As the year draws to a close, we bring you the most popular places to eat and drink in Bristol from our weekly #FoodFriday blogs. 

Image - St Nick's Market by Graham Flack 

Bristolians are a diverse bunch, so we’ve seen recommendations for everything from fine dining pop-ups to experimental street food trucks. 

A few places crop up again and again however, which leads us to our top five of 2016…

1. St Nick’s Market

By far and away Bristolians’ lunch spot of choice, St Nick’s Market has it all – quick bites, hearty meals and delicious desserts. Scarcely a week goes by without someone espousing their love for it on #FoodFriday, with firm favourites including Source Café & Food Hall, Matina, Eat a Pitta and Ahh Toots artisan cakery. Roger Dubois, Deputy Head Verger at Bristol Cathedral usually makes a beeline for Source: “They do the most wonderful brownie – cherry and salted caramel – it’s absolutely deadly!”

2. Chilli Daddy

People in Bristol just LOVE slurping on big bowls of spicy noodles from Chilli Daddy. Luckily Dr Weng now has four outlets in the city, including one in St Nick’s Market. Local artist Greg Harris raves about it: “My all-time favourite place to eat in Bristol is Chilli Daddy. Authentic, mouth-tingling Szechuan food - trust me, I’ve been to Chengdu in Szechuan Province, China, and it’s spot on! I’d recommend the Pork Saozi Noodle Hotpot, spice level 3 (it’s 0-5, and 4 onwards is only for those with a massive pain threshold). If you’re feeling extra greedy, grab yourself a plate of fried dumplings as well.”

3. Hart’s Bakery 

This venerated bakery tucked under the Victorian arches at Bristol Temple Meads lures harried commuters with heavenly wafts of cinnamon buns – the sort of pastries worth being late to work for. Rich Warren, Director of Encounters Short Film & Animation Festival, is one of its many fans: “When my partner Liz was pregnant we pretty much lived off their egg and bacon muffins. Now it’s a treat at weekends or on the way to work trips to London.”

4. Spoke & Stringer 

This waterfront café, with an adjoining surf and bike shop, inspires many a local with its awesome art, nourishing menu and chilled-out ride culture ethos. SUP Bristol paddle boarding instructor Nick Seary is a regular for brunch: “Sat looking at the boats in the Harbour Inlet opposite Brunel's ss Great Britain, watching the cross harbour ferry chugging back and forth, enjoying poached eggs and smashed avocado on toasted sourdough with charred tomatoes and harissa – fantastic.”

5. Bulrush 

For some time now Cotham’s neighbourhood restaurant, Bulrush, has been the name on the lips of any Bristol foodie worth their Himalayan rock salt. Mimi Avery, Brand Ambassador for Averys Wine Merchants, is certainly in the know: “The taster menu is the real deal here – fantastic value for money – small yet perfectly formed dishes that leave you feeling that you have had a full meal – but also a wonderful gourmet experience with a lovely small but eclectic wine list (it changes regularly too). Catch them before they move into a different orbit – it is that good.”

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