Congratulations, we’ve made it to 2017 and I think I speak for the majority when I say, about time!
Don’t get me wrong 2016 had its perks but for me it did seem to turn into one massive merry-go-round which I really needed to get off! Well with the turn of the year I’ve disembarked, albeit with a few bruises, and the first few days of 2017 have been surprisingly exciting so I can’t wait to get started!
Of course, I couldn’t start the New Year without a big old recap of 2016, taking you on a guided tour of some of the great places I’ve been to so here we go!
Bristol, a foodie round up …
Three Brothers Burgers
Tell me more: Three Brothers make all their burgers in-house with 28 day aged beef and their menu promises every kind of burger you would wish for. The venue is also pretty awesome, a boat overlooking the river with a slightly nautical-rocky edge to it.
What should I get? The Smokey Bro (smoked cheddar cheese and sweet cured bacon) and Blues Brothers Burger (caramelised onions and blue cheese) are my main go-tos but you can triple up with their aptly named Triple Bro if you’re feeling ambitious!
On a budget? Three Brothers offer a £5 burger and fries lunch deal which you can have in or take away – make sure you go heavy on the mysterious red seasoning with your fries, there’s a shaker on every table and it tastes awesome.
Tell me more: Located on Picton Street, OOWEE Diner is more of a post night out affair, open during the evening hours from 6pm-11:30pm. With 11 types of dirty fries and a regularly changing freakshake for you to check out, these guys produce the most gloriously tasty filth! Perfect for a cheat day or just a dirty indulgence.
What should I get? Peanut butter bacon burger!
On a budget? Go for the triple cheese fries for £4.50 or indulge in a grilled cheese sarnie for £3.75!
Tell me more: Inspired by the wood fired pizza of Naples, Bosco Pizzeria sought to bring the fresh, simple but incredible flavours of Italy to Bristol with a New York edginess. Pizza isn’t all Bosco do though, there are also a number of small plates you can get your hands on to and a few classic pasta dishes.
What should I get? Standout pizza on the menu for me would be the Funghi which is topped with mushrooms, porcini, white truffle oil, parmesan and mascarpone. Super creamy and very rich flavour.
On a budget? The “Bosco” margarita is only £9 if you’re happy to go classic and simple.
Flour & Ash
Tell me more: With award-winning sour-dough pizza bases topped with locally sourced ingredients, Flour & Ash offer both tomato and non-tomato based pizzas which come in at around £10-13 per pizza. I recommend you stay for dessert too, Flour & Ash make ice cream in-house and it tastes sublime!
What should I get? The infamous Ox Cheek and Red Wine Ragu pizza is my personal favourite but their menus change regularly so there’s always something new to try.
On a budget? Flour & Ash have an early evening deal where any pizza is £9 before 6:30pm – 7 days a week! BARGAIN.
Tell me more: Tucked away on Cotham Hill, a stone’s throw away from Bravas, Pasta Loco is already fiercely popular. With regularly changing menus and an intimate, classy setting I urge you to book a table and gorge yourself on Loco’s pasta which is made in-house every day.
What should I get? If heaven was a food, and that food was a pasta, it would most definitely come in the form of Pasta Loco’s linguini carbonara topped with pork belly. It’s been four months since I last visited Pasta Loco and I still dream about their linguini. You think I’m joking but I’m really not.
On a budget? Pasta Loco mains come in at around £15 per plate, although their gnocchi tends to be a few quid cheaper. If you’re really trying to tighten those purse strings I’d skip starters and dessert and just have a main, they definitely fill you up on their own!
Tell me more: Bento Boss, sat above the Clifton Down Shopping Centre remains my firm Japanese favourite for 2016. Every dish is very reasonably priced and you will never leave hungry! You can also buy sushi by the piece which is great if you’d like to try a random selection.
What should I get? I’m all for trying new things but at Bento I instinctively go for the Chicken Katsu Curry Bento every time. Served in a rich, thick sauce with sides of vegetable tempura, steamed rice and miso soup it’s an absolute winner and only a tenner. Don’t forget to order a glass of their sweet plum wine too.
On a budget? Everything is very reasonably priced but if you’re looking for a lighter, cheaper meal, try out a selection of Bento’s smaller plates or bao buns.
Tell me more: If you like somewhere with a bit of ambience and character then look no further than Thali Cafe in Montpellier. Although it’s smaller than the equivalent in Clifton and North Street, the general look and feel of the Montpellier branch is far cosier and the staff are very friendly. Watch people pass by the windows and admire all the bold coloured murals on the walls with a warming curry and fluffy naan.
What should I get? Mumbai City Snacks for starters (potato bona and samosas), Rajasthani Lamb Thali for main and Jinita’s Chai to finish it all off.
On a budget? The Dairy-free Thali is chocked full of delicious veggies including beetroot, curry leaves and fresh coconut, served with subji, dahl, basmati rice, chutney and mooli salad for £9.50.
Tell me more: I have such a love for this place. It’s intimate environment, friendly staff, incredible food and open kitchen. Based in Stokes Croft, Poco serve a large number of tapas dishes which change regularly, all made with ingredients which have been sourced as locally as possible.
What should I get? It’s hard to recommend as the menus change so frequently! I would say don’t bypass the veggie options, it’s great to try veggies cooked in creative ways. Poco’s rosemary fries are also a must.
On a budget? Stick with the vegetarian options, they tend to be cheaper than the meats.
Tell me more: El Puerto is a Spanish-themed tapas joint located in central Bristol. Just from the outside, the red pillars and white walls give El Puerto a very European look and inside, the rustic wooden tables, Spain themed artwork and dimmed lighting set the mood nicely.
What should I get? The calamari – it’s amazing. Definitely would have ordered 2 plates in hindsight.
On a budget? The “Extra Tapas” part of the main menu is a few quid cheaper, try the traditional Patatas Bravas for £3.50 or the pan-fried garlic mushrooms, you get a lot of them!
Those of you who have been following my blog for a while will know I’m a huge brunch fan, how could you not be when there are so, so many places go to in Bristol? After careful deliberation though, I’ve shortlisted two of the greats which I hope you’ll love.
Katie and Kim’s Kitchen
Tell me more: Katie and Kim’s are all about that communal vibe with one large table taking up the majority of the cafe with an open kitchen visible at the back where you can see Katie, Kim and the rest of their team bustling about. The food is incredible and no where else (to my knowledge) can you find a scone-based brunch – FYI, it’s flipping amazing.
What should I get? Toasted cheddar and rosemary scone with poached eggs, bacon and seasonal greens.
On a budget? Get the scone on it’s own for £2.50 with your coffee and give it a generous coating of butter.
The Crafty Egg
Tell me more: If you’re all about those leisurely mornings with no make up on and hair slicked back – this place should be right up your street. With plenty of sofas to curl up in and window-side seating, The Crafty Egg serve a variety of brunch options including bagels and stacks of pancakes.
What should I get? Baked eggs with spinach, mushrooms, bacon and chorizo – served in a skillet and absolutely divine.
On a budget? Grab one of Crafty Eggs smoothies or avocado on toast for £5.50.
Valentine’s Day/ Special Occasions
Some of you might hate it but love is soon to be in the air with Valentine’s Day coming soon and I for one, am super excited for it being the soppy romantic that I am. In fact I wrote a whole dating foodie guide post in 2016 which you can read here, little self-promo there, had to be done.
Tell me more: From the team who brought you Bell’s Diner and Bar Rooms comes Bellita, a relaxed little venue where you can pull up a stall and enjoy a great glass of wine with a number of tapas plates. Alternatively, you can skip straight on to the desserts!
What should I get? Again, Bellita’s menu does change but their sea food is amazing as is their pork cheek and chorizo ragu.
On a budget? The “bar” part of the menu offers cheaper and smaller nibbly bits. Take your lady – or lad – for a drink and romance them over some delicious potato and parmesan fritters.
Tell me more: Set in the most dreamy location, right next to the harbour, this part of Bristol has come alive in 2016 with a large number of independent businesses moving into converted shipping containers. CARGO 1 is already up and running and CARGO 2 is coming in 2017.
What should I get? The great thing about Wapping Wharf is the level of choice you have, there are so many amazing places and they’re all kept in very close proximity. BOX-E has been held up in very high esteem recently, with rumours of a michelin star on the horizon I’d recommend you make a bee-line for there. With only 14 seats and an open kitchen you’re guaranteed a very romantic, homey vibe.
On a budget? Pop in to Corks, a micro-bar, for a pint!
That’s all for now folks – with nearly 50 new openings forecast for Bristol in 2017, I hope to be posting about many more exciting places soon!