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 dals or English-born Baltis, Keralan or Bangladeshi, spicy or creamy.
Speaking of which – some of the places below are region-specific, some are more ‘traditional’ English curry house, one place is even Punjabi, which straddles both India and Pakistan – in any case, I’m trying to cover the general curry vibe in Bristol, and I like a rogan josh as much as the next guy, but I am enjoying learning more about the different regions of Bristol and what their different cuisines entail.
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!
Aiming to do justice to the food of all 29 states of India is no mean feat, but Nutmeg manages to do it with finesse, whilst somehow managing to be fairly modest about it.
Despite its location in Clifton Village, Nutmeg manages to straddle a nice balance of feeling special yet welcoming, with dishes which are next level good but not showing off. I’ve had tandoori rabbit, octopus bhaji, pork cheek vindaloo and a whole host of wonderful dishes here, and I can’t wait to go back.
I reviewed a wine dinner at Nutmeg in case you want to find out more.
The Mint Room
This sophisticated restaurant started in Bath before opening a second branch in Clifton, so that already sets the tone for what The Mint Room is setting out to do – Indian cuisine, taken to the next level. The service is impeccable and the cocktails, decor and quality of dishes made me giddy – probably not one for drunken takeaways, save it for someone special.
Tucked away on a residential street in Easton, Pipal Tree has managed to top the Tripadvisor rankings in Bristol for ages (not that I hold much trust in that, but still good going for a small neighbourhood restaurant), and luckily, it delives IRL too. During the day they do a mixed Punjabi-English brunch menu, before going for a some home-cooked Punjabi dishes in the evening. The owners are an absolute delight and keen to tell you which members of the family made which elements of your dinner, and I also loved that you can choose to have wedges with your curry instead of rice “because that’s how we eat it at home”. Proper job.
Most people are understandably a bit nervy about getting a curry in the centre of town, especially down a side street of the boozy stretch of Corn St, but Urban Tandoor is well worth a visit. They’ve won numerous awards and been nominated for countless others – it strikes the perfect balance of recoginisable curry house decor, but the food is a step above. Their sister restaurant Urban Kohinoor on Whiteladies Rd is also top notch.
All veggie Keralan dishes in a modest-looking cafe and plastic menus, but I guarantee you’ll enjoy feasting at Dev’s. This is one of the few Indian restaurants in Bristol that my Indian friends will actually go to – their Southern Indian dishes feel very homely, and the prices are refreshingly affordable – it’s BYO too!
A nice mix of familiar curry dishes, grilled skewers, street food treats (including the zingy katacos, Indian-inspired tacos!) and Indo-Chinese dishes, including momos (Nepalese dumplings) and chilli chicken lollipops. Well worth a visit if you’re looking for dinner in the city centre with a good range of dishes, whether you want to stick to butter chicken or try something new.
Standard tandoori house fare, but far tastier than the average. 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.
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 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!
This place on Jacobs Wells Rd is small but perfectly formed in every way – the restaurant seats around 30 people and there are only a handful of menu options, but you can see them being made to order from your seat (including the gorgeous naans). Highly recommended.
Ahmed’s Masala Cafe
Bringing bargain Indian food to the people of 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 cafe on 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 it’s a Bristol stalwart for a reason.
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!):
55 thoughts on “Bristol’s Best Curry Restaurants”
Ahh yes, the Thali cafe is my favourite! The one up in Clifton is beautifully decorated
Think Devs on glos rd is also well worth a mention. Another South Indian style but really good value for money. Really tasty smoked chilli dishes. Service can be slow if ur in a big group.
Not been there, I also enjoyed Dil Se on Glouc rd when I went there but not sure if it’s still open!
Great list, but I would add the Rajpoot at top of Blackboy Hill. Great food with slightly stuffy colonial air… Cocktails in Hausbar afterwards and stagger home over the downs. Pukka.
yes I’ve heard of Rajpoot, usually followed with a Haus bar recommendation. I’ve not been to either so will have to rectify this soon!
Really not a big fan of Mystirica – the food was pretty poor when I went last year, Seemed very synthetic. I have to admit that my favourite is Old India on the St.Nick market road opposite Bagel Boy.
I’ve not been there either – must check it out!
That’s a shame about Myristica, I really enjoyed the bits we tried and am really curious about the more unusual meats they’re using. What did you have?
I can’t remember, to be honest, but I know I wasn’t bowled over by the quality. The food at Old India is genuinely great – at least when I’ve been – and it’s cheap and the service is great.
Love the Thali cafe in Clifton! Will definitely refer to your list on my next visit to Bristol!
Thank you! I’m pleased that you enjoyed the list. And Thali is always a favourite when I have visitors in town!
randomly found your blog, very nice pic, i am starving after seeing the pics XD
Thank you! I hope you enjoy the other posts too 🙂
Love this post! Really love Indian food but have only had the chance to go to 4500 from Delhi and I was really impressed! Funnily enough I live near Myristica so I’m going to have to try that soon! 🙂 Ax
Definitely try Myristica – the staff are so lovely, and some of the menu options are really interesting. Meluha is good if you want something a bit more experimental, but I’d definitely recommend getting a tiffin if you’re not too far from the Totterdown or Southville branches of Thali 🙂
Hope you enjoy the other posts!x
Tiffins on St Michael’s Hill if you want authentic home cooked Gujerati food
I very much like the “Raj”. seems very authentic to me!
My top choice is bombay boulevard on denmark st. Not much to look at from the outside but the food is superb and the owner and front of house chap are really nice. Deserves a mention as never had anything worse than excellent food.
I’ve not even heard of that place before, but will look out for it next time, thanks for the comment 🙂
You have to go to h
Kohi noor on black boy hill it’s AMAZING!
Ooh, not heard of it before, and it’s fairly local; will have to pay it a visit 🙂
I’m happy to say I am familiar with 5 on your list, and have enjoyed all of them, but Dev’s has a special place in the hearts of those who live near as it’s such a happy, family, unpretentious place serving good food with a warm welcome.
Agreed! I love good, simple food in a welcoming surrounding 🙂