Our Favourite Restaurants in Bristol for Date Night
Bristol is known for many things. The birthplace of not only America, but trip hop, Banksy and Hollywood heartthrob Cary Grant, the university town is a multi-cultural melting pot that has earned its modern reputation as the South-East's great cosmopolitan city. It's also an area that's wealthy with wonderful restaurants, with the multicultural makeup of the city making for some incredibly diverse and unique dining experiences. This, of course, means it's also a city that was built for date night.
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Whether you're planning your first date or your fiftieth, there can be few things in life as satisfying as a decent meal out with the apple of your eye. With its wealth of dining options, Bristol is perfectly placed to offer perfect locations for any kind of date. It doesn't matter if you're planning a casual bite after work or an ambitious (and expensive) anniversary banquet; there are enough options available to keep date night fresh for decades.
Pata Negra (30 Clare St, BS1 1YH)
A lively tapas and wine bar with a cosy and romantic atmosphere, Pata Negra offers a surprisingly affordable, but effortlessly romantic evening. A carnivore's dream, Pata Negra translates literally to “Black Hoof,” which refers to the acorn-fed, Black Iberian pigs that provide the bulk of the meat on the menu. It's not just bacon on the menu though, as the extensive selection features a range of traditional and seasonal tapas dishes. The restaurant also boasts an upstairs cocktail bar, so if you don't want the date to end, why not pop upstairs for an after-dinner cocktail or five? Perfect for a first date or possibly a double date with friends.
The Cow Shed (44-46 Whiteladies Road, Clifton, BS8 2NH)
This west country staple is certainly not one for the veggies, but it's definitely one for the wannabe chefs; cook your own steak on a lava stone for a bit of theatre and enjoy your perfectly cooked steak in a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere. Located in the bohemian suburban Bristol village of Clifton, the Cow Shed prides itself on its locally sourced produce and its support of West Country farmers, so you know your cut of meat hasn't travelled far from the field to the table. Ideal for a special anniversary dinner and one of the most popular date night restaurants in Bristol.
Bellita (34 Cotham Hill, BS6 6LA)
A perfect middle ground venue, offering both sophisticated dining and the perfect environment for a chilled out cocktail. Bellita sits on the outskirts of the city centre, a short walk from Clifton Down train station. It's an award-winning restaurant with pristine local heritage, that's been awarded Best tapas in the Bristol Good Food Guide and has been named one of the best wine bars in the country by the Sunday Times. The food pulls equally from Spanish, Middle Eastern and African cuisine and is designed to be shared, which makes it ideal for first dates when you're looking for reasons to awkwardly fumble at one another and lock fingers over a slice of bespoke Bellita bread.
The Lido (Oakfield Place, Clifton, BS8 2BJ)
One for those who have been together a little longer. Why not combine a spa day with a delicious dinner in the evening? As the name suggests, The Lido restaurant is attached to the famous Lido spa, which is situated in Clifton, just a stone's throw from The University of Bristol. The restaurant offers relaxed and unpretentious food at the poolside tapas bar, or more elaborate cuisine at the viewing gallery restaurant, with its strong Mediterranean menu.
Spoke and Stringer (The Boathouse Unit 1, Lime Kiln Road, BS1 5AT)
Whilst the European cuisine served here is certainly strong, with this adventurous bar and restaurant, the real selling point is the view. The gorgeous harbour views are what really sell the Spoke and Stringer as a romantic location for the young and the young at heart. The dockside café gets its name from the fact that it also doubles as a bike and surf shop, which means it's the perfect date venue for an active couple who might want to fuel up before hitting the surf or the open road.
Zizzi (29 Princess Victoria Street, BS8 4BX)
A sure-fire crowd-pleaser. Zizzi is an Italian chain that boasts affordability, but also quality and variety; pizza, pasta and risotto are all on the menu, but there are also indulgent desserts and a wealth of vegan and vegetarian options to consider. The Bristol restaurant, which is based in Clifton, just a short walk from Brunel's iconic Suspension Bridge, is nestled amidst some of the city's most historic buildings and offers both an intimate dining area for romantic meals and a larger area for parties or particularly ambitious double dates.
Old India (The Old Stock Exchange, 34 Saint Nicholas Street, BS11TG)
A luxurious and self-knowingly avant-garde Indian restaurant that’s sure to wow a first date, or lend a little spice to a special anniversary, Old India is based on Saint Nicholas Street in the beating heart of Bristol town. The restaurant has been offering the cuisine of the kings to Bristolian couples for over a decade now and is favoured by most locals as the best Indian in the city. An English Curry Awards winner and a modern classic that will undoubtedly be hosting date nights for decades to come, Old India is the definitive Bristol balti house.
No matter how old and 'experienced' you get, arranging date night is never easy, particularly if you've been living in a city for a while and think you've seen (and tasted) all it has to offer. Bristol, however, is a city that's constantly evolving and will always offer a range of potentially magical experiences for couples young and old.