By Kingfisher Visitor Guides
Find excellent restaurants in Bath, but it’s particularly renowned for British and European fare, using seasonal and local ingredients.
Fine dining restaurants
Bath’s fine dining scene is as elegant as its architecture. If you want to dress up and have a special night out, there’s a whole host of restaurants willing to oblige.
For British – and European – inspired fine dining, the award-winning Menu Gordon Jones is unmissable. Featured on many prestigious foodie lists, this intimate restaurant focuses on serving impressive, exciting food with an element of surprise. The restaurant’s set taster menu is an excellent option for first-timers, with organic and biodynamic global wines to pair with each course.
For fine dining without the formality, The Olive Tree is the only Michelin-starred restaurant in Bath, with an award-winning wine list and a reasonably priced Mediterranean-influenced menu. The menu has been designed by award-winning Head Chef Chris Cleghorn, who honed his skills as the protégé of a trio of world-renowned Michelin-star chefs (Heston Blumenthal, Michael Caines and Adam Simmonds), so you can expect something special.
The Royal Crescent is home to the 3AA Rosette Dower House Restaurant, boasting award-winning dishes created with passion and served with pride by Executive Head Chef, Martin Blake. Come for afternoon tea or the fine dining tasting menu which showcases locally sourced, sustainable ingredients.
The Roseate Villa offers intimate dining experiences, prepared with fresh, local, seasonal produce. Its Henrietta Bar is perfect for a light meal, delectable afternoon tea, a Sunday brunch or an intimate date.
Come for afternoon tea or the fine dining tasting menu at The Royal Crescent – which showcases locally sourced, sustainable ingredients
If you fancy dressing up and heading for the rolling countryside, six miles from Bath you can indulge in food cooked to perfection by Michelin-star chef Hywel Jones and his team at Restaurant Hywel Jones at Lucknam Park Hotel and Spa. With an à la carte and a gourmet menu to choose from, you’ll be transported to a bygone era once you’re seated in the sophisticated dining room.
If you love wine as much as (or more than) your food, make your way to Le Vignoble, which was awarded IWC South West Merchant of the Year in 2019. They serve small plates of French tapas, sourced from the famous Rungis market in Paris, to accompany their selection of wines, which can be bought by the glass or bottle. Wine lovers can even serve themselves using an Enomatic self-service wine machine!
Clayton’s Kitchen is a perennial favourite for local foodies and discerning travellers. Robert Clayton, the restaurant’s Chef Patron since its inception in 2012, creates uncomplicated dishes that explore and showcase the freshest and very best ingredients. He’s inspired by Mediterranean and modern French cuisine.
The Circus Restaurant is a chic, yet relaxed place perched on the corner of The Circus. It serves modern European food complemented by old-world wines. Chef and owner Alison Golden uses carefully selected ingredients, and cooks them simply, respecting their essential flavours. Most of her recipes are gluten-free.
Meat lovers can enjoy succulent steaks of the finest provenance at The Herd Steak Restaurant, which uses locally sourced meat from Aberdeen Angus and Hereford Crosses, reared in Coulston and aged for 21 to 28 days in Devizes. Open for lunch and dinner, this family-run restaurant is widely regarded as Bath’s best steakhouse.
Gastropubs and casual dining
If you fancy eating at a well-established, unpretentious gastropub, the Marlborough Tavern is well worth a try. Conveniently located near Royal Crescent, it’s a great place to stop if you’re sightseeing in the area. Popular with tourists and locals alike, this much-loved pub is spacious and upscale yet casual, with seating both indoors and out.
The Moorfields, in Oldfield Park, is open all day, every day for coffees and breakfast, drinks and a menu packed with freshly prepared, crowd-pleasing favourites. Bar Breton on Barton Street, meanwhile, offers small plates inspired by the owners’ trips to Brittany, as well as wine and Breton cider.
The Abbey Hotel Kitchen prides itself on using top-quality local produce. It’s particularly good for afternoon tea – you’ll get to enjoy a selection of sandwiches and classic Victoria sponge, among other sweet treats.
Town+House on Thomas Street has an enthusiastic team bringing inspiration from around the world to the city’s food scene. Alongside the eclectic à la carte menu it serves up Sunday roasts, weekend brunches and an excellent value set menu.
If you fancy eating at a well-established, unpretentious gastropub, the Marlborough Tavern is well worth a try
Browns Bath is set in a listed building which was formerly a magistrates’ court and police station and has an imposing entrance large enough for a horse-drawn carriage. The interior takes inspiration from the 1920s and is full of Art Deco touches. Alongside the high ceilings and huge windows overlooking the Abbey, the refurbished brasserie and bar provides a stunning backdrop to enjoy the seasonal British menu, extensive cocktail list, wine and champagne.
Cafés and fast food
Same-Same But Different is laid back and informal, and the menu is full of tempting treats. Come at breakfast for a full English, granola or avocado on toast, or fill up on artisan sandwiches at lunchtime. You can also enjoy a simple snack of fresh homemade cake and organic fairtrade coffee.
Like many cities, Bath has a nice line in upmarket fast-food restaurants. You can grab mouth-watering burgers, shakes and cocktails at tiny neighbourhood eatery Burgers and Barrels in Victoria Buildings. Or seek comfort in a well-established chain such as Gourmet Burger Kitchen.
Come to Same-Same But Different for a full English, granola or avocado on toast, or fill up on artisan sandwiches at lunchtime
Schwartz Bros has branches on both Walcot Street and Sawclose and has a well-deserved reputation as one of Bath’s finest burger joints. The menu offers excellent variety, including hamburgers, chicken burgers and vegetarian and vegan options, plus a wide range of sauces and toppings. They use non-hydrogenated, non-GM rapeseed oil for frying and all the beef can be traced back to its farm of origin.
The cosy OAK on North Parade Passage is an eatery and grocer specialising in organic, biodynamic and sustainable ingredients, many of which are grown in their own chemical-free market garden, just outside the city. This lovely bistro opens for lunch and dinner in one of Bath’s oldest buildings, serving up an ever-changing menu of plant-based dishes accompanied by natural wines.
Bath hosts many foodie events throughout the year, including Pub in the Park, a three-day celebration of excellent food, world-class chefs and great music; Bath Vegan Festival, which features interactive workshops, stalls, caterers, cookery demos, yoga and children’s activities; and The Great Bath Feast, a free event which celebrates the best locally sourced food and drink.
If you’re a cheese fiend, local-food tour company Savouring Bath has launched a 90-minute Cheese Tour with tutored tastings and pairings, including a range of different cheeses to sample, and commentary on Bath’s culinary history.
Outdoor attractions in and around Bath
Independent shops and boutiques in Bath
The best fine dining restaurants in Bath