Bristol is famous for its music and culture, and it has a vibrant food scene that’s difficult to compete with. Here are the 10 best restaurants to eat at for less than £10.
Could anything be more Bristolian? In the very centre of Stokes Croft, the radical, graffiti heart of the city, the coffee-bar The Canteen occupies the ground floor of Hamilton House, a former office building that is now a non-profit centre for the creative community. Its spaces are occupied by all sorts of things, from radio stations to design studios, from dance classes to classes for personal growth, be it drumming or hatha yoga. Naturally, it has a huge mural by Banksy a few meters from the entrance.
The kitchen is a key element in all this. It aims to provide affordable homemade food, with an emphasis on local supplier networks.
- The menu ranges from £5 to £10. Hamilton House, 80 Stokes Croft, 0117 923 2017, canteenbristol.co.uk/
For lovers of “hard” cuisine, this small restaurant in Clifton has a large offer of food from the southern Mediterranean, and £9.95 lunch is a great way to try these homemade dishes, like potato gnocchi with smoked duck and pork ragu, fried ling with mustard and lentils, or cauliflower and salad with Seville oranges. Portions are not huge, but are served with bread (excellent dough with strong deep yellow olive oil), so you will not leave hungry.
And since the restaurant is co-owned by wine growers near Cotham, there is a selection of wines that complement the food.
- Two-course lunch from £9.95. 34 Cotham Hill, 0117 923 8755, flintyred.co.uk/
This Japanese takeaway and restaurant with more than two floors – you have to see the basement decor – has a continuous line of the classic dishes (katsu curry, teriyaki, donburi rice bowls, ramen and other noodle soups), at competitive prices. A bento box of fresh smoked mackerel and miso marinated with rice and a small edamame bean salad, and translucent strands of flavourful wakame seaweed. Order to take away or reserve a table, but you have to try their food.
- Main dishes £5 – £9 Cotham Hill, 0117 200 2888, yumekitchen.co.uk/
EAT A PITA
In St. Nicholas Market you can get a pita the size of a baseball glove here for about £4. Great variety, with magnificent salads and pickles. The chilli is also highly recommended if you like spicy food. The owner also has a restaurant called Edna’s Kitchen, where he uses his Algerian grandmother’s recipes, so don’t hesitate to visit that too.
- Eat A Pitta, 1-3 Glass Arcade, St Nicholas Market, 07825 659525, eatapitta.co.uk (Vegetarian + gluten free)
- Edna’s Kitchen, Castle Park, 07928 436212; (dishes £3.95–£5.95) ednas-kitchen.com (Vegetarian)
If you haven’t tried traditional bagels, this place is a must. With a large number of all kinds of bagels, you can add smoked salmon, cheddar cheese, burgers, fresh cream, guacamole, Thai style meat… there many combinations that are sure to suit your tastes.
- Bagels from £3.50. 39-41 St Nicholas Street, 0117 922 0417, bagelboy.co.uk/menu.html
The fish and chips shop you were looking for in Bristol if you haven’t found one yet and you want to try one of the staples of English cuisine. They not only offer fish and chips, but also have salads with curry, fish fingers, falafel burgers, etc.
- Fish and chips from £5.55. Luchbox from £3.50. 267 North Street, Bedminster, 0117 966 2226, fishminster.co.uk/
Sick and tired of eating bread from the supermarket? If you miss going to the bakery in your neighborhood back home, Mark’s Bakery is what you need. Freshly made, crispy and simply delicious! Situated in Bristol Beer Factory in Bedminster, this bread “craft workshop” supplies several Michelin-starred restaurants in Bristol. It has a coffee shop and the whole menu (unsurprisingly) revolves around bread, with things like toast, cold soup with a trio of sourdough bread, bacon butties and stuffed baguettes. All the products they offer are from the area.
- Plates from £2 to £6.50. 291 North Street, Southville, 0117 953 7997, marksbread.co.uk
This selection was published by The Guardian in January. I have visited some of them, but not others. So here’s my gift to you… three extra recommendations from my personal stock:
Roll for the Soul
It has ecological and local products and is vegetarian-friendly, is in the very centre of the city, the portions are pretty decent and the prices are low. You can eat well for £5. Don’t be surprised to see the bikes, as it is also a repair shop.
2 Quay Street (Nelson st), Bristol, BS1 2JL
This gem of fast food is in Easton. If you’re addicted to fast food and enjoy a pizza or a good burger and fries… this is your place. I will only say that the XL menu with a Double Cheeseburger with fries and drink costs only £2.50. The quality of the burgers might not be the same as at Gourmet Burger, but it’s definitely higher than at McDonalds or Burger King. You can also order pizza or shawarma.
76 Stapleton Road, BS5 0PW (Easton)
The Stable is summed up in the slogan: pizza, pies and cider. And that’s what they have: an exhaustive cider menu, with several tasting options, quality salads and finger-licking good homemade pizzas. Once I had a pizza of the day, with squid, pesto and bacon, which was great. If you go with someone, share a pizza and a salad, and you can have dinner for about £10/person. You must have seen it: it’s in Harborside, between the tourist office and the fountains.
Canon’s Road, Harbourside, Bristol, BS1 5UH
If you want to locate them, I’ve made a map for easier viewing:
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- BEARRITOS: An entire Mexican canteen installed in an English double-decker bus! Cheap and delicious. Sourced by crowdfunding, you can find them in the BearPit in the centre where StokeCroft begins (www.bearritos.co.uk)
- TUBE DINNER: Eating in a caravan in the American 50s is something special, right? On the main road to Bath, from Temple Meadsm, in BS4 3EH. (www.thetubediner.co.uk)
- THE COMMERCIAL ROOMS: A pub from the Wetherspoon chain in the very centre. Affordable menus and all the drinks you want. (jdwetherspoon.co.uk/the-commercial-rooms)