Bristol restaurants with a view

From jaw-dropping views of Clifton Suspension Bridge, to spectacular Harbourside eateries and dreamy city rooftop vistas, these Bristol dining spots promise a feast for your eyes as well as your stomach. Here are eight of my favourite Bristol restaurants with a view.

A feast for the eyes: Bristol’s top tables with a view 

The White Lion Bar, Hotel du Vin Bristol Avon Gorge

Hugging the edge of the Avon Gorge, Hotel du Vin’s White Lion Bar holds prime position for gazing at Clifton Suspension Bridge, dramatic gorge cliffsides and distant Mendip hills. With its suntrap whopper of a terrace, it’s particularly perfect on a hot summer’s day – even more so should hot air balloons be floating overhead from their Ashton Court launch site.

Tuck into gastro pub food while admiring one of the city’s most iconic sights, or if you’re looking for something a teensy bit swankier, the hotel’s Goram and Vincent eatery next door shares the same stunning view.

Avon gorge hotel du vin bristol
Avon Gorge by Hotel du Vin

360 Cafe at Clifton Observatory

During its lifetime, the site of Clifton Observatory has seen various incarnations – an Iron Age hill fort, an 18th century windmill, and since 1828, one of only three working Camera Obscuras in the UK. Nowadays, the 360 Cafe and rooftop terrace treat visitors in search of indulgently-topped hot chocolates, afternoon teas, cocktails and cake to sensational panoramic views of Brunel’s gorge-spanning Clifton Suspension Bridge and the Somerset hills beyond.

Sunsets from this vantage point on a balmy summer’s eve, don’t get much dreamier. The observatory also hides a ‘Giant’s Cave’ 27 metres below, reached (for a small fee) via a steep, narrow tunnel which leads onto a balcony halfway down the cliff face. 

Clifton Observatory 360 Bristol
Clifton Observatory 360 Bristol


Located at the foot of Beacon Tower, laid-back drinking-dining-music destination Bambalan has roof terrace views over the bustling city centre, noteworthy architecture and concert hall, Bristol Beacon. From the talented folks behind some of Bristol’s award-winning ‘must-visit’ independent restaurants and cocktail bars, the vibe at Bambalan is as bright and colourful as its decor.

On the menu you’ll find Mediterranean bites, mezzes, gyros, sourdough pizzas and burgers, alongside an Instaworthy backdrop, DJ beats and happy hour cocktails. While away an afternoon on the terrace come rain or shine, whatever the season – patio heaters and canopy will keep you toasty in cooler climes.

Mud Dock Bristol

Mud Dock opened as a bike shop and a café back in 1994 and has been a staple of the Bristol dining scene for almost 30 years. Downstairs you’ll find a range of bicycles, cycling gear, and accessories catering to both enthusiasts and casual riders, while upstairs is a restaurant with outside dining terrace and Harbourside views.

The assortment of bikes suspended from the ceiling continues the biking theme, but the eatery is aimed at more than just Lycra-wearing, two-wheel aficionados. It’s a popular dockside hangout for visitors after tapas, meze and grill dishes on the water’s edge.

Grain Barge

The historic converted 1930s Grain Barge started life carrying barley and wheat from Bristol to Cardiff across the Severn Estuary. These days it’s moored in Hotwells, across the water from Brunel’s SS Great Britain.

Run by Bristol Beer Factory, you’ll find an extensive range of flavoursome craft beers, local ciders and wines on board, the perfect accompaniment to sustainable seafood, mains, small plates, and Sunday roasts (using seasonal produce from their own Five Acre Farm in Backwell).

Grab a table below deck to watch river life glide past on the Floating Harbour, or sit atop the al fresco drinking deck to soak up the sun as well as life on the water.

Grain Barge Bristol Harbourside
Grain Barge Bristol


The Zerodegrees building was used as horse-drawn tram sheds during the 1800s, before being transformed into Bristol’s first microbrewery and restaurant in 2004. Split over two floors, it oozes industrial-chic, with the brewery element smack bang in the centre, so you can watch the beer-making magic happen.

Along with an award-winning selection of beers, including a Pilsner, Pale Ale and Black lager, they’re renowned for their seasonal, fruity concoctions – best sipped on one of three balconies, which all catch the summer sun. So, if you fancy a rooftop panorama with your pizza (we’re talking 600-year old almshouse turrets, a row of historic listed buildings, chimneys and Bristol high-rises), this is the place.

Zerodegrees Bristol terrace
Image Zerodegrees Bristol

Harbour House

High vaulted ceilings and original iron work hark back to this former transit shed’s 19th century beginnings. Designed by none other than Brunel (of Clifton Suspension Bridge and SS Great Britain fame), Harbour House occupies a glorious waterfront position with an outdoor deck overlooking the Floating Harbour, multi-coloured houses of Redcliffe and towering spire of St Mary Redcliffe Church.

The menu, which features a mix of pub classics, also has a strong seafood slant and champions locally-sourced ingredients from some of the South West’s finest suppliers. Joyous on a sunny day.

The Cottage Inn

Dating back to 1868 and sporting some stupendous Harbourside views, The Cottage Inn holds one of the best pub locations in Bristol. Once a timber store and Harbour Master’s Office, it’s an iconic boozer (under the Butcombe umbrella) for Bristolians and a must-go venue in the summer, when you’ll find punters spilling out onto the waterside, sipping cider and polishing off fish and chips.

Views from the beer garden look out over a hive of boating activity on the Floating Harbour to Clifton Wood’s rainbow-coloured houses, listed bond warehouses and Underfall Yard. 

Bristol Harbourside view from Cottage Inn
View from Cottage Inn

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