A busy hub of culture and cool, Bristol is one of England’s most interesting cities, with a lively nightlife and a restaurant scene that offers world-class cooking competitive with London. Here is my Bristol top 11.
Top of the list is Casamia, a Michelin-starred restaurant, situated in the harbor area. This small, inviting restaurant is family run and has a warm and intimate atmosphere. Located in an old Victorian hospital in downtown Bristol, their talented owner and Chef, Peter Sanchez-Iglesias, cooks up a variety of delights based on what’s in season. Reservations are essential through a ticketing system on their website.
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Located in Redland, Bristol, second on the list is the Michelin-starred Wilks restaurant, run by co-owners Christine Vayssade and James Wilkins. Head Chef James conjures up refined modern dishes using fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. Christine is the manager and ensures that the ambiance remains elegant and friendly, and the staff knowledgeable and attentive in this vibrant and contemporary setting.
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3. Paco Tapas
Another Michelin-starred eatery by owner and Chef Peter Sanchez-Iglesias. This little Tapas Restaurant is located in the Old General Hospital in Redcliff. This time it’s his take on tapas, inspired by his Andalusian heritage. There’s an impressive selection of sherries to compliment the tasty high-quality tapas. Using traditional Spanish ingredients, he’ll take you on a culinary tour of Spain in a lively, modern setting that has an open kitchen and wood-fuelled grill.
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This charming English Bistro in Redland is a small, independent restaurant, with bare decor and a no-nonsense style. Chef Jan Ostle offers a 3 choice menu of bold British creations that changes every 3 weeks. Simply good food in a casual, comfortable atmosphere.
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Bulrush is a Michelin Star restaurant in the Cotham area. Owner and Chef George Livesey dreams up a number of delights and his preserves and pickles are the perfect complements to his carefully crafted meals. It’s a cozy, friendly place for any occasion.
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A steak restaurant with a downstairs bar and music venue, Pasture Restaurant revels in fire-based cooking and top quality cuts. Owner and Chef Sam Elliott and his in-house butchers select the best meat from farms in the Southwest of England to bring diners fine, modern meals. This spacious, classy steakhouse set in an old industrial building has a festive atmosphere and an open kitchen displaying the charcoal grills where the steaks sizzle.
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Box-E offers modern British cooking using seasonal ingredients and ingenuity. Chef Elliot Lidstone’s tiny restaurant is set in two shipping containers at Wapping Wharf; and with only 14 covers, booking is essential. The limited menu changes regularly and the food is excellent British bistro-style fare. The basic container decor and intimate atmosphere add to this unique dining experience.
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8. Adelina Yard
Adelina Yard is a small, inviting restaurant overlooking the river on Welsh Back with an open kitchen and just 10 or so tables. The rustic-chique furbishing lends itself to a relaxed and informal dining experience. Exceptional, modern European food is concocted by Chefs Jamie Randall and Olivia Barry from carefully selected seasonal ingredients.
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Based in Clifton Village, Nutmeg is an Indian restaurant offering a wide range of remarkable dishes from across the sub-continent. It’s a vibrant and colorful place to indulge in Indian cuisine. Bright and bold colors and patterns in the decor with a modern feel makes for a welcoming, lively atmosphere. Head Chef Arvind Pawar’s creations pay homage to India in a variety of dishes, and all ingredients are sourced from local suppliers.
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10. The Ox
The Ox has one of the best settings in Bristol and a menu centered around beef steak, using local and seasonal products. This up-market steakhouse serves up extraordinary food cooked to perfection in a stunning basement venue. Excellent cocktails too. The large mahogany bar, plush furnishings, and wood paneling give off an old-world splendor and atmosphere. Executive Chef Todd Francis’s succulent steaks are sublime.
$$$ • Directions • Best Setting
11. Squeezed Burgers
This shipping container restaurant, located at Wapping Wharf, offers the best burgers in Bristol. Using high-quality meat, owner and Chef Alex Hayes (Burger Chef of the Year 2018) produces a range of gourmet burgers with interesting sauces and sides. Everything is fresh and made on site from scratch and their homemade lemonade is a real hit. The friendly staff and funky setting ensure a youthful, bustling atmosphere.
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