Ahh, Chinese food. At this point, you could argue that it’s synonymous with our culture - I mean, the first point of call for the England football team’s goalie as soon as he returned from the World Cup was his local restaurant for a takeaway. What’s not to love about Chinese food? I’m almost certain that in the back of everyone’s cutlery drawer is a well-thumbed copy of the local Chinese takeaway menu, which no one even needs to look at now because favourites have been memorised by number. 

But if this isn’t the case for you, then the predicament lies in finding your own local, the best Chinese restaurant in the city. The pick of the crop. The creme de la creme. Everyone has their favourites, but are they really all they’re cracked up to be? Never fear, we’ve done the hard work for you. From spring rolls to sweet and sour, we’ve selected the most sensational offerings in Chinese food that Bristol has to offer. 

Finding the Mayflower is an adventure in itself. Tucked away in a corner of the underpass in the Bearpit, this Bristolian institution looks unassuming from the outside. But don’t be fooled, once discovered, expect some of the most celebrated and delicious Chinese food that the city can offer. The menu is a delectable plethora of traditional meat, fresh seafood and veggie options, with an incredible-sounding claypot menu for those more adventurous diners - fish lips and duck feet, anyone?

Read more about Mayflower (Centre)

A favourite among the lunch frequenters of St Nick’s market, Chilli Daddy turns up the fire with their delectable hot pots of noodles in a spicy broth, topped with everything from tender chicken or beef ribs to crispy fried tofu. With three venues for you to take your pick from, Chilli Daddy really are at the forefront of the Chinese restaurant scene in Bristol. The customisable heat level ranges from a gentle tongue-tickling 0 to an eye-watering 5, and regular customers will know never to venture much further than a level 3 unless you really know what you’re doing.

Read more about Chilli Daddy (Various Locations)

You might have stumbled past Cathay Rendezvous on a boozy evening out on King Street - housed in a beautiful former library, this institution has been in business since 1986, making it one of the longest-standing Chinese restaurants in the centre of Bristol. A mixture of Catonese, Szechuan and Mandarin food makes up the menu, with their traditional dishes served ‘with a modern flair’. Catering extensively for the theatre-goers at the nearby Hippodrome, Cathay Rendezvous also offer a fantastic lunch deal.

Read more about Cathay Rendezvous (Centre)

You’ll recognise Wong’s if you’re a regular theatre-goer - this upmarket Chinese restaurant is situated slap bang in the centre of Bristol, just a hop and a skip from the Hippodrome, making it ideal for a pre-theatre supper. Housed inside a ludicrously luxurious-looking dark wood-panelled interior is one of the most celebrated Chinese restaurants in the city; Wong’s even won praise earlier this year nationwide when it was featured on BBC Two’s ‘Best of British Takeaways’. The menu draws together dishes from all regions of China, with an expansive selection to keep vegetarians more than happy, too.

Read more about Wongs (Centre)

Masterchef finalist Larkin Cen has been going from strength to strength with his gaggle of Woky Ko restaurants, this original bijoux base sitting in the first Cargo development in Wapping Wharf. Fluffy bao, sharing plates of sumptuous salt and pepper squid, plus a plethora of classic noodle and rice dishes all adorn the menu, served up in beautiful surroundings which encourage you to get cosy with other diners. For afters, try one of their sweet bao with ice cream - pure heaven.

Read more about Woky Ko (Cargo)

One of the newest additions to the Bristol food scene, Beijing Cooking Pot stews up hearty and healthy hot pot meals from their colourful restaurant on Perry Rd. Their menu keeps things simple; catering for those with a robust appetite, select your cooking pot base then pimp your pot with generous array of meat and fish extras, plus plenty of tempting side dishes to boot. If hot pot isn’t your thing, there are a plethora of rice and noodle dishes to choose from, including ‘yummy’ pork and chicken and a few spicy specials.

Read more about Beijing Cooking Pot (Centre)

In the heart of Little Chinatown, a small cluster of buildings on Nelson St, sits Little Shanghai. Sitting atop an Asian supermarket, this modern-looking Chinese restaurant has a menu of mouth-watering dim sum, traditional hot pot and grilled specials, as well as a selection of grilled skewers and cheung fun - a rice noodle roll stuffed with delicious meat and vegetables. Permanently busy thanks to the nearby student housing, this place might not be ideal first date territory but is perfect for a quick delicious bite before a night out or if you’re looking for something different.

Read more about Little Shanghai (Centre)

A little way out of the city in Stoke Gifford sits this highly-rated establishment - not solely catering takeaway to the nearby student village, Hao Wei is truly a hidden gem of Bristol Chinese restaurants. The lengthy menu offers a superbly cooked array of Chinese classics, with regular diners praising the amount of gluten free options available. The interior is clean and simple with a modern feel, or if you’d prefer to chow down in front of Netflix then all their dishes are available to take away, too.

Read more about Hao Wei (Stoke Gifford)

If you’re looking for a vegetarian Chinese restaurant in the heart of Bristol then look no further. Put simply, Suyuan is a vegetarians’ dream - all of the dishes at this charming little restaurant are veggie-friendly, with the majority of the menu catering to vegans, too. Take a stroll from the centre and find them tucked away on a side street of Queen’s Square, en route to the harbourside. A cosy interior complete with ‘live, laugh, love’-style decor makes this place akin to dining in your friendly neighbour’s house.

Read more about Suyuan (Centre)

Published -8th July 2019