Bristol's incredible food scene can often make the decision of where to eat a hard one. However, critics have narrowed down their favourites in the latest issue of a prestigious culinary guide.
The AA Restaurant Guide 2022 has named some of the top eateries that the city has to offer, with an impressive 15 venues in and around Bristol named among 2,000 restaurants across the UK.
Last year the guide was not published due to coronavirus, making this year's a bumper issue with an additional 100 restaurants compared to the 2020 edition.
The guide ranks restaurants using the 'rosette' hierarchy - awarding between one and five rosettes, with the latter described by the AA as "the pinnacle, where cooking compares with the best in the world".
Most of the new additions to this year's guide nationally have received either one or two rosettes, but an exceptional few have gone straight in at three, representing "outstanding" quality.
Rosettes are awarded to indicate performance in certain areas such as food preparation, consistency, ingredients and technical skills.
Here are the Bristol restaurants that have managed to grab a spot alongside some of the UK's most highly acclaimed establishments:
Queen Quay, Welsh Back, BS1 4SL / two AA rosettes
The guide highlights the impact owner-chef couple Jamie Randall and Olivia Barry have had on the local scene since opening at the end of 2015. Adelina Yard was described as a "stylish restaurant" located on the harbourside, providing stunning views of the waterside whilst the open-plan kitchen provides an informal setting.
In 2019 Bristol Live's food critic declared the restaurant worthy of a Michelin star.
Berwick Drive, Henbury, BS10 7TD / two AA rosettes
Berwick Lodge was hailed for its location, hosting smart boutique restaurant Hattua in an 1800s manor house, surrounded by 18 acres of gardens and woodland. The guide claims it is the "perfect setting for creative modern dishes which look as good as they taste".
The Bird in Hand
Weston Road, Long Ashton, BS41 9LA / one AA rosette
The AA guide praises The Bird in Hand for offering "the charm you’d expect from a village pub, while here and there hinting at the South African origins of one of the owners".
Not only is the decor mentioned, but also the cuisine, with the lamb Durban curry bunny chow being highlighted alongside modern British dishes and pub classics.
The General, Lower Guinea Street, BS1 6SY / five AA rosettes
Casamia has made the guide once again, with self-taught chef Peter Sanchez-Iglesias being said to work with "calm concentration to produce driven-by-the-seasons tasting menus". The food is praised as "ingenious, novel and well-nigh flawlessly executed, [and] undeniably aimed upmarket".
The chefs are hailed for bringing the dishes to the table themselves, providing an opportunity for them to talk them through with diners and offer perfectly paired wine.
Welsh Back, BS1 4SB / two rosettes
Fish, formerly the Glassboat Restaurant, is a new addition to the AA guide. The converted 1920s barge, which has been moored in the heart of Bristol’s harbourside area since 1986, is said to be "handsome and appealing".
The guide highlights its walnut floors, marble bar and "lovely river views".
Hotel du Vin
The Sugar House, Narrow Lewins Mead, BS1 2NU / one rosette
The former sugar warehouse is close to the waterfront, with the casual French-inspired bistro described as being a "buzzy and easy-going venue".
It is also praised for its "world-class wine list" and the bilingual menu that is said to "deal in classic stuff".
The Ivy Clifton Brassiere
42–44 Caledonia Place, BS8 4DN / one rosette
The British restaurant, which is set in the heart of Clifton Village near the famous suspension bridge, is described as a "must-visit restaurant in this area" offering a "great casual dining all-day concept".
The Basement, 43 Corn Street, BS1 1HT / one rosette
The Ox is described in the guide as a restaurant that "the old boys of yesteryear would have admired" due to its oak panels, oxblood leather seats and murals, as well as its meaty menu.
3A Lower Guinea Street, BS1 6SY / two rosettes
The harbourside hotspot is described as a "bustling tapas bar" that "offers authentic dishes from the owners’ Andalusian home".
The guide hails the fresh produce sourced directly from the region, while daily specials are added by way of fresh fish and seafood delivered daily from the Cornish coasts.
The Pump House
Merchants Road, Hotwells, BS8 4PZ / two rosettes
The Pump House is another listing located on the harbourside, offering views of Bristol's Floating Harbour. The former Victorian former hydraulic pumping station houses a buzzing gastropub and restaurant with a mezzanine seating area.
The guide mentions its "wide selection of small plates" as well as "pub classics like fish and triple-cooked chips and buttermilk fried chicken with aïoli".
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The Grove, BS1 4RB / one rosette
The views from the Riverstation’s terrace and balcony are described as "outstanding". The modern European eatery offers visitors the option of arriving by boat — by simply asking your ferryman to dock at the restaurant's own pontoon.
The restaurant's seasonally changing menu offers fresh and inspiring modern British and European dishes, critics said, while the downstairs bar serves brunches, English classics and small plates.
Unit 9, Cargo 1, Gaol Ferry Steps, BS1 6WP / one rosette
Root originated at the Queen Square Festival and was the restaurant venture of Eat Drink Bristol Fashion.
Stationed on the historic dockside at Wapping Wharf, Root is described as having a "vibrant, chattery atmosphere" serving a menu of small sharing plates that "encompass globally influenced cooking with plenty of attitudes".
Second Floor Restaurant
Harvey Nichols, 27 Philadelphia Street, Quakers Friars, BS1 3BZ / two rosettes
Situated in Harvey Nichols, looking out at Cabot Circus shopping quarter, the department store's gold and beige-hued dining room is said to be a "supremely relaxing place". The menu is described as offering "lively modern British and European food" as well as interesting wines.
The Spiny Lobster
128 Whiteladies Road, Clifton, BS8 2RS / one rosette
The seafood brasserie and fish market is said to "maintain a rigorous commitment to freshness and simplicity", with the fish and shellfish mostly brought in from the harbours of Brixham and Cornwall.
The guide makes reference to its linen-clothed tables, friendly staff and top-class materials that "can’t be beaten".
Unit 14, Museum Street, Wapping Wharf, BS1 6ZA / two rosettes
The AA was impressed by the Tare offering of "intimate, relaxed and modern dining" alongside "carefully sourced top-quality produce", which contributes to the regular and seasonal menu.
Critics also made note of the restaurant's range of "interesting bottled beers and ciders".
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