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Written by Luke Bull - 09 October 2023

Bristol's 10 coolest bars

There is a very specific type of Bristol cool. You'll have met one. Affable, Dewey-eyed, so laid-back they risk horizontality, There must be something about the Avon water that produces a chilled approach to just about everything. Now imagine that as a bar.

Bristol's bars seem to ooze cool from every booth, pump and nozzle. Spend more than a minute in the city and you'll probably find yourself chatting effortlessly on a boat-cum-bar, reclining on plush sofas in cool Clifrton, drink in hand, or admitting the cobled streets as you sway oh-so-easily home.

Don't belive us? Take a look at some of our favourite cool Birstol bars below.

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Rosas bristol cool bar
Rosas bristol cool bar

1. Rosa’s Tapas and Bar: a global food and drink adventure


Rosa Tapas & Bar is located on the popular Whiteladies Road, Bristol. Housed over two floors, adorned with candles, vintage typewriters, and flowers, Rosa Tapas & Bar promises world-inspired food to share and drinks to sip in a romantic, cosy, and stylish setting; perfect for those looking for decent drinks, music, and a bite to eat.

The venue exudes a relaxed vibe, making it the perfect place for more casual meet-ups.

With interesting and playful dishes and drinks, this bar is a must-visit for those seeking a tantalising taste of global cuisines and delicious drinks in a comfortable and cool tapas bar environment.

racks bar cool bar bristol
racks bar cool bar bristol

2. Racks is a cool, stylish bar, restaurant, and party venue in Clifton, with great food and great service


Racks is a popular bar and restaurant located in the centre of Clifton. Having been at the heart of the community for 30 years, Racks is renowned for its friendly and relaxed vibe.

The bar is home to The Terrace, which transforms into a fully heated après ski lodge in the winter months, with long tables and cool vibes. However, if après ski isn’t your style, inside you’ll find an inviting restaurant with cosy alcoves, warming fireplaces, and a friendly atmosphere.

Racks is a cool, stylish bar that is perfect for grabbing a drink (or two) with friends or for relaxed after-work socials.

The Milk thistle Bristol Unique venues 1
The Milk Thistle Bristol venues 1

3. Hidden in plain sight, The Milk Thistle in Bristol is a prohibition-style cocktail bar that exudes cool style and sophistication


With a reputation for some of the best drinks in Bristol, The Milk Thistle is a cool, prohibition-style bar perfect for any occasion - including casual drinks, decadent dinner parties, or cocktail and spirit masterclasses.

Dispersed across four floors and hidden in plain sight in one of the most spectacular historic buildings in Bristol’s city centre, The Milk Thistle is a haven of stunning architecture, eclectic décor, and award-winning cocktails.

The relaxed atmosphere and exceptional drinks, combined with top-notch service from some of Bristol’s best bartenders, make The Milk Thistle the perfect bar if you’re searching for cool vibes.

Thekla Bristol unique venue hire 1
Thekla Bristol unique venue hire 3

4. All aboard Thekla: one of Bristol’s oldest and coolest bars


A former German cargo ship, now moored in Bristol’s Floating Harbour since 1984, Thekla is an award-winning and world-famous live music bar and club.

Thekla is one of the most unique and coolest bars Bristol has on offer, which is probably why it has served as a popular bar, nightclub, and live music venue since the 1980s.

Showcasing a very diverse mix of music genres (limited only by the size of the hold), from house to break beats to contemporary indie and so, so much more – the crowd attracted is always a good mix.

clockwork rose birstol cocktail bar 1
clockwork rose birstol cocktail bar 2

5. The Clockwork Rose matches alcohol-based alchemy and quirk with great ambience and cool atmosphere, ensuring a memorable evening


The Clockwork Rose is the fictional drinkery of the adventurer Captain Sebastian Commodore. When Captain Commodore would return to England, he and the crew of The Nautimore would gather at The Clockwork Rose to tell the tales of their travels.

To help remember the tales, skilled mixologists at The Clockwork Rose have expertly transformed each account into delicious, handcrafted cocktails for you to enjoy in Bristol’s only steam-punk-inspired cocktail bar.

The fantasy-focussed cocktail bar is located near Bristol City Centre, making it an easily accessible and cool venue for celebrations, socialising, or post-work drinks.

flight club bristol cool bar
flight club bristol cool bar

6. Flight Club has revolutionised the traditional game of darts into a cool and energetic social activity


Flight Club is a popular bar that has reinvented the traditional game of darts for the 21st century – combining a social darts concept with a classic night out.

Located on Corn Street in Bristol city centre, the bar offers guests the chance to play a fast-paced version of darts alongside a menu offering a range of cocktails, drinks, and foods.

Inside, the bar boasts a cool, sport retro-inspired décor, decked with fairground horses, twinkling lights, carnival furnishings, and stained glass windows. Whether you’re an experienced darts marksman or a complete beginner, this bar is sure to give you a fun night.

the florist bristol cocktail bar 1
the florist bristol cocktail bar 2

7. A sensory world awaits at The Florist in Bristol


The Florist is situated on Bristol’s iconic Park Street, and the bar makes use of its Victorian heritage. High ceilings, wood panelling and an original orangery roof, combined with modern floral décor and plush pink seating, makes it easily one of the coolest cocktail bars in Bristol.

The aesthetic and prettily presented cocktail offering is also inspired by all things sweet, floral, and botanical, with an extensive menu separated into English Summer Garden, Ikebana, and Modern sections. With spacious rooms, regular DJ nights and flower-based entertainment experiences, plus a cool vibe, The Florist is a perfect bar for groups or post-work socials.

Blame Gloria bristol cool bar
Blame Gloria bristol cool bar

8. Sip on your favourite cocktail, beer or wine and party the night away at Blame Gloria


Gloria was (and still is) known for throwing the wildest parties and crafting the best drinks – including her famous Flaming Zombie cocktail which David Bowie claimed was like drinking rock in a glass.

Blame Gloria is a cool, trendy cocktail bar for all Bristol party people, with a beautifully eccentric interior, carefully curated cocktail menu, and a playlist guaranteed to get you dancing and singing along by the end of the night.

The bar hosts a number of cool events, including ABBA, Mamma Mia, and Power Ballads themed bottomless brunches, perfect for all celebrations and get-togethers with friends.

The bootlegger Bristol cocktail bar 1
The bootlegger Bristol cocktail bar 2

9. The Bootlegger: a popular prohibition-inspired bar in the heart of Bristol


Tasty cocktails, bartenders, and atmosphere, The Bootlegger is one of our top picks for cool bars in Bristol. Located on lively Cheltenham Road, the bar encapsulates the same energy felt on the 5th December 1933, when Prohibition ended.

This popular speakeasy has over 90 cocktail concoctions for you to enjoy. All cocktails are made with locally sourced fruits and botanicals, ranging from signature classic drinks to cool creations influenced by the Prohibition era.

Decked out with exposed brickwork, vintage lights, and deep-buttoned leather sofas matched with live music and in-house swinging DJs, The Bootlegger is well-worth a visit.

the square club bristol christmas party venues 2
the square club bristol christmas party venues 1

10. The Square Club is home to Bristol’s coolest drinking space: the Square Cocktail Bar


The Square Club is Bristol’s most refined members’ club with a public cocktail bar and an award-winning restaurant, supplying a seasonal and locally sourced British menu.

Upstairs, The Square Club restaurant serves delicious food in a contemporary yet classic Georgian townhouse setting. Heading downstairs, you’ll find their lower-deck cocktail bar which has been tastefully decorated to create a cool, stylish environment. The bar boasts a dance floor, large bar, DJ booth, and access to a heated terrace.

A fantastic venue, talented team, and great location make The Square Club the perfect bar to grab a drink with friends.

More of the best cool bars in Bristol

Thinking of hiring a bar for your next event? Great idea. Bristol is known for its cool bars. From busy tiki bars and trendy cocktail bars with world-class mixologists to quiet and cosy garden bars, we've got every type of bar in Bristol for you to browse and book. Why not take the team for a corporate day out at an activity bar or have a hip birthday bash at your own exclusive bar? Have a look at these top Bristol interesting bar venues and get some ideas for where to have your next event. Alternatively, tell us exactly what you need and we'll make sure the very best Bristol venues respond to your enquiry.

Match with venues

Looking for a cool bar in Bristol?

We know that finding a venue the old-fashioned way (where you trawl the internet, contact 10 venues or set your heart on one, only to find that they're out of your price range and not even available on your dates) is a pain, and there are a few pitfalls between you and booking your perfect cool bar. Getting the venue-finding process down to a professional art is what we’ve made our mission ever since we took on the events industry. We often get asked the same questions, so here's what we recommend to quickly and easily hire a space in Bristol.

Frequently asked questions

For cool bars in Bristol, you're spoilt for choice. Here are a few extra special ones that we vouch for:

Racks – Stop by one of Bristol's coolest (and most popular) bars.

The Milk Thistle – A perfect prohibition-style cocktail bar.

There really is no one answer to this question: so many variables come into play when understanding the cost of exclusive hire of a cool bar. How many guests are you planning for? Is the venue for the day, an afternoon, or the night? The good news is that you can find a venue for pretty much any budget (okay, almost any budget). Instead of letting the venue dictate the price, our advice is to be proactive and set a budget that you feel comfortable with – this way the right venues can reach out to you through HeadBox.

There are lots of ways to book a Bristol cool bar. You can do the old-fashioned thing and pick up the phone, or email the venue directly. Unfortunately, lots of venues are busy and may not get back to you in time. That's where we come in. Give us your enquiry and we'll reach out to the best cool bars in Bristol and let you enjoy your free time. Easy.

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