might find it a bit quirky dining in a converted shipping container, but you’re guaranteed the food served at this innovative Wapping Wharf eatery will be big on flavour. Frequent diners praise the attentive staff and you can’t help but be impressed by the extensive wine list, with not only red, white and pink bottles available, but yellow, orange and black too!
Address: 10 Cargo 1, Bristol BS1 6WP
For sample menu and reservations: www.boxebristol.com/
Best for pie and mash
Bristol is the home town of Pieminister, the award-winning classic, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan pies, so if you’re in the city, you simply have to pop into one of their two restaurants and tuck into a Heidi, Kevin or Kate & Sidney. The branch at Broad Quay is near the vibrant harbourside, the place where everyone wants to live, work and play. Look out for the Bottomless Brunch, when you can eat pies with prosecco or cocktails.
Address: 7 Broad Quay, Bristol BS1 4DA
For sample menu and reservations: www.pieminister.co.uk/restaurants/broadquay/
Best for Clifton Suspension Bridge
Clifton Village, a picturesque area of Bristol renowned for Brunel’s famous Clifton Suspension Bridge, is also home to a wide range of fantastic restaurants. One of these, Côte Brasserie, serves authentic French cuisine in chic surroundings, and is the perfect place to recharge your batteries and enjoy a value-for-money meal while sightseeing. The three-course set menu for £13.50, available weekdays between 12noon and 7pm, is not to be missed.
Address: 27 The Mall, Bristol BS8 4JG
For sample menu and reservations: www.cote.co.uk/restaurant/bristol-clifton-village/
Best for a Korean surprise
Sky Kong Kong
Fresh, organic, local and seasonal ingredients are the order of the day at this Korean eatery, though you won’t know what’s on the menu until your plate arrives at a long communal table. However, with Korean chef and owner Hwi Shim (Wizzy) at the helm, who’s worked in Michelin-starred restaurants, her talent is sure to shine through. If the somewhat scruffy surroundings of Haymarket Walk don’t put you off, treats await inside.
Address: 2 Haymarket Walk, Bristol BS1 3LN
For reservations: skykongkong.co.uk/
Best for tasty tapas
The food, service and atmosphere all get the thumbs up at this Andalusian-inspired tapas restaurant, and you’ll find value-for-money dishes throughout the menu too. All your Spanish favourites are there, such as tortilla, patatas bravas and the moreish calçots a la plancha, and there’s a fine selection of sherry. The Bravas team also believe it’s important to share their success and support good causes, so raise funds to help worthwhile charities.
Address: 7 Cotham Hill, Bristol BS6 6LD
For sample menu and reservations: www.bravas.co.uk/
Best for a bite in Clifton
River Cottage Kitchen
Around a 10-minute walk from Bristol Zoo, home to a tree kangaroo among other animals, River Cottage Kitchen is located in a beautifully restored Grade II-listed 19th-century church in Clifton. Part of chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s enterprises, diners can enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner, knowing sustainable fish, high welfare meat and seasonable veg are de rigueur — the two-course lunch is good value for under £12. As the menu states, ‘feast well, and in good conscious’.
Address: St John’s Court, Whiteladies Road, Bristol BS8 2QY
For sample menu and reservations: www.rivercottage.net/restaurants/bristol
Best for a special occasion
It took Wilks only a year to gain its excellent reputation as an outstanding contemporary restaurant — and earn itself a Michelin star. Found in the Redland area of the city, Wilks champions all that is local — while indulging in good wild food (much from the West Country), you can admire the artwork of talented Bristolians which hangs on the walls. If visiting for a celebration, consider the five-course classic or seven-course gourmand menu.
Address: 1-3 Chandos Road, Bristol BS6 6PG
For sample menu and reservations: www.wilksrestaurant.co.uk/
Best for seafood fans
The Bristol restaurant of the popular seafood chain is found in an impressive and beautiful building — a historical granary on the city’s superb waterfront. Loch Fyne has a stylish interior too, and the perfect ambience to enjoy fresh and sustainably sourced fish. Choose from an à la carte menu or one of the daily deals — for example, Tuesday’s Mussel Madness. The breakfast choices are also tempting and ideal if you’re staying nearby.
Address: The Old Granary, 51 Queen Charlotte Street, Bristol BS1 4HQ
For sample menu and reservations: www.lochfyneseafoodandgrill.co.uk/locations/bristol
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