Where To Eat in Bath
The best dining spots in the Georgian spa town
One of Britain’s most elegant cities, Bath is filled with excellent food spots. Historic tea rooms sit alongside exciting newbies, with plenty of independent cafes and eco-minded hotspots to explore alongside a growing vegan and vegetarian scene. Heading there for a city break? Read on to discover the best restaurants in Bath.
Best Restaurants in Bath 2022
Oak – formerly Acorn – was recently awarded a green Michelin star for its commitment to sustainable practices. Its ethos is ‘great food that puts the soil first’, with dishes made using ingredients from land that has been farmed properly, without chemicals or over-cultivation, often from the restaurant’s own market garden. Plant-based cooking is the focus, with a small plates-style menu that’s all about celebrating vegetables: summer dishes include seared hispi cabbage with caramelised apple, braised leeks with whipped ricotta, and roasted Jersey Royal potatoes with miso pesto. All this is to be enjoyed alongside low intervention wines.
2 N Parade, Bath BA1 1NX; oakrestaurant.co.uk
The Pump Room Restaurant
Built in 1795, The Pump Room is one of the most magnificent and elegant dining rooms in Bath. Housed within The Roman Baths, the restaurant has a neo-classical style inspired by fragments of the Roman Temple discovered directly below. It has both historic and literary acclaim – Jane Austen mentioned it in Persuasion and Northanger Abbey, and Mary Shelley wrote the iconic Frankenstein while staying in lodgings next door. It’s a great spot for afternoon tea, or you can head there on a summer evening to enjoy a two or three-course meal accompanied by live music.
13 Abbey Churchyard, Bath BA1 1LZ; thepumproombath.co.uk
After becoming head chef at Huntsrete House Hotel (now the Bath outpost of The Pig), Robert Clayton received his first Michelin star aged just 25. Nowadays, you’ll find him at Clayton’s Kitchen, where he’s Chef Patron, creating uncomplicated dishes that showcase fresh, high-quality ingredients. Dishes are inspired by Mediterranean and modern French cuisine: think grilled fish with fregola pasta and langoustine sauce; and honey roasted duck breast with dauphinoise potatoes. There’s also a dedicated Sunday lunch menu featuring hearty roasts, and a vegan offering which includes dishes like fregola pasta with brown shimeji mushrooms, and plant-based ice cream.
15a George Street, Bath, Somerset, BA1 2EN; claytonskitchen.com
Sally Lunn’s Historic Eating House
The sweet roll laced with candied fruit and topped with crushed sugar is one of Bath’s most beloved delicacies, and Sally Lunn’s Historic Eating House is one of the best places in the city to try one. Housed in a quintessentially English honey-coloured stone Georgian building and dating back to 1680, the sweet little tea shop invites you to try this historic specialty in an equally traditional setting. Best served toasted and with a milky tea, kids will love this Batholian treat.
4 North Parade Passage, Bath BA1 1NX; sallylunns.co.uk
The Scallop Shell
Get your fish fix at The Scallop Shell, a friendly family-run restaurant opened by Garry Rosser back in 2015. The space has a nautical, beachy feel, with rustic wooden tables and an open kitchen where the chefs fry up the catch of the day. Sustainability sits at the heart of this restaurant, with fish sourced from small artisan day boats on UK shores and chips cut daily from potatoes from family farms. The menu changes daily according to what’s available, but can include everything from Porthilly Rock oysters to whole Cornish lemon sole and haddock fillet, served with homemade sides like mushy peas and celeriac remoulade.
22 Monmouth Pl, Bath BA1 2AY; thescallopshell.co.uk
Olive Tree Restaurant
Bath’s only restaurant with a Michelin star is Olive Tree, part of Queensbury Hotel on Russel Street. It’s spearheaded by head chef Chris Cleghorn, who honed his craft working under Michael Caines and at Heston Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck. His cooking is designed to make the most of the high-quality local produce derived from the lush farmland surrounding Bath, with either six or nine course menus on offer. There are plenty of free-from options too, with pescatarian, vegan, vegetarian and dairy-free variations of the menu. These change often, but current highlights include Cornish monkfish cooked over coal, Orkney scallops with wasabi, and tortellini with ricotta and cucumber.
4-7 Russell St, Bath BA1 2QF; olivetreebath.co.uk
Vietnamese chef Noya Pawlyn rose to fame hosting supper clubs before setting up her own permanent restaurant, the much-loved Noya’s Kitchen. Housed in a Grade II listed Georgian building in the centre of the city, the eatery has a small menu, with dishes made to order with fresh ingredients. On Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday evenings Noya hosts a Pho, Curry and Noodles night, while on Fridays she runs a five-course supper club: a fun, informal dining experience paired with wines.
7 St James’s Parade, Bath BA1 1UL; noyaskitchen.co.uk
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