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Where to eat in Bristol – a food and dining guide

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Bristol’s dining culture focuses on British cuisine made from locally sourced, seasonal ingredients. Restaurants, cafes, and stalls here make use of its position near the surrounding Somerset countryside – home of the best cider in Britain, as well as an abundance of working farms. Choose between a glass-surfaced fine dining restaurant in Harbourside, a quirky canteen in bohemian Stokes Croft or a tray of something tempting from the Old City’s St Nicholas Market.

Emily Wilson

My Destination local expert on

Bristol

Try scrumpy, a much-loved kind of cider originating from Bristol and the surrounding West Country. It has a dry or sweet flavour and cloudy appearance, and is perfect accompanied by some local Cheddar cheese.

 

Old City

 

Seconds from the main shopping streets, the Old City is a warren of small lanes and cobblestones. Located off Corn Street, St Nicholas Market is without a doubt the street food center of Bristol. Head to Eat a Pitta for handmade falafel wraps drizzled with tahini; or go to Pieminister, a Bristol institution that’s since spread all over the UK. You can taste its humble beginnings here, in a pie brimming with unusual ingredient combinations, and topped off with exquisitely crumbly pastry and a pile of buttery mash.

 

St Nicholas Market, The Exchange, 3 All Saints Lane. Tel: +44 117 922 4014

 

Clifton

 

Pretty Georgian Clifton Village lies on a hill overlooking the city. Its steep streets house an array of exciting dining options, which marry contemporary cuisine with hearty British classics. The Clifton Sausage serves a selection of locally produced sausages - order a ‘Clifton’ – a nose-tingling pork, apple and wholegrain mustard variety. Another option around the Clifton area is the Lido, a stunning Victorian swimming pool that just happens to have a Tapas bar attached. Feast on roast quail with a peppery butter dressing, and finish off with quirky but superb quality chocolate and stout ice cream.

 

The Clifton Sausage, 7 Portland Street. Tel: +44 117 973 1192• The Lido, Oakfield Place, Clifton. Tel +44 117 933 9530

 

Stokes Croft

 

Bohemian Stokes Croft is Bristol’s most cultural area. Food-wise, you can find quirky independent eateries right next to bustling ethnic restaurants. The Canteen is a not-for-profit, ethically minded venture, with a menu that changes daily. Past offerings have included baked Cornish sardines and roasted pork belly cooked with chestnuts. The cheese board is also a treat, combining local cheeses with seasonal, tangy chutneys. Or try Rice & Things, an acclaimed Jamaican restaurant. Its unpretentious décor brings the focus onto its fantastic, affordable cooking. Feast on crispy baked chicken and curried goat, washed down with one of their homemade fruit juices.

 

The Canteen, Hamilton House, 80 Stokes Croft. Tel: +44 117 923 2017• Rice and Things, 120 Cheltenham Rd. Tel: +44 117 924 4832

 

Harbourside

 

Newly redeveloped Harbourside is where you can find Bristol’s fine dining, in an upmarket area nestled next to the water. The local focus to food here is continued, with good quality produce interpreted in contemporary ways. The Glassboat Restaurant is located on a Scandinavian-designed glass-fronted barge. Try their locally sourced beef wellington, and follow it with greengage tart; fine dining versions of British home-cooked classics. Alternatively, try Bordeaux Quay, housed in an old docks warehouse and now an eco-friendly restaurant and deli. Their fish stew is a winner, combining ethically caught salmon and cod with a delicate, creamy sauce.

 

Glassboat Restaurant, Welsh Back. Tel: +44 117 929 0704• Bordeaux Quay, V-Shed, Canons Way. Tel: +44 117 943 1200