Category Archives: Food Guides

Bristol’s Food & drink lockdown essentials

Phew, what a few weeks ey? It’s been a tumultuous time to say the least, but it’s been amazing to watch how many of Bristol’s food & drink businesses have risen to the challenge with their own delivery services, meal packs, online events and gift vouchers systems.

Here are some of my picks for how you can still enjoy the best of the city’s food scene while staying safe – let me know if you have any others you think I should I add in.

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The Bristol Foodie Gift guide

We all love novelty socks and comedy DVDs, but surely the best present of all to receive is the gift of food (or money, money is also very good).

I usually try to top up the stockings of my nearest and dearest with a few local Bristol treats (inevitably a few find their way into my cupboard, but I see it as commission for my thoughtfulness), so should you be wondering what food & drink gifts to get for friends and family, allow me to show you some of your options…

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Bristol’s Best Curry Restaurants

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! Continue reading Bristol’s Best Curry Restaurants

Bristol’s Best Harbourside Restaurants

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Credit: Spoke & Stringer

Summer in Bristol means eating and drinking by the Harbourside, right?

Personally, my ultimate sign that the sunshine has arrived is when I see legs dangling over the quayside outside Arnolfini, or people jostling for space along the jetties nearby.

This guide is mainly focused on nabbing some a bite to eat in the harbour – if you’re more focused on waterfront boozing, take a look at my Harbourside Pub Crawl guide.

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Oldies but goodies: Bristol institutions

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Empty plates at Poco (Credit: Alex Poulter, http://www.instagram.com/aa.poulter)

It’s easy to get caught up with the latest openings and new exciting places (and there is plenty to be excited about at the moment), but I thought it was time to give some appreciation to the places that have kept me fed and watered with consistently brilliant fare since I moved to Bristol twelve (bloody hell) years ago.

Let me know your favourite places on Twitter or Facebook, and I’ll add them in later!

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Bristol’s Best Pizza Joints

Food doesn’t come much simpler and comforting than a pizza, and yet some places have managed to take the basics of dough, tomato sauce and cheese and make something quite spectacular.

Whether you like your pizza straight from a wood-fired oven, made from sourdough, served alongside a flight of cider or made with vegan cheese, Bristol has something for every preference and persuasion.

So without further ado, here are Bristol’s most perfect purveyors of all thing pizza….

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Vegetarian Bristol & Bath

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Bristol now has more than its fair share of vegan and veggie places to eat, earning it a place as the most popular vegan city in the world.

I’m always happy to go to vegetarian restaurants, and tend to eat out a lot at Japanese, Korean and Indian restaurants, which by their nature offer extensive vegetarian choices (check out Tuk Tuck, Bento Boss and Nutmeg for particularly good examples of this), but even so it seems only fair to have a fully fledged vegetarian give their thoughts about the best of what’s on offer.

Read on to see what other plant-based treats you can get your hands on across the city!
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Bristol’s Best Food & Drink Experiences

Not only is Bristol packed to the gills with amazing restaurants, bars and cafes, but there are also plenty of opportunities to learn from the experts or have a go at making something yourself!

Whether you want to learn how to make sushi or tell a Merlot from a Malbec, here are plenty of tasty experiences across the city…

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Bristol Food & Drink: The 2019 Highlights

Well 2019. It’s been a mixed bag on all fronts, hasn’t it? Some amazing new food & drink places arrived in the city, the city & its restaurants won even more accolades, we welcomed another new eating district to the city (hi, Finzel’s Reach!), but we also had to bid farewell to some really great businesses.

Alongside the celebration of all the brilliant businesses & events below, it’s a good time to remember that things have never been tougher for independents, so make sure you shop, dine & drink local as much as you can in the new year – we really are spoilt for choice in Bristol, let’s keep it that way!

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Bristol’s Best Date Locations

Finally plucked up the courage to ask the object of your affection out for a drink? Or want to spoil your significant other?

Here are a few suggestions for your next date night, whether it’s a casual coffee, a slap-up dinner or a relaxed bite to eat – all a bit special, not too noisy and with a nice atmosphere to allow you to have the perfect time with your beau. Happy smooching!

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Bristol’s Classiest Cocktail Bars

Picture of Whiskey Sour

Credit: Alex Poulter (http://www.flickr.com/photos/livingfortuesday/)

We all have times when we’re in need of a night out to make us feel a bit special, or wanting to find a place that feels a bit more quiet and hidden away.

Bristol has become famous for its variety of speakeasies and secret bars, all of which offer something a bit different, without being pretentious or too exclusive. With that in mind, here are some places where you can imbibe the finest cocktail concoctions in Bristol…

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Bristol’s Best Pub Gardens

The incredible beer garden at The Spotted Cow
The incredible beer garden at The Spotted Cow

We all know that any meal or drinks can be enhanced by a fantastic view. Luckily, with most of Bristol resting on a ridiculous gradient, impressive views over the city and beyond are not hard to come by. Sometimes though, it’s just nice to sit in a good pub garden and take in your surroundings, whether it be on a river bank, on a busy high street or up a behemoth hill. Continue reading Bristol’s Best Pub Gardens

Mulled Wine & Winter Warmers in Bristol

One of the best things about the weather getting colder is huddling in cosy corners in your thickest jumper, sipping a warm cider and snacking on festive treats.

It can sometimes be a mission to find the sort of comfort drink you’re after though, so on the suggestion of a friend I’ve put together a rudimentary list of places that will fulfill all of your winter boozing needs.

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Where to Treat Yourself in Bristol

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The interior of The Ox, almost as tasty as its menu.

Want to celebrate a birthday, have a family meal or spoil that special someone?

As you’d expect, Bristol is brimming with excellent food options to suit every budget and taste; in fact you can eat well at many of the places below for a little over £10 – be sure to check their early bird deals or see if you can find them on the Wriggle app.

I’ve split the selections below by type, from serious sophistication down to the quirkier venues in town, so whether you’re on a date or a work do, you can work out the sort of mood & location that suits you best.

Break out your best shoes, smooth down your hair and straighten your bow tie – here are my tips for where to go when you’re in need of a serious treat in Bristol…

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Bristol’s Best Burgers

The past 12 months have seen an influx of burger joints set up shop in Bristol, to the point where it seemed like you couldn’t walk 5 paces in the centre of town without walking into an A Board shouting about the superior meat patties (Aberdeen Angus! 30 day aged! Fillet! – wait, why would you use fillet for a burger, you crazyperson?), toppings (All the cheese! Pulled Pork! 3 more burgers!  Monster Munch!) and the continuation of that ever-contentious issue: sesame vs. brioche buns.

Now that the MeatWave™ has calmed somewhat, I feel like I can round up some of the better burger offerings out there. I hasten to add that most of these places also offer some excellent veggie options, and I’ll point out the best options as I go, but do check their menus for specific vegetarian/dairy free/GF options.

Grab a pen, it’s about to get tasty…

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Get a mouthful of tastiness at Burger Theory

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Budget Dining in Bristol

Fresh food for a great price at Sky Kong Kong Credit: Simple Lampoon
Fresh food for a great price at Sky Kong Kong
Credit: Simple Lampoon

Many of my friends wonder how I can afford to go out so much in Bristol, but I’m always quick to respond that Bristol, for a city, is not expensive to eat in, or at least has a wide variety of food options to suit any budget.

Considering my tastes lean towards craft beer, steak and tapas, all traditionally expensive choices, I have never struggled to find places in Bristol that I can afford to visit again and again.

So I thought I’d share a few with you here, because in these frugal times, as much as it’s sensible to tighten our belts, it’s also important to keep supporting local businesses, and get outside to try something new with friends too!

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Where to get your sugar fix in Bristol

We all love a sweet treat to perk up our day, reward ourselves or just because we can’t resist the temptation of a tasty-looking brownie on a cafe counter (I am the ultimate impulse cake purchaser – stop putting them so close to the till!)

Bristol has no shortage of places that will happily send you into a euphoric sugar daze – here are my recommendations, helpfully split out by craving type; you’re welcome.

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The 12 Best Brunches in Bristol

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Beautiful breakfasts at Spicer + Cole

Weekends are special for all sorts of reasons, and not just the fact that you’re out of the office for a blissful 48 hours.

The two greatest reasons must be the fact that you have the opportunity for a lie-in and also that you get to take as long as you want over your breakfast, without having to try and eat your toast whilst simultaneously putting on your coat and shoving your packed lunch in your bag. Here are a few of my favourite places for a leisurely brunch…

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Bristol Food & Drink: The 2017 Highlights!

The new year is nigh! We’ve been through another busy few months, where Bristol has firmly cemented itself as a food destination to rival even London.

There have been many gushing reviews from esteemed critics, awards and new places. There have also been the inevitable closures – but more on that later.

I’ve tried to round up some of the key Bristol food & drink moments of 2017, as well as asking some locals for their munching highlights of the year.  Strap in, here are the best bits of what we ate in the year 2017…

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6 Places to Broaden Your Eating Horizons in Bristol

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Get your Jane Austen vibe on at The Historical Dining Rooms

*Updated September 2016*

It’s easy to fall into unadventurous habits when it comes to food.

We all know what we like, and sometimes all you want at the end of a busy day is a reliably good pizza or a comforting sausage sandwich – but I’m here to tell you it’s about time you broadened your horizons and tried the full array of food experiences that Bristol has to offer!

Here are some of my top tips for where to munch something a little bit different…

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The Quest for the Best Roast in Bristol – Part Three

The roast dinner at The Beer Emporium
The roast at The Beer Emporium

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! Continue reading The Quest for the Best Roast in Bristol – Part Three

Bristol’s Best Steak Deals

Steak at The Ox
Steak at The Ox – treat yourself.

*Updated June 2016*

As much as I’m far from being just a meat and potatoes sort of gal, it has to be said that one of the most luxurious ways to spend an evening is with a good steak and a large glass of red wine.

I’ve said before that my ideal steak is the thickness of my wrist and the size of my face, but I’d like to think that in recent times I’ve come to appreciate quality over quantity with my meat. Probably.

There is now an abundance of fantastic steak restaurants across Bristol, all offering high quality fare at different price points. Here is my guide to the best ones I’ve found so far, along with some of the best deals they have to offer – feel free to tell me about other great steaks you’ve had, or even your top recipes for a steak dinner at home! Continue reading Bristol’s Best Steak Deals

Where to get your Meat Fix in Bristol

My last relationship was with a vegan. Now, I’m always happy to try new things and experiment with my cooking, so for the most part it didn’t bother me that most of my recipes had to omit any meat, eggs or dairy. I quite relished the challenge, in fact.

However, once I found myself single again, I seemed to gravitate towards the meatier, greasier and downright dirtier end of every menu I perused. Luckily, there has recently been an influx of fantastic meat eateries to Bristol, so naturally I had to try them all. And this is what I thought. Continue reading Where to get your Meat Fix in Bristol