Bath has a great variety of restaurants, and living in this lovely city over the past four years I have found some amazing places to wine and dine. Here is a list of my top 5 independent restaurants!
1. Yammo! – Neapolitan Street-Food Kitchen & Pizzeria
THE BEST PIZZA EVER!
This tiny restaurant has a friendly family run feel. It may not have the most contemporary/modern decor, but it doesn’t matter, the food is amazing! If you are a pizza sauce lover like me, you will love it! Whenever we go there or get a takeaway, we always order the Arancini balls – delicious balls of rice, beef and pork ragu and a gooey mozzarella centre. I can guarantee any pizza you try here you will love!
I am not usually a fan of pizza crusts (I know, I’m like a child) but these pizzas have a thick but soft crust so I actually enjoy eating it. This is a sign of a good pizza in my eyes.
My favourite pizza is the Alla Norma pizza which has aubergine and ricotta cheese on top. I also like to add some parma ham to the pizza too.
You can add extra things to your pizza, for example, zucchini, meatballs, buffalo mozzarella, Neapolitan-style sausages, honey-roast ham, red peppers, mushrooms, gorgonzola and more.
Recommendations: any of the pizzas, including the Marinara (no cheese), it is delicious and has tons of flavour, arancini (traditional beef and pork ragu), polpette al sugo (pork & beef meatballs baked in a rich tomato sauce), hand cut potato fries.
2. Hudsons Steakhouse – Steaks cooked to perfection!
“Voted number 3 in the UK Top 10 Steakhouse.”
A small restaurant with really attentive staff and absolute pros at cooking the perfect steak. I would like to add that this isn’t a casual place to wine and dine; we usually go for a special treat or birthday. I usually get a sirloin steak, cooked medium to well done, with their signature red wine glaze and served with their béarnaise sauce.
One thing I like about this restaurant is that the waitress understood exactly how I wanted my steak cooked, I like the taste of a pinker steak however I don’t like seeing blood ooze out! She said she would ask the chef to cook it ‘medium but no blood’ and when it arrived it was perfect! With our steaks, we usually add a side of dauphinoise potatoes and green beans. They also have a selection of classic main dishes too, one of the dishes I have my eyes on is the seabass fillets, edamame beans, asparagus and chive chardonnay beurre blanc. Mmm, yum!
Recommendations: Homemade rosemary focaccia with marinated olives and basil pesto.
3. Aqua – Modern Italian Cuisine
This restaurant is located in a gorgeous renovated chapel and provides a broad range of dishes. Firstly, the interior is stunning, with a lot of seating and a few seating booths it is a great place for lunch and dinner. At the front of the chapel, there is a balcony that overlooks the main restaurant area, there are a few seats up there and a grand piano in the centre. I’m not sure if they get a pianist to play up there on special nights, but on our first visit to Aqua, we did witness a customer going up and playing a bit of piano. He was actually really good! We thought he was a professional playing for the evening but then realised he was a customer when his friends at another table started clapping at the end and he joined them for dinner.
The offer I was particularly attracted to in Aqua was the 2 for 1 offer on bellinis, before 7 pm.
I love this restaurant because it is was the first restaurant that got me to enjoy eating salads! I had the ‘Fig & Mozzarella Salad’ with pine nuts, and mixed leaf salad drizzled with a balsamic sauce. I would easily eat this salad as a main meal and I am not a salad person so that’s saying something! I wish I had a photo of this dish, it is always presented beautifully but every time it arrives at the table I just want to dive straight in.
Recommendations: Fig and Mozzarella Salad, Risotto Balls, Smoked Haddock Risotto, Roasted Lamb, Rabbit Ragout.
4. The Hop Pole Pub – Homely, friendly pub, with a gourmet touch.
The Hop Pole offers you just want you want from a pub menu, traditional dishes mixed with a few gourmet touches. This pub is part of the Bath Ale chain, offering ‘top-notch beers’ and uses some of the ales in their dishes. We are constantly going back to this pub for meals as it is only down the road. The Hop Pole is a great place for popping in for a drink and enjoying some yummy pub snacks, for example, they use to have handmade scotch eggs with a gooey centre.
Their menu changes seasonal but they always have some traditional classics on the menu.
Another great thing is that they occasionally have offers on, over the Winter months they had an a £10 pie and pint offer on every Tuesday.
Not only is this pub great for cold Wintery nights but it is the perfect place to hang out with friends in the summer, sitting out in their pub garden. We are now regulars and have got to know the staff really well, and we now feel at home there – especially as one of the barmen/waiters’ is my boyfriend’s best friend.
Recommendations: As I said their menu changes seasonally but here are a few of the gorgeous dishes I have enjoyed: free range chicken, leek & ham pie with parsley sauce, greens and mash, 28 day dry aged beef shin and ‘Dark Side’ ale suet pudding, dauphinoise potatoes, carrots, ‘Proper Chips’ their tripled cooked chips.
5. Firehouse Rotisserie – American Bistro and Grill
Another lovely small restaurant located on a quiet road just off the busy high-street. Sometimes it is nice to get away from the big chains and find a local restaurant like this one. They boast on their website that they are the only genuine rotisserie restaurant in the South West (not sure if that is true or not) but their rotisserie cooked chicken is great. They offer a delicious range of flame-roasted chicken, gourmet pizzas and seasonal dishes.
One of the dishes that stood out for me was the confit of duck with cheesy mash potato and runner beans. They still offer duck on the menu but not with the same sides. On my most recent visit, I tried one of their chicken dishes. The chicken is cooked to perfection, beautifully tender and succulent.
Recommendations: Prosciutto Ham stone baked pizza, lemon and herb rotisserie chicken with applewood smoked bacon, spring salad, Dijon tarragon aioli.
Hope this has got you all hungry! It definitely made me extremely hungry whilst writing this.
If you are visiting Bath soon or live in Bath and are not sure where to eat then choose any one of these restaurants and I promise you you will enjoy a delicious meal!