Bristol Bar Guide: 6 Best Bars in Bristol 2022

The eighth largest city in the UK, Bristol is where history, creativity and quirkiness meet in the British countryside. And, luckily for us, this superb blend of traits makes for a spectacular array of bars in Bristol. In fact, Bristol is a city that cherishes its drinking culture, which can make it difficult to choose between all the exceptional watering holes it has to offer.

From swanky cocktail bars and prohibition era speakeasys to cosy pubs that are popular with locals to the fanciest rooftop bars with a view, the selection of Bristol bars has all tastes covered. Whether you like you like trying world-class cocktails, sipping on fine wines or glugging down a pint, you’re sure to find a spot that’s to your liking in our list of the best bars in Bristol.

Be sure to check out our pick of the best bars in Brighton and the best cocktail bars in York.

Best bars in Bristol

The Milk Thistle

The best bar in Bristol for: speakeasy luxury

Four storeys of wood panelling, taxidermy and decadent cocktails await you at The Milk Thistle, one of the coolest bars in Bristol. Each floor performs a different function, with a ground floor cocktail bar, a first floor private member’s lounge and a number of function rooms above. Hidden in plain site on Colston Avenue, this Bristol bar is one of the more secretive. Once you step inside, you’ll be welcomed by a warm, cosy atmosphere, surrounded by moody lighting, dark walls and, of course, a show-stopping bar, lined with hundreds of spirits.

When it comes to the drinks, the bartenders mix up divine cocktails from a selection of unconventional ingredients, alongside a fantastic range of craft beers, an extensive wine list, and pretty much anything else you could want. The cocktail menu changes on a regular basis but is always packed full of twists on classics as well as some never-before-tried signature serves. The Milk Thistle is the perfect place to drink in Bristol with a bunch of pals or even for a romantic date night. Head down to this bar in Bristol for crazy cocktail concoctions and trendy, prohibition-style décor.

The Florist

Looking for a Bristol bar that’s less dark and moody and more light and airy? If so, The Florist might be the best bar in Bristol for you. Set in an 1800s Grade II listed former bakery, the venue now features floral décor, a lot of pink and aesthetically-pleasing cocktails to match, making it one of the best bars in Bristol city centre for getting that Insta-worthy pic. Inspired by nature, you can expect to find plant pot drinking decanters, botanical cocktails and Asian-inspired dishes. The high ceilings, wood paneling and original orangery roof make the most of the natural light that pores into this Bristol bar during the day, while at night, the modern décor adds charm and the regular DJ turns it into a great night out with friends.

The bar offers a selection of inspired cocktails, alongside a strong world ale menu. For those looking for cocktails, you’ll fine the likes of Rhubarb in Bloom, Watermelon Dreams, Spring Bloom Spritz and so many more. Prefer a pint? Choose from classic lagers, pale ales and European beers. Or, if you’re more of a wine drinker, peruse the extensive wine list, including sparkling, rose, red and white. As for food, they offer up delicious Asian-inspired dishes, as well as High Tea, weekend brunch and Sunday roasts. This is by far one of the best bars in Bristol for celebrating with the girls – whether it’s a birthday, hen do, or just because it’s the weekend. Head down to this Bristol bar and try out their beautiful cocktail selection alongside their mouth-watering brunch.

The Bootlegger

The best bar in Bristol for: cool speakeasy vibes

One of our top picks for the coolest bars in Bristol, don’t miss out on a visit to The Bootlegger – a Bristol bar inspired by the end of the Prohibition in 1933. Situated on Gloucester Road, this 1920s/30s style space is decked out with exposed brickwork, vintage lighting and a top-notch selection of cocktails. An independent, family-run business, this modern speakeasy bar is one of the best places to drink in Bristol thanks to its effortlessly cool vibe. Complete with plenty of events, including live music and swinging DJs, step inside this Bristol city centre bar and be swept back to the 1920s.

As you take in the cool surroundings, sip on an exceptional selection of cocktails. Explore their selection of Espresso Martinis, including hazelnut, salted caramel, black forrest, popcorn, jaffa cake, and bounty. Or, try mouth-watering margaritas, like watermelon, blood orange, and mango. Whatever you’re looking to drink in Bristol, the menu at this Bristol bar caters for all. Don’t fancy a cocktail? Don’t worry – this Bristol bar has a huge range of beers, ciders and wines to try too. If you time it right, you might even make it for their happy hour, where you can get two cocktails for just £14!

Kongs of King Street

The best bar in Bristol for: boozy gaming

Retro consoles, tasty tipples, craft brews, what more could you want from one of the best bars in Bristol? Whether you’re visiting for a midweek competition with friends or a late-night boogie on the weekends, this is one of the best places to drink in Bristol for fun-loving boozers. Think video games, ping-pong, table football and PacMan, alongside a massive selection of beers and spirits.

Browse the beer menu and choose from craft beers like Kong’s Silverback, Beavertown Lupuloid, Headband Pale Ale, and Easy Livin Pale. But don’t worry, lager isn’t frowned upon here. The best bar in Bristol for beer nerds and, well all other types of nerds too. Head down to this Bristol bar for fun, games and great drinks.

Hyde & Co

The best bar in Bristol for: secret speakeasy drinking

Hyde & Co is a secret bar with a secret room in Bristol. So, if you’re looking for hidden Bristol bars, you’ve hit the jackpot with this one. Another speakeasy-style venue located just off Clifton Triangle, this haunt is surrounded by other places to drink in the city, as well as all kinds of post-drinking food joints to help you sober up. But, if you didn’t know this secret bar in Bristol existed, you’d likely walk straight on past it. Today, though, just look out for the small illuminated sign with a bowler hat to find it. After ringing to doorbell and entering the bar, you’ll walk past what you might mistake as a boring old bookshelf. But, behind this is the secret private room. The interior of this trendy Bristol bar is low-lit and sexy with a piano in the corner that is often put to good use.

Cocktails dominate the drinks menu here, but there are certainly an array of other drinks also on offer. When it comes to the cocktails, though, you’ll find choices with some odd and slightly spooky names. Midnight Dancer consists of Aperol, orange, rosemary, gentian and soda. Stolen Rose is Roku, Reyka, cardamom, lime and rose. Whichever tipple you choose, you’re sure to find concoctions that you’ve never tried before. Be sure to check out Hyde & Co, one of the coolest bars in Bristol, for chilled drinks in a dark and mysterious atmosphere.

Brozen Bar

The best bar in Bristol for: frozen cocktails

If you’re looking for places to drink in Bristol that aren’t just your usual bars, check out Brozen Bar, where the drinks menu comprises concoctions filled with liquid nitrogen and fancy garnishes. Specialising in frozen cocktails, artisan gelato and exciting drinks, this is one of the best bars in Bristol for an experience. Very Instagrammable, the smoky aesthetic makes for great pictures as well as a great time. Head down to this city centre Bristol bar and grab yourself a refreshingly frozen cocktail.

On the menu, you’ll find frozen delights like Frosty Pornstar Sorbet, Arctic Grasshopper Gelato, White Widow Short, and Shoreline Long. You can try refreshing flavours like cucumber, elderflower, apricot, pineapple and lemon. Alternatively, opt for sweeter flavours like white chocolate, coconut, banana bread and marmalade. Brozen Bar is by far one of the best bars in Bristol for trying out new flavours in a new style of cocktail. Visit this Bristol bar with friends, family or for a romantic but fun date night.

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