Local Specialities & Produce in Bristol

Make sure you sample of the local food and drink when you come to Bristol – the city and surrounding area is blessed with some amazing farms and producers, as well as many award-winning breweries, vineyards and distilleries

You’ll find locally sourced ingredients and drinks on the menu at most cafes, restaurants and bars across the city, or pop into a local deli or market to stock up on the best products made here in Bristol. There are also a range of specialist shops in each Bristol neighbourhood, from cheesemongers to artisan bakeries, where you can get some tailored recommendations and tasty gifts!

There are also several food experiences you can book on to get a real flavour of our brilliant food scene, from street food tours to gin masterclasses  

Local specialities to try in Bristol 

Want to try something you can only get in this part of the world, or was made here before anywhere else? Due to Bristol’s long history as a port and large trading city, many traditional recipes draw on ingredients from across the world.  

One of the best-known Bristol specialities is the Mothering Bun, a sweet bun topped with icing and hundreds and thousands. Find them at Joe’s Bakery on Gloucester Road and some other local bakeries the day before Mothering Sunday. 

Some must-try local treats include: 

  • Tarr's Ice Cream - award-winning ice cream which has been sold from the same family-run shop in Brislington since 1945 

  • Harveys Bristol Cream - a blended sherry which was created in 1882 by Bristol importer Harveys 

  • Clark’s Pies – handheld pies and sausage rolls made in Bedminster; the shop opened in the 1930s 

Recipes from Bristol include Clifton Puffs, small triangular treats made from puff pastry and filled with apple, dried fruit, brandy and almonds, and Bristol Easter Biscuits - the West Country variation of a classic Easter biscuit has the addition of cassia or mixed spice to give them a particularly inviting smell. 

Bristol and chocolate 

Did you know that Bristol is the birthplace of both the chocolate bar AND the Easter egg? We’re not pulling your leg, it’s true! Well-known chocolate maker Fry’s was founded in the city in the 18th century and went on to make the first filled chocolates, the first mass-produced chocolate bar (Fry's Chocolate Cream, which is still available to purchase), and the first hollow chocolate Easter egg way back in 1873!  

Although Fry’s may no longer exist as a company, Bristol still has a fantastic range of chocolatiers, including Guilberts Chocolates in the Old City, which has been trading since 1910. 

Zara's Chocolates in Bedminster has won multiple awards for their chocolates. Visit their shop to buy some truffles, enjoy a hot chocolate, or book one of their chocolate workshops. The team were involved with the Edible Histories for Bristol 650, where they made giant chocolate sculptures of iconic Bristol objects, including Concorde and a giant ship's wheel! 

Businesses born in Bristol 

Some well-known food and drink business had their start in Bristol and still remain a local favourite. 

Pieminister started in 2003 and you can still dine at the original Pieminister restaurant on Stokes Croft, with other Bristol locations on Broad Quay and in St Nicholas Market, plus numerous restaurants across the country, and a booming retail business.  

Swoon opened their first gelato cafe on College Green in 2016 and quickly started winning awards before opening further locations in Wapping Wharf, Bath and beyond. 

Averys wine merchants began in 1793 and is now one of the UK's leading wine merchants. Pop in to their Aladdin's cave of wine just off Park Street to pick up a bottle or two, or book on to one of their regular wine tastings or events - many are hosted by 5th generation owner Mimi Avery.

Thatchers Cider is still based at Myrtle Farm in the village of Sandford just outside Bristol, and now sell their cider across the world. You can take a tour of the cider orchards, visit the farm shop to stock up on some cider, or enjoy a tasty lunch next door at their pub The Railway Inn

Yeo Valley are well known for their dairy products and commitment to organic farming - take a guided tours of the farm to hear about their regenerative agricultural practices, or book onto one of their relaxing rural workshops or supper clubs. 

Sample the best of Bristol

Whether you go for a tasting menu at a top restaurant or book a brewery tour, discover the best of Bristol's food scene.

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