Places in Bristol we can’t believe we ever lived without…
Bristol is a young, vibrant city with everything going for it. It’s been named the happiest city, the best city to live in the UK and is the European Green Capital 2015; plus it’s got an insane amount of eateries. Vegan? No worries. Love barbecues? Bristol’s got it covered – as it has with everything from street food to fine-dining. In fact, when the hit list 18 Things Everyone Needs to Eat in Bristol hit the internet, it simply wasn’t even enough. Cue 18 Things to Eat in Bristol That Were Missed Off The Last List. Needless to say, as diners, we are utterly spoilt for choice.
Even with so much choice, we residents of Bristol still get excited by new ventures, and we welcome them with open arms. With so many venues popping up and over the last few months, we’ve rounded up the best new openings in Bristol – the places we can’t believe we ever went without.
Aquila has swooped onto the dining scene, boasting a glimmering glass facade, set menus galore and plenty of cocktails. Adding to a number of Italian restaurants who have made a home in the Old City part of Bristol, Aquila has already earned its place among the greats. This will come as no surprise when you learn that Steve Mason from the Michelin-starred Crown at Whitebrook leads a predominantly Italian brigade of chefs and that the quality of the food rivals that of established restaurant San Carlo just one street over. Still reasonably priced, this smashing Italian restaurant comes recommended for a good evening out.
Read a review of Aquila here.
Not strictly new, in that most Bristolians already know (and love) Rockfish Grill as one of Bristol’s best seafood restaurants, this Whiteladies Road staple has been given somewhat of a makeover and a brand new name, The Spiny Lobster. We like it, and it now distinguishes them from the Rockfish on Britain’s seafood coast (oft to be confused in recent years). If you have yet to visit, all you need to know is that the restaurant promises some of the best seafood in town, simply prepared and outstanding in its freshness and quality. A fresh fish and shellfish counter is back on show and the open kitchen means you can see the care that chef Mitch Tonks and his brigade of talented chefs put into each and every dish. Tonks is among the leaders in the world of seafood cuisine, with a cookery school and plenty of awards and publications under his belt. This is definitely a bucket-list venue.
If you bypassed new-kid on the block Five Guys as just another burger joint, you might want to retrace your footsteps. Local produce is not something you find in your ordinary fast food joint. Have you ever been told where your fries come from in Maccy Ds? Five Guys will tell you exactly which farm has supplied the potatoes that day and there is not one single freezer in the establishment. Amazing produce makes for juicy burgers you can enjoy in literally thousands of different ways but with an informal, communal atmosphere (don’t go expecting silver service, it is still burgers and fries!).
One of the best trucks to hit the pavements of Bristol City since the Spotless Leopard, The Mighty Food Fight covers the other side of the river, and hungry office workers find comfort in their delectable donuts. Covered in icing and oozing with jam, salted caramel and cinnamon it’s little wonder people are going crazy for these beauties. Did I mention that they are completely vegan? You better believe it. Just like The Mighty Food Fight’s divine cocoa chocolate truffles and balls. Yes balls; a bit like falafel but not quite. You’ll have to give them a try yourself.
NB. The Mighty Food Fight needs your help to get their van back on the road, so we can stuff our faces with donuts again. Show a little love here.
If you’ve been lurking round Temple Meads mourning the loss of your favourite grill van, wipe those tears away, Chomp hasn’t gone it’s simply found a new (more stable) home. A glance at the, slightly rustic looking, French number plate hints at the eatery’s horse van origins. This January Chomp moved to a more permanent residence on St Nicholas Street where beer, beef and Bourbon is on the menu. Can their burgers rival Five Guys? You decide, in the meantime pop along for a Chomp breakfast.
It’s what North Street has been lacking: a French patisserie. When what you’re craving is a Saturday morning coffee and a freshly baked Madeleine or butter crepes with butterscotch apples, The Lounge just won’t cut it. That’s where Curtis & Bell (with its large bell-shaped lights) comes into its own – glass cabinet of delicacies and all. It’s a bit chic; a bit French and has sashayed its way onto the Bristol eating out scene.
In an unlikely location, Sky Kong Kong is causing a bit of a stir. It’s hard not to feel like you’ve discovered your own secret restaurant in a (traffic heavy) part of Bristol. A tranquil, rustic haven where you can get away from inner city stress, Sky Kong Kong is a place to enjoy Korean cuisine and great conversation. Chef Wizzy is of Michelin-star quality and the restaurant has a strong following and plenty of events already lined up. They’ve already teamed up with The Mighty Food Fight, and if you’re free and single and partial to soju you might want to try speed dating a la shots.
Read a review of Sky Kong Kong here.
Peter Taylor’s pop-up bar on Baldwin Street has caused a stir with Bristol oenophiles and those who love a quality, biodynamic and organic tipple. In this modest bar, visitors will find wines that are scarce to be found across the UK. From the guys over at Auberge de Chassignolles this pop up is pouring plenty of chemical-free, organic French wine and serving toasties, charcuterie and cheese. Bottoms up!
If you’re hot on the heels of new openings, here are the newest of the new:
The Giggling Squid in Hove reopened at the end of last year, much to the delights of the locals. Our guest author David McCarthy had our mouths watering with his renditions of juicy pork dumpling and flavourful pad Thai when he reviewed the new-look launch last November. So imagine our delight to hear that the Giggling Squid was unfurling its tentacles here in Bristol. They are all set to become the UK’s first national Thai chain – they certainly seem to be doing a good job so far.
Josh Eggleton’s latest venture is his fish and chips restaurant beside Chew Valley Lake. The gluten-free fish and chips are available for takeaway – so pretty perfect for a wander around the lake and chips by the water’s edge – and the restaurant has literally only just flung it’s floor-to-ceiling doors open to the public. Bristolians will be familiar with Eggleton’s food from Eat Drink Bristol Fashion and his Michelin-accredited pub The Pony & Trap.
Read a review of Salt & Malt here.
Zero Zero opened mid-Feb with a flurry of pizza, wings and wine. Just off Stapleton Road in Easton and with the promise of home-deliveries in the not too distant future, this looks like a bright young star on Bristol’s dining scene. Pizzas include a delicious sourdough base, the French wine is on tap and straight from a tiny vineyard on the Continent, and the restaurant is also a gallery. It’s personal, quirky and most importantly is cooking up some fine and tasty food. Get Zero Zero on your radar.
Keep your ear to the ground, here are the ones to look out for:
Meat Liquor Are all set to welcome diners at 77 Stokes Croft in April. Follow them on Twitter.
Triple B’s Supertall, all-American burgers should be hitting Colston Avenue soon. Keep your eyes peeled on their Facebook page.
Spoke & Stringer, Harbourside Promoting a lifestyle rather than just food. If you’re a fan of bikes, burgers and surfing you’ll love this. Get an insight here.