In a city renowned for its varied nightlife, it is perhaps no surprise that Bristol is home to an array of trendy bars, speakeasies and independent establishments, each with its own unique vibe.
Whether you’re relocating to the city for work, studying at a local University or just passing through and want to experience the local nightlife scene, here are just a few unmissable Bristol bars to add to your bucket list.
The Milk Thistle
(Quay Head House, Colston Avenue, BS1 1EB)
Spanning four floors in one of Bristol’s most elegant buildings, The Milk Thistle is the go-to venue for discerning drinkers, date nights, and everyone who wants to unwind in style amid stained glass, oak panelling, and quite a lot of taxidermy. In addition to a cocktail bar, visitors can also expect a beautifully designed lounge as well as a range of private function rooms that are guaranteed to impress.
Hyde & Co
(The Basement, Upper Byron Place, BS1 1YJ)
The little sister of The Milk Thistle, Hyde & Co is a speakeasy-style offering with a super cool gentleman’s club vibe. With a perfectly pitched atmosphere and an enviable, award-winning cocktail menu featuring all the classics alongside innovative concoctions, guests can expect to relax and unwind in serious style.
Her Majesty’s Secret Service
(Whiteladies Road, BS8 2PH)
In classic speakeasy style, it’s all too easy to stroll past the entrance to Her Majesty’s Secret Service without even the slightest hint that there’s a legendary cocktail bar just metres away. Visitors must walk through a red telephone box that is nestled beside the Clifton Down Station entrance before entering the welcoming bar that is so unapologetically English.
Don’t let the size of the cocktail menu fool you because there are numerous exciting drinks to try, including the Twister, which ditches the traditional chunk of ice for a lollipop made from Campari.
(Baldwin Street, BS1 1NG)
Pretty in pink and primed to get the party started every day of the week, Tonight Josephine is the perfect spot for post-work cocktails, hen dos and end-of-term celebrations. Things tend to get pretty wild on the dance floor and the vibes are always a 10/10. Tonight Josephine also hosts regular brunches with themes including Battle of the Girl Bands, Mamma Mia, and Harry Styles.
(Frogmore Street, BS1 5UX)
For those nights when only cheesy classics and chart tunes will do, OMG is the place to go. With a lively atmosphere and an always-packed dance floor, this larger than life gay venue is open every day and always ready to deliver the fun factor.
And if you’re looking for a slightly more chilled-out version of the above, its sister venue OMG Bristol Bar is just across the street and delivers a happy medium between going out-out and an evening of chilled drinks with your mates.
Kinkajou Cocktail Lounge
(Upper Belgrave Road, Clifton, BS8 2XP)
Offering a secluded cocktail experience, Kinkajou has an unparalleled sophisticated ambience and a level of attention to detail that wows as soon as you step inside. This is the kind of establishment you’ll be proud to visit for quiet celebrations, intimate date nights designed to impress, or simply to enjoy your favourite drink in a supremely classy setting.
(Finzels Reach, Hawkins Lane, BS1 6JQ)
Located in a prime position overlooking the Floating Harbour, the Wellhead is nestled inside a historical building with a buzzing atmosphere that is welcoming to all. During the day, visitors can enjoy an array of snacks and hot drinks within an inviting environment that celebrates the merging of modern city life with the building’s old-time charm. In the evening, visitors can enjoy the vast cocktail menu, which features drinks inspired by the city’s rich and varied history.
(Union Street, BS1 2DF)
As well as offering varied food and drinks menus serving everything from craft beer to innovative cocktails, Roxy Lanes also delivers on the entertainment front in the form of eight full size bowling lanes, shuffleboard, beer pong, arcade games, karaoke, and more. Its city centre location means it’s accessible to all, with something for everyone, including students, families, and couples.
(Small Street, BS1 1DW)
Anyone for Happy Hour? If so, Blame Gloria knows how to deliver the drinks and the atmosphere you don’t want to miss out on. The first-choice venue for everyone who wants to celebrate in style, you can expect to be singing and dancing into the wee hours of the morning to everything from Gaga to Bowie.