Quay St. Diner in a nutshell
An easy stroll from Bristol’s harbourside, Quay St. Diner is a laidback all-day restaurant and bar with a menu centred around a love of open-fire cooking.
Quay St. is co-owned by Jon Finch and Ben Merrington (the brains behind lively and much-loved barbecue and music festival, Grillstock, and authors of numerous cookery books, including one centered all around wood-fired cooking) so it was always going to be centred around smoky flavours and a playful atmosphere.
What’s the vibe?
A welcoming, familiar blend of industrial and homely. Quay St.’s look is pleasingly Pinterest-y; think succulents, vintage and upcycled furniture, a gallery wall of bright prints and fairy lights strung between exposed air vents. Service is warm and relaxed, and — when we visit on a Friday night — the tables are filled with dates and groups of mates.
What’s the food like at Quay St. Diner?
Cooking over open fire is something Ben and Jon know a whole lot about (look out for the custom charcoal Ox Grill in their open kitchen) so it makes sense that the majority of their dishes are flame-cooked, at least in part. Stand-out dishes include a knockout California-style beef rump steak — a delicately spiced pico de gallo proves to be the perfect partner for this juicy number — and a creamy butternut squash dish, teamed with coconut harissa and pomegranate pesto.
And the drinks?
Alongside craft beers, ciders and a confident one-page wine list, there’s a selection of house-made vermouths and gins, plus a cocktail list with a mix of classic and quirky options. The Rhubarb and Custard — gin, rhubarb, rose liquor and Advocaat — tastes just like its retro namesake.
olive tip: The Vegan Del Rey Cheeseburger, featuring the Moving Mountains B12 Burger, is as close to the real thing as we’ve tasted; you’d never guess it’s totally free from animal products.
Quay St. Diner
No.2 Quay Street,
Bristol, BS1 2JL
Words by Rosie Sharratt
Images by Ben Merrington