The beautiful city of Bristol is home to a number of truly delicious pasta joints, from five-star innovators in the fresh pasta game, to quaint, family-run establishments with a loyal fanbase. We’ve scoured the city’s streets to bring you the 7 best pasta restaurants Bristol has to offer.
We also know that sometimes you just want to enjoy delicious food in the comfort of your own home. That’s why we deliver restaurant-quality pasta to postcodes across Bristol, both as ready-to-eat takeaways and ready-to-cook recipe kits. So if that’s more your vibe, order using the links below and we’ll bring the dining experience to you.
The 7 best Italian restaurants in Bristol
1. Pasta Loco
Image credit: Pasta Loco
Pasta Loco prides itself as Bristol’s first fresh pasta restaurant, where they serve a changing menu of unique dishes. Cotham Hill’s family-run eatery cites both Italy and Bristol as inspiration for their menu, which is likewise informed by fresh, seasonal produce, showcasing quality ingredients in simple fashion, in true Italian style. Stop by and you may be able to try their freshly made casarecce cacio e pepe – a simple yet perfectly executed dish that had us wanting more. In fact, we’re pretty confident any dish on their menu will probably be mind-blowingly good – sometimes you just know you’ve found a good spot. Be sure to wash your dish down with ‘the finest Negroni this side of Florence’, as promised by the Pasta Loco lot – buon appetito!
Image credit: Bomboloni
Gloucester Road serves as home to Bomboloni, a fun Italian eatery. Though Bomboloni derives its name from the cute doughnuts popular in cafes across Italy, do not underestimate the quality of the savoury offerings here. Their spaghetti carbonara is the real deal, served up Roman-style with imported guanciale and plenty of black pepper, while a Sicilian-inspired dish of tagliatelle with roasted cauliflower, raisins, parmesan, pangrattato and parsley is a riot of flavour. At the moment, Bomboloni is only open at lunch during the week, with weekly dinner openings on Saturday evenings – so make sure to check ahead of time if you plan to head down.
3. Pasta Ripiena
Image credit: Pasta Ripiena
Pasta Ripiena is brought to you by the same team that runs Bristol-favourite Pasta Loco. Here, they’ve honed their passion for pasta by focusing specifically on authentic filled pasta (pasta ripiena in Italian, hence the name). Though their menu is always consistently brilliant, highlights include a stunning fresh ravioli with smoked aubergine, parmesan and pine nuts, or for carnivores, tempting triangoli with Calabrian ‘nduja and wild boar ragú. All of their pasta dishes are lovingly handcrafted by the Pasta Ripiena team, using only quality ingredients – something immediately apparent upon first bite. And second, and third….
4. San Carlo
Image credit: San Carlo
As with all San Carlo restaurants, San Carlo Bristol is a lavish Italian eatery, celebrating modern Italian Cuisine in a luxurious setting. Just a short stroll from the Bristol Hippodrome, San Carlo’s formidable seafood-driven menu features pasta delights such as their spaghetti vongole with baby clams and punchy garlic and chilli, or similarly bright pasta gamberoni piccanti, a fusion of chilli-flecked king prawns, salty anchovies, briny capers, and fresh San Marzano tomato. For something a little more comforting, we recommend the rigatoni alla norma, a dish inspired by the cuisine of the South, featuring creamy aubergine, tomato, basil and garlic, lovingly topped with a lashing of pecorino cheese.
Image credit: Bianchis
The third – and most recent – opening from the award-winning team behind Pasta Loco and Pasta Ripiena, Bianchis brings a taste of Italy to Bristol’s bohemian Montpelier neighbourhood. Located on the original site of iconic Bristol institution Bell’s Diner, Bianchis offers a traditionally-styled Italian menu that works its way from antipasti and primi to larger secondi plates, followed, of course, by dolci. Whilst this means it doesn’t have as many pasta options as its pasta-focused sister restaurants, there are some real pasta gems nestled amongst the primi options (which is how pasta is traditionally served in Italy). We were particularly enamoured by a rich ox cheek and Chianti ragú, served with ribbons of fresh pappardelle. If you’re looking for a dining experience reminiscent of an Italian dinner party, Bianchis may well be the one.
Image credit: Prego
Looking for authentic Italian cuisine in a stylish yet relaxed setting? Be sure to stop by Prego, in the Westbury Park area of Bristol. Not only do Prego offer some pretty delightful pizza, but their pasta dishes are extremely well-executed, and hugely moreish. For a taste of the Italian coast, try the Devon crab linguine, with fresh tomatoes, parsley, lemon and a touch of chilli. Vegetarians are well catered for too, with classics like spinach and ricotta ravioli sat alongside inventive combinations like mafalde with pea, mint and goat’s curd. Showcasing local, fresh ingredients ensures Prego is a solid choice for any diner seeking quality pasta in Bristol.
7. Pasta Evangelists Bristol
We’d be doing our own exceptional pastai (pasta makers) a huge disservice if we didn’t include them on this list. We might not have a Bristol pasta restaurant (yet), but Bristol natives can still get a taste of our restaurant-quality pasta – and all without even leaving the house! Want someone else to look after dinner? We deliver hot, ready-to-eat pasta dishes to postcodes across Bristol. Happy to do some (very minimal) cooking yourself? We deliver our cook at home kits all over the UK, to Bristol and beyond. Each kit comes with everything you need to prepare an authentic pasta dish in under 5 minutes – simply cook the fresh pasta, heat up the carefully-crafted sauce and add the included garnish. With choices like slow-cooked beef shin ragú, decadent lobster tortelloni and wild mushroom pappardelle, the only hard part is picking a dish.