Doesn’t time fly? I’ve been through my favourite breakfast and lunch spots and here we have landed at dinner. It’s no secret that I absolutely love going out for meals and sharing dishes with friends and family. Food brings people together and going out for an evening meal accompanied by lots of wine is genuinely one of my favourite things to do, hence why this post will inevitably be longer than the last two. Here is the low down of the places you can usually find me & get ready to get hungry..
Pasta Loco – Since I moved to Bristol I regularly asked “Why isn’t there anywhere that does amazing Pasta?” & then Pasta Loco happened and pretty much all my prayers were instantly answered. All of their pasta is expertly hand made on site and the menu changes with the seasons (as any good restaurant should) so that they can use the freshest and tastiest local ingredients on offer. Another thing to mention is the cocktails, oh the cocktails. Definitely get a cocktail. Or three.
Dish recommendation: Their menu changes so often I can’t recommend anything that will definitely be on the menu but their gnocchi is the best. It was like huge big pillows full to the brim with cheese. I ate a starter, then the gnocchi, then I mopped up the plate with bread and then I had dessert. I washed all of this down with cocktails and it was a VERY happy evening. I also had so much fun that I forgot to take photos but luckily I have a snap from another time I went which was equally delicious – Photograph above.
Opening times: Monday 6pm-10pm, Tuesday-Saturday 12pm-2.30pm & 6pm-10pm. You have to book in advance as they are v.popular!
Bravas – When you mention Bravas to Bristol locals you will be met with a rose tinted look in their eyes and the following response “Oh my god the aubergine!”. This is what was shouted at me any time I mentioned that I hadn’t yet been to visit & when I finally did, I immediately knew what they were talking about and now I’m one of those people! Imagine thin strips of aubergine fried to perfection in a crispy coating and served covered in a sticky molasses sauce. It’s heaven and every time I go, I always order 2 portions, minimum, to myself. Aside from their show stopping aubergine, Bravas sell a load of different tasty tapas dishes (the padron peppers deserve a special mention) and you can basically sit and drink wine and keep ordering more and more tapas until you can tapas no more. It’s fantastic & you should go.
Dish recommendation: Aubergine, aubergine and then some more aubergine. Photographed above by Bravas.
Opening times: Monday-Thursday 11:30am-11pm, Friday & Saturday 12pm-11pm. You have to book in advance as they are v.popular!
Mezze palace – This is one of my favourite hidden gems in Bristol, hidden away underneath the bustling city centre you can find this glorious secret haven of Lebanese food. Whenever Samir & I go we will always order a whole load of different mezze dishes to share & it’s essential to get as much bread and hummus possible for mopping up the plates! As well as delicious food (suitable for meat eaters, vegetarians AND vegans..winner winner) they also sell loads of fruit juices which you can add spirits to and the best lookin’ display of baklava I’ve ever seen if you can manage a dessert!
Opening times: Monday-Friday 12pm-3pm & 6pm-11pm, Saturday 12pm-11pm, Sunday 12pm-10pm
Dain Korea – My other favourite hidden gem is Dain Korea. A completely unassuming exterior, but inside, their talented chef is serving up the best Korean food in Bristol. Hands down. I love recommending Dain Korea to friends because it’s the kind of place you’ve probably walked past loads of time but you have.to.go.in. The friendly staff are happy to help when you’re struggling to decide what to eat and they’ll also bring you some free mini starters when you arrive and fresh orange segments once you’ve finished your mains. The restaurant is also BYOB!
Dish recommendation: A bibimbap – A rice based dish with various toppings served with a raw egg on top. Served in a sizzling hot stone bowl which cooks the egg at your table. Tofu bibimbap photographed above.
Opening times: Monday-Saturday 12pm-3pm & 6pm-11.30pm.
Bertha’s – If you haven’t been down to the incredible Wapping wharf development, WHAT ARE YOU DOING? Seriously. It’s an incredible hub of foodie greatness and Bertha’s is my one of my favourites. They’re serving up delicious sourdough pizzas, sourcing their ingredients all locally, and their flavour combinations are out of this world. They also serve a variety of homemade dips, such as baconnaise(!) and have a winning cocktail menu and gelato options too.
Dish recommendation: The Unami bomb – A perfect sourdough pizza without the usual tomato base, topped with mozzarella, smoked potatoes, black garlic vinegarette, aioli. It’s carby heaven. (Photographed above). Also, try and get a table downstairs or on a kitchen barstool so you can watch the talented chefs in action!
Opening times: Tuesday-Thursday 6pm-9pm, Friday 12pm-2.30pm & 6pm-10pm, Saturday 12pm-10pm, Sunday 12pm-4pm
The Gallimaufry – I first came across The Gallimaufry as a food haven after being invited to their vegan menu tasting before it launched and I was absolutely blown away by the innovative dishes that their kitchen is creating. Since then, they have become a staple on our food tours and we are always pleasantly surprised by their always changing menu of small plates which cater to meat-eaters, vegetarians and vegans. As well as these tasty small plates they also do a mean Sunday roast & delicious desserts. The venue also showcases some brilliant local artists and is a music venue in the evenings. It’s well worth a visit!
Opening times: Monday-Thursday & Sunday 11am-12am, Friday-Saturday 11am-1am
Sticks n Broth – Sticks n Broth is a specialist ramen restaurant which has recently opened it’s second branch on Stokes croft. They serve up steaming hot, comforting bowls of ramen with plenty of meaty and non-meaty options for their adoring fans! They also sell gyozas, donburi rice and steamed baos which can be enjoyed alongside your ramen or as a starter. They’re a popular place to visit for either lunch or dinner due to their extremely good for money menu. For £6.50 you can blag yourself a huge bowlful of noodle goodness, plus both stores are in walking distance to icecream shops if you can fit in some dessert..
Dish recommendation: Any bowl of ramen (it’s always worth enquiring about their house special) and some gyozas to start! Photograph above by Deliveroo.
Opening times: (Baldwin street) Monday-Saturday 12pm-10.30pm, Sunday 12pm-9.30pm (Stokes croft) Monday-Sunday 12pm-11pm
Oowee – It feels like the sourdough pizza and dirty burger trend is rife in Bristol at the moment and I am more than happy about it. Oowee are hidden away on Picton street and have a huge following of fans..and for good reason. Oowee are doing something different, in their tiny premises they are creating proper American diner style food. Think loaded fries with cheese sauce, buttermilk chicken, relish and sour cream or a peanut butter bacon double cheese burger which can all be washed down with a creamy thick shake. They are serving the most Instagrammable food ever and their feed is not somewhere to go if you’re feeling hungry and not within close reach because you will want to eat it as soon as you see it! Case in point:
Dish recommendation: All of it. I’m a huge fan of the good burger, garlic butter fries & southern fried cauliflower. But there are SO MANY ridiculously meaty options such as the dish above, photographed by Fit Waffle.
Opening times: Monday-Thursday 5pm-11.30pm, Friday 12pm-12am, Saturday 1pm-12am, Sunday 1pm-11pm
If you’re a big burger fan, I’d also recommend visits to: Asado, Squeezed, Burger theory & Burger joint.
Box-E – I thought I’d also include a couple of fine dining experiences within this guide and first up, we have Box-E. Another excellent addition to the Wapping Wharf development and serving from the confines of 2 shipping containers, they offer an array of innovative dishes and to top it all off, you can watch Elliot create the dishes in front of your very eyes. I would highly recommend Box-E for a special occasion dinner and wash down whatever you’re eating with one of their cocktails!
Dish recommendation: Seven course taster menu with a wine flight and then cocktails. Also, book really far in advance so you can sit at the kitchen table! Photograph above by Wapping wharf.
Opening times: Tuesday 6pm-9.30pm, Wednesday-Saturday 12pm-3pm & 6pm-9.30pm
Bulrush – I have saved the best to last with this guide and I’m really excited to tell you about Bulrush. I have only been once (so far) and it was hands down the best dining experience I’ve ever had. They serve modern British food which reflects the seasons and include a variety of foraged ingredients in their dishes. They love to showcase the very best Westcountry produce and can cater their taster menu to all dietary requirements with good notice. Jo & I had a vegetarian taster menu and it was out of this world. Every course was a showstopper both by look and taste and their wine menu is also excellent.
Opening times: Tuesday & Wednesday 6.30pm-10.30pm, Thursday – Saturday 12.30pm-3pm & 6.30pm-10pm. You must book well in advance to get a table here!
I also want to give a shoutout here to Flour & Ash, Poco, Souk Kitchen and Soul Fish because they featured on my breakfast or lunch posts but are also firm favourites on my dinner hit list!
Here is a little round up of other places I like to go and eat or drink or buy nice produce from in Bristol:
The Parlour or Swoon for the finest ice-cream, gelato and sorbet
Ahh toots or Papa deli for delicious cakes
Marks bread for a fantastic range of different loaves and good lookin’ pastries too
The Bristol Cheesemonger for incredible local cheese
Bristol Spirit for unique cocktails and spirits (e.g. rhubarb and custard vodka!)
Zara’s chocolates for yummy handmade chocolates – get the salted caramel truffles..
Here ends my ‘Bristol bests’ meal guides and I hope you’ve enjoyed them! If you follow any of my recommendations I would love to know what you thought either via comment here or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org