It would have been unthinkable to cut meat or dairy from our diets ten years ago. At least for many of us. Nowadays, however, all supermarkets stock meat alternatives and most restaurants cater to veganism. Often without a bean burger in sight! From fast food to fine dining, Bristol is blessed with many vegan-friendly restaurants these days. But does it have the best in Britain? It may well do according to the British Restaurant Awards 2023.
For the second year running, Bristol’s very own Root has been nominated at the British Restaurant Awards for the Best Vegan-Friendly Restaurant award. The modern, veg-led eatery first opened its doors in 2017, on the bank of Bristol’s harbour in Wapping Wharf, with an ethos of ‘more veg, less meat’.
Root specialises in small plate dining, championing local suppliers and producers, and creating forward-thinking dishes. Food that makes diners reconsider how to handle veg-based meals. Be it a grilled courgette ragu or confit tomatoes, tempura spring onions and jerk carrots, Root’s chefs know how to make their key ingredients sing.
Not everything is completely vegan, however. Expect various cheeses and other dairy products to pop up on the menu now and again. Some fish and meat may appear too. But they never swamp the menu. And due to the stunning simplicity of Root’s dishes, many can be altered to meet most dietary restrictions.
Root faces some stiff competition in the British Restaurant Awards 2023, however. Last year’s winners of the Best Vegan-Friendly Restaurant, Stem + Glory in Cambridge, feature again. But these are the only two returning nominations, with Down the Hatch (Liverpool), Somewhere in Brum (Birmingham)
Bubala (London), Twelve Eatery (Bournemouth), No.Twelve (Nottingham), Késarum (Southhampton), Acorn Vegetarian Kitchen (Bath) and Bōkan (London) also nominated.
Unfortunately, Root is the only restaurant representing Bristol across the major awards. However, The Library, the cocktail bar hidden inside of a bookshop, is up for Best Bar. That doesn’t mean there’s nothing else for the best Bristol restaurants to celebrate.
The British Restaurant Awards 2023 also took the time to pick out some nominations for the Best Restaurant in Bristol. As well as Root, last year’s winner Namak is nominated again. Others included were The Chefs Table, Bulrush, The Mint Room, Paco Tapas, Adelina Yard, BOX-E, Wilsons and The Ethicurean (which will close this October). Also nominated was Casamia, which is peculiar seeing as it closed last year – we can only assume they mean its spiritual successor, Casa.
The 5th Annual British Restaurant Awards are set to take place on September 5. To see all the restaurants that have been nominated in all categories, as well as to vote for your favourites click here.