Bristol has a long-established reputation as the beast of the UK foodie scene. While the city prides itself on its wide variety of food in every BS postcode, many of which have a loyal fan base, our food and drink scene also appreciates food enthusiasts who care deeply about what’s new in Bristol.
Despite the challenges of the COVID outbreak which have rocked the hospitality industry, Bristol’s new restaurants and bars show that this food capital still has plenty to offer. From fancy restaurants to fast food joints to small stalls, this year brought a fusion to grab the attention of all palettes and taste buds.
But beyond the curiosity of the first visit, have they really met or exceeded the expectations of locals and visitors? We looked at recent reviews on sites such as TripAdvisor and Google, to see what people have written about their experiences of some of Bristol’s newer establishments.
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Here’s what they said about six new companies from Bristol:
The cow and the sow
The Cow & Cow was one of the city’s first additions in 2022, taking over the unit formerly occupied by Graze. It serves an all-day menu and specializes in steaks.
Bristol Live’s Aaliyah Miller described Cow & Sow’s food as “all sublime” the meat being “juicy and succulent”, while his favorite was the side fries. On TripAdvisor, one user also praised their Sunday Roast calling the meal “amazing”, as they wrote: “Our food was absolutely stunning, we had The Cure and it was a bit of everything because we couldn’t decide!
“Our sweets were also amazing! The service was fantastic, very attentive, friendly and nothing was too much trouble! A big thank you to the chefs in the kitchen for being accommodating with a request from our table! I will recommend The Cow & Sow to anyone I know visiting Bristol and I can’t wait to come back myself!”
This Park Street bar, which launched this year, contains retro arcade machines and consoles, Bristol being the second city in the country with a Four Quarters branch after London.
Offering a wide range of craft beers, cocktails and an extensive menu, Four Quarters was acclaimed for its wide selection, as one user on Google wrote: “Great selection of drinks…a few local beers and ciders… .as well as plenty of amazing games to play.Arcade cabinets as well as old school consoles on tables.
Cotto Wine Bar and Kitchen
hailed as “Bristol’s hottest new restaurant to open so far this year”, Cotto on St. Stephen’s Street is the new hotspot for the ultimate Italian food and wine experience. The restaurant aims to bring back “classic old-school Italian cuisine” – and diners totally agree that Cotto has done just that.
One reviewer praised Cotto for showing what “restaurant food is REALLY supposed to taste like” writing, “It’s like going to a restaurant in general is supposed to be more delicious/tastier, but then you go to Cotto and you realize what restaurant food is actually supposed to taste like. He blew our socks off.
“We had 5 starters, 2 main courses and 2 desserts between 3 of us and found every dish to be next level good. Like flavors I didn’t know existed.
“We could barely talk to each other while eating because we didn’t want to distract ourselves from food. I love the community theme and friendly vibe.
“The staff are the nicest people you can find anywhere. I will take all my friends here one by one. Alright, I’ll calm down now. Thank you for having us xxx”
namak indian dinner
The recently launched Indian restaurant on Mina Road in St Werburgh’s has a menu deeply influenced by many parts of India and hopes to bring a ‘new approach’ to Indian cuisine. Foodies have been delighted since the establishment opened, as one user enthusiastically wrote:
“The decor was beautiful. Each table offers a clear view of the chef working in the kitchen. The menu offers a wide variety of delicious and appetizing starters and main courses.
“I ordered a South Indian main course which was very authentic. The chocolate pudding samosas were a favorite with the kids.
“The service staff was very friendly and approachable. The owner also seemed very warm and caring. He came to check on our experience and seemed to be genuinely engaged.
East African restaurant Jikoni made its debut on March 2, having started as a mobile pop-up across Bristol. So far, reviews have poured in and many have praised Jikoni for her unique blend of unconventional and traditional flavors in her dishes.
One user called Jikoni “a real gem in Bristol” writing: “We ate there last night, it was such lush food. It’s a real gem in the city of Bristol.
“The restaurant is tucked away at the end of an old courtyard with the dining room up a flight of stairs. There were lots of small East African dishes like mezes and we shared it all.
“I had never had anything like the food served before, it was a real treat. The staff were very friendly and enjoyed a good chat.”
Another pop-up-turned-permanent site in Bristol, Hoba has long been considered a “city center staple” offering fresh grilled kebabs inspired by Berlin. You may have seen it on TV last May.
One user expressed his delight in Hoba by writing on TripAdvisor: “We only heard about this place while watching a BBC show, really happy to have discovered this place. Having lived in Germany for a few years, the normal skewers found in the UK do not match what we had during our stay in Germany, so far.
“Hoba has it all figured out, the whole vibe of the place is really good and the service is spot on. The food is even better, you have to try it to understand and I’m sure it will be a regular place to visit.”
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