We’ll admit it. Bristol is one of our favourite cities right now. It’s pretty, it’s quirky, and the food scene is absolutely exploding. So it’s no wonder that Bristol has been voted the best place in the UK to live three times in the last few years. Although it’s a pretty chilled city, it’s also home to many upmarket restaurants, and even a couple of Michelin stars. After some serious explorations of the best places in the city, we’ve come up with a great list of places with the top tasting menus in Bristol.
Go to Wilks and you’ll be absolutely spoilt for choice as they don’t have one tasting menu, they have two. Choose from a five, or seven course tasting menu, both with paired wines. (If there’s one thing we love more than food, it’s wine.) For a Michelin-starred restaurant, this place is pretty reasonable, with the menus coming in at just £58 and £88, respectively. If you’re looking for something truly local, Wilks is the place to go. Not only is the food locally-sourced, they also champion Bristol artists, displaying their work on the walls in a rotating basis. Best of all, the chefs in the kitchen are the owners, James and Christine, and their passion for their restaurant shines through in their excellent food. What are you waiting for?? Get a booking!
Currently the darlings of the Bristol food scene, these guys are not quite as accolade-ed as Wilks, but we predict it won’t be long until they are. This teeny tiny spot serves an eight-course menu through the week and a nine-course on Friday and Saturday evening. Both versions have a dedicated vegetarian option, meaning the non meat-eaters in your group get a menu that’s actually designed for them, with no half-baked substitutions. With treats like duck liver macaroons (and goats curd ones for the veggies), sheep’s milk ice cream, and bream with shiso and sake, you’ll probably get to eat things you’ve never had before. Chef/owner George has worked with notable names like St John, Roux fine dining, and Club Gascon so if you’re looking for a tasting menu in Bristol, you know you’re in good hands.
We promise this is a real restaurant, not a pool bar. Lido Bristol first opened in 1850, allowing the people of Bristol the chance to swim outside for almost 150 years. It was recently redeveloped and is now a stunning pool with a restaurant and bar that creates waves. (Sorry, we love a pun.) Although they have a poolside tapas bar, it’s the inside restaurant that gets us excited. The five course tasting selection is “no menu”, meaning that you just have to take what the talented chefs give you. The menu changes daily so sadly we can’t tell you what’s on offer but at just £50 a head, with views over the lido, it’s a steal and always worth the experience. Just perhaps don’t bring your super fussy other half.
Pony and Trap
OK, The Pony and Trap is a little outside of Bristol proper, located in Chew Magna, but if you’re looking for excellent food and one of the best tasting menus in Bristol, this really is worth a trip. Although these guys have proudly held a Michelin star for seven years, they’re not a fancy fine dining space. They’re actually a gastro-pub that sells simply outstanding food. They have a choice of tasting menus, a main one served every day except Sunday and a five course one at lunch time. Try out delicious dishes like steak tartar with oyster, rhubarb and custard (with a twist of course), and buttermilk, strawberry, and tarragon, which you can have with their expertly-paired wines.
No Man's Grace
If you’re looking to do a tasting menu tour of Bristol, you’re in the right area if you head to Redland as this spot is right across the road from Wilks. Chef John Watson has previously worked at Michelin star restaurants and while this is a little more relaxed than his previous spot, Casamia, No Man’s Grace is no less tasty. The tasting menu is an extremely reasonable £45 per head and features classic cooking with John’s twist on dishes. Highlights include poached lemon sole with sea kale, Cornish cod with salted croquette, and the desserts like chocolate & bourbon truffle with chocolate and sea salt brownie, that these guys are famous for.