Bath brings its A game when it comes to eating out. There are literally hundreds for you to choose from, but we’ve cherry-picked the best restaurants in Bath to give you an idea of the divine – and diverse – food you can try if you’re staying at one of our hotels in Bath.
Here, you can read about sublime Italians, ‘surprising’ small-plate menus, Bath’s best tapas, the Greek eatery that treats you like family, a high-end restaurant with a Michelin star chef at the helm, and a couple of street food set-ups that arguably put the rest to shame.
Finding a good Italian restaurant isn’t all that difficult in this day and age. But we’re not going to begin our guide to the top restaurants in Bath with just a good Italian; we’re starting with Sotto Sotto, arguably Bath’s best restaurant, period. It’s tucked away in a lovely little bare brick cellar on North Parade, but it can’t be called a hidden gem. It’s so popular, you’ll need to book weeks in advance. Even though it’s exclusive, the prices are far from extortionate. And when it comes to the food, it’s not extravagant; it’s an example of how exquisite Italian food can be when it’s kept authentic, simple and fresh.
If, on the other hand, you are looking for something a little bit more extravagant – the kind of meal that you wouldn’t even know where to begin trying to cook at home – Menu Gordon Jones may be the restaurant for you. Named after the head chef, every day he concocts a six-course ‘surprise menu’ from whichever fresh ingredients he can source from his suppliers. It means we really can’t recommend anything except the restaurant itself. But don’t just take our word for it, Menu Gordon Jones also graces the pages of the Michelin Guide and The Good Food Guide, so why not see what surprises it has in store?
When you want good food, casual dining and a lively atmosphere, tapas is always a good option. Put simply, there’s no better Spanish restaurant in Bath than Olé Tapas, the hidden gem on John Street. It strikes the perfect balance of being both stylish and traditional, making it the ideal setting for their delicious, authentic food. We recommend it all; feast your eyes on the menu, fill up your table with as many of their lip-smackingly good small plates as you can manage, and wash it down with something from their excellent wine list.
Alternatively, you could go Greek and pay a visit to Jars Meze, a popular restaurant squeezed in among the shops of Northumberland Place. You’d be hard-pressed to find a more welcoming restaurant. It’s owned and operated by family and friends, and you’ll be made to feel right at home. Plus, the food is authentic, lovingly made and absolutely delicious. Close your eyes and you could be eating in Corfu.
If you find yourself near the Royal Crescent and you’re looking for a place to eat, there are a couple of nearby places we’d recommend – Clayton’s Kitchen and The Circus. Clayton’s Kitchen is named after the Michelin-star-winning head chef and owner, Robert Clayton. He’s concocted a menu of Mediterranean and modern French dishes that’ll make your mouth water. You pay a bit extra, but it’s to be expected with extraordinary food. Even though the restaurant is spread over a delightful four-storey Georgian city house on George Street, it still fills up so be sure to book in advance to avoid disappointment.
Your other option is The Circus Restaurant, one of Bath’s best independents. It’s stylish, the food’s great, the staff are friendly, and the atmosphere’s more relaxed than Clayton’s Kitchen – which is reflected in the prices too. They’ve partnered up with some excellent local suppliers, so while their menu might be a medley of modern European cuisine, it’s made up of the best produce the South West has to offer.
We’ll round things off with a showdown between two of the very best from Bath’s street food scene. When high noon strikes, JC’s Kitchen and Chai Walla go head to head, fighting to feed the hungry hoards of locals looking for some lunch. Both of them represent street food at its best – it’s fresh, it’s simple, yet creative. It’s cheap and it’s absolutely packed full of flavour.
You’ll find JC’s Kitchen in Green Park Station serving up the finest Filipino food around. The meat is grilled to order; you simply have the delicious dilemma of choosing from chicken, pork belly or steak, and whether to enjoy it with spiced rice and beans, bubble and squeak or simply in a salad-filled sourdough wrap. Don’t worry over your decision too much, it’s all incredible.
On the other hand, Chai Walla has set up shop on Monmouth Street; you can see it from the entrance of our Bath City Centre hotel. It’s Indian street food at its exquisite best, the staff are amazing, the portions are monstrous, and there’s just so much flavour! The wraps are very popular – to the point where the queue goes out the door – but the samosa chaat is what dreams are made of.