Bristol’s best vegetarian restaurants

Updated January 2016: In 2015 vegetarian food sort of exploded across Bristol. With lots of new openings and a big increase in vegetarian and vegan choices on menus everywhere. (Perhaps something to do with Bristol being names Europe’s Green Capital? who knows?) Neither Becci nor I are vegetarians so in addition to our own recommendations, the rather brilliant Kim from @BristolVeggie has helped us out with her top picks too. You should check out her tumblr blog here.

Enjoy!

Bristol Foodie’s top picks

Updated Jan 2016. As mentioned at the start of this post, neither Bec nor I are vegetarians. However we both love veggie food and think the below are fine examples of meat free dining in Bristol.

Flow, Haymarket (Bearpit)
A diamond in the rough hidden in the depths of the Bearpit opposite the Mayflower. Flow has a relaxed atmosphere with an exciting yet refined menu – a mixture of small plates and larger meals – all of it vegetarian or vegan with a good selection of gluten free to boot. Food was beautifully cooked and presented, wine was well priced and we had a wonderful evening. Perfect for those looking for sophisticated vegetarian food in a laid back atmosphere.
Read our full review here.

Flow Vegetarian 2

Cafe Maitreya Social, Easton
www.cafemaitreya.co.uk
Exquisite food at a good price. Maitreya Social simply blew us away. The chefs operate in a small open plan kitchen as diners relax in a beautiful restaurant. Food is inventive – a real creative twist on vegetarian cooking. Interesting ingredients cooked with style and often with an Asian twist. Looking for something a bit special? Look no further. This a restaurant that we urge all foodies to try.

Maitreya Social - Main course

No.1 Harbourside, Canon’s Road, BS1
www.no1harbourside.co.uk
I recently took my mother in law to dinner at No1 Harbourside. We were looking for good food, ideally vegetarian, in a relaxed but nice setting served quickly as we were heading to the Hippodrome. No1 Harbourside delivered all of these things.

I was delighted to see the menu broken down into four sections: vegan, vegetarian, fish and meat with three to four options for each. My MIL opted for Briko pastries stuffed with spiced cauliflower and spinach, served with a coriander and peanut salsa. I had the “little lumps” herbed gnocchi served with sautéed brussel sprouts. Great food, great value. Perfect for those looking for tasty vegetarian or vegan food in a laid back bar setting.

Krishna’s Inn, Clifton Triangle
krishnas-inn.co.uk
Nothing fancy from the outside but some really great food on offer here. Krishna’s Inn specialise in southern Indian cuisine which is mainly lots of smaller vegetarian dishes. Very reasonably priced and very tasty.

Cafe Kino, Stokes Croft
www.cafe-kino.com
Casual dining wsith a laid back vibe. Cafe Kino offers a small menu of home cooked, hearty veggie and vegan food. The spicy veggie burger with regular of set potato chips is something pretty special. My veggie friend Ceri proclaimed it to be one of the best veggie burgers she’d ever eaten. Cafe Kino is a cooperative so there’s a really friendly atmosphere and also a sense that the staff really care. You can find local art on the wall and a small selection of beers, ciders and soft drinks.

Thali cafe, Clifton, Easton, Totterdown, Montpelier
www.thethalicafe.co.uk
So technically, Thali now serves meat as well, but it started as veggie and their veggie thalis are still pretty awesome. Your thali consists of a salad, rice, curry and dhal with the option of veggie or veggie and dairy free. Highly recommended are the City Snacks off the starter menu, a selection of spicy, fresh tasting bhajis and pakoras. Also recommended are the chutneys and pappadoms – some of the best mango chutney I have tested. All this in a selection of beautiful Restaurants across the city, with main meals costing less than a tenner.

Biblos, Stokes Croft, St Werburghs, Gloucester Road
www.tastybiblos.co.uk
Another veggie hideout on stokes croft, Biblos offers a selection of mezze items to pick and share with friends. Also on offer are some pretty awesome pittas and wraps, generous in size filled with exciting flavours and good ingredients. Enjoy the local art on the walls, their laid back vibe and most of all, their food.

Biblos - Wrap

Eat a pitta, St Nicholas Market, Broadmead, Gloucester Road
@eatapitta
One for lunchtimes and not evenings, we’ve said it before and well say it again, the falafel from these guys is pretty awesome, arguably the best in Bristol. If you are in need of a lunchtime by in the city centre then these are the guys for you.

Royce Rolls, St Nicholas Market
Another lunchtime hideout in St Nicks, these guys have a good selection of veggie, vegan and gluten free lunchtime snacks, from jacket potatoes to pies, sandwiches, rolls and pasties. Not only that but their flapjack selection is something to be proud of too. Worth a visit if you are in the area.

Poco Bar
eatpoco.com
Some tasty vegetarian tapas (a few meat dishes on there as well). Beautiful atmosphere in the restaurant, bustling and inviting. I love the local art on the walls and the casual yet intimate atmosphere.

Kim’s top picks

Here’s my top picks. I’ve chosen restaurants that not only do good veggie food but offer a wider choice than average too. Unfortunately there are a lot of high-end restaurants that are nice, but only offer one veggie option, so they didn’t make the cut! I would have included Maitreya Social, but that’s already in the Bristol Foodie shortlist, and I hope you don’t mind, but I put an honorary mention in for Acorn Vegetarian Kitchen in Bath. It’s totally worth the train journey!

River Cottage Canteen, Whiteladies Road
www.rivercottage.net/canteens/bristol
River Cottage’s Veg Out night can be relied upon for a wide range of high quality vegetarian and vegan food. It’s a monthly event – usually the first Tuesday of the month – and uses seasonal ingredients. It’s a la carte too, not a set menu. There’s usually only one bigger vegetarian meal on the menu on a day-to-day basis, but there’s a few smaller plates that don’t contain meat, and a seasonal vegetable mezze for sharing.

Souk Kitchen, North Street (new branch also now in Clifton!)
www.soukitchen.co.uk
One of the best non-veggie restaurants for vegetarians. There are tons of mezze dishes to choose from, and at least two options larger main courses. These include smoked veg, Spinach and pine nut bistilla, Turkish beans, falafel, feta and watermelon salad, labne with tomatoes, and haloumi, among many others.

The Olive Shed, The Floating Harbour
www.theoliveshed.com
I love The Olive Shed for its atmosphere and location, but it also offers some of the better vegetarian tapas in town (too many places seem to leave the veggies to bread or potato-based dishes). There’s one main and one starter on the menu, but they’re usually a little different to the norm, and there’s often a meat-free special too.

Wilk’s Restaurant, Chandos Road, Redland
www.wilksrestaurant.co.uk
Wilk’s is worth a visit on Sunday night for its vegetable tasting menu. Note ‘vegetable’ and not ‘vegetarian’ – this menu is all about celebrating the natural flavours of vegetables in their own right. With five courses including dishes such as chestnut veloute, caramelised chicory and violet gnocci, it’s a shame it only happens one a week.

Acorn Kitchen, Bath (Honourary mention)
http://www.acornvegetariankitchen.co.uk
If you’re prepared to hop on a train for a good meal, then do the locomotion over to Acorn Vegetarian Kitchen in Bath. I cannot overstate how good the food here is. You might remember Acorn in its former guise, Demuth’s; Demuth’s was fantastic, but Acorn is a step above. Expect imaginative and skillfully prepared food such as carrot and cashew pate with spelt crisps, pumpkin cooked in almond milk or pineapple carpaccio.

14 thoughts on “Bristol’s best vegetarian restaurants

  1. Tom Slaiter Reply

    Great post, I’ve been to the Thali cafe before, really really good food.

    Appreciate it! :-)

    • Gemma Reply

      Thanks Tom – glad that you liked it :-)

  2. pakora Reply

    Bit disappointed at the small offering regarding vegetarian/vegan eating. As you say, loads of places do meat and veggie fare so can’t understand how small this section is/lack of any review of the veggie options in your general reviews.

    Could you perhaps include this in future – and some info on accessibility for those of us who need wheels to get around?

    Ta ;-)

    • Gemma Reply

      Hi Pakora,

      Thank you so much for your comment. I agree that this selection isn’t a full representation of all of the veggie fare Bristol has to offer, more a selection of restaurants which specialise in vegetarian food. (It could definitely be improved to encompass more)

      What do you think about a key to indicate the choice of veggie options and accessibility? We can only pass comment on the dishes we actually try but could give an indication on the number of veggie choices there were on the menu?

      Please let us know if there are any restaurants you particularly recommend we try on vegetarian cuisine also.

      Thanks again for taking the time to comment. We always appreciate feedback from our readers, particularly suggestions on how we can improve and make our content more useful for you :-)

      Gemma
      Bristol Foodie

  3. Stewart Reply

    Hi Gemma

    I’m a carnivore, but my wife who is a vgetarian is always complaining that there are just not enough veggie restaurants out there. You claim that Bristol is the second greenest city in Europe and that you can find some fabulous veggie fare across the city. There seem to be precious few in your write up – and most of those are snacks, sandwiches and bites. Where are the fabulous restaurants? I really want to treat my wife, while in Bristol. Is there no demand? Are veggies’ blowing a silent trumpet? Are there insufficient veggies to make it viable? I just can’t find out how it can be done, but would love to know.

    • Gemma Reply

      Hi Stewart – there are some fabulous restaurants. I agree that this post needs updating! Some of the restaurants are weirdly called Cafe’s – probably to give them a more casual feel however it somewhat plays down how nice they really are!

      Maitreya tops my list for posh vegetarian cuisine. Beautifully presented and ingeniously put together
      Poco on Cheltenham Road is good for vegetarian style tapas – nice vibe in there.
      I’ve had some very tasty vegetarian options at Primrose Cafe in the evening, although there may only be one or two veggie options in the menu.
      The Thali Cafe (situated all across Bristol) is a staple for nice veggie meals out. Curries with a twist, the paneer thali is my favourite and the atmosphere is always lovely in these restaurants.

      I’ll keep my eyes peeled for any others
      Thank you for commenting :-)
      Gemma

  4. Ripley Reply

    Where has Clemb gone =(

  5. Bee Reply

    Stewart is so right – this article really isn’t delivering what is promised. Very few of the places listed are actually restaurants – sandwich bars and cafes really don’t count if you’re looking for a nice place for a special meal out. Pizza and indian restaurants are a bit of a waste of space too, not that a vegetarian can’t eat well at such places but that it is so completely usual for pizza places and indian places to have some decent veggie options that if that’s what you fancy you just search for the best local indian or the best local pizza. Anyone trawling the web for Bristol’s best restaurants for vegetarians really isn’t looking for a sandwich shop, pizza or curry. Perhaps just changing the title of the article to something else would be helpful?

    • Gemma Reply

      Thanks for the feedback Bee – I agree with you. We’re working on revamping some of our older posts (such as this one) and will make a point of getting some more upmarket recommendations on here soon.
      Just a note though Cafe Maitreya Social, although it says Cafe, is actually more of a restaurant with sophisticated and tasty vegetarian dishes on the menu. Definitely worth checking out if you haven’t already.
      Thanks again for your comment
      Gemma, Bristol Foodie

  6. Sian Reply

    who needs more when we have the maitreya! Most incredible food, good quality, good price, nice atmosphere and friendly staff. My favourite for a meal out. Their burrito is a thing of beauty.

    • Gemma Reply

      Thanks Sian – we love Maitreya too

      Gemma
      BristolFoodie

  7. Gemma Reply

    After some useful feedback from our readers about how this post wasn’t really representing the fine dining side of Bristol’s vegetarian scene, we’ve enlisted the help of the rather brilliant Kim from @BristolVeggie to enhance our original list. You can check out her tumbr blog: bristolvegetarian.tumblr.com.
    I hope you find Kim’s recommendations useful, its certainly given us some amazing places to try.
    Thanks,
    Gemma

  8. David Jane Reply

    Hi Gemma,

    Great site and now have a lot of new places to try out thanks to you.
    You should try Chai Shai Kitchen at the bottom of Jacobs Wells Road. Great Indian food to suit vegetarians and meat eaters. Staff are very friendly and attentive. Doesn’t serve alcohol but it is BYO. Very cosy place so advisable to book.

    • Gemma Reply

      Hi David, thanks for your comment.
      Do you know I’ve passed by there a number of times and often thought that it looks like somewhere worth a try. Highly rated by TimeOut I think isn’t it? BYO is always a plus for me too.
      Thank you so much for taking the time to pass on the recommendation – I’ll be sure to try it next time I manage to negotiate a baby-free night out!
      Thanks, Gemma

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