Posted 2nd November 2010
Whether you’re a student or just a bit strapped for cash, you can still enjoy a meal out in Bristol for a low price. Below are some of our top tips for eating out in Bristol on a budget – all of the below are less than a tenner per person – Bargain!
This brilliant concept began last year as a mishmash of old school tables and chairs but boy has it taken off, and the prices have remained the same! A fantastic seasonal menu priced from just £5 makes this place a favourite haunt for all sorts! Menu ranges from local fresh fish to local organic lamb and with a soup to start included in the price, you really can’t go wrong! A bottle of wine costs a mere £10 and the live music acts all through the week make The Canteen a firm foodie favourite.
(between £5 and £8.50 per person)
Pizza Provencale, Clifton
This rustic pizzeria is busy most evenings of the week. One of the only places I’ve been to which actively encourage you to share (none of that ‘one main course between two people’ embarrassment you get elsewhere). A regular pizza will feed 2 and a large pizza can be shared by 3 or 4. You can half and half pizza toppings too so everyones happy. My favourites are Tropicale – the ham is really good quality, proper ham not processed and also Thai chicken. Drinks here are cheap too which is a bonus!
Cost: x1 pizza with 2 different toppings, x1 glass of wine, x1 bottle of ale…..£18.00
(£9 per person)
Thali Cafe, Totterdown, Montpellier, Easton, Clifton
Totterdown, Easton, Montpellier, Clifton – there really is a Thali for everyone. Not your average Balti House curry the Thali Cafe gives a modern twist to real Indian cuisine. Average prices are £6-£8 per meal (depending on whether you go for meat, fish, veggie or a special) do not be deceived, Thalis are filling – I’m yet to finish a whole one! Mumbai Style City Snacks are also highly recommended at just £3-£4 each. Cost is nearly always under £10 per head anyway but the Sunday Sessions are highly recommended as you can get Thalis for just £5 and there is usually live music on. Ethical, tasty, healthy, funky and best of all affordable – one of Bristol’s must visits.
Cost: (Sunday Sessions) 2 Thalis, 2 glasses of wine…… Under £17.00
(£8.50 per person)
Racks Bar, St Pauls Road, Clifton
The burgers here are seriously good – very meaty and great quality meat (I’d argue that its one of the best in Bristol) They are usually pretty pricey at £9.50 each but on Monday evenings, Racks offer buy one get one free on their burgers from 5pm to 10.30pm. Other offers include £5 pies at lunchtimes and 25% discount on wine on Tuesdays.
Cost: (Monday night) 2 Burgers, 1 pint of ale, 1 glass of wine……£16.50
(£8.25 per person)
Start the Bus
A funky bar with great food and low prices to match. Some of the yummiest chips and best burgers I’ve had and fish finger sandwiches to die for. Start the Bus isn’t all burger and chips however, wholesome hot dishes such as macaroni cheese, butternut squash and parsnip cassoulet, sausage and mash and scrummy pies with chips or mash – all for under £6! Sundays offer an amazing 2 Sunday roasts for just £15 and once a month have a jumble sale – the perfect place to discard (and pick up) unwanted treasures!
Cost: x1 pie and mash (£5.95), x1 fish finger sandwich and chips (£4.75) x1 glass of wine, x1 pint of cider….. under £18.00
(less than £9 per person)
Check out the chains
No, I dont mean Wetherspoons, McDonalds and O Neils, I mean the restaurant chains. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely prefer the small and independent restaurants but the chains often have great bargains – 2 courses + Wine for £10, Buy one main course get one for £1, Buy one main course get one free etc. Some of the best ones are Zizzis, Pizza Express, Bella Italia, Las Igaunas, Browns and Giraffe. I’d recommend signing up to their email newsletters or checking out http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/deals/cheap-restaurant-deals for the latest discounts and deals.
Eat Early (or at lunch)
Many restaurants offer early diner or pre theatre menus if you order before 7 or 7.30, this can make you huge savings (often getting two courses for less than the price of a standard main course) Lunchtime offers are also well worth keeping your eye out for as these can be cheaper still albeit lunchtimes are usually more casual and work focused than an evening meal.
I’ve found Bring Your Own Restaurants to be something f a rarity in Bristol, unlike the midlands / up north where many restaurants have a BYO wine or beer policy. There are some Bring Your Own Restaurants around though which can save you a lot of money on drinks. A couple to mention are:
The Invitation Book
The initial cost is pretty pricey (£25 – £30) however if you enjoy eating out you will more than save this cost. The invitation book gives you access to some of Bristol’s best restaurants with fabulous discounts, 25% discount, complimentary main course, free wine etc. If you’re in a shared house then I suggest perhaps splitting the cost between several of you – I buy it each year and only ever manage to use a 3rd of the vouchers. Plus there’s great shopping, beauty and fitness vouchers in there too. Click here for more info.