Bath is Somerset’s largest city – and one that welcomes a vast number of visitors, with estimates of 3.8 million day visitors per year. And it’s easy to see why, with its beautiful architecture, its impressive history and its spa reputation combining to create a place with an incredible amount to see and do.
All that sightseeing, though, is hungry work…which is why it’s so great that Bath has such a diverse choice of restaurants, pubs and cafés to keep both residents and visitors alike well-fed and watered. So, if you’re planning a day out exploring the city’s offerings, here are some suggestions for places to stop and refuel near some of Bath’s major tourist attractions.
The Roman Baths
Coffee shop: Mokoko is our favourite choice near The Roman Baths by far. Open seven days a week, you’ll find them in the Abbey Churchyard, and their coffee is incredible. There are all sorts of savoury pastries, salads and more on offer at lunchtime – and if you get there early enough, be sure to try one of their cruffins, with flavours changing regularly.
Restaurant: The Pump Room Restaurant within the Baths is an elegant and sophisticated place to enjoy breakfast, lunch or afternoon tea. Expect great British flavours like Cornish cod fishcakes or lamb with minted new potatoes – and dishes such as summer fruit tart or a lemon posset for dessert.
Tea room: The Mad Hatters Tea Party on Orange Grove is a fun and quirky tearoom with a great atmosphere and some seriously good cake! You’ll find paninis, jackets and ploughmans on offer too – as well as a generous afternoon tea, complete with warm scones, a great variety of sweet treats and juicy fresh strawberries.
Restaurant: With branches in both Bath and Cardiff, we love The Real Italian Pizza Company. It does just what it says on the tin: thin and crispy wood-fired pizzas with fresh and simple toppings, in a great family-friendly setting. Try the Inglese: with sausage, bacon, mushrooms, semi-dried tomatoes, egg, tomato and mozzarella, it’s an English breakfast in pizza form!
Coffee shop: Blue Quails Deli is just on the west side of Pulteney Bridge, and owned by a husband and wife team. As well as selling both local and Spanish deli products, there are also plenty of salads, street foods, savoury bakes, frittatas, cakes and more to enjoy there and then. Go for a selection of their vibrant salads – there’s always tons of variety on offer!
Restaurant: On the opposite side of the bridge is Mediterranean restaurant Antica: a fabulously cosy place where you can enjoy a more formal (but not stuffy) meal. It’s a great place to wind down and relax after a busy day’s sightseeing, with the menu starring authentic Italian favourites. Their seafood risotto with its rich white wine base is to die for – and their homemade tiramisu is as authentic as you’ll get.
Museum of Bath Architecture
Bakery: Landrace Bakery is the newest venue on our list, having only opened in early 2019. Not only do they make their own bread (with careful attention paid to the provenance of the grains), but you’ll also find sausage rolls, hot beef buns, cold sandwiches and sweet treats on offer. Their lardy buns are the stuff of legend – occasionally with variants like Bakewell on offer…
Restaurant: “Progressive Indian cuisine” is how Mantra describe their offering – and the lavishly decorated restaurant is pretty impressive as well! There’s plenty of choice for vegetarian, vegan, dairy-free and gluten-free diners. If you’re heading in for lunch, try one of their thalis: a choice of main served with vegetables, dal, cumin rice, naan and poppadums – delicious!
Sally Lunn’s House
Coffee shop: Sally Lunn’s isn’t just the oldest house in Bath – it’s also where the Bath bun originated. Today, there’s a tearoom on site where you can try this rich brioche bun, still baked to a secret recipe. Enjoy it with sweet or savoury toppings (they’re great toasted with cinnamon butter), or as part of one of their legendary afternoon teas.
Restaurant: Sally Lunn’s isn’t far from Moroccan restaurant Tagine Zhor, whose Moroccan-born owner is keen to ensure that Bath’s only Moroccan restaurant stays true to his roots. Admire the opulent decorations of the dining room while you wait – and if you’re not sure what to order, both the hot and cold mezze sharing platters are a great introduction to the country’s diverse cuisine.