Home to three Michelin starred restaurants – Bulrush, Casamia and Paco Tapas – Bristol offers a dining scene that is diverse and innovative. Additionally, there are three Michelin Plate and many Bib Gourmand recipients within the city, making it a smart choice for a foodie break. Chefs here often eschew traditional fine dining, in favour of funky settings and eclectic and vibrant dishes that set trends. Whether you’re planning a gourmet getaway in the West Country or want some tips on where to eat while visiting, here are the top-rated restaurants in town that you have to try.
Michelin star hunters look no further. The Bulrush in Cotham may appear unassuming from its understated little blue exterior, but this is a tour de force. Exclusively serving tasting menus (including a vegetarian one), diners here place their taste buds in the capable hands of Chef-Proprietor George Livesey. A simple decor of brick, whitewashed walls and bare floorboards contrasts the creative and deeply imaginative presentation of each dish – this is a good choice for those who enjoy artful edibles.
Expect to be surprised when you dine here because the menus are not published in advance. What you get will depend on the season, the produce and what the inventive team fancy cooking on the in-house fire. What we do know is that it’ll consist of approximately 20 (yes, 20) courses, so you’ll need to set aside around three and a half hours for the experience. You get what you’re given, which is part of the trust dining journey, but means it’s not suitable for those with dietary requirements or a dislike of mystery. Lively and often loud, Casamia is a unique night out.
This restaurant is beside fellow Michelin star recipient, Casamia, And it comes from the same Sanchez family portfolio. Chef Peter Sanchez-Iglesias brings a slice of Andalucia in the form of vibrant tapas. Dine on the terrace, or at the eight-seater counter overlooking an open grill — the heart of the action. Decorated with period grey tiles and select Spanish prints, there’s a sense of sophisticated heritage, echoed in the menus. Choose the Chef’s Menu for a tour of Spain and be sure to accompany it with one of Paco Tapas’ superb selection of Spanish wines. They also offer chilled sherries served straight from the cask.