The Bristol Food Scene

Cookpad’s mission is to make everyday cooking fun, and the Bristol HQ team really do live by this and many of us are great home cooks. However you cannot live in Bristol without eating out — the food scene in this city is incredible!

Over the last few years Bristol has become well known in the UK for its food scene. With top food critics and journalists, such as Jay Raynor and Tim Hayward, writing some very flattering articles, Bristol is now a firm foodie destination. Bristols scene is all about independants and it is thriving.


There is a strong focus on local, organic and ethical food in Bristol. A number of the best restaurants change their menus daily to give the freshest and most innovative dishes. I recently dined in Root @ Cargo, where the concept is vegetable based small plates. Pictured is the charred hispi cabbage with seaweed butter shallot and radish. Every one of the 10 dishes we shared was memorable.

3 years ago I arranged a family dinner for 35 people to celebrate my marriage, we had this at The Lido, as my better half and I love it here. Our family were blown away by the food. There was no pre-set menu, we had whatever the chef chose at market that morning. Dishes included deep fried oysters, wood roast mackerel, curried yogurt and cauliflower and of course their famous homemade ice creams and Spanish wines.

Street Food vs Michelin Stars

Eating out in Bristol doesn’t have to cost a fortune. There are lots of street food markets and many are right by the Cookpad office — Temple Quay on Thursdays, Finzels Reach on Fridays and St.Nicks all week!

The food selection is varied and there are lots of options for different tastes and dietary requirements. My favourites have to be Lovett Pies and She Sells Sushi (pictured).

The markets are so popular and there are also a few dotted around the city on weekends and once a month there is a night market with music and booze.

Bristol also has a decent number of Michelin starred restaurants. I recently visited Paco Tapas on a Saturday night with no reservation! The restaurant is owned and run by the Sanchez-Inglesias family, who are behind the hugely successful Casamia. They branched out to a pizzeria and tapas bar a year ago, with the latter being awarded a much coveted michelin star in the first year of opening. Dinner was amazing, we could have been in Andalusia. From the jamon croqueta to the Iberico and the Sherry, everything was mouth-watering. Simple food done really well. The best part was the price — when you think Michelin you think re-mortgage. Not here, the majority of the menu was between £3- £10 per dish.

Burgers and Pizzas

Within Bristol there seems to be a mini food scene in Burgers and Pizzas. There are some exceptional quality casual restaurants in the city. Personally, the only time I go for a burger is when I have had a bit too much to drink the night before, and then it has to be Owwee Diner — a proper sloppy dirty burger. However, I do have a list as long as my arm that I want to try when the craving materialises! On my list I have Squeezed, Asado, Burger Theory and Hubbox.

Now pizza, I could eat all day everyday. A great place to go after work is Bertha’s at Wapping Wharf. There are places to have a few beers between the office and the restaurant and their selection on pizza’s is great — Meat & Heat (Pepperoni and honey) and the Kimcheese (kimchi and blue cheese). They also do amazing gelato. Once I mentioned my love of peanut butter ice cream to the waiter, and he explained that the menu had changed. Then he appeared back at the table with a huge bowl of it, he had found some at the bottom of the freezer and gave our table the last of it!

Another one of my favourites is Pi Shop, their Wagyu meat feast is so tasty and they have a great lunch deal. Thursdays to Sundays 12–6pm pizza, salad and ice cream for £12. Note, this is another one of the Michelin starred Sanchez-Iglesias spots.

New Openings

Having personally lived in Bristol for 7 years I have witnessed heaps of new eateries opening. I have seen the Bristol food scene increase and with it my passion and love of food too! I like to try a few new places each month, however I still have a long list in my iphone of places I want to try:


Shop 3 Bistro


Pasta Ripiena (anticipating impending opening!)

Box E



My top tip on finding some great deals in Bristol is to download Wriggle and CityMunch, both of these have some real bargains and also let you know about pop-ups and new restaurants.

Little Black Book

The only problem with the Bristol food scene is deciding where to eat! To help you out here is my little black book:

Pizza: Berthas

Non-traditional Italian: Pasta Loco ( carbonara with pork belly and a pancetta wrapped poached egg, I kid you not)

Indian: Urban Tandoor

Burger: Oowee

Working Lunch: Yurt Lush

Sunday Roast: The Kensington Arms

Ice cream: Swoon

Tapas: Paco Tapas

Saturday night: Wallfish Bistro or Wilks

Pie: Lovett Pies

Wine and Cheese: Bar Burvette (my current favourite place to be)

Steak: Cowshed

Coffee shop: Tincan Coffee on North Street