Whether you’re originally from Bristol or you’ve moved here for a fresh start, your university days are sure to be some of the best of your life. With a buzzing student scene, diverse and varied nightlife and a plethora of outstanding foodie venues, you’re guaranteed an excellent freshers’ week (or month). You’ll want to be out and about and meeting as many people as possible, so it’s worth spending a little bit of money. But in order to survive until the next loan comes in, you’re going to need to be savvy.
In your first few weeks of university you’re sure to discover some fantastic restaurants, bars and clubs, but it can be hard to know the very best places to get some bang for your buck. If you’re too spoiled for choice, we’ve got you covered. Here are our easy student eats – some of the best places to eat and drink in Bristol without breaking the bank.
When it comes to fast food, Bristol’s ahead of the game. Trade your usual cheeseburger in for a YoYo Gourmet Hamburger – it’s quick, easy and absolutely delicious. Located on the Clifton Triangle, YoYo provides gourmet burgers, wraps and sandwiches at affordable prices. Try the pulled pork barbecue burger: 6oz of Angus beef topped with slow-cooked pulled pork, tomatoes, lettuce and onions in a spicy barbecue sour cream, or the minty lamb burger with rosemary, lettuce, tomatoes, red onions and a minted garlic mayo. Perfect with a pint, this will set you up for the party, or bring your night on the town to a satisfying conclusion. The great thing about YoYo (aside from the gorgeous grub) is they also have a fantastic range of veggie options, such as the habanero burger with cheese, jalapenos and chilli relish or the halloumi burger: a potato-based patty packed with grilled halloumi, hummus, lettuce, tomatoes, red onions and paprika garlic mayo.
Why buy a ready meal when you can choose from a variety of pasta and pizza dishes at around half of their usual cost? With three sites across the city, Bella Italia offers classic Italian food including pizzas, pasta dishes and hearty meat dishes straight from the grill. With their £5 student menu, Italian food has never been so affordable. Enjoy traditional food, refreshing drinks and friendly service in a relaxed atmosphere. Try the rich and creamy carbonara with pancetta, leeks and pecorino cheese, or opt for a perfect picante pizza with spicy Italian pepperoni and hot green chillies. Having recently launched their new menu, Bella Italia serves authentic Italian food that will make the summer last that little bit longer. If you’re heading out afterwards, start the night with two-for-one cocktails. Try the refreshing new Bella Mojito with Bacardi rum, lime, sugar and San Pellegrino Limone e Menta, muddled with fresh mint leaves or the gorgeous Perfetto Gin Tonic: Gin Mare and tonic, garnished with fresh rosemary – you can’t go wrong.
Serving high quality light bites, as well as offering excellent club nights and entertainment including quizzes, open mic nights and sport showings, The Brass Pig is a traditional pub and a great place to gather your mates. Situated on the Clifton Triangle, The Brass Pig has become a regular destination for students and it’s split across two floors so there’s plenty of room for groups. Nothing beats a family roast on a Sunday, but while you’re away from home The Brass Pig offers a fantastic alternative with all the trimmings. Grab a fried breakfast at any time of day, or try a burger, pizza or a wholesome plate of nachos – whatever you choose, you’re guaranteed hearty pub food at attractive prices. If it’s drinks you’re after, entry is free every night and you’ll get two cocktails for the price of one every Wednesday.
This bowling alley and backpackers’ hostel is a really cool place to spend an evening. Grab a drink, hit the lanes and enjoy some of the best pizza in town – be prepared to become a regular. Share one of Ray’s 19 inch pizzas, like the tasty prosciutto and rocket pizza with buffalo mozzarella, fresh cherry tomatoes and Parmesan shavings or the roasted red pepper and olive pizza for veggies with red onion, basil and a drizzle of balsamic glaze. The Lanes’ unique set-up with five bowling lanes, a karaoke room and pool tables makes The Lanes a perfect spot to get to know your new flat mates or peers. The affordable pizza and drinks, as well as their legendary club nights, has made The Lanes a really popular student venue. It offers an alternative to some of the bigger club nights around and draws a really friendly crowd.
For more ideas on where to eat and drink, request your free copy of the Bristol Food & Drink Guide. You can also view the guide online, or check the app for more bars and restaurants in Bristol.