If you’re wondering where to find the best restaurants in Bath, this post has you covered.
This affluent Somerset city is bursting at the seams with fine dining restaurants, cosy pubs, and cute cafés where you can tuck into British and international dishes.
Overall, Bath is a compact, walkable city and it’s easy to duck into some of the best places to eat in between touring the museums, exploring the parks, and pampering yourself at the thermal bath house.
If you are exploring the city for the first time, be sure not to miss our guide to a day trip to Bath from London here.
Read on for the top 15 places to eat in Bath City Centre.
Map of the Best Restaurants in Bath
15 Best Restaurants in Bath
There are so many nice restaurants in Bath to choose from.
If you’re looking for a cheap and cheerful bite, Bath features the mainstays of the British high street as well as homely tea rooms.
However, the main appeal of Bath sits with its independent restaurants and historic pubs, where kitchens source high-quality, fresh ingredients from the local Somerset region.
During the week, you should generally be able to get a table on the spot at your preferred restaurants. If you are fortunate to spend a weekend in Bath, you should consider booking tables for dinner in advance to avoid disappointment.
Here are 15 places to eat in Bath to suit all budgets and food preferences.
1. Ponte Vecchio
Ponte Vecchio is one of the best restaurants in Bath with a view over Pulteney Bridge and the River Avon. This is the perfect choice for a romantic supper or a sunny lunch on the patio during the warmer months.
This is an upmarket Italian restaurant specialising in authentic Italian fare across pizza, pasta, risotto, and main meat-focused courses.
Lamb and seafood are particularly good at Ponte Vecchio if you can bear to miss out on the pizza! Wine is sourced directly from Italy while classic cocktails and house-made limoncello are also available.
The place has a great atmosphere and friendly servers who are always willing to make recommendations. Advance booking is recommended for this popular Italian eatery if you want to sit out on the balcony or are dining on the weekend.
2. Sally Lunn’s Historic Eating House & Museum
Sally Lunn’s Historic Eating House & Museum is one of the most famous restaurants in Bath City Centre.
This is a café with a small museum attached, which tells the story of the Sally Lunn Bun – a bread, cake, and bun hybrid with a similar texture to brioche. Food is served according to the “trencher” tradition: a piece of bread constitutes the “plate” with the signature Sally Lunn Bun on the side.
The place is open for breakfast through to dinner and gets busiest at lunchtime with evenings quieting down. If you are taking a day trip to Bath and want to sample the famous buns, you’ll need to time your visit carefully to avoid the rush as bookings are not possible.
3. The Pump Room Restaurant
The Pump Room Restaurant is one of the best restaurants in Bath for afternoon tea in a sophisticated environment. In fact, Jane Austen and Charles Dickens are among the Pump Room’s previous patrons!
This Georgian-style dining room is outfitted with twinkling chandeliers, statement columns, and classic paintings. As you eat, the resident pianist will play in the background.
Traditional Afternoon Tea is served all week from noon, with Champagne Brunch being an alternative option if you want to visit earlier in the day.
As the Pump Room is connected to the Roman Baths, it’s usually possible to purchase a money-saving combination deal to tour the complex and have a meal at the restaurant afterwards.
Either way, advance booking is highly recommended, especially over weekends and during British school holidays.
4. Clayton’s Kitchen
If you’re seeking nice restaurants in Bath for a special occasion, Clayton’s Kitchen is a wonderful choice with outstanding food and service. Head chef Robert Clayton works with seasonal ingredients to create a fine-dining fusion of British, French, and Mediterranean cuisine.
The emphasis is placed on quality and simplicity, with typical dishes including roasted lamb with rosemary and port wine sauce or market fish. Menus are available across lunch and à la carte with a mouthwatering Sunday roast available at the weekend.
Clayton’s is a stand-out choice for carnivores, pescatarians, vegans, and families with kids.
5. The Raven of Bath
As a humble pub with a friendly stream of locals, the Raven of Bath is one of the best places to eat in Bath when you’re craving traditional British cooking in a laid-back atmosphere.
Seasonal pies, sausage and buttery mash, and ploughman’s lunch are the stars of the small yet thoughtful menu. Vegans are catered for with the jackfruit “steak” pie and a side of chunky chips while the menu also considers gluten-free diners.
This centrally-located pub has a wide stock of ales, ciders, and spirits. You can easily spend a few hours digesting your meal and soaking up the atmosphere.
Bear in mind that the Raven gets busy as local workers clock off for the day, so consider swinging by for lunch – and heading back for a post-sightseeing pint in the evening.
6. Bathwick Boatman Riverside
Follow the river northwards and you’ll soon reach Bathwick Boatman Riverside, one of the best restaurants in Bath with a view of the water in a tranquil setting.
The old boathouse retains a rustic charm with its woody interiors and patio overlooking the greenery and riverside.
In terms of food, starters generally include the British staples of soup of the day, pate with chutney, and smoked salmon. Mains hone in on roasted meats with seasonal vegetables and vegetarian-based hotpots or strews.
Bathwick Boatman is the perfect choice for a Sunday lunch, coupled with a scenic stroll along the waterfront to walk the meal off.
7. Opa Bath
Opa Bath is one of the best places to eat in Bath City Centre for larger groups – especially if you’re looking to let your hair down while in Somerset.
A restaurant by day, Opa transforms into a nightclub in the evening. Designed to be shared, the food menu consists of Greek meze, grilled meats, and fresh salads. Special menus are available throughout the year to coincide with occasions such as Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and Mother’s Day.
Opt to dine beneath the vaulted ceiling or on the garden terrace with a view over the Avon.
Advance booking is advisable, especially on the weekends. Also, consider making Opa your choice for lunch or an early dinner if you’d rather not get caught up in the nightclub atmosphere.
8. Walcot House
A short walk north from the Guildhall, Walcot House is one of the best places to eat in Bath on a special occasion or if you simply feel like a splurge.
A former bakehouse, this industrial-chic facility features a restaurant and cocktail bar alongside a fitness complex with yoga classes. On occasion, the cocktail lounge hosts live music and DJs on the weekends.
Menus change on a regular basis to reflect what’s in season or available from trusted suppliers. However, you can expect a selection of British cuisine fused with European and international cooking.
The chateaubriand is a firm favourite while Sunday roasts are masterfully done. Naturally, your choice of meat (or vegetarian equivalent) is served with a Yorkshire pudding and roast potatoes as well as greens sauteed with garlic and chilli.
Meanwhile, breakfast is kept simple with toasted sourdough smeared with preserves or topped with free-range eggs.
9. Wild Café
Wild Café is a cute little hole-in-the-wall in the historic heart of the city. This is one of the top restaurants in Bath for a light and healthy brunch based on organic ingredients.
Opt for the full English breakfast (vegetarian and vegan versions available), eggs Benedict, or pancakes. Stacks are available as a sweet or savoury option.
Alternatively, you can try the breakfast-friendly take on bubble and squeak, a dish of fried potatoes and vegetables usually reserved for Christmas in the UK.
A light lunch menu consisting of burgers and sandwiches is available from noon daily. In general, Wild Café is a handy spot for an afternoon coffee if you need a mid-sightseeing pick-me-up.
Occupying one of the city’s oldest and grandest buildings, Oak is both a dining destination and a grocer where you can stock up your Airbnb pantry. Offering a plant-based menu, this is one of the best vegan restaurants in Bath City Centre.
The menu changes daily as per what’s available to the kitchen. For a special occasion, you can splash out on the five-course tasting menu with the option to upgrade to a wine pairing.
The cellar stocks natural wines while the kitchen sources biodynamic ingredients from the restaurant’s chemical-free market garden on the outskirts of the city.
Reservations are strongly encouraged due to popularity and limited space. However, there are always a couple of tables available on a first-come, first-served basis.
11. Yak Yeti Yak
Founded by a married couple who spent years working as guides and wilderness cooks in Nepal, Yak Yeti Yak has become established as one of the best restaurants in Bath for faithful reproductions of Nepalese food.
Signature dishes include momos (steamed dumplings), pakora (crispy vegetable nuggets), and kesariko dhai (saffron-infused yoghurt). Crafted to be shared, dishes are beautifully presented and garnished with fresh herbs that draw out the flavours. The drinks menu includes Nepalese speciality beers as well as Somerset-made cider.
Decorated with artefacts from Nepal, the restaurant consists of individual dining nooks, a floor cushion zone, and a small courtyard garden.
12. The Scallop Shell
Beloved by chef Marco Pierre White, the Scallop Shell is one of the best places to eat in Bath City Centre if you fancy seafood.
Fish and shellfish are sourced from small day boats that land and sell their catch at leading markets on the south coast and Loch Fyne. Naturally, the Scallop Shell is a fine contender for the best battered fish and chips in Bath. But, the diverse menu also includes oysters, mussels, smoked salmon, fishcakes, and monkfish.
Essentially, if you need to up your omega-3 intake, make a reservation at the Scallop Shell! Interiors evoke a nautical theme, with an open kitchen enhancing the buzzy feel of the restaurant.
13. Saracens Head
Along with the Raven, Saracens Head is one of the top restaurants in Bath for a traditional pub meal.
Dating back to 1713, this is officially the oldest public house in Bath. In fact, this long-standing pub was frequented by Charles Dickens. The writer penned The Pickwick Papers upstairs.
Fish and chips is always a reliable choice at Saracens Head. Other classic dishes include gammon and eggs, meat pies, and cottage pie. The dessert menu includes the king of pub puddings, sticky toffee pudding served with your choice of custard or clotted cream.
14. Giggling Squid
Founded by a husband and wife duo, Giggling Squid is one of the best Thai restaurants in Bath City Centre with a focus on seafood.
In fact, this is one of several restaurants in the independent franchise. Each one is personified by kooky decor and commitment to bringing the flavours of Thailand to the UK.
Highlights include the Phuket mussels in red curry broth and Khua Kling squid in a coconut-based yellow curry sauce. Naturally, you can’t go wrong with the signature Pad Thai. In addition, Giggling Squid has a vegan-friendly menu and a tapas-style sharing menu.
15. The Oven
With indoor and outdoor seating, the Oven is one of the best restaurants in Bath for Neapolitan wood-fired pizzas. Headed up by Fabrizio Mancinetti, these artisanal pizzas are crafted from a “secret” recipe.
Take your pick from red or white sauces, with plenty of options for vegetarians and vegans. Toppings range from the classic Sicilian sausage, anchovies, and mushrooms to the quirkier avocado and the controversial pineapple – as demanded by regular patrons.
If you’re not sure where to start, try the award-winning pizza blanca with Cotto ham, creamed walnuts, and fig jam.