Top Bristol Pubs: Where Locals Love to Linger!

Who doesn’t like a traditional pub? They’re part of British culture – so much so, they’re now woven into the fabric of daily life (and have been for hundreds of years). In fact, it was the Roman invasion that introduced the concept of the public house to our region.

It might have taken a while (say, a few centuries) for the pub as we know it to come to fruition, but in that time, they’ve become so much more than simply a house serving ale.

Throughout time, they’ve served as places of business, social reform, diversion and in the absence of the printing press, even as the local news.

Luckily for Bristolians, the city isn’t short on traditional Bristol pubs, many of which also serve delicious food and fabulous ales. Here are just a few of Bristol’s first and foremost pubs.

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bristol pubs

Bristol’s Oldest Pubs

There’s some debate over the title for oldest pub in the city, with several contenders vying for first place.

The Hatchet Inn, claiming establishment around 1606, takes its name from the woodsmen of Clifton Wood.

It’s stood the test of time, and now offers a range of delicious pub grub, as well as a tasty pint.

Another contender for the title is the Llandoger Trow, built in 1664. With its stunning Tudor exterior set on the sunny cobbled street in the heart of the city, it’s a great option for those warm, summer days.

The Bristol pub is also steeped in history; legend has it that the Llandoger Trow was a favorite drinking spot for the infamous privateer Blackbeard, as well as the inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island.

A third contender for the title is The Rummer, just off of St Nick’s Market. Dating back to 1241, The Rummer’s flagstone floors and huge fireplace act as visible reminders of the pub’s longstanding history.

It now boasts its own micro distillery, brewing batches of aromatic gins and spiced rums that you can sample in the bar (along with a plethora of other spirits).

bristol pubs

The Steam Crane

This Bristol Pub is located south of the river in Bedminster, The Steam Crane is pretty hard to miss.

The building's exterior features a classic nautical scene painting, and inside, it combines traditional pub decor with a touch of modernism.

Leather armchairs somehow blend seamlessly with the traditional fireplaces and wooden bar that you’d expect from a traditional British pub.

There’s a wide variety of beer, ales and wine available, and the food comes highly recommended by locals and visitors alike.

It’s great for larger groups, so if you’re planning a Bristol stag weekend, then the Stream Crane is a great place to start your celebrations.

bristol pubs

The Albion, Clifton

The Albion, a stylish twist on the traditional British pub, is a popular spot in the lively Clifton village.

Dating back to the 17th Century, experts have meticulously renovated and designed the building with impeccable taste.

It’s a winner for all seasons; lazy summer afternoons fly by in the ample courtyard garden, while winter Sunday lunches have to be experienced by the comfort of a roaring fire and accompanied by a delicious glass of red.

The Albion may not be budget-friendly, but it's a must-visit for those seeking a more upscale spot to enjoy their pint.

The food menu is seasonal, the ingredients impeccable quality and the dishes, reassuringly traditional. There’s literally something for everyone, one of our favourite Bristol pubs.

bristol pubs

The Jersey Lily

As far as Bristol pubs go, The Jersey Lily is young, fun and full of character. Situated on lively Whiteladies Road, the pub enjoys a relaxed atmosphere, which attracts a mixed – yet equally welcome – crowd.

The food is award-winning; sourced from local suppliers, you can sink your teeth into a huge variety of scrumptious snacks and dinners.

From tapas to share to Sunday Roasts, there’s literally something for everyone on their extensive menu. If you’re more interested in the drinks menu, then you won’t be disappointed.

There’s a huge selection of wines for all tastes on offer – as well as cocktails. If you're into live music, don't miss the Thursday acoustic sessions. Enjoy two-for-one craft cocktails with a friend!

cori tap bristol pub

Coronation Tap

Known to locals as 'Cori Tap,' The Coronation Tap is an iconic pub and an essential inclusion on any list of Bristol's best pubs!

Best known for its killer cider offerings, a sample of their famous Exhibition is an absolute must for all visitors to Bristol! This drink is so potent it's only served in half pints – you'll be belting out old Bristol sea shanties in no time!

Expect a proper, traditional pub with an amazing selection of ciders to choose from and a welcoming atmosphere that will make it hard to leave.

the ostrich bristol pub

The Ostrich

The Ostrich, a historic Bristol pub, sits in a fantastic location right on the water's edge with a great beer garden!

On a sunny day, everyone packs the place, taking advantage of the sun-drenched benches to watch the boats sail lazily by.

Visit the charming, centuries-old pub and don't miss the skeleton in the cave near the bar while waiting for your pint.

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