Bristol has rapidly become the city with the most global and top-ranking restaurants in England, second only to the capital. This thriving foodie nirvana is bursting with variety, from British classics to exotic sashimi and Japanese tapas. Discover the ten best restaurants in Bristol’s Clifton neighborhood.
Bar, Cocktail Bar, Restaurant, Japanese, Sushi, $$$
Any sushi enthusiast will gravitate to Noa, one of the best restaurants in Clifton to enjoy washoku (traditional Japanese dishes) in a bright and vibrant environment. Noa Japanese Restaurant and Bar brings contemporary Japanese cuisine and culture to Bristol, served in its cozy Manga lounge or the Gojira dining area and cocktail bar. Noah’s menu caters for sushi, sashimi and noodle lovers, and they also offer ‘J-style’ tapas, an innovative twist to traditional Japanese cuisine.
Perched just underneath the Clifton Hotel, Rack’s Bar & Kitchen serves a great British Sunday roast. Rack’s Bar & Kitchen also boasts over 12 different screens spread across the venue where they show all the big games and must-see sports matches. This quirky restaurant’s outdoor terrace is popular in the Bristol summers; in winter guests gravitate to the comfortable sofas in the hotel wine cellars as a warmer alternative.
No. 4 restaurant operates out of a beautiful Georgian mansion house in central Clifton village. A popular venue for boutique weddings for its picturesque aesthetic, this sophisticated restaurant’s à la carte menu changes regularly to reflect the seasonally and locally sourced ingredients; try the rarebit crusted ribeye steak if it’s on the card. The restaurant has frequent offers and meals-for-two deals for those looking for a great place to treat themselves to a top-quality meal on a budget.
The Cowshed aims to do one thing: serve good British food; and they succeed in doing just that with flying colors. The owner, Adam Denton, places great emphasis on sourcing local, fresh ingredients, and bringing the south-west countryside charm to the thriving city of Bristol. They proudly source their meats from their own butchers, Ruby & White, right next door, and keep the menu ‘simple and done well’. The rustic setting in a former cinema creates an honest, charming ambiance.
The Brown’s Bristol building, modeled after the Doge’s palace in Venice, has served many purposes, from the city museum and art gallery to the University’s dining rooms But the venue has found real fame as one of Clifton’s best restaurants, serving British classics with a contemporary twist. Try the Classic Brown’s Burger, plus chef specials, cooked with fresh fish, and lobster nights on Thursdays.
Well off the beaten track, The Lion gastropub in the hilly Clifton woods will make guests feel right at home. The family-run restaurant welcomes their customers with its simple pastel walls, abundance of bunting and fairy lights galore, and is recommended for its hospitable staff and homely menu. From homemade burgers to a great Sunday roast and a traditional English knickerbocker glory ice cream for dessert, the portions are generous and tasty.
Yume Kitchen injects a heavy dose of authentic Japanese culture into Bristol’s already international restaurant scene, serving homemade traditional dishes made with fish as fresh as those found at Tokyo’s Tsukiji Market, Try the katsuo oceanic bonito and shima-ajistriped jack. The small space is cheerily decorated in cherry blossom art and bright colours. With a combination of Japanese hospitality and genuine care put into the food, Yume Kitchen attracts a hungry and loyal audience.
Grillstock Smokehouse proudly proclaims a deep love for American barbecue at this rowdy restaurant in the heart of Clifton. Loud music and low lighting create an electric atmosphere inside, with tantalising barbecue aromas that tease eager customers, all served at a single long wooden table. Try the signature 18-hour hickory smoked pulled pork roll. All the meat served is smoked low and slow in-house and the menu also offers a charming selection of craft beers.
The Lido in Clifton is the perfect place to relax in one of the oldest open air pools in the UK, dating back to 1849. The restaurant sits alongside the pool, its Victorian architecture preserved in floor-to-ceiling windows. Excellent service and exquisite food are its key draws; the latter from either the set menu or the à la carte menu. The Lido, also provides a year-round swimming pool and spa if you fancy a dip afterwards.
The Clifton Sausage takes pride in creating exquisite and tasty versions of otherwise underrated traditional British cuisine. Furnished with pine tables, candles and yellow and sky-blue walls, it provides Cliftonites with a heaping mouthful of tradition and authenticity with its hearty sausage-based dishes.Vegetarians can join in with some wonderful homemade vegetarian sausages too.