Fine dining without pomp and ceremony is standard in Bristol. No misogynistic dining practices are observed here either; women get handed menus too, and the prices are even printed on them... Bristol is very good at taking the stuffy tradition out of Michelin-starred and fine eating, making it accessible and stripping it back to what it should be about - good food, good service and great drink pairings. 

Here, we've collected the updated 2020 list of Michelin star and Bib Gourmands in Bristol – and you can eat at, drink in, and wear your trainers to every one of them. Of course, Michelin stars aren't everything – there are so very many stunning eateries of all shapes and sizes around the city, perfect for all manner of occasions and feasts. But if you're looking for something just a bit swanky to celebrate that special occasion with, or maybe you just simply want to treat yo'self, this list is here for you.  

Probably the best known Michelin star restaurant in Bristol, Casamia is a fine dining experience like no other. The menu at Casamia changes with the seasons, as does the interior of the restaurant. The dishes are designed to showcase seasonal produce at its best and are inspired by childhood memories, locations and people the chefs have met. Not much is given away on the menu, just the main ingredient which is indicative of Casamia’s phenomenal ability to play with your senses. There are set lunch and dinner menus available with matching wine flights. After visiting, you’ll understand why Gordon Ramsay himself once called the Sanchez brothers, "two little geniuses".

Read more about One Star: Casamia

Bulrush is something special. Since its relatively quiet opening in December of 2015, the restaurant's reputation has flourished, and it is not difficult to understand why they were awarded a Michelin star relatively quickly. They offer a beautiful, fresh, innovative menu which changes regularly, with every dish presented looking like a work of art. Vegetarians, vegans and all other dietary requirements are catered for sans problème - in fact, you get the feeling that the kitchen team here love to be challenged and enjoy creating something unusual and different. It's worth mentioning that the staff make this place a joy to be in; Katherine heads up the modest venue here and it's clear that everyone involved is deeply passionate about what they do and the food you are eating. Our top tip is to go for the tasting menu, which is an incredible 9 courses for staggering value.

Read more about ONE STAR: Bulrush

Chandos Road in Redland is where you will find Wilks. An unassuming, modest and informal restaurant where owners James Wilkins (head chef) and Christine Vayssade (restaurant manager) along with their incredible front and back team serve up creative and accomplished dishes. The food is inspired by the couple's experiences and travels (they have worked and lived in Turkey, France and Japan) and local produce is the star of the show here. Wilks restaurant love the use of clean, light and seasonal ingredients, with an emphasis on everything that is 'natural'. The kitchen team deliberately use butter and cream sparingly in order to let the real flavours shine through. Wilks offer plenty of choice – from a great value set lunch menu, an A La Carte option and two tasting menus (with optional wine flights) for those who would like make their visit a bit special.

Read more about One Star: Wilks Restaurant

Awarded a well-earned star within less than a year of opening, Paco Tapas is very firmly another fine feather in the Sanchez cap – a cap also donned by the almighty Casamia (see above) and formerly the Pi Shop. You can enjoy padron peppers roasted on an open fire, jamon sitting on the bone (to the tune of the Christmas Song). Here, Sherry is expertly kept and poured to bring the real taste of Andalusia to Bristol, and served alongside the most stunning tapas you're ever likely to encounter.

Read more about One Star: Paco Tapas

Jay Raynor loved it, we love it, Bristol loves it. BOX-E is turning heads and taking reservations. "Fine dining in a shipping container?" I hear you all cry, yes indeed dear reader. As part of the new Cargo development at Wapping Wharf, Tess and Elliot owners, chefs and FOH at BOX-E are serving British classical cooking at very reasonable prices. With only 14 seats plus four at the kitchen counter you would do well to get your bookings for lunch and dinner in quick, especially now London know about them. Look out for a little seating out on the decking on sunny days, too! Menu wise expect to find fine food and relaxed service. Think modern, European dining with a farm to fork eye on proceedings. Onglet steak, pea soup and roast aubergine all lifted with the use of truffle oil, seasonal produce and a real love of British produce.

Read more about Bib Gourmand: BOX-E

Standing in the ashes of the Chicken Shed, Root is a brand new concept in a familiar location. Gone is the "posh fast food" joint and instead is a small restaurant serving well thought out small plates with a heavy leaning on seasonal fruit and veg. Here you can dine on exquiste dishes of beetroots, mushrooms, hispi cabbage and fine cheeses along side carefully selected meat and fish dishes. Whether you're popping in for an intimate date night or group knees up there will be something that appeals to everyone here.

Read more about Bib Gourmand: Root

Adelina Yard is cosy yet chic, with a standout menu that would rival any starred restaurant. The clever duo behind the waterside hideaway Jamie and Olivia really know how to cook up a treat with their impeccable small plates. Both chefs have an impressive history of working in some of London and Bristol’s best restaurants, together they have crafted menu that is both imaginative and provocative. The tasting menu is a must try as you really get to savour all the best parts of the quality menu. Using delicious, locally sourced ingredients they make almost everything from scratch themselves. Whether it’s elevating the humble onion, or beautiful cookery of lobster, there’s no holds barred on the exceptional flavours brought to life. This is British fine dining at its very best.

Read more about MICHELIN PLATE: Adelina Yard

This is the fancy pants of Cargo 2. Tare is a 2o seater fine-dining restaurant, in which the aim of the game is to serve up quality food using the best ingredients possible. The dinner menu (of which there is also a vegetarian version) is a 5 course tasting option for a staggering £44 - not bad at all considering the current seasonal menu includes courses such as Iberico pork cheek croqueta, melon pickle, mustard mayonnaise and Mojama, passionfruit, sesame, nori, ‘Grow Bristol’ daikon shoots, crisp noodles. Sounds awesome right? With a hand selected and carefully curated drinks menu as an accompaniment, this one is perfect for special occasions or when you fancy a real treat.

Read more about MICHELIN PLATE: Tare

Jan and Mary have created a perfectly formed little English bistro. Dubbed after Mary’s family name, this 24-cover spot offers up a weekly changing menu using ingredients which are grown, hunted or gathered locally by themselves, served in a freshly whitewashed space – furnished with beautifully functional furniture and fresh flowers providing a flush of colour. Jan’s food heritage is impressive: particularly the two year stint in Tom Kerridge’s 2 Michelin Starred The Hand & Flowers, and more recently the excellent Kensington Arms just around the corner. Main Photo: Jude J Taylor

Read more about MICHELIN PLATE: Wilson's Restaurant

Setting Bristolian’s tongues wagging is the city’s top rated Gastropub, the Kenny. Cosy, communal and creative is the best way to sum up this proper British local. This hidden gem can be found tucked away in the heart of Redland dishing up some of the finest food this city has to offer. Think elevated fish and chips and salt marsh slow cooked shoulder of lamb - traditional pub grub brought into the 21st century. Their seasonal produce is all sourced locally, carefully prepared and beautifully cooked. The menus are designed by head chef Luke Hawkins and Josh Eggleton, and their specials boards are constantly changing with delicious seasonal dishes. After grabbing a Michelin Plate they also received a stellar review from the Guardian’s food critic, Grace Dent. Pub grub doesn’t get any better than this.

Read more about MICHELIN PLATE: Kensington Arms

Published -18th February 2020