As regular ‘weekenders’ to Bath, we spent a lot of time eating out. The city has no shortage of restaurants to choose from and there is always a new place to try every time we are in town.
However, there are a number of restaurants we go back to time and time again. For us, these make up the current ten best restaurants in Bath.
Our criteria is pretty straightforward:
- How good is the food?
- Is there enough options to cater for veggies and carnivores?
- How good is the service?
- Is there a buzz to the place?
From these criteria, let me present you our ten best..
Rustica Bistro Italiano, Margaret’s Buildings
This has to be one of the best Italian restaurants in the country. Located in Margaret’s Building, between The Circus and The Royal Crescent, Rustica is run by two brothers who offer the warmest of welcome.
From the tiniest of kitchens come the finest, fresh authentic Italian dishes. From Calamari and Bruschetta to start through beautifully cooked steak, Lasagna Nonna Gianna and fish of the day. A small but excellent menu is always complemented with daily specials.
The restaurant is split across two floors, the ground floor (or upstairs) and downstairs. Upstairs is more fun for people watching so do ask if you can be up there if they can.
Rustica is always on the list every time we are in Bath. It is great for a buzzy Friday night dinner, and equally good for a relaxed Sunday night affair.
Brasserie Blanc, Victoria Square
Brasserie Blanc is one of a chain that still feels like a local restaurant. An ideal place to ‘dress up’ , you can always expect a great welcome and a buzzing atmosphere any day of the week.
The large menu includes great Steak options (including Chateaubriand), fresh fish and veggie dishes. A fresh dish of crudities is always a winner at our table.
Each table will have a dedciated waiter, supported by a cast of hundreds to ensure you are well looked after.
This is a great place for a large gathering or celebration.
The Acorn Vegetarian Kitchen – North Parade Passage
Recently voted the best vegetarian & vegan restaurant by Viva! , The Acorn creates the most wonderful, delicate food. As a meat eater with two veggie girls, it is nice to find a restaurant that is vegetarian first. The dishes are impeccable morsels of beautifully created food with amazing titles.
“Some old donkey carrots cooked slowly and then fire charred, pickled carrot, chervil and shallot puree, carrot and cashew puree and seeded spelt grain (VG/N)”
“Chioggia beetroots steamed with garden herbs and then shaved into slivers with a beetroot vierge and an aged cashew puree (VG/GF/N)”
All menu dishes include recommendations for wine or matching drinks which only adds to the experience.
Like the Rustica, this place is small and gets booked regulalry so do plan ahead. There is more of a buzz upstairs than downstairs so again, ask to be up not down.
Firehouse Rotisserie – John Street
This American Style restaurants focuses on two main areas – Rotisserie chicken, and wood fired oven pizzas. This is an excellent place for a relaxed dinner any day of the week.
The service is quick and friendly and the food is supremely filling. Expect some spices in your dish, with names like “Gunpowder Shrimp” the Texas Spice rub Chicken or the excellent Jalapeno Coleslaw.
Again, another smallish restaurant so book ahead.
The Thai Balcony – Seven Dials
Situated upstairs, looking out over the beautiful Monmoth Street area, this restaurant works well in the winter and even better in the summer when you can sit next to the balconies and enjoy a dinner almost alfresco.
Serving mainstream Asian dishes, the service is quick and charming although the odd touch, like leaving you to pour your own drinks takes a little getting used to.
The restaurant is decked out in opulent style with lots of Gold and indoor fountains so you can get away with dressing up for a fun dinner.
Thai Balcony, 1 Seven Dials, Saw Close, Bath, BA1 1EN
Yen Sushi – Bartlett Street
Possibly the best ‘conveyor belt sushi’ in the UK, this wonderful restaurant is ideal for lunch or a chilled out dinner. Kaiten Suhsi to give its proper name, literally translates to “going around” You sit around a conveyer where different dishes are presented in front of you and simply take what you fancy off the conveyer.
You can expect a good run of delicate sushi and sashimi as well as special orders including Miso Soup, Bento Boxes and Tempura Prawn Hand Rolls – possibly the greatest single dish in their repetoir (according to me!)
This gets very busy at weekend lunchtimes so come early if you want to sit around the conveyor belt. There are usually table seats around the outside if you are desperate to eat, but plan ahead to enjoy the full ‘kaiten’ experience!
RajPoot – Argyle Street
Bath is well served for Indian Restaurants but for us, this is the standaout restaurant. On Argyle street, just off poultney Bridge you will descend into a cosy restaurant and a warm welcome.
The restaurant is split into different rooms that are curved cellars, mostly with booth seating or table seats for larger groups. The menu is vast covering the expected Indian dishes and a healthy selection of vegetarian options.
Saturday nights can be busy and you may want to give it a miss on Bath Rugby nights as it can get packed!
Noteable mentions: The Mint Room Indian restaurant is also worth a mention. Behind Green Station is not quite in the centre of town but expect a modern take on the traditional dishes.
Hare & Hounds – Landsdown Road
The Hare & Hounds is a large dining pub on the road out towards Landsdown. A 5 minute cab ride will bring you to a beautiful old building with excellent food options for lunch or dinner.
On a Sunny day you can see a few miles across the valley and enjoying the large garden.
The menus cater for carnivores and veggies with some beautiful options including chargrilled asparagus and pan fried scallops. The beer battered cod and chips is also a winner.
This is a great place for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
The Marlborough Tavern – Marlborough Buildings
Another great pub in a city full of great pubs. Sitiuated behind the Royal Crescent, this place is worth a walk up the hill to enjoy the best Sunday Roast you might find in town.
Always busy, this pub offers great food, good wines and a regular selection of guest ales. Sunday lunch is only two sittings and it will get busy so book ahead!
Côte Brasserie – Milsom Place
Another chain restaurant on the list but one that has the personal touch. In the summer you can sit out and enjoy the tranquility of Milsom Place, enjoying fresh Chicken and Walnut salad or stay warm in the winter with French Onion soup in their large restaurant.
Staffed by locals, it is always busy enough for a buzz but not too busy that you won’t get a table. Côte is a regular place for us to grab a quick dinner in the confidence it will be great.
Henrys was Casanis. – Casanis was the most wonderful provencal style restaurant located behind the Assembly Rooms. If you could get a table you’d expect to enjoy authentic Soupe de Poisson with a pale glass or Rosé. The restaurant ownership and name changed earlier this year and we’ve not had a chance to try it.