Sunshine brings us all out of the woodwork, and with Bristol’s vast choice of restaurants, al fresco diners and food trucks, there’s bound to be something to spark your interest.
We’ve selected the best of Bristol’s tapas restaurants. Nothing beats a jug of sangria and a feast of tapas to share with friends on a warm, spring evening…
The Boat House Unit 1
Lime Kiln Road
Situated in the picturesque Millennium Square and Harbourside area of Bristol, Spoke & Stringer offers views across the River Avon, within a peaceful haven away from the city at large. With barge boats gently bobbing on the water, and the chance to enjoy your cocktail and plate of tapas, al fresco style, Spoke & Stringer offers a flavoursome menu.
Their evening pintxos is served Wednesday – Saturday from 6.30pm. Highlights include crisp sea bass served with saffron bomb rice, baked aubergine served with goat’s cheese and basil, and lamb cutlets mechoui. But for the summer months, we love the quails eggs with serrano ham and asparagus – light, fresh and full of rich flavours.
With an ethos based on adventure and escapism, Spoke & Stringer is for the curious, the courageous and the risk taking nomad. We love this place for its chilled out atmosphere.
For more information: www.spokeandstringer.com
45 Jamaica Street
In the heart of Stokes Croft, Poco Tapas Bar is the place to be if you want a relaxed, rustic setting with the global influence of exotic destinations – both in decor and cuisine. With an eclectic and vibrant menu, showcasing the delights of many a worldly trip, you might be tempted with a Moroccan inspired dish or a NYC brunch-style choice alternatively.
The best part about Poco is its continental vibe come evening time, when tapas is accompanied with jugs (or as good as) of local wine and the atmosphere extends into the night, when conversations flow and the laughter of happy guests can be heard from the nearby streets. All of the tapas served at Poco is made from fresh, locally sourced and organic ingredients – making it just one more reason to pay this charming place a visit.
For more information: www.pocotapasbar.com
57 Prince Street
Enticing from the outside, and with a traditional Spanish interior, with its cool, white-washed walls and thoughtful table decorations, El Puerto is a vibrant tapas bar set in the heart of Bristol – just a short walk from the harbour side.
Popular with couples and larger groups, alike, it is also a highly rated choice for pre-theatre dining with Bristol Old Vic only minutes away. The menu features everything from Jamon Serrano to albondigas and paella – all dishes are freshly prepared using local south west ingredients and specially selected spices and chorizo direct from Spain.
El Puerto also hosts weekly flamenco dancing events on the first Sunday of each month.
For more information: www.el-puerto.co.uk
Informal, laid back and the best option for a tapas lunch on the run, Pata Negra serves a great selection of tapas both daytime and evening. With a ‘3 for £10’ perk of dining in at lunchtime, tapas has never been more popular in Bristol’s Old City. With its name taken from the method used to cure the delicious, prime meat known as Jamon Iberico, you’ll be a fool not to try this particular highlight of Pata Negra’s menu.
With a special sharing menu for groups of 9 or more, as well as the speedy ‘Lunch Rapidos!’ lunchtime menu, you can sample everything from sherry braised octopus to pan friend morcilla, boquerones and chorizo.
With a music bar, ‘Noche Negra’ upstairs, and plenty of carefully selected wines to accompany your tapas, you’ll soon feel in the spirit to kick off your shoes and get dancing.
For more information: www.patanegrabristol.com
2B North View
Situated a stone’s throw away from the beautiful Westbury Park, Manna Bar offers truly decadent dining in a sophisticated yet warmly welcoming setting. With an Italian, a Mediterranean and a European restaurant, Manna Bar’s attention to the small details is the aspect that sets it apart. Using seasonal produce to create enticing dishes with an array of flavours and textures, and coupled with wines to compliment the unique qualities of each dish, Manna Bar is a great choice for a special occasion or simply, an after-work pick-me-up.
Their tapas menu comes as antipasti sharing plates. Featuring everything from buffalo mozzarella with samphire and burnt aubergine, to seared Cornish scallops and the finest, cured meats – the temptation would be to order the entire menu and slowly work your way through the lot!
For more information: www.mannabar.co.uk
7 Cotham Hill
As authentic as they get, Bravas tapas bar offers a menu in Spanish (don’t worry, there are the English translations for those of us who don’t speak Spanish) with a wide range of tapas. From wild venison chorizo, to rosemary manchego cheese and an enviable selection of seafood tapas including hake, wild prawn and plaice – you might want to pour yourself a large glass of red, as you peruse the mouth-watering options.
Open until late, Bravas came to exist after many a trip to Spain to sample the truly sociable culture of tapas dining. Taking inspiration from the easy going nature of Spain’s tapas bars, Bravas reflects the warm, balmy evenings and the friendly and relaxed spirit of its people and its values.
A warm atmosphere awaits at Bravas, where you will get to experience the live action of the kitchen, as you take front row seats at the bar stretching along the length of the restaurant. You could be mistaken for thinking you were among the vibrant buzz of Barcelona’s very own infamous La Boqueria market!
For more information: www.bravas.co.uk