Bristol's Best Steak
What makes a great steak?
Is it the type of cut? The fact that it is locally sourced, or that perfect local sauce? Is it the amazing decor and ambience of the restaurant or the careful construction of the perfect cocktail to wash it down? The great thing is we all have different tastes, and Bristol has something for everyone.
Whether you are a Ribeye Woman or a Sirloin Sir, prefer sitting on a bench or in a neon lit leather chair, our list of the best steak restaurants in Bristol should have something to suit your taste and budget. Let’s get stuck in!
Sharing steaks: £75
So named for the wall of mugshot polaroids depicting willing customers in the police lineup fashion, this 1920’s prohibition themed restaurant has taken Bristol by storm since opening in 2018. The decor has been expertly considered and the moody lighting and wood panels along with the stylishly dressed waiters make a visit that little bit extra special.
Priding themselves on the quality of their ingredients, there is a sense of care in everything you see, smell and taste. While some might find the menu choice restrictive there is something to be said for ‘less is more’ and the quality speaks to that. Half a dozen starters, a similar amount of notoriously named pizzas and one or two fish and veggie options frame the main event. The sound of a sizzling hotplate passing you by as you walk in almost dares you to consider anything but the magnificent looking steaks.
Again your choices are not exhaustive, but I like that. The main options are your classic Fillet, Ribeye and Sirloin and at a price that includes triple cooked chips and sauces seems very reasonable for the size and quality.
For those wanting something a little extra special you have the more exoctic cuts in the form of sharing hotplates. You have the choice of a 650g chateaubriand or 800g porterhouse. There is also a mix of lamb rack and chateaubriand if you feel so inclined. A tad more of a price tag for these options but very impressive when they are sizzled over to your table.
All the steaks come from the very reputable Ruby and White in Clifton and all meat is sourced locally. Hung and tenderised for flavour there is a real zeal for quality and with the hotplate giving the customer final control over how they like their meat you won’t be disappointed.
The choice of homemade sauces and butters is impressively mouth watering and makes for a great excuse to come back and try something new, even if like me you always go for the same cut!
Overall a very pleasurable atmosphere with friendly staff who are more than happy to advise you on how to best cut your steak whilst also giving you the provenance of your specific choice makes Mugshot a great dining experience. Style and substance!
Open Monday to Friday 12.30 -20.30, Saturday 15.00 – 20.30 and Sunday 14.00 – 20.30, you might want to book in advance and can do so via their website.
House Cuts: £7-£12 per 100g
Forget picking out the lobster you want from the tank, how about choosing you steak straight from the slab. Contrary to the pomp and decadence of choosing your own crustacean, Pasture has a down to earth, home country feel and will leave you more stuffed than a Sunday roast at your mums.
The restaurant is bright and the wooden floor and large framed windows add to a barn-like feel, accented by the staff in butcher aprons wandering around with slabs of meat. It seems a bit strange at first but there are no secrets at Pasture, you get what you point at and the open kitchen reflects this. As you look out the window you almost expect to see the cows outside.
All the meat is sourced from traceable South West farms, a map of which you will find on the back of the menu. Local and proud is the theme here and the meat is cooked over charcoal and wood for that down to earth flavour.
If you fancy something a bit braver than the usual rump, sirloin, fillet and ribeye then the behemoths being paraded around on chopping boards by the staff are for you. Priced by the 100g and sold to the quickest cohort these ‘house cuts’ are a great way to dine with friends. The porterhouse, tomahawk and chateaubriand cuts are chalked up on a blackboard and crossed out when taken, the auction house frivolity adding a bit of theatre to the experience.
There is a lunch (12.00-15.00) and dinner (18.00 – 22.30) sitting every weekday and all of Saturday (12.00 – 22.30) with reduced opening hours on Sunday (11.45 – 17.00) and the bar is open throughout for drinks. You may want to book in advance as it’s a popular haunt, and look out for the weekly live music events too!
Sharing steak: £60
Known for serving the best burgers in Bristol, Chomp has moved on from its popular burger van roots to include a great selection of steaks.
Tucked away down a side street, don’t let the entrance fool you, there is plenty of action going on inside. Offering a range of cuts to suit all tastes and budgets, they also boast a tasty selection of steak based starters which come highly recommended (try the samurai steak). Like other steak houses and restaurants they also give the option for a sharing plate in the form of a 16oz chateaubriand for a cool £60. All steaks come with fries and you can order sides of sauces for an extra couple of pounds.
The feel and decor may not be as impressive as the first two on the list but humble roots and a modestly priced menu make it a great alternative. There is also an extensive list of bourbons and rye to complement your order.
Provenance is as important here as the first two restaurants and the West country born, raised, slaughtered and hung traditional british breeds are a point of pride. Due to current COVID restrictions they are offering eat in and takeout options from the Tap Room of the Bristol Distilling Co on Malago Vale Trading Estate, St John’s Ln. They are hoping to reopen on Nicholas St soon.
Set menus: £25-£45
You may have noticed that so far ethical food sourcing has been a common theme throughout all the restaurants we have featured. No wonder, as generally Bristolians are wired that way and it’s an important and essential trait for most eateries. The Ox is no exception cooking up a menu of seasonal and local produce which has steak at the heart of it all.
Due to current times they are only offering choices in the form of set menus, but don’t let that discourage you. These guys know what they are doing and you won’t be let down by the limited choice. It also allows them to remain as seasonal as possible. They also do a magnificent Sunday Roast and have options to deliver and take away an assortment of ‘cook at home’ Ox favourites. Another example of adaptability in these strange times.
The basement restaurant has a cosy ambience and was once a bank vault (and rumoured to be used as a wartime bunker). The food itself may not have the magnificence of some of the other restaurants mentioned but like a trusty horse will get the job done. It may have less frills but they still deliver on taste. Not a sticking point for some but I find the chips here a bit disappointing when compared to other steakhouses. After all it is half of the duo.
The steaks are all always beautifully cooked and The Ox has won numerous awards for the best steak in the city. The charcoal oven adds a lot of flavour to the variety of cuts from local butcher Buxton of Winterbourne. It’s a no nonsense, solid steakhouse and if you fancy it, the early sitting from 5-6pm is a great time to try them out, if you can get a table that is!
Other sittings are available throughout the day and you can book a table straight from their website between 12pm and 8pm most days if you book well in advance.
Steak Of The Art
If you are after somewhere a little different then Steak of the Art might be for you. As the name suggests the restaurant is also an art gallery and is constantly being updated and changed. The electric decor is worth a visit if only for a drink. If your senses are easily offended beware, the upholstery and Alice in wonderland meets cyberpunk feel is not for those after a quiet dinner out.
The very reasonably priced lunch menus are a fan favourite starting at £5.95, or the main menu offers all your steak needs from flat iron to chateaubriand. Provenance appears important yet again for the procurement of the produce with “steaks that are selectively and responsibly sourced from West Country farms in Devon, Cornwall and the Welsh borders who are devoted to their animals’ welfare.”
In more ‘normal’ times you’ll find the place buzzing with a variety of events happening weekly. For now, opening hours have been reduced to 12.00 – 22.00 daily and you might want to book if you are after a table at the weekend. They are also running deliveries through the usual suspects like just eat and deliveroo and you can purchase gift vouchers from the website for your friends too.
The Ashville Steakhouse
Just south of Spike Island you’ll find the most pub-like steakhouse on this list. A good selection of real ales and ciders are on tap and you’ll find all the traditional pub foods too. Think your local with the addition of amazing steak cuts!
Famous for its T-bone challenge, a 72oz monster where you get the meal for free if you manage it all (there is also a 96oz option, call in advance as they are limited to what they have in stock) there is plenty of child friendly options too making this the obvious family option of the bunch.
Food is priced reasonably, the steaks being a bit more. And with them, the sky’s the limit – the 96oz T-bone at £110 you can really go to town if you have the savings. The usual line up of steak sauces are on offer and this is another no nonsense straight up ‘here for the steak’ option. The website reflects this simple approach and you can’t help but feel that the steak says it all, what else do you want! You can also get a decent Sunday roast here too.
Opening times are 5pm to 9pm Tuesday to Friday with the addition of a Friday lunch sitting between 12pm and 3pm. Saturdays are 10am to 10pm with the first two hours dedicated to breakfast (decent full english for only £6) and Sundays are 12pm to 5pm.
Enjoy Your Steak Night!
So there you have it, traditional restaurant, live jazz, prohibition themed, pop up inspired, fine art or family fun. Some of the best British steak you can get right on your doorstep and as usual Bristol food options don’t disappoint with a side helping of responsible local sourcing. Most of the venues listed can accommodate for private functions and special occasions if you get in touch via their respective websites.
Make sure you also check the restaurant websites or ring before rocking up as, like most places at present, things change from one week to the next. A lot of them are doing takeaway and delivery options as well so not to worry, you can still get your steak on at home if necessary!