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.
Interiors at Quay St. Diner. Photograph by Ben Merrington
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.
Butternut squash at Quay St. Diner. Photograph by Ben Merrington
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.
Vegan burger at Quay St. Diner. Photograph by Ben Merrington
Quay St. Diner
No.2 Quay Street,
Bristol, BS1 2JL
Words by Rosie Sharratt
Images by Ben Merrington