Our Wapping Wharf Area Guide: Best Restaurants, Bars & Things To Do

It's no secret that Bristol is a chic city playing host to some of the best cool, cultural venues, plus up-and-coming food spots. You only have to wander harbourside for proof in the (droolworthy) pudding. This is why we've put together a guide highlighting some of the fun things to do in Wapping Wharf, including visiting delicious restaurants and quirky museums. Ooof.  

Tempt Your Tastebuds With Tapas 

Aptly named Gambas, the Spanish for prawns, this restaurant is from the same people behind the much-loved tapas bar Bravas on Cotham Hill. It has plenty of juicy crustaceans pil pil-style, which transport you to the Mediterranean while remaining firmly on Bristolian soil. Think delicious small plates, seafood and paella. Perch by the counter and watch fresh, seasonal dishes constructed by the hands of the talented chefs in the open kitchen.

Gambas Wapping Wharf Bristol | DesignMyNight

Take your tummy on holiday with Gambas, one of the top Wapping Wharf restaurants for lunch.

Eat Sushi At This Izakaya-Inspired Bar

In need of a quick bite to eat? Well, you'll thank your Seven Lucky Gods for finding this contemporary Japanese spot executing fusion food to a high level. From the clever clogs at the restaurant group Hyde & Co (who brought award-winning cocktail bar The Milk Thistle to life), this Whapping Wharf bar meets expectations with a wonderful menu featuring bento boxes, tuna tataki, kimchi mussels and yuzu ice cream sandos.

Seven Lucky Gods Wapping Wharf Bristol | DesignMyNight

Mamma miso - take a break for Bristol's Wapping Wharf shops to refuel on sushi.

Set Sail On The First Great Ocean Liner

Discover the ship that changed the world in 1843 by being the first great ocean liner, as well as other iconic vessels at Brunel's SS Great Britain. Admission tickets include access to the Dockyard and its museum, plus the exhibition Being Brunel, where you can see a reconstruction of the engineer's dining room. Why not embark on a guided tour, visit the kitchen for a bite to eat, or book an afternoon tea on board the ship?

Brunel's SS Great Britain Dockyard Bristol | DesignMyNight

All aboard - Brunel's SS Great Britain is sure to amaze. 

Prepare To Swoon At This Gelato Spot

Prepare to fall head-over-heels in love with Swoon, the artisan gelato bar offering creamy, dairy goodness that's won them over 100 great taste stars and a Supreme Champion Award for their hazelnut flavour. Not only are they dishing up rich notes of pistachio and salted caramel, but they're also showcasing their soft serve at Wapping Wharf, plus customised gelato cakes and authentic, Italina coffee. Ugh, hand us a spoon.

Swoon Gelato Wapping Wharf Bristol | DesignMyNight

Scoop me up baby, it's time for dessert.

Feast On Curries And Bombay Margaritas

From the legends that brought you The Mint Room, Bandook is a modern Indian restaurant dishing up classics with a street food twist, as well as fragrant, traditional plates. Here you can get your chops around the famed grandma's curry and, for the sweet-toothed among you, gulab jamun (AKA fried sweet doughballs drenched in sugar syrup). The cocktail menu is pretty creative too, featuring a masala salt-laced Bombay margarita. 

Bandook Wapping Wharf Bristol | DesignMyNight

Book Bandook in Wapping Wharf, Bristol as restaurants don't come tastier than this.

Rock Out At A Gig

For music fans and touring artists, The Louisiana is a big deal in this city. Established in 1987, it boasts a recording studio and is a 140-capacity venue. Since opening, it's played host to a variety of up-and-coming artists, some of whom are now occupying stadiums. As a fringe venue for the Harbourside Festival and one of the eight for Dot-To-Dot, The Louisiana continues to be a Bristol institution, and you're always guaranteed to catch an amazing gig there for a decent price. 

Louisiana Bristol | DesignMyNight

Amp it up a gear at Louisiana Bristol.

Head Straight To Taco Town

If your tummy's rumbling for nachos with all the dips, then you might want to stop off at Cargo Cantina, an ideal lunch spot when it comes to Wapping Wharf restaurants. This eatery knows what it's doing with Mexican street food, sourcing fresh ingredients to create seriously tasty tacos filled with Yucatan chicken or pork adobo. Munch on some trout or cauliflower ceviche tostadas, then wash them down with a frozen margarita. 

Cargo Cantina Wapping Wharf Restaurant | DesignMyNight

It's always taco time at Cargo Catina.

Mosey Around A Museum

It's no surprise that M Shed tickets are hot property. Located on Wapping Road and a key part of the city's museum collection, this tourist attraction is a cultural hub, next to cargo cranes linked to its 1950s trading heyday. There's a gallery showcasing Bristol's history (including its very own dinosaur, Thecodontosaurus), and the adjoining L Shed, which contains thousands of items from the industrial, maritime and social history collections.

M Shed Bristol Wapping Wharf | DesignMyNight

Need to know M Shed opening times? 10am 'til 5pm from Tuesday to Sunday. You're welcome.

Discover Your New Favourite Artist

Perched harbourside, Arnolfini is Bristol’s International Centre for Contemporary Arts, located in the Grade-II listed Bush House. The creative hub boasts a vast programme of performance, dance, film and music as well as visual arts. It's a partner of the Tate (who wouldn't want to get involved with this inspiring hub?) and boasts a reading room, bookshop, plus an excellent café bar, where you can meet up with pals and have a cold one after perusing an exhibition.

Arnolfini Bristol International Centre Contemporary Arts | DesignMyNight

Watching the world (and art) go by at Arnolfini.

Feeling inspired? Check out our list of fun things to do in Bristol here and sign up to our future newsletter for all the latest.