In recent years, the ancient city of Bath has earned a reputation as a center for gastronomy in southwestern England. Surrounded by lush countryside on all sides and perched upon the River Avon, Bath boasts access to fresh produce that few cities can rival.

    All of this is great news for foodies in Bath, with several excellent restaurants making a name for themselves among the city’s most discerning eaters. Our list of places locals love to eat in Bath ranges from legendary Italian trattorias to casual riverside pubs, highlighting the wonderful variety of restaurants in this quaint town.

    1

    Sotto Sotto

    Italian dining in a wine cellar

    • Food
    • Luxury

    A stalwart of the city’s dining scene, Sotto Sotto is widely considered to be Bath’s best Italian restaurant. Located in an intimate space beneath the kind of grand old building that Bath is famous for, the dimly lit, stone-walled ambience at Sotto Sotto perfectly evokes the city’s Roman heritage.

    While there is nothing innovative or daring about its menu, diners continue to return to this subterranean eatery for classic Italian cuisine executed with real panache. Standouts include fresh chicken livers served on homemade Tuscan bread. For those seeking something lighter, the chargrilled polenta with caramelized butternut squash, cream of spinach and pecorino cheese is a specialty that Sotto Sotto is famous for.

    Location: 10 Bath Road, Bath BA2 4A, UK

    Open: Daily from noon to 2 pm and from 5 pm to 10 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)1225 330 236

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    2

    The Circus

    Dining in a Georgian terrace house

    • Food

    The Circus is a much-loved family restaurant that specializes in seasonal, locally sourced and freshly cooked English fare. A hub for foodies in the city, this restaurant stands out for its friendly service, fair pricing and, of course, their fabulous food.

    With a focus on fresh produce, the menu changes frequently yet always scores high on both value and quality. Utilizing meat, seafood, dairy and vegetables from the surrounding area, it offers a true taste of Bath and the wider county of Somerset. Situated between Bath Circus and the Royal Crescent, The Circus sits in a fine Georgian house and remains busy year-round, so booking is always advised.

    Location: The Circus Restaurant, 34 Brock St, Bath, BA1 2LN, UK

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 10 am to 11.30 pm (closed on Sundays)

    Phone: +44 (0)1225 466 020

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    3

    Menu Gordon Jones

    Enjoy English cuisine cooked by a celebrity chef

    • Food

    Diners at Menu Gordon Jones are never quite sure what to expect from the secret tasting menu, which is devised by Chef Jones himself. The only thing that's certain at this esteemed city-center eatery is an innovative spread with contrasting flavors, textures and temperatures with English, Indian and Asian influences.

    To make for a truly memorable occasion, you can enjoy a wine flight chosen to compliment each course. Expect test tubes, brown paper bags, and other unconventional approaches to service, with friendly staff who are more than happy to explain some of the menu's rarer elements.

    Location: 2 Wellsway, Bath, BA2 3AQ, UK

    Open: Tuesday–Saturday from 12:30 pm to 2 pm and from 7 pm to 9 pm (closed on Sundays and Mondays)

    Phone: +44 (0)1225 480 871

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    4

    The Jolly Sailor

    A fantastic gastropub on the outskirts of Bath

    • Food

    The Jolly Sailor, an inn dating back to 1726, serves some of the best British pub fares in the area. With an excellent location on the banks of the River Avon, this Somerset institution offers views of the lush Mendip Hills region.

    The Jolly Sailor sits on a cycling path that links Bath and Bristol, which makes it ideal for a pitstop on a hot summer’s day. Try a pint of locally made cider and pairing it with a ploughman’s lunch made up of pickles, homemade bread, and tangy cheddar cheese.

    Location: The Jolly Sailor, Mead Ln, Saltford, Bristol, BS31 3ER, UK

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 11 am to 11 pm, Sunday from 11 am to 10 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)1225 873 002

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    5

    Jars Meze

    Get your fill of Greek food in Bath

    • Food

    Jars Meze brings a slice of the Mediterranean to Bath, serving modern takes on classic Greek cuisine. Prices at this meze bar remain mercifully reasonable, while the food is consistently excellent. It's also easy to reach, located less than 450 ft southwest of the famous Pulteney Bridge.

    At this family-run venue, you can enjoy specialties such as Politiki melitzanosalata, a dish of smoked eggplants slow-cooked with olive oil with garlic, peppers, parsley and Greek spices. For the more carnivorous visitor, Rolo gourounaki is a delicious combination of marinated pork stuffed with vegetables and halloumi cheese, slow-cooked and flavored with honey.

    Location: Jars Meze, 6 Northumberland Pl, Bath, BA1 5AR, UK

    Open: Tuesday–Saturday from noon to 3 pm and from 5 pm to 9 pm, Sunday from noon to 3.30 pm (closed on Mondays)

    Phone: +44 (0)1225 471 434

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    James Connolly | Guest Writer

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