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Bristol’s street art, music and DIY culture have made the city famous. But did you know it’s got a foodie scene that’s just as colourful? Stop what you’re doing, grab a friend, and get down to one of these incredible Bristolian restaurants immediately. Know the area? If we’ve missed a favourite of yours, get in touch with the community on Facebook and Twitter to recommend it!

1. Wahaca Bristol @wahaca

Trendy Clifton Triangle is the setting for Bristol’s incarnation of popular Mexican market eating chain Wahaca. If you’ve never heard of Mexican market eating before, think freshly smashed guac, award-winning tacos and a cheeky margarita. In keeping with Bristol’s hipster vibe, the Clifton Wahaca also features enormous urban art pieces by Will Barras

2. The Ethicurean

It’s all in the name at The Ethicurean, a ‘kitchen-garden’ restaurant located at Barley Wood. This restored Victorian provender spot is now curated by gardener Mark Cox, whose passion for naturally-sourced veg is matched only by that of chefs Matthew and Iain Pennington, and hunter/mixologist Jack Adair-Bevan. Expect your food to have been reared, grown and prepared with the utmost respect.

3. Warmley Waiting Room

You can’t get quainter - or hipper - than the Warmley Waiting Room. An old station waiting room turned delightfully traditional tea room, this local’s favourite does a cream tea to die for and a Victoria sponge Mary Berry would be proud of. Friendly staff, live music and a special location on the Bristol to Batch cycle route make it a must-visit. You can even sup your tea on the platform. Oh, and the toilet is an actual Tardis.

4. The Old Bookshop

Part hipster hideaway, part rockin’ good restaurant, The Old Bookshop is North Street’s favourite place to hang out. Rooms are full of antique curios and bright young things, menus are ever-changing thanks to the owner’s policy of welcoming pop-up eating events, and gigs are plentiful. Make sure you stop next door, in the Bookshop-owned Cocktails at Number 63, for a pre-dinner snifter.

5. Fi Real @firealuk

At 57 West Street, in Bristol’s Old Market area, you’ll find a different sort of vegan and veggie cafe. Fi Real’s bright, clean interior is the setting for the best Caribbean nosh you can eat outside of Kingston, Jamaica. Staples like rice and beans and dumplings rub shoulders with amazing cakes and daily specials - and there’s even a Fi Real drinks brand. Try the Kickin’ Ginger.

6. The Ox @theoxbristol

The Ox reckons it’s the best steak and cocktail restaurant in Bristol - we agree. Come to this spectacularly restored basement on Corn Street for a sumptuous dining experience, which caters for veggies as well as dyed-in-the-wool carnivores. The food is all-British and all awesome, and the drinks menu will make you glad you came in a taxi. Sunday roast here is a thing of beauty.

7. Plead the Fifth

Bristol loves a good restaurant name: Plead the Fifth is right up there with the greatest. Fortunately, this American-style diner is every bit as good as its title. Expect epic burgers served up with homemade apple slaw and home cooked fries. They even do a deep-fried Snickers. Go, but don’t tell your heart doctor.

8. The Burger Joint @DanBurgerJoint

The Burger Joint is reputed to do the best burgers in the UK. Time Out loves them. The Daily Telegraph loves them. We reckon they’re pretty awesome, too. The secret? Every burger on the menu is cooked to perfection, and because you choose your own toppings you get to create a different masterpiece every time. Wild boar burger topped with black pudding, blue cheese and egg? Suits you, sir.

9. Atomic Burger @atomicburgers

Wham! Kapow! Atomic Burger on Gloucester Road serves superb pop-culture-themed burgers and pizzas in a restaurant that’s as bright as a comic book. Spotting the movie or TV show that gave your burger its name is almost as much fun as eating it. Almost, but not quite. We recommend the Will Robinson and the Joker.

10. Yurt Lush @eatdrinkbristol

Not content with simply creating a mouthwatering menu, the good folk at Eat Drink Bristol Fashion decided to install a yurt in the Bristol’s financial district. The result is Yurt Lush, a cosy escape from the pressures of big money, right in the middle of the city. Come for brunch, lunch or a Sunday roast, and enjoy the Michelin-starred design of inventively heart-warming dishes.

11. Pata Negra @patanegrabris

The name means ‘Black Hoof’ - referring to the prestigious Black Iberian pigs from which Jamon Iberico is taken. The restaurant itself is a top tapas spot in Bristol’s Old City, which stoutly refuses to take bookings for tables of fewer than eight people. So they can almost always fit in a passing stranger. Drop in at lunch or dinner for tapas that makes you feel like you’ve gone on holiday, or head there in the afternoon for a cheeky helping of pintxos (bar canapes) and a glass of sherry.

12. The Stable @_thestable

Pizza, pies and cider. What more could you want? This staple of the South West started life as a converted stable house in Bridport, and is now an all-conquering local restaurant chain with venues in Bath, Bristol and more. Each spot serves locally-sourced variations on the Stable menu. Try the Bristol Blaster if you dare - a lethal pizza made using local pork and Naga ghost chillies. Or you could stick to proper ‘andsome pies and one heck of a range of ciders.

13. The Canteen @InTheCanteen

When a venue evolves from an in-house canteen to a local meeting point to a citywide favourite, you know it’s something special. The Canteen was part of the creative rebirth of Stokes Croft, and is now serving the good people of Bristol with everything they need: local food and drink, awesome music, and a place to meet and relax every night of the week. The gigs are free, and the food has helped the venue score the Sustainable Restaurant Association’s highest three-star accolade.

14. Roll for the Soul @RftS_Bristol

Roll for the Soul started life as a bike cafe - a place where committed cyclists could come to stock up on hot bevvies and pies, while knowledgeable people in greasy overalls overhauled their steeds. Now, it’s a catch-all venue for everyone who likes a bit of DIY in their lives. That’s DIY music, DIY art and culture, and DIY activism. Oh, and they serve super-tasty veggie and vegan food too.

15. The Grain Barge @grainbarge

Down on the Harbour, there’s a converted grain barge. And inside that barge is a world of live music, great food and craft brews. Widely touted as one of Bristol’s prime locations for seeing about-to-be-massive musical acts just before they hit the big time, the Grain Barge is also a top-notch spot for discovering massive pies, artisan sarnies and belting burgers.

16. Falafel King

Love falafel? Love Falafel King. This Bristol institution runs its own pitta bread bakery - which supplies Glastonbury Festival with tasty treats - and cranks out delicious fresh-cooked falafel from city centre street vans. Get down to the Harbourside area for the healthiest fast food in the city, whether you’re on your way home from the office or stumbling out of the Old Duke at midnight.

Looking for more recommendations for incredible eats around the UK? Take a look at our destination guides.

17. Lido Bristol @lidobristol

Bristol’s best swimming pool, the Clifton Lido, was lovingly restored in 2008. It’s been going strong ever since, thanks to its fantastic setting and incredible restaurant. Watch fitness freaks and water babies splashing around in the heated outdoor pool, chill in the al fresco Jacuzzi, and don’t forget to try chef Freddy Bird’s latest tasting menu. If you like it - and you will - you can come back for breakfast, lunch and dinner nearly every day of the year.

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