Bristol is a great city for so many reasons, but one of the big ones for me is that it’s such a lovely place to go for a scenic amble of a weekend afternoon. There are lots of routes I like to take through the city, but my favourite by far is around the harbour.
The richest part of Bristol’s history starts here – some of the oldest and most beautiful buildings in the city can be found by the water and there is always something exciting going on no matter what the hour or time of year. So the next time you’re stuck for something to do of a weekend, I suggest you gather some friends and go on a cider or ale quest around the water’s edge. I’ve even put together a suggested route, because I’m nice like that.
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.
What’s that I hear you say – nothing happens in January? Well it turns out there’s plenty to tempt you out of the house this month, whether it’s mega discounts, new places or exciting dinner events. Put it this way, I’ve already reneged on my booze-free plans for the month.
You can see a quick guide to the month’s events in the Events Calendar, and I also recommend having a read of my 2018 Highlights post at some point, mainly because it took bloody ages. Ta!
It’s time for my annual digest of the foodie comings and goings in Bristol, peppered with some favourites from a few fine folk (tell me yours over on Twitter and I’ll share them at the bottom of the post).
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.
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…
I’m in full festive cheer mode now – I’ve had my first mince pie and mulled beverage of the year, bedecked my halls with holly and ironed my sequinned reindeer jumper (only joking, I don’t even own an iron, grown up that I am).
Before you hibernate for Christmas week and drink your body weight in port, here are a few events which might tempt you out from your cosy nests. They’re proper good, I promise.
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.
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!
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.
We’re little more than a hop, skip and a jump from Christmas now, and while I’m not quite ready to bombard you with festive events yet (the Christmas gift guide is ready though), I am getting very giddy for mulled beverage season.
Last year I did a guide to the best winter warmer drinks in Bristol (to be updated v. soon), and I’m counting the days until it feels sufficiently wintery so that bars will crack out the mulled wine and cider.
Anywho, it’s definitely less festival-y this month, but instead there are oodles of exciting dinner events, workshops and tastings for you to get along to (browse the Events Calendar if you have a date in mind). Grab your mittens and bobble hat, here’s what you could be doing in the coming weeks…
Here are the places I have to give a double thumbs up to, should you find yourself uninspired by your packed lunch or office canteen. I’ve tried to keep the suggestions to the centre, otherwise this post would be even longer!
Let me know where else you rate for lunchtime munching in the comments below!
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…
Beer has a rich history in the UK. In the olden days, people would drink beer in the place of water, as the latter was likely to give you cholera or something. We could’ve had a nice civilised national drink like wine, but our damp and overcast shores have never welcomed grape cultivation. We’re also not cold enough to justify living off strong spirits like those tough Scandinavians and Russians.
Not only has there been an explosion in the amount of small breweries and independent bars opening across the UK, but home brewing, real ale and beer festivals are more popular than ever. So, what better time to get acquainted with this diverse and exciting drink? Here are my tips for where to go in Bristol. Continue reading The Craftiest Bristol Beer Bars→
Welcome to August, well known to Bristolians as BALLOON MONTH, or that oddly calm few weeks when the students aren’t here and half the city is on holiday, so you can actually get a seat at Pasta Loco, or served within 20mins at Hy Brasil (I jest about the latter of course, that is always impossible).
Mega short intro this month as there’s so much to tell you about!
The sun is here, then it isn’t, Grillstock is here, and then it isn’t…what a time to be alive. In any case, here are all the fun food events coming up this month (or check the Events Calendar if you don’t have time to read the full list)
There’s lots to get through this month, and to think we’re not even in the summer months yet! There are still all the festivals to look forward to (Vegfest in May, and Food Connections & Grillstock in June to name just three), but let’s focus on April for now.
Without further ado, here’s what you could (and should) be eating this month…
(if you haven’t got time to read this monster guide, check out the Events Calendar instead)