Where to eat in Bath: 10 of the tastiest places to go
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Take your pick from pioneering Michelin starred or AA Rosette-winning restaurants, welcoming gastropubs, cosy cafés and chilled out bars. Plan a foodie trip to Bath and you will discover a wealth of gastronomic talent serving up tantalising gourmet delights to satisfy all tastes and appetites
1. Take tea
Afternoon tea has long been a popular pastime in Bath and the tradition is still very much alive in the city today. The stylish No.15 Great Pulteney offers afternoon tea in an eclectic setting or experience the ultimate in Georgia refinement in the famous Pump Room. The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa and The Bath Priory Hotel are wonderful five-star options, or step back in time at the Jane Austen Regency Tea Rooms.
2. Comfort food
Those seeking a hearty feast will not be disappointed with the Garrick's Head, where modern British menus using fresh local ingredients, are in plentiful supply. Steak lovers can indulge at The Firehouse Rotisserie, Hudson Steakhouse and Miller & Carter, or head to The Scallop Shell for tasty, award-winning fish and chips. On Sundays, homely pubs welcome you for a mouth-watering roast. The Hare & Hounds, The Chequers, The Huntsman and Bath Brew House all serve up hearty Sunday feasts.
3. Local specialities
Take your taste buds back in time and learn about Bath's culinary history by trying some local specialities. Rich, round and brioche in style, the Sally Lunn bun was introduced to Bath in the 1600s. Toasting it is said to 'wake the flavour' and Sally Lunn's Historic Eating House is the only place where you can try the famous bun, served with a variety of sweet or savoury toppings.
The Bath Bun, invented in the eighteenth century by Dr William Oliver, is available in differing interpretations around the city. The Bath Bun is smaller and denser than the Sally Lunn bun, and often contains fruit and a sugar lump, topped with currants and sugar crystals. He was also the creator of the savoury biscuits Bath Olivers, which you may have spotted in your local supermarket. Try them with creamy Bath Soft Cheese made from an ancient recipe just outside the city.
From Bath Chaps, a local speciality made from pig cheeks, to Bath's very own gin, eat and drink your way around the city and discover the flavours that put Bath on the culinary map.
4. Flavours from around the world
Allow your taste buds to be transported across the globe by restaurants offering international cuisines. Immerse yourself in French flavours at Bistrot Pierre and Chez Dominique, savour delicate Asian spices at Yum Yum Thai, Thai Balcony and Noya's Kitchen, or tuck into a classic curry in an opulent Georgian dining room at The Eastern Eye or Indian dishes with a modern twist at The Mint Room.
5. Caffeine fix
Watch the world go by and sip on artisan coffee or catch up with friends over brunch at idyllic locations across the city. You're guaranteed to have a spring in your step after paying Steph and her friendly team a visit at Good Day Café. Upstairs is a millennial Instagrammer's dream with dusty pink walls, succulents and a vibrant neon sign wishing you a good day. For something different, try one of their colourful lattes, including charcoal, beetroot and matcha. Four-legged friends are more than welcome, with a wall of photos featuring their favourite canine visitors.
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With several restaurants specialising in flavoursome and inventive plant-based food, there are lots of options for vegetarians and vegans too. Book a table at Acorn Vegetarian Kitchen to sample Richard Buckley's adventurous plant-based plates or have a relaxed lunch at Chapel Arts Café where they serve salad plates, warming soups and light bites. Their tempting selection of freshly baked vegan cakes are hard to resist.
7. Cocktail o'clock
Bath has a vibrant nightlife with many hidden gems to seek out after hours. From bars and breweries to pubs and distilleries, the mix of chains and independents means there's something for everyone. Sample the finest real ales and local ciders at The Crystal Palace, The Salamander and Graze, go all out with classy cocktails at Sub 13 or sip on fine wines from an Enomatic dispenser at Le Vignoble. For the ultimate cocktail experience, choose between a masterclass and delicious Gin High Tea at Circo Bar & Lounge or enjoy a Gin Making Experience at Canary Gin Bar.
8. Cookery schools
Pick up a new skill or improve your culinary ability by booking onto a course at one of Bath's top-quality cookery schools in the heart of the city. Budding chefs can get to grips with the basics whilst accomplished cooks can master complicated techniques at a wide range of courses for all levels of experience. From baking bread at the award-winning Bertinet Kitchen Cookery School to preparing meat-free menus at the country's leading vegetarian cookery school run by professional chef Rachel Demuth, you'll find a course for you.
9. Tasty tours
If you want an insider's insight into Bath's food and drink scene then book onto one of Savouring Bath's tours. Led by local guides who are passionate about Bath's independent food businesses and artisan producers, you will taste your way around the city as you are led from quirky tea houses to artisanal coffee roasters, from breweries to bakeries, and from farmers' markets to street food stalls. A selection of scheduled tours are available on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, including Food Heroes, Local Flavours, and Guilty Pleasures, all of which can be booked online.
10. Gourmet hotels
With so many flavours to try and foodie spots to visit, it's worth considering staying the night in Bath. Many hotels in Bath house esteemed restaurants themselves so you can wine and dine without even having to step outside.
The Abbey Hotel is home to Koffmann and Mr.White's, the first joint venture between culinary legends Pierre Koffmann and Marco Pierre White, whose styles have combined to create a relaxed brasserie offering a mix of English and French cuisine. At The Queensberry Hotel you can find Michelin-starred restaurant, Olive Tree, and Gainsborough Bath Spa's restaurant is headed by acclaimed chef Dan Moon, who uses the best locally-sourced produce to create delicate, flavoursome dishes.
For an intimate atmosphere, check into Eight in Bath, a boutique hotel tucked away near Bath Abbey with eight rooms and eight seasonal dishes on the menu.
This article was updated by Martha Griffiths in June 2021.