Sadly, Takka Takka and Al Falafels didn’t make the cut.
Amongst all the things the pandemic has taken away from us, many of us are counting on restaurants and bars reopening to bring us back to some sense of a normal social life and to provide Instagram backgrounds that aren’t the garden fence.
Given the excellent choice Bath has to offer, here’s a list we compiled of restaurants that have been included in the government’s ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme. Before we begin, we offer our condolences to the regulars of Limetree, Takka Takka or Al Falafel; but honestly, it’s time to broaden your horizons and up your food game with these Bath favourites:
If you’re looking for a Mamma Mia-esque experience (in terms of the Greek island as opposed to the compilation of cheesy bangers) then look no further! Opa serves tasty Greek mezze-style food in rustic, low-lit surroundings. Located by the river bank on Pulteney Bridge, the outdoor seating area has one of the best views in Bath.
In pre-corona times, Opa was also a bar/club in the evenings. From what I recall – it’s notoriously difficult to be a reliable reviewer of uni nights out – the atmosphere was lively, the drinks were inexpensive enough not to discourage you from buying them, and there was a massive gong above the bar which was bashed periodically with shouts of ‘Opa!’ from the bar staff. Think the end of Bohemian Rhapsody but with more tequila.
Home to the Brasserie and Koffman & Mr White’s, the Abbey Hotel would only previously have been recommended to Bath students when their parents were in town feeling a need to splash some cash.
With a collaboration of renowned chefs, Pierre Koffman and Marco Pierre White, the restaurant uses the experience of its owners (and their six Michelin stars) to serve fine British and French cuisine on Bath’s North Parade, creating a menu worlds away from Takka Takka gyros and SU bagels.
We reviewed Koffman & Mr White’s soon after it first opened, and would fully encourage you to make a visit and treat yourself while the government is paying.
Noya’s Kitchen is an independent restaurant serving authentic Vietnamese cuisine at a reasonable price. If you haven’t sampled Vietnamese before, it’s like Thai but fresher and zingier. The menu is small but changes regularly to keep things interesting, making this a perfect antidote to more established chains.
Located on St. James Parade in a small, cosy and eminently instagrammable space, this is a great place to go if you’re feeling a bit fancy but aren’t in the mood for a heavy meal or a big slab of meat – think interesting spices, marinades and fresh crunchy veg. In order to adapt to social distancing, they’ve also opened an outdoor seating area to allow for more space.
Hidden in plain sight, Sam Wellers offers the calming atmosphere of any local in the centre of Bath. This cosy pub does nothing to get in your face, cause any confusion or pretty things up, it just serves decent roasts and cold pints while the footy is on in the background.
You’d struggle to break the bank in here anyway, but while they’re going half price you really can’t afford to miss it. Personally? I’d recommend a beef roast the Sunday after a late night in Opa.
Who hasn’t taken their parents here when they’ve come to visit? Famed by its cutesy interior and ideal brunch spread, Wild Cafe makes its name known for its cosy atmosphere and supposed Jane Austen endorsement on its exterior wall.
Amongst the established favourites of avocado on toast and the various stylings of The Egg, Wild Cafe also offers ‘wild lunches’ like the beef, cinnamon and apple cheeseburger alongside an olive and mozzarella focaccia. With a good selection of options for vegetarians, a children’s menu and a bite-size wine list, Wild Cafe covers nearly all the ground necessary to make it a Bath staple.
You can find a full list of restaurants partaking in the “eat out to help out” scheme here.