Features / Bristol

Bristol’s best new food & drink of 2019

By martin booth, Thursday Dec 19, 2019

Bristol has been blessed with some superb new restaurants, bars, cafes and shops this year. Here are some of our favourites:

BEST NEW RESTAURANTS

1. Bokman
3 Nine Tree Hill, Kingsdown, BS1 3SB
@bokmanbristol

The latest husband and wife team to strike culinary gold in Bristol are Duncan Robertson and Kyu Jeon with this new restaurant cooking dishes that the pair loved while living in South Korea. The star of the show is the tongdak, a charcoal rotisserie whole chicken stuffed with rice.

2. Little French
2 North View, Westbury Park, BS6 7QB
www.littlefrench.co.uk

Formerly head chef at the Lido in Clifton for more than a decade, Freddy Bird and his wife Nessa opened this new restaurant in July just a few hundred yards from their own home and it’s the most exquisite neighbourhood restaurant you can imagine.

3. Bianchis
1-3 York Road, Montpelier, BS6 5QB
www.bianchisrestaurant.co.uk

The name of the new restaurant is the family name of its co-owners, cousins Dom Borel and Ben Harvey of Pasta Loco, Pasta Ripiena and La Sorealla (which also opened this year)– with this traditional trattoria a homage to their Italian heritage.

4. Marmo
31 Baldwin Street, BS1 1RG
www.marmo.restaurant

Every cloud has a silver lining and the sad closure of Bar Buvette has heralded the arrival of Marmo, a restaurant from husband and wife team Lily and Cosmo Sterck with a strongly Italian flavour.

5. Masa & Mezcal
77-79 Stokes Croft, Bristol, BS1 3ED
www.masaandmezcal.co.uk

If Cargo Cantina was Kieran and Imogen Waite’s first attempt at recreating their favourite sort of Mexican City street food stalls from their travels, Masa & Mezcal takes it several steps further.

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BEST NEW BARS

1. Left Handed Giant
Hawkins Lane, Finzels Reach, BS1 6EU

Yes, it’s officially a ‘brewpub’, but for the purposes of this list we are calling it a bar. And what a bar, which was buzzing all summer; with the LHG team also pulling off a coup by inviting Mission Pizza to the party, in a corner of Bristol whose brewing history stretches back 250 years.

2. Black Rock
6 Marsh Street, BS1 4AX
www.blackrock.bar/bristol

A late arrival this year but already a firm favourite. Whether you like whisky or not, you will find something here to suit your tastes – including a cocktail served directly from inside a 220-year-old oak tree, quietly maturing a cocktail in its belly. It needs seeing to be believed.

3. Filthy XIII
208 Cheltenham Road, BS6 5QU
www.filthyxiii.com

From Ben Alcock, owner of Her Majesty’s Secret Service in Clifton, comes – in their own words – “a no-nonsense, neighbourhood cocktail bar, simple as that”.

4. Betty’s Cocktails
65 North Street, Bedminster, BS3 1ES
@bettysofbristol

A bar within a bar in one corner of the Old Bookshop serving some of the most inventive cocktails in Bristol as well as familiar favourites. Open when owner Betty isn’t go-go dancing.

5. Bristol & Bath Rum Distillery
87-89 Park Street, BS1 5PW
www.bristolandbathrumdistillery.com

The changing tides of Bristol have seen a rum and cocktail bar replace a restaurant that replaced a bookshop in this prime corner at the top of Park Street.

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Read more: Left Handed Giant brewpub opens in Finzels Reach

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BEST NEW CAFES

1. The Cloakroom
Woodland Road, Kingsdown, BS8 1US
@thecloakroom_cafe

Located within a stunning conversion of a 115-year-old Grade II-listed former Edwardian toilet block, this new cafe shows what old buildings can be transformed into with just a little bit of imagination and flair.

2. The Nordic Cafe
36 North Street, Bedminster, BS3 1HW
@thenordiccafe

Bringing a touch of Scandi-chic to North Street, The Nordic Cafe from husband and wife Benjamin and Alexandra Mitrofan-Norris is inspired by European cafe culture.

3. St George’s
Great George Street, BS1 5RR
www.stgeorgesbristol.co.uk/venue-info/st-georges-bar

Following in the footsteps of Colston Hall and the Bristol Old Vic, St George’s now have a brand new foyer – in which is a splendid cafe.

4. Sweven
12 North Street, Bedminster, BS3 1HT
www.swevencoffee.co.uk

In a corner unit that was most recently the original home of Zero Green (that has only moved a few hundred yards up the road), Sweven has brought speciality coffee to this corner of BS3. A late entry to this list as it only opened in early December.

5.Flip
81 North Street, Bedminster, BS3 1ES
www.flipfood.co.uk

A vegan cafe and deli – much of whose products are from small, local artisan food producers – that also serves Sunday roast lunches and pop-up restaurant events.

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Read more: New speciality coffee shop opens

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BEST NEW SHOPS

1. Farro
1 Brunswick Square, St Paul’s, BS2 8PE
www.farro.co.uk

Already a firm market favourite, Bradley Tapp moved his bakery to its first permanent premises in May, sharing baking duties with Fiona McKall; and with Jack Hudspith behind the coffee machine. You haven’t lived if you haven’t tried one of Farro’s kouign amanns or canelés.

2. Kask
51 North Street, Bedminster, BS3 1EN
www.kaskwine.co.uk

An organic wine bar, deli and shop, Kask opened on the site of the former Hare pub. The owners are focusing on both biodynamic and minimal intervention wines, including a selection of frequently changing reds, whites and roses.

3. Pionka’s Chocolate
192 Cheltenham Road, BS6 5RB

Pastry chef Mariusz Pionka opened his dream chocolate emporium this year, with his own unique speciality the ‘truffin’ – truffle muffins in chocolate ganache.

4. La Sorella
29 St Stephen’s Street, BS1 1JX
www.lasorella.co.uk

Selling everything from artisan salamis to wild thyme honey, olive oils and vinegars, chocolate truffles to tinned sardines. And that’s just the deli, with the bar and restaurant side of the business also as good as you would expect from the same team behind Pasta Loco, Pasta Ripiena and Bianchis.

5. Clifton Seafood Co.
Cargo 2, Museum Street, Wapping Wharf, BS1 6ZA
www.cliftonseafoodcompany.com

Traveling regularly between Brixham and Bristol to source the best quality seafood the south coast has to offer.

Read more: Bristol’s best food & drink of 2019

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