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Top 10 Restaurants in Bath
Here at ‘In & Beyond Bath’, we are passionate about sharing and celebrating the very best of our beloved city of Bath and its surrounding region with curious, discerning visitors. Bath's dining scene has been transformed over the past two decades and the city now offers fabulous cuisine for every palate, diet, and budget. As passionate locals who delight in sharing the best our city, below is our Top 10 must-try restaurants for those looking for a truly special dining experience.
Rapidly becoming a legend in its own right, Menu Gordon Jones is the brainchild of its namesake founder and chef, Gordon Jones. Gordon grew up with an obsession for tasting and crafting incredible food, first arriving in Bath as the Head Chef for the 5-star Royal Crescent Hotel. Wanting an outlet for his own creativity and passion, he began his own restaurant in a former newsagents shop. Menu Gordon Jones only offers a single, surprise, multi-course tasting menu that changes regularly and fuses all sorts of unexpected ingredients, tastes, influences, and visual delights. This is then carefully paired with delectable wines. With only 10 tables available, book way in advance, doubly so if you're hoping to experience Gordon's extraordinary creativity on a weekend.
Situated inside the rather elegant Queensberry Hotel, The Olive Tree is Bath's only Michelin starred restaurant, as well as a holder of three AA roseattes. The restaurant itself is a small, intimate space, just a brief stroll from the bustle of the town centre. It is set amongst historic, Georgian Bath and serves a British-based, but internationally inspired, seasonal and locally-sourced menu. Their six and nine course taster menus are simply divine, with equally sumptuous vegetarian, vegan, and dairy-free alternatives available for those guests looking to enjoy the true Olive Tree dining experience tuned to their particular dietary requirements.
This delightful, intimate, vegan restaurant in Bath began a few years ago as Acorn with a simple but powerful approach based on an ethical and sustainable ethos. OAK serves a plant-based menu with ingredients chosen on the basis of where and how they are grown, as well as by whom. The chefs focus on preparing dishes that use the entire vegetable where possible, eschewing the age-old tradition of removing the bits typically seen as undesirable. Whilst OAK's approach obviously appeals to environmentally aware diners, the food is exceptional, exciting, and playful, served in a delightfully cosy environment and it is definitely worth a try for committed carnivores and sceptics of the local/ethical/sustainable/organic food movement alike.
Situated just out of the city centre, in the former ticket hall of Bath's old Green Park rail station, Green Park Brasserie is an ideal choice for visitors seeking good food, music, and a romantic setting whilst staying in arguably the most romantic of England's cities.
Candle-lit tables, delicious food stunningly presented, and superlative live music set in an evocative, grand Victorian interior all add up to make Green Park Brasserie one of the most romantic dining locations in Bath. Indeed the restaurant was awarded the prize for The Most Romantic Restaurant in the UK in 2017. The menu is locally sourced with a British focus, including fish (catch of the day), amazing steaks, salads, etc., but also incorporates popular classics such as burgers, and Italian dishes like linguine, making it hard to not enjoy whatever you choose to tuck into whilst gazing into your lover's eyes over a glass of wine.
Indian cuisine has a long and hallowed place in the hearts of Brits, with Indian immigrants in the 1950s and 60s making their cuisine a key feature of British life ever since; to the extent that 'Chicken Korma' was voted the nation's favourite dish a few years back. Today, exceptional Indian restaurants abound, however, Mantra stands in a league of its own on account of its approach. Defining itself as 'progressive Indian', Mantra takes the best of traditional Indian cooking and fuses it with contemporary ideas - employing modern equipment and concepts and using seasonal ingredients. The result is incredible. Sumptuous, more-ish dishes that bring a fresh, new twist to a much-loved cuisine, served in a beautiful setting with breath-taking views across the rooftops of Bath from the terrace.
Whilst the majority of Bath's visitors are drawn to the city because of its quintessentially English nature, Bath has a rather strong Gallic connection as well. The city became the refuge for a fair few French aristocrats following the French Revolution in 1789, and Bath's Queen Square hosts Boules on a regular basis - a much-loved pastime for many locals. The latest addition, however, is one of the best! Comptoir+Cuisine opened in 2019 offering an exquisite taste of France in the heart of Bath.
Founded by four French/Italian friends with a shared love of cheese and champagne, this Aladdin's cave of all things French offers a trip to the heart of Paris without the time or cost. Filled with French curiosities, condiments, charcuterie boards, cheese, and champagne (of course!), almost everything is available for purchase, including the furniture. As you might expect, the food and drink is truly 'fantastique', with a panoply of French dishes that you'd expect of a small café or Bistro found nestling beside the cobbles of a French town. It is the shared Cheese & Charcuterie Boards and baked Camemberts, combined with a compelling drinks menu (all French naturally) that both delights the taste buds and whisks one off, metaphorically-speaking, to another place entirely. For visitors wanting an authentic taste of France whilst exploring authentic England, this is the place to go.
Asian dining options in Bath have proliferated in recent years and there is now an exciting choice of great Thai, Burmese, Japanese, Indian, and Chinese restaurants scattered throughout the city. Noya's Kitchen, however, stands out. Established by Noya, a Vietnamese emigré whose family fled Vietnam in the dying days of the Vietnamese war, Noya's passion for authentic Vietnamese cooking shines through every dish that she and her team prepare. With a focus on simplicity, freshness, and aroma, Noya's limited menu is designed to ensure that whatever you choose, it will be tasty, fresh and nourishing, and as authentic as you could possibly hope for. The service is friendly and personal, the prices highly reasonable, and the food unforgettable. For Asian food connoisseurs, Noya's Kitchen is a must!
Nowhere in Britain is particularly far from the sea, however, great seafood restaurants often seem few and far between away from our seaside towns. Bath is an exception to the rule, and The Scallop Shell is one of the best seafood restaurants anywhere in the country- including London and the coasts. Serving all manner of seafood dishes, the restaurant won Britain's Best Fish and Chips award a few years ago, and continues to occupy a Top 10 spot on the list. As well as the classic fish dish, The Scallop Shell offers an ever changing menu based on season and catch: that includes crab, shellfish, as well as the odd non-seafood main such as chicken breast. The Scallop Shell's fresh ingredients and rustic seaside aesthetic makes for an amazing dining experience just minutes from Bath city centre.
A well-established favourite in Bath, sandwiched between The Circus and The Royal Crescent on the small road that links the two iconic buildings, The Circus was voted number 4 in The Times' 'Top 20 Secret Restaurants that Foodies Love' many years ago. That was some time ago, but The Circus is still as fiercely proud of that accolade today as it was then, just as it continues serve excellent European cuisine at reasonable prices in a relaxed setting. The menu offers a broad range of dishes for all the main dietary requirements, prepared using fresh, seasonal ingredients, lovingly presented and served with a warm smile. It's a great place to people watch too, as the well-heeled locals and residents of the posher nearby hotels often book tables here, meaning the chance of spotting a celebrity is a real possibility - assuming that that is your thing!
10) Sotto Sotto
Sitting at the top of, or very close to, TripAdvisor's 'Restaurants in Bath' for many years, Sotto Sotto has long since been the number one choice for Italian cuisine in the city. A magnet for foodies and romantics alike, Sotto Sotto is located in the barrel-vaulted basement of a Georgian edifice, just a few minutes walk from the Roman Baths and Abbey and almost right beside the River Avon. The restaurant is a very popular choice with a small number of tables, meaning booking ahead is almost essential. For those lucky enough to secure a table, their evening dining experience will be one of enjoyment; tasting the finest Italian ingredients and choosing from a broad, thoroughly Italian menu, serving pasta, meat, fish, and bread, all whilst seated in a relaxed, candle-lit space served by attentive staff.