I’ve eaten a lot of good roast dinners during my year-long quest across Bristol, and as loathe as I was to make these posts into a trilogy, it now looks almost inevitable that there will be a Part 4 at some point – there are just too many places remaining that I want to try!
For now though, here are my highlights from the past few months; feel free to tell me what you thought of the places I’ve listed, or recommend new places for me to try. Also make sure you check out Part One and Part Two of my roast dinner quest!
On my hit list mainly for the fact that they start serving their roasts at a very civilised 4pm, plus it’s one of those chilled, pubby pubs that I get a real craving for on a lazy Sunday afternoon. I went for the pork on my visit, but there were also the options of chicken, beef, nut roast or Portabello mushrooms with Stilton, all of which come with a good pile of vegetables, excellent Yorkshires, a proper jug of gravy and half a roasted garlic bulb! Prices are £9 for meat or £8 for vegetable options, so one of the cheaper options on this list too.
Go for: The cosy atmosphere, generous gravy, and if you like roasted garlic.
The Bank Tavern
Tucked away down a side street behind The Lanes, this hidden gem is known among roast connoisseurs for being possibly the best in Bristol. Choose from cow rump, pig belly, pheasant breast or red pepper rosti, all served with perfectly cooked veg and priced at £9.95. It’s definitely quality over quantity here, but you won’t leave hungry, especially if you opt for one of their tasty desserts.
Go for: A back street boozer with a roast that manages to be as comforting as it is sophisticated; laaavly.
The Steam Crane
A contender from south of the river, I’ve been hearing great things about the food here for ages, and the roast didn’t disappoint. I had lamb with mint & anchovy sauce, which came up as a fat slab of meat doused in sauce – it was lovely. The vegetarian option varies week to week but has included roasted Blewit mushrooms with walnuts, or vegetable pie. Prices are reasonable for the portion size and quality, at £11-14. We were also impressed with the quirky, comfortable decor, the great drinks selection and the friendly service – a double thumbs up.
Go for: A welcoming interior and service, accomplished cooking, and board games!
Is it possible to find a roast in a more chilled location than a yurt? As well as providing a quirky and relaxing environment, Yurt Lush also serves up food from the Eat Drink Bristol Fashion team, their roast (priced at £12.50) includes veg from the community farm and meat from The Story. Sit by the wood burner in winter, or outside overlooking the river in summer. Lush by name, lush by nature.
Go for: Great food with a feel-good story behind it. Plus, it’s a yurt!
The Beer Emporium
A great option in the bleak throes of winter, this warm and cavernous bar isn’t the most obvious choice for Sunday lunch, but I was pleasantly surprised at just how good it was. I had the chicken, which came perfectly cooked (I have sleepless nights thinking about dry, flaky chicken) with carrots, red cabbage, roast potatoes, parsnips, broccoli, and the largest Yorkshire puddings I have ever seen. It all tasted great, the gravy was top notch, and the desserts choices are worth considering if you have enough room. The drinks selection is first rate too, as you’d expect.
Go for: The biggest Yorkshire puddings in Bristol, and the bonus pint of ale, all for the tidy sum of £10 (keep an eye out for their deals on Wriggle too).
The Old Bookshop
One of the cooler places to spend your Sunday, this bar is another popular choice on a Sunday so it’s worth arriving early or booking ahead. Everything was well cooked and looked great on the plate too, with the veggie options being particularly impressive. At the moment they offer nut roast or mixed bean strudel on alternate weekends. Prices are £10.95 for 1 course, £14.95 for 2 courses,or £17.95 for 3 courses. Lush gravy, good portion size – a good all-rounder. Their Bloody Marys and beers on tap deserve a small applause too.
Go for: The interesting veggie options and friendly vibe.
The Christmas Steps
A nice and central offering, on the day my friend and I both opted for the salt marsh lamb, which was nicely cooked and came with some good crispy roasties (only 3, but overall it was a decent portion, I’m just greedy), kale, red cabbage and carrots. Roasts start at £10.95 and go up to £13.95, but come with a complimentary Bloody Mary, which along with the quality of the food makes the price easier to bear. They also have a regularly changing veg option to make things a bit more interesting for vegetarians.
Go for: The Bloody Marys and lovely, lovely gravy.
The Kensington Arms
Worth navigating the confusing streets of Redland for, The Kenny is well loved by local residents and foodies alike, and alongside their award-winning daily menu, they also do a top notch Sunday roast. Prices range from £11-15 depending on whether you opt for meat, fish or veggie meals, but you can be assured of a fine dining experience no matter what you choose.
Go for: A special meal with family, or if you want the wine to be just as fine as the food.
The next places on my histlist are Brace & Browns, who won the award for Best Roast Dinner at the Bristol Good Food Awards this year. The Bristologist, The Grace in Bishopston, The Love Inn on Stokes Croft and The Cadbury in Montpelier are alsoreportedly top notch, so I’ll be doing my best to try those out too. Alternatively, if you’re looking for extra comfort you can’t go far wrong with roast dinner supper clubs – Bishopston Supper Club and Dine With i both come highly rated.
So now that I’ve put some suggestion forward, go forth and seek your own ultimate roast across the city – happy Sunday lunching!
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