The Best Restaurants In Bath: The IDEAL 22

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The transformation of Bath’s restaurant scene, from one dominated by chains and tea rooms to one of the South’s culinary powerhouses, has been nothing short of astounding. 

Just a decade ago, only those hungry punters craving a Cornish pasty, sausage roll or scone would have been truly satisfied, but recent years have seen a slew of independent, forward-thinking eateries opening in the city, and we’re very much here for it.

No, really, we’re very much here, strolling the honeyed streets in search of a good feed. If you’re in the city centre doing the same, then you’ve come to the right place, cause we’ve got a whole 22 recommendations here for you, some fancy some frugal, but all very much delicious. Here are the best places to eat in Bath; our IDEAL 22 restaurants in Bath. 

Upstairs At Landrace

Ideal for light yet generous plates of produce-led Britalian dishes…

Yep, we said that many of Bath’s best restaurants are relatively recent additions to the city, and this is certainly true for Upstairs at Landrace, which emerged during lockdown, found its feet fast, and, thankfully, appears to be sticking around for the long haul.

Housed above the excellent Landrace Bakery, which specialises in sourdough bread made using stoneground British grains, the kitchen up that winding staircase is led by former Brawn and Quality Chop House chef Rob Sachdev, who brings a similarly straightforward sensibility to the cooking here.

The menu comprises a handful of snacks and starters and a couple of larger plates, with the cheddar fritters from the former section already reaching something close to cult status. It’s easy to see why; pillowy, giving and nestled under blankets of finely grated local cheese, they are seriously, seriously addictive. One plate simply isn’t enough.

From the larger dishes, deceptively simple, perfectly-cooked portions of fish are paired with hyper-seasonal veg; on our last visit a tranche of brill with violet artichokes and braised white beans was superb. For something packing a touch more heft, rump steak or pork chops regularly appear on the ever-rotating menu.

Desserts are exemplary, with the skills of the bakery below on full display. Should there be a tart on the menu – we’ve enjoyed both Amalfi lemon and Pump Street chocolate in recent months – order it. 

All in all, Upstairs at Landrace manages to be both light and breezy, and eminently satisfying. Right now, it’s our favourite restaurant in Bath, and long may that continue.

PS. You’re in for a real surprise when you visit the toilet! 

Website: landracebakery.com

Address: 61B, UPSTAIRS, Walcot St, Bath BA1 5BN


The Scallop Shell

Ideal for Marco Pierre White-approved fish and chips…

Though nominally a fish and chips restaurant, the Scallop Shell, on Bath’s Monmouth Place, is so much more than that. Opened seven years ago and already superchef Marco Pierre White’s favourite restaurant in the area, this place is always packed and it’s easy to see why; fish is sourced sustainably, cooked simply yet thoughtfully, the vibe is cheerful and the service smooth. That’s all you could ask for, right? 

And though their fish’n’chip offerings are certainly delicious, there’s also a regularly updated menu of other, arguably more interesting, options; whole fish (megrim sole on our last visit) blistered and burnished by the grill, steamed mussels or clams depending on the catch, both served swimming in garlic butter, smoked sardines on toast… You get the picture. 

All in all, it’s a top, top place for seafood lovers and one we can’t stop returning to for our fix of fresh fish.

Website: thescallopshell.co.uk

Address22 Monmouth Pl, Bath BA1 2AY


Henry’s

Ideal for sophisticated city centre dining in soft focus…

There’s something incredibly charming about Henry’s on Saville Row. With quietly understated, gentle service and a dining room rendered in soothing satin soft blues and blondes, it’s a restaurant where there’s no danger of contending with a pulsating soundtrack when gathering for a gossip; a place where a leisurely, laid back dinner is actively encouraged rather than time-constrained to a mean 90 minutes.

At the stoves, chef Henry Scott crafts a 5 course tasting menu of elegant pairings and delicate but pronounced flavours, clocking in at £75 for ‘Farm and Sea’ or £70 for ‘Land’ (that’s meat and fish or vegetarian to you and me). A longer 7 course affair is also available for twenty quid more.

Highlights from a recent visit included a salt cod brandade ravioli with aerated crab bisque, the pasta’s filling properly whipped and luscious, the pasta itself possessing exactly the right bite. It arrives perched on a puck of caramelised celeriac, the perfect sweet foil to the saltier notes of the cod. A rust coloured foam of bisque lightened and lengthened.

For lunch, Henry’s goes a la carte (two courses for £26 with an option for dessert), but standards certainly don’t slip, with plates as pretty and precise as during the evening sitting. 

The refined, sophisticated cooking here has earned Henry’s a place in the Michelin Guide. Closed on Sundays and Mondays.

Address: 4 Saville Row, Bath BA1 2QP 

Website: henrysrestaurantbath.com


Corkage

Ideal for grazing on seasonal small plates while you explore a world of wine…

Corkage is a wine bar first and foremost, with a fine selection of showstoppers, heavy hitters and a few more esoteric bottles for good measure, many of which are imported by the owners here Richard Knighting and Marty Grant. 

It’s a welcoming, inclusive affair on this stretch of Chapel Row; you won’t be judged for not knowing your stemmy from your steely, that’s for sure. In fact, exploring is greatly encouraged, with 50ml tasting samples available to help you find your ideal glass or bottle. We love that arms open approach.

This wine bar, it should be said on a rundown of Bath’s best restaurants, also happens to serve excellent food. A selection of seasonal small-ish plates to graze on while you pontificate on your wine, the ham hock terrine – suspended in a grassy green jelly – with a generous smear of split pea fava dip is a hearty old thing for just £8.50. The close-to-collapsing, spoonable beef short rib with house focaccia, beef dripping roasties and shavings of parmesan is even better. 

For those erring on the ‘nibbles’ side of things, Corkage’s crisp squares of fried polenta with sharp, creamy whipped goat’s curd for dragging through, are something of a menu mainstay. Out back, an agreeable alfresco terrace area is a lovely spot to soak up some sun, order a second round of that polenta and have another glass.

Website: corkagebath.com

Address: 5 Chapel Row, Bath BA1 1HN 


Bandook

Ideal for an elegant, invigorating curry experience…

Though we’re sure that the Dishoom cookbook is out back, with certain pages turmeric stained and curry splattered, we’re also pretty sure that Bandook is Bath’s best Indian restaurant, its gently refined take on Bombay streetfood classics has been a really welcome introduction to the city since opening in 2019.

From the team behind the acclaimed Mint Room in the city, and the winner of ‘best restaurant’ at the Bath Life Awards earlier this year, Bandook is open for lunch and dinner seven days a week, with its light and airy dining room chiming perfectly with the restaurant’s intentions to be a place for relaxed, all-day drinking and feasting. 

Start with the signature pan puri, those photogenic, enlivening bites of puffed semolina shell filled with chickpeas, tamarind chutney and sharp, invigorating jal jeera water. The version here is exemplary, all crisp exterior giving way to soothing, spiced chickpeas and the energising lift of the chutneys. It’s the perfect way to start a meal.

On the other end of the spectrum, the umami-heavy keema pav is ace, too. It’s a heady affair, with the curried minced lamb possessing enough funk to surely be mutton, and its buttery, pillow bed of brioche bun the perfect foil. 

Unsurprisingly, the curries are awesome too, tasting like a true labour of love in their depth and complexity, but with a pleasing lightness at the same time. We could happily bathe in their old style Delhi butter chicken, though we could only dream of coming up for air as smooth and silky. Weird image aside, it’s such a luxurious bowlful. 

Though a frothy Kingfisher might feel tempting and appropriate, we love to pair this one with a refreshing Limca soda, which chimes succinctly with the effervescent feel of the whole Bandook package. Cheers to that! 

Oh, and Bandook’s resident jazz band, The French Connection, play every Thursday from 7pm to keep you entertained while you eat with their live rendition of swing-jazz.

Website: bandookkitchen.com

Address: 3-7 Milsom St, Bath BA1 1BZ 


Green Street Butchers

Ideal for a taste of Bath’s best sandwich…

Okay, we accept that it’s not a restaurant, but if you’re looking for some of the best food in Bath, then we simply had to give a shout out to the sandwiches served at these esteemed butchers on Green Street.

You can get a sense of the quality here by perving on the various cuts of beef hanging in the window, all dry-aged, barked, and marbled to perfection. Inside, the presence of house cured guanciale in the fridge and freshly-baked focaccia on the shelf further points to the premium nature of the place.

So, to those sandwiches. You have a choice of three at Green Street Butchers; rotisserie chicken, roast beef or porchetta. The latter is particularly good (it turns out the butchers here are Italian, and it shows), with thick, single slice of tender pork-stuffed pork and the most bubbly of cracking bedded between a bap, its accouterments of tarragon salsa verde and celeriac remoulade bringing the whole thing to life. Incredible, and almost impossible not to order a second. 

Website: greenstreetbath.com

Address: 10 Green St, Bath BA1 2JZ 


Bosco

Ideal for date night…

Though Bosco bills itself as a Café Napoletana, the vibe inside is, quite frankly, more New York hotel bar, with plenty of marble counter seating, dark leather stools (you might want to see a doctor about that), and low filament lighting casting shadows over the more intimate corners of the dining room. This is one of the city’s most romantic spots for an evening date, that’s for sure.

On the plate are some excellent (on their day) pizzas alongside deep fried snacks, bruschetta, Italian meats and cheeses, pasta and a couple of larger plates for good measure. Though the quality of the pizza here has been erratic on a couple of previous visits, the pasta dishes are particularly well realised, with the veal lasagna genuinely excellent, its structural integrity intact, as it should be, but its bechamel sauce positively piquant and oozing. 

If you’re looking to graze while you drink in the dining room’s amorous vibe (as well as the excellent house negroni), then the cicchetti section of the menu is where you’ll feel most at home. We’ve been known to base a whole meal around their taleggio arancini, fried zucchini and bouncy but giving polpette in the past. Bolster the spread with a little coppa and gorgonzola dolce, imported from Lombardy, and you’ve got yourself the finest Italian feast in the city. 

Website: boscopizzeria.co.uk

Address: Milsom Place, Bath BA1 1BZ


Yak Yeti Yak

Ideal for intimate Nepalese dining…

A Bath institution and a restaurant of much seniority compared to many of the others on our list, Nepalese restaurant Yak Yeti Yak is one of the city’s longest serving restaurants for a reason.

Head down the staircase to this inviting, stone-cobbled room and – immediately after you’re hit with the intoxicating aroma of incense and black cardamom – you’ll be met with a warm welcome like you’re one of the family. Generous portions of intricately spiced, instantly-likeable Nepalese dishes follow.

Though the vibe is certainly snug and intimate here, the cooking certainly isn’t what you’d call ‘homely’; there’s some real flair on display in the nimble but keenly seasoned momos, whilst the signature Yak Yeti Yak chicken – inspired by Katmandhu’s hole in the wall bars – is delicate and sophisticated in flavour.

Don’t miss the regal, saffron-infused Kesariko dhai – a yoghurt dish with origins in the kitchens of Himalayan royalty – which sends you on your merry way back up that flight of stairs and onto street level a very satisfied diner indeed.

The restaurant also runs the YYY Foundation, which does excellent work on long-term community projects in Nepal, including raising money for women’s hygiene products and contributing to the rebuilding of several primary schools. Do check it out.

Website: yakyetiYyak.co.uk

Address: 12 Pierrepont St, Bath BA1 1LA


Chilli Family Noodles

Ideal slurping bowls of spicy, nourishing noodles…

You wouldn’t perhaps expect to find a bowl of seriously nourishing, Sichuan-pepper laden noodles in a tightly-packed dining room tacked onto the back of a public toilet…

Scrap that last sentence; that’s exactly where you might expect to find a bowl of seriously nourishing noodles were you in one of the worlds street food capitals such as Guangzhou or Bangkok, but Bath, let’s be honest, isn’t exactly known for rugged, rough and ready dining.

That’s what makes Chilli Family Noodles all the more special, and, in our view, one of the best restaurants in Bath. Here, and despite what at first appears to be an expansive menu, the choices are simple; choose between stewed beef, minced chicken, spare ribs or tofu, choose from flat, fat or thin noodles (or rice), and prepare for a mouth-numbing, lip-tingling bowl of pure heaven, and all for just £7, whichever way you choose to fill your bowl.

Though the restaurant name and menu quite rightly steer you in that direction, regulars to Chilli Family Noodles will know that the real highlights lie in the ‘something extra’ section of the menu, with the mouth-watering chicken (served cold) a real winner whether you’re looking for something refreshing in summer or nourishing in winter. It really ticks all the boxes. 

And with a row of wok-burners out back, you know you’re in for that all-important ‘hei’ from the stir-fries, too. Mine’s a pak choi with extra garlic, if you’re getting them in.

Do be aware that the restaurant only takes cash, though you’ll be very well fed indeed for under £20 for two (there are several cash points just across the road).

Facebook: Chilli Family Noodles

Address: 1 Dorchester St, Bath BA1 1SS


The Elder

Ideal for a grown-up menu of the UK’s finest wild fish and game…

This relatively new addition to Bath’s burgeoning dining scene from Mike Robinson, co-owner of London’s only Michelin starred gastropub, the Harwood Arms, might already be the best restaurant in the historic Somerset city.

Having opened in the late summer of 2020, following the first national lockdown, the Elder has found its groove immediately, with a focus placed firmly on locally sourced, seasonal ingredients and a menu that showcases the best game and wild fish of the region. Considering Bath’s position an hour from the coast and with good access to the UK’s largest fish market, Brixham in Devon, as well as its proximity to Quantock Hills, where wild deer roam, it feels like the menu writes itself here.

But that would be doing a disservice to the intricate, respectful cooking on show at the Elder; there’s some serious thought going into these dishes. The Dorset crab tart is a revelation, but even better is the Muntjac deer tartare on brown butter crumpet, which is a stunning piece of work. Leave room for the desserts, if you can; the seasonal fruit souffle (raspberry on previous our visit) is faultless.

And if that wasn’t enough, the restaurant has recently opened its very own oyster bar, with freshly shucked native oysters served on their gorgeous, south facing terrace. Well, it would be rude not to, right?

Website: theelder.co.uk

Address: 2-8 S Parade, Bath BA2 4AB


Noya’s Kitchen

Ideal for the best Vietnamese food in the South West of England…

Vietnamese cuisine isn’t particularly well represented in the city, but Noya’s Kitchen is doing its best to change that with fresh, zippy Vietnamese food served at a variety of special events, lunches and supper clubs. We’re particularly here for Pho Wednesdays, when bowls of the famous noodle and broth dish are devotedly served. 

You know when you’ve eaten one too many beige, protein-defined meals? In a sometimes beige, often protein-defined city, Noya’s the place to head for some respite.

In the summer, see if you can get a seat out in the popular garden; sunny, pretty and decorated with colourful parasols, it’s the ideal place to be on a summer’s day. The staff know their bun cha from their bun bo hue and are as charming as they come. You’ll leave here feeling happy, content and with a spring in your step.

Website: noyaskitchen.co.uk

Address: 7 St James’s Parade, Bath BA1 1UL


The Beckford Bottle Shop

Ideal for fine wines and the perfect drinking food…

Beckford Bottle shop on Saville Row has only been open for four years (hey we did say the dining scene has changed massively recently) but has made serious waves in that time, picking up a hugely coveted Bib Gourmand award from Michelin and some fawning reviews in the National Press. We certainly concur with that validation; the formula is one so very hip in London right now, of a wine bar which just happens to serve some really enticing small plates.

A recent visit brought with it some superb devilled livers on toast, as well as Bath chaps – slow braised pig cheeks, pressed, breadcrumbed and deep fried – with a rustic, rough apple puree, and a decadent, dark chocolate mousse finished with pumpkin seed. If it’s this good after a handful of years on the Row, we’re very excited for the future here.

Website: beckfordbottleshop.com

Address: 5-8 Saville Row, Bath BA1 2QP


Beckford Canteen

Ideal for a light-hearted atmosphere and gentle re-interpretations of classic British fare…

Part of the same acclaimed restaurant group as the Beckford Bottle Shop from just a few paragraphs previous and just a few yards up the road, Beckford Canteen has only been open for just shy of a year, but it’s already become a fixture of (admittedly, increasingly predictable) national restaurant reviews and and awards.

To be fair, it’s easy to see why Beckford Canteen is enjoying such precocious praise, as being one of the best restaurants in Bath already. First off, the dining room (set in a former Georgian greenhouse) is airy and easy-going, with plenty of window seating for watching the hustle and bustle of Bartlett Street go by. Service here, as with the bottle shop north up Saville Row, is flawless, cheery and mellow, a great encouragement to settle in for the afternoon.

The menu echoes this light-hearted atmosphere, with gentle re-interpretations of British classics like a sweet and verdant pea and mint soup, and the restaurant’s already iconic rarebit crumpet ticking all the right boxes. Better still is the pork jowl terrine, ensconsed in a translucent, giving jelly that tastes of the best ham hock stock.

With every bottle on the tight but carefully composed winelist also available by the glass – the restaurant’s house Picpoul de Pinet, at £7.50, is crisp and refreshing – this is a meal that needn’t break to bank, too, the inclusivity of the ‘canteen’ moniker feeling wonderfully fitting.

Website: beckfordcanteen.com

Address: 11-12 Bartlett St, Bath BA1 2QZ


The Gaff

Ideal for small plates you won’t want to share…

The Gaff

Ignore the terrible name. Shut your eyes to the danger that William Sitwell might be lurking at an adjacent table. Brave the confusing website, where information is hard to come by, and instead succumb to the superb food being put out by the Gaff.

Opened earlier this year by Danielle Phillips and Dan Saunders, whose restaurant of the same name in Abergavenny is in the Michelin Guide and named in the top 50 restaurants in Wales, the vibe here is laid back but refined, the Gaff’s open kitchen a hive of frenetic activity. 

The menu is prosaically divided into fish, meat and vegetable dishes, all of which have a vaguely Mediterranean bent with the odd East Asian and Deep South flourish. On our recent visit, a fillet of hake, firm through a gentle salt curing and served over a tangle of chorizo, white beans and red pepper, was a highlight; certainly at the top end of salty, but full of umami and piquancy, equally.  

Veg plates certainly aren’t an afterthought, with the Gaff’s take on the now ubiquitous charred hispi much better than many of the increasingly limp and half-hearted versions elsewhere. This one arrives with each layer blackened until sweet, glazed, and dressed with chimichurri. It’s a real riot of flavours and the best thing on the menu. 

A word on the restaurants Sunday Sessions, which are already becoming one of the most coveted tables in Bath. For £45, and for a 90 minute sitting, you can enjoy free flow mimosas, delicate little snacks and a roast dinner of your choosing, all with live music buzzing on around you. It’s a gloriously chaotic event, and we just love it.

Website: thegaffrestaurant.co.uk

Address: 29 Milsom St, Broad St, Bath BA1 1BZ


Robun

Ideal for Japanese fare inspired by Tokyo’s backstreet yakiniku joints…

Another hugely welcome new addition to Bath’s dining scene, Robun opened in 2021 on George Street to immediate acclaim. Honestly, it felt like the kind of place the city had long been missing; a funky, modern Japanese joint instead of usual high street, fridge cold sushi chains. 

Named after the 19th century author Kanagaki Robun, whose book Seiyō ryōritsū is credited with having the first documented ‘curry rice’ recipe and with introducing Western barbecue to Japan, Robun is inspired by Tokyo’s backstreet yakiniku joints, where grilled, glazed sticks are always turning over glowing white bincho-tan charcoal, and light, crisp beers are always flowing over increasingly baudy conversation. It’s a match made in heaven, and one that translates surprisingly well to the salubrious streets of Bath.

Lunch deals are a little lighter but just as enjoyable, with bento boxes and sushi and tempura spreads several steps up on the usual meal deals from the city’s adjacent supermarkets.

Website: robun.co.uk

Address: 4, Princes Buildings, George St, Bath BA1 2ED


The Chequers

Ideal for Bath’s finest gastropub experience…

The Chequers has long been one of Bath’s best pubs, standing on its humble, residential spot close to the Royal Crescent and the Circus for close to 250 years. A great place for pints since forever, it’s only recently started gaining very well-deserved traction for its food too.

Pull open the door and you’re immediately hit with that waft of a great pub welcome. Nope, not the smell of stale beer and flatulence but, rather, the din of chatter, chiming glasses and clinking cutlery. Stride up to the welcoming central bar that’s the beating heart of the dining room and order a stout if you’re so inclined, as Chequers is still proudly a pub, but if you’re lucky enough to have nabbed a dinner reservation (booking ahead is highly recommended, particularly for their excellent Sunday Roast), you’ll be richly rewarded with a rundown of pub classics given the odd reinvention or twist.

A case in point is a riff on the local dish Bath Chaps, which here sees pig cheeks cooked down until giving and pull-able, and pressed into a terrine mold with plenty of ultra-gelatinous stock set around it. A brooding, molasses-like prune ketchup and horseradish yoghurt both anchor and lift things. What a dish this is – yours for just £8. 

From the mains, a showstopping flat iron steak done in the always-irresistible au poivre style (that is, coated in a black peppercorn crust and served with a cognac and cream sauce) arrives with an enticing bark and blushing centre. The accompanying triple-cooked chips will get pressed and mashed into that sauce if you know the move.

Yes, it’s that kind of place, of tradition and classical cooking with just a little innovation, which is often what you want from your gastropubs, don’t you think? Not that The Chequers would want to be called a ‘gastropub’, we’d wager. A pub will do just fine. 

And yes, of course there’s a crackling fire to gather around in the depths of winter. We think we might stay here a while, actually…

Website: chequersbath.net

Address: 50 Rivers St, Bath BA1 2QA 


Hare & Hounds

Ideal for dinner with the most almighty of views…

With an enviable vantage point presiding over Bath and the Charlcombe Valley below, the Hare and Hounds isn’t just a pint with a view; they also serve fantastic food here.

Work up an appetite for it with a calf-stretching upwards climb to the pub (700 feet above sea level, if you’re asking) along Lansdown Road, your breathtaking walk rewarded with breathtaking vistas and a fine feast at the summit.

Get your name down for the famous Hare and Hounds lamb scotch egg while you’re ordering your first pint, as this one often sells out. After a bite, you’ll understand why. Do a bit of zero waste ordering and go for the lamb sweetbreads next, crisp and golden and served with a braise of warm lamb’s lettuce (no relation to the sheep you’ve been working your way through) and peas. 

You could be properly weird and order the Sri Lankan lamb shank for mains, but the fish and chips are really, really good here, all lacy bronze beer batter and perfectly steamed Cornish hake within. Chunky chips, a chunky tartare sauce and a chunky (huh?) lemon wearing its best muslin cloth jacket seals the deal.

Now that summer isn’t far away, things are only going to get better here. Indeed, when the weather is kind, there’s no better place to dine al fresco than the Hare & Hound’s terrace, admiring the Somerset landscape and rewarding yourself with another cloudy cider for the road. You did earn this one, after all.

Website: hareandhoundsbath.com 

Address: Lansdown Rd, Bath BA1 5TJ 


Chez Dominique

Ideal for pleasingly old school dining at a pleasingly old school price point…

Back down at street level, and the views are almost as gorgeous from Chez Dominique’s dining room, this time looking out over Pulteney Weir and its roaring waters (cue a conversation about whether you could survive being dropped into it, naturally).

Back in the room and eyes on the menu, and it’s not perhaps quite as Francophile as the restaurant’s name suggests, with gochujang mayonnaise, curried lentils, chimichurri and a whole host of other apparent interlopers making their way onto the table. That mayo forms part of a very agreeable starter, in fact, bringing vigour and succour to slices of ox tongue. 

There’s something reassuringly old school about Chez Dominique. From the mahogany furniture and blue glassware all the way to the frivolous font on the menu, it’s the kind of place where you order your own starter, main and dessert without fear of being corrected with the old “let me explain how our menu works”. From the mains, a skillfully roasted chicken breast, crisp skinned and tender fleshed, comes with creamed leeks and a sauce poivrade, a gently acidic, black pepper-heavy sauce that’s thickened with a roux rather than cream. It coats that chicken just right.

With several very drinkable wines in the mid-twenties for a bottle (and just £13.50 for a carafe), and a lunch menu that’s just £28 for three courses, Chez Dominique is also one of Bath’s best value restaurants. A truly fabulous place to spend an evening.

Website: chezdominique.co.uk

Address: 15 Argyle St, Bathwick, Bath BA2 4BQ 


Oak

Ideal for Bath’s finest vegetarian dining experience…

A chic vegetarian restaurant just a Bath stone’s throw from the Abbey, Oak posits itself as something of a collaborative experience, with a team of ‘grocers, growers and cooks’ behind the gorgeously inviting menu here.  

Formerly known as Acorn and honestly even better as its iteration as Oak, the restaurant is one of the first plant-based (pedants; fuck off) joints in the country to be listed in the Michelin guide. It’s easy to see why. Delicate but generous seasonal dishes like smoked ricotta agnolotti with asparagus and wild garlic not only deliver on flavour and freshness, but also on price point; dishes hover around the tenner mark, with nothing going above £12.95. For food of this quality, it’s an absolute steal. 

That sense of value is exemplified by Oak’s five course tasting menu, a veritable feast for just £49, with wine pairing an almost philanthropic £27. In 2024’s eating out climate, you’ll rarely find a bottle for that price, let alone a bespoke pairing situation. Salut! 

Website: oakrestaurant.co.uk

Address: 2 N Parade, Bath BA1 1NX 


Ole Tapas

Ideal for a truly authentic, elbow-to-elbow tapas bar in the heart of Bath…

When on the hunt for the best tapas in Bath, we’re big fans of Pintxo, just a few doors down from the Theatre Royal. But a more recent discovery and, for our money, even better, is Ole Tapas, a tiny, first floor tapas bar that’s impossible to find and almost as impossible to snag a stool in. Incidentally, it’s only just around the corner from Pintxo and on the same street as the Gin Bar (just sayin’), if you do need to wait for a perch.

Whilst we’re loathe to use the word ‘authentic’ about a tapas bar in a Roman city in England, Ole is about as authentic as it comes, all tight seating and knocking elbows with your neighbour, noisy chatter, noisier flamenco music, and some great small plates designed for picking over as the cañas are kept flowing. 

Ole’s berenjenas con miel are a fine version indeed, these salty, sweet batons of deep fried aubergine dressed in just the right amount of cane honey reduction. They are just the thing with a few cold ones, as is the croquette of the day, on our visit the classic ham; runny, gooey and just a touch tacky, as it should be. The classics keep coming; plump, pert boquerones that aren’t dressed too sharply, patatas bravas blanketed in a wellmade, viscous salsa brava rather than a ketchup/mayo mash-up, and albondigas with the requisite bounce. 

Another cañas slides over to your space on the counter, and you conclude that this is the best tapas you’ll find in Bath. The city’s residents seem to agree, but fortunately, you can book Ole Tapas. Doing so a week or two in advance is highly recommended.

Website: oletapas.co.uk

Address: First Floor, 1 John St, Bath BA1 2JL 


The Oven

Ideal for a quick meal...

This little corner of South West England isn’t too blessed with seriously good pizza options, so we’re ending our tour of our favourite restaurants in Bath in The Oven.

The oven in question, central to the restaurant not only in name but in its prime position in the dining room, is manned by pizzaioli Fabrizio Mancinetti, with the pizzas here loosely based on the Neapolitan canotto style. 

Translating as ‘dinghy’ and defined by their imposing, inflated crusts, the dough at The Oven boasts the requisite heft to carry some generous toppings, whether that’s the Sicilian sausage, mushrooms and toasted walnuts, or the goat’s cheese, caramelised red onion, rocket and pine nuts. Yes, nuts on a pizza; trust us, it works. While this won’t be the best pizza of your life, it’s a good spot with quick, efficient service.

Address: 3 & 4, Seven Dials, Saw Cl, Bath BA1 1ENWebsite: theovenpizzeria.co.uk

Website: theovenpizzeria.co.uk


Chaiwalla

Ideal for one of the best falafel wraps in the UK…

It might seem hyperbolic to dub somewhere so small and unassuming as a Bath institution (or even, as it happens, a ‘restaurant’ as there are no seats) but this cheap and cheerful spot is more than deserving of that title. 

The smell alone as you wander by this hole-in-the-wall, takeaway only operation in Kingsmead Square should tell you everything you need to know; inside, the cooks are doing incredible things in the most humble of spaces. 

We won’t go on any further; you can read more about our thoughts on Chaiwalla on our rundown of Bath’s best places for vegetarian food. Watch out for those seagulls!

Joseph Gann
Joseph Gann
Chef and food writer, with an interest in mental health and mindfulness

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