5 of Bristol's best tapas restaurants

5 of Bristol's best tapas restaurants

Posted on: 07 May 2024

Tapas were originally small samples of an inn’s food menu served on a pot lid (aka a pot top, or ‘tapa’ in Spanish), so that illiterate patrons could browse the menu without having to read.

These days, we’ve come far from those days – tapas is a beloved style of meal in and of itself, and often associated with fine dining. Ironically, this perception of tapas has led to the phrase ‘reading like they’re eating tapas’ – a far cry from its illiterate origins!

Bristol is full of great tapas restaurants, but which are worth your little dish of time, and which will leave you hungry for something better? Read our guide to find out! Keep in mind that any menu items are taken from sample menus – restaurants like these will often keep their menus consistently changing and rotating.



Bravas is a classic tapas bar on Cotham Hill – describing themselves as “unlike anything else in Bristol”, Bravas is warm and rustic, with an open kitchen where you can see and hear your food being cooked.

Drawing on Andalusian cuisine, Bravas serve everything from cured meats like Salchichón Ibérico, vegetable dishes like fried aubergine & molasses (and, of course, patatas bravas), seafood, cheese dishes and more.



Poco is a British take on tapas with a real focus on seasonal, sustainable food. Where Bravas is warm and rustic, Poco is light and airy – a great spot for a light lunchtime tapas meal.

Poco has a lot of seafood and plant-based food – from their Fowey mussels with cider, cream and leeks to Savoy cabbage with brown butter and hazelnuts. Poco also offer set sharing menus for a guided tour through their offerings, with both a meat (‘nose to tail’) and veggie version (‘root to fruit’)


Garden of Easton

Sister to popular brunch spot The Bristolian, Garden of Easton is a lush and vibrant restaurant that sits on the excellent St Mark’s Road in, of course, Easton. This gorgeous venue is full of cosy and vibrant furnishings – and is absolutely chock-a-block with verdant plantlife.

Garden of Easton have a menu heavy on the plants, as you might imagine, like their artichoke hearts served on whipped tofu (with wild garlic gremolata and crispy capers), or roasted cauliflower with tahini verde and toasted almonds.


Under the Stars

For something a bit different, why not take your tapas on the water? But, you may ask, how do I keep it from getting wet? Let me introduce you to the latest invention: boat. Under the Stars is a romantic little venue moored just off Narrow Quay in the centre – perfect for a date perhaps?

Appropriately for a seagoing vessel, Under the Stars offer a real global mixture in their cuisine – from North African chicken chermoula to Italian Aubergine Parmigana.



Specialising in prawns (called ‘gambas’ in Spanish) and other seafood, Gambas are a high-class tapas spot based out of Wapping Wharf – with great views of the harbour to get your fish-eating appetite up and running.

There are, of course, prawns on the menu – like the gambas pil pil (prawns with garlic, chilli and olive oil) and the toritas de camarones (shrimp fritters). That said, there are other offerings too, like the pulpo a la Gallega (Galician octopus), tortilla & alioli with chorizo – and, of course, king of tapas, patas bravas!

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Patrick Bate

Patrick is a filmmaker with so much Bristol in his blood the white blood cells are graffiti'd. Educated at the Northern Film School in Leeds, he’s returned home to be a Videographer and Reviewer for 365Bristol and BARBI. When he’s not messing about with cameras, he enjoys playing guitar, spending far too much time on tabletop RPGs, and being an awful snob about cider. Have a look at his work here, or get in touch at patrickb@365bristol.com.