*Updated July 2016*
My favourite types of food are those where you can order plenty of dishes and share – tapas, mezze, tagine, and of course curry.
I love all curries the same, whether they’re traditional dhals or English-born Baltis, Keralan or Bangladeshi, spicy or creamy.
Here is a list of some of the finer curry establishments I can recommend in Bristol – feel free to add your thoughts or own recommendations in the comments below!
Situated half way up Park St, this is one of the more modern and lavish Indian restaurants in town. Their menu is a good mix of traditional recipes and modern twists – I’ve not seen an Indian restaurant featuring rabbit, guinea fowl or venison before – and all of the food comes beautifully presented. On my visit (during the infamous Curry Crawl) I tried a selection of their smaller dishes, including spiced lamb chunks and chilli paneer – everything was perfectly cooked and spiced. Whether it’s a romantic meal with a partner, a work dinner outing or a pre-drinks munch with friends, I think this place manages to appeal to all groups happily, merging old with new, traditional with experimentation, and all the while still managing to offer good value for money.
2 minutes from my house, and I couldn’t be happier about it. This is standard tandoori house, but the food is off-the-scale good. I know of people who come from as far as Bath almost every week to eat here, and with good reason. All of the curries are good, but the chef’s specials (in particular the Redland Special – chicken or lamb cooked with minced lamb, served with Pilau Rice & Nan Bread, all for a bargainous £12.50). They also do a tasty curry buffet for £9.95 every Sunday. Go, go, GO.
Having opened its fifth branch in Southville in 2013, you can now safely presume you’re never more than a mile from a Thali Cafe in Bristol, as should be the case for this Bristol institution. Having won more awards than you could shake a poppadom at whilst continuing to grow in popularity across the city, the restaurants still stick to their core principles of offering up authentic and good value Indian street food, whilst sourcing all ingredients as ethically as possible. They’ve expanded their menu fairly recently to include more snack and lunchtime options, but the generous thalis are still the star here. My Thali Cafe tiffin is still one of the best presents I’ve ever received, so if you don’t fancy eating in the restaurant then get one yourselves and take away!
Hari Krishnan’s Kitchen
Bring South Indian cuisine to Zetland rd, this unassuming and cosy restaurant does a fine line in Keralan dishes, from tasty dosa wraps to fish curries. The reviews for this place have been fantastic, and it’s well known locally for being the best curry place around. The menu is very affordable too, so if you haven’t already sampled food from this part of India, move your feet in the direction of Redland, stat (or to their equally excellent sister restaurant in Clifton Village)
A Gloucester Road favourite, with a reliably good quality selection of dishes on their menu, appealing prices and snazzy, modern decor. This place can get very popular on weekends and Friday evenings, so it could be worth booking if you’re coming with a larger group. Failing that, a couple of door down is BYO option Indian Fast Food which is a bit more basic and slightly cheaper, but still offers tasty food in an informal setting.
Down some stairs next door to the Old Vic on King St is an old style curry house which has been open since 1981 and is still very popular with tourists and locals alike. Get cosy in one of the booths and try one of their popular curry dishes, or select from their Early Bird or Night Owl menus.
One of the few Nepalese restaurants in Bristol, Kathmandu is located opposite the Colston Hall,so you won’t be too surprised by the various pictures of celebrity clientele which adorn the walls and website. The family-run restaurant is large and modern, with the menu split between familiar Indian dishes and flavoursome Nepalese cuisine. The drinks selection isn’t as impressive as some of the other places on this list, but the food does the talking here.
Ahmed’s Curry Cafe
Bringing bargain Indian food to the people of Redland and Hotwells, Ahmed’s has made a name for itself as the go-to place for cheap yet tasty take away. Their website is simple and easy to use, and the menu is fairly standard, with the meal deals being a main attraction. If you don’t fancy washing up you can eat in at their cafes on Chandos Road or Jacob’s Wells Road.
Probably the most-recommended curry house to me since I moved, this Clifton Village restaurant does traditional Indian dishes alongside some excellent house specialties. Due to the location it’s not the cheapest curry you’ll find it town, but in terms of quality it’s definitely worth the price.
Alternatively, if you want to have a go at making your own curry, the best place to pop to is the famous Bristol Sweet Mart in Easton – as well as stocking every possible food item you could think of, they also have a great deli which sells Indian snacks, sweets and pre-made curries. Yum.
Is your mouth watering yet? Here are some other posts to work up an appetite (or thirst!):
- Bristol’s Tastiest Tapas
- Budget Eating in Bristol
- The Best Brunch in Bristol
- The Quest for the Best Roast Dinner
- The Best Bristol Pubcrawls