The sun is here and restrictions have been lifted. With outdoor dining being the destination du jour during sunny weather, we’re all in need of a spot to celebrate heading back out into the world once more (and rare moment of sunshine) and seeing our mates over a couple of pints. And to help us catch-up, many of Bristol’s food and drink establishments are making use of their outdoor spaces, whether it be terraces, gardens or al-fresco dining on the rooftop, perfect for lounging in the sun. Check out our ultimate guide to outdoor dining spots to try in Bristol this summer.
With a fabulous alfresco space for summer, Klosterhaus has gone all out with plenty of seating available on their terrace in both the shade and sun for you and your mates to socialise at. Guests can enjoy gorgeous, Bavarian-inspired food such as schnitzel and currywurst alongside cocktails, fizz, or whatever tickles your taste buds to take in and sip on throughout the season.
Klosterhaus, The Friary Building, Quakers Friars, Broadmead, BS1 3DF
Possibly one of the best outdoor dining spots in the city for views, Bambalan is an urban paradise. Located in the heart of the city up in the Beacon Tower, this getaway has a magical tropical vibe, especially during the evenings. The rooftop terrace features plenty of outdoor seating as well as canopies to take cover from the unpredictable British weather. The bar and restaurant also hosts Terrace Sessions which feature top DJs on the decks and delicious food and drink.
Bambalan, Podium Level, Beacon Tower, Colston Street, BS1 4XE
If you’re after a quirky bar to visit then The Milk Thistle is the bar for you. Located in the Old City, this bar within a historic building with four floors also offers an outdoor dining area to enjoy fabulous and creative cocktails. Decorated with oak panelling and stained glass indoors, this bar has plenty of character and has set up plenty of deck chairs outdoors so if you can’t get to the beach any time soon, this is possibly the best city centre alternative.
The Milk Thistle, Quay Head House, Colston Avenue, BS1 1EB
Bocabar’s Finzels Reach branch offers a beautiful outdoor space away from the hustle and bustle of the city and is located in cute square not far from the Floating Harbour. Their Paintworks branch has also made a comeback with their outdoor terrace and bookings are being taken for indoor and outdoor dining. The restaurant serves up seasonal small plates that are perfect no matter how hungry you may be, but if you’re anything like us, we’re always hungry.
Bocabar, Fermentation 1, Hawkins Lane, Finzels Reach, BS1 6JQ
Unit 3.1, Paintworks, Bath Road, Arnos Vale, BS4 3EH
A magical spot to visit all year round, The White Lion Bar in Hotel Du Vin boasts some of the best views in the city, such as Clifton Suspension Bridge and hills of Somerset in the background. This summer you can enjoy lounging on their terrace, specially created for those warm days. Dine on beautifully presented meals and say cheers to freedom with refreshing cocktails and pints, but be quick as slots are selling out super fast.
6. The Lido
Another outdoor Bristol dining spot is The Lido and as part of their return the spa and restaurant will be bringing you breakfast and a poolside bar menu featuring all the nibbles for a great catch up outdoors. Plus, The Lido’s heated swimming pool is open to members of the public and you can book a swim and eat package here. You can also book a spa package too- go on, treat yourself!
The Lido, Oakfield Place, Clifton, BS8 2BJ
7. Bristol Old Vic
The King Street theatre launched 17 brightly-coloured “beach hut” style cabins outside last summer, inspired by the well-known bright houses of Totterdown and decorated with a touch of theatrical magic. Bristol Old Vic’s artists and stage carpenters put their skills to good use by creating the perfect haven for post-lockdown socialising. Each hut seats six people and each one is themed around a production from the Bristol Old Vic’s 255-year history.
Bristol Old Vic, King Street, BS1 4ED
8. Zero Degrees
The Bristol brewery has helped get us through the past few lockdowns with their beer to takeaway but nothing quite beats a refreshing pint of craft beer out in the sunshine. Zero Degrees is back pulling pints, as well as serving some damn good pizzas and garlic fries too. Plus, there are three balconies to catch the sun from- talk about spoilt for choice!
Zero Degrees, 53 Colston Street, BS1 5BA
Who’d have thought a place of worship could be transformed into an amazing outdoor dining venue? Littlefrench has launched their outdoor dining venue which is a church courtyard adjacent to the restaurant. It was given the accolade of one of the best alfresco dining areas in The Telegraph in 2021 too, meaning bookings are filling up fast for this Westbury Park venue. Plus, this spot at Westbury Park Church is also a pretty good suntrap.
10. Woky Ko
Get yourself down to Wapping Wharf because the rooftop of Woky Ko is the place to be. This restaurant at Cargo serves up amazing Asian-inspired food and one of their new cocktails such as their ‘Seoul Cooler’ featuring lemonade, Yakult and soju. But after the year we’ve all had, we don’t blame you if you order a few of those to make up for lost time. Woky Ko will also be serving up their beautiful bao buns, plus katsu curries and noodle dishes if you’re in need of a bite to eat and to soak up their cocktails and beer.
Woky Ko, Unit 7, CARGO, Wapping Wharf, Gaol Ferry Steps, BS1 6WP
11. Broken Dock
Broken Dock’s outdoor dining area is here! The restaurant at Brunel Quay is taking bookings for their beer garden where you can sip on a few beers or drinks from their new cocktail menu and munch on double cooked chips with homemade aioli- which sounds like the perfect addition to a meet-up with your mates. Alternatively, we’ll be enjoying a takeaway from here and a walk by the docks.
Broken Dock, Millennium Promenade, BS1 5SY