The UBOC Good Pub Guide

Welcome to the best guide to all the good pubs in town. Over countless Monday runs we have built up good knowledge of the drinking houses of Bristol, and felt it was time we shared our findings with the world, so that next time you need a little food and drink - you know where to go. If you have your own comments you would like to add please submit them at the bottom of the page and we'll get them posted!

Compiled by the UBOC Pub Guide Working Group Sub-Committee

Roo Bar

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"As the name implies, this is now decorated to an Australian theme - an Australian sports bar. The food is well cooked and well priced although not a foodie bar. If you like somewhere packed to watch the rugby with mates then this is the place for you. Service is quick and friendly and the beers are cold - about as Australian as you get in Bristol..."

Comment: This used to be Duncan's favourite pub. Not quite living up to the standards.

Atmosphere: ***
Food: *
Price: ***
Overall: ***

Colston Arms

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"Known as ‘the welcome on the hillside,’ the Colston Arms has been proudly serving customers since we can remember. Pull up a seat at our traditional pub, and enjoy big screen sports events, darts, pool, or just a natter with our friendly landlord, landlady, and regulars."

Comment: This is a brilliant venue for a thrilling game of pool. They also have a nice cat and a dog. More locals than students, but the sub-committee did not manage to agree on whether or not that is good or bad. Ingie really approves of this place.

Atmosphere: ****
Food: **
Price: ***
Overall: ****

Hiatt Baker Bar

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The watering hole of choice for many a first year looking for a place to begin the night, this bar has also been the finishing point for many club runs. Offering a diverse beverage selection of student favourites, the range is only compromised by the lack of cooked food. The slightly garish decor and open plan nature of the bar do little to enhance it's appeal as a casual drinking spot, but it comes into it's own when the bar crawls turn up. However with student-friendly prices all round, plus free pool and table football to boot, it's hard to go wrong here.

Atmosphere: ***
Food: ***
Price: *****
Overall: ****

Big Chill Bar

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Down in town so a rare visit for most students. It's a bit of a trendy place in the evenings, and during the day probably a better venue if there's a group of you - try and bagsy the leather-seated alcove if you can for a much more cosy experience. Prices are a little dear but the drinks offering is wide. The only foodstuff sampled were the hand-cut chips (£2.50) which were shockingly good. We highly recommend you check them out. Medium sized portions.

Atmosphere: ***
Food: ****
Price: *
Overall: ***

The Port of Call

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Now under new management since out last visit - despite's the last owners attempts to lure Matt into taking it on. 'Delivery issues' meant that the drinks on offer were limited - only Heineken and bottled cider - plus paying by card was not an option. After a wet, cold run however they happily lit the fire to warm our weary bodies. We splashed out on food which was seriously impressive, making up for the deficiencies in other areas. We would definitely return for the food and for the new student discounts.

Atmosphere: ****
Food: *****
Price: **
Overall: ****

The Three Sugar Loaves

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"The best pint of Thatchers I've ever had" was a pretty strong backing for this little place. Tucked away at the foot of the Christmas Steps (opposite the chippie) the Three Sugar Loaves is an interesting pub. We had a bit of a mute reception, but the multi-level floorplan offered us a nice place to sit. Almost everyone went for the aforementioned Thatchers Gold. We were generously allowed to bring in chips from next door.

Atmosphere: **
Food: **
Price: ****
Overall: ***

Kingsdown Wine Vaults

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As the name implies, this pub is situated in Kingsdown. On Mondays they offer 2 for 1 on pizzas, which with student discount will give you a pizza for just £2! The pizzas came with loads of cheese (which is brilliant as long as you like cheese, and everyone likes cheese, right?), and were very tasty after a long run. NB!: Do not order the hot sauce version, unless you really like spicy food! As the chef happened to be the same person as the barman, and the pub only had one oven, we had to wait a while before food arrived. The pub has a proper fireplace which is brilliant on cold winter evenings, and really adds to the atmosphere. Definitely worth a visit!

Atmosphere: ****
Food: ***
Price: ****
Overall: ****

Churchill Bar

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Coming soon ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Atmosphere: *****
Food: *****
Price: *****
Overall: *****

The Vittoria

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An old favourite which unfortunately struggles to make money. Just back from an unnoticeable referb it was bright and light inside. Drinks and crips were reasonable priced but only Scrumpy no Thatchers. The Kitchen won't be opening until after Christmas which was a big blow as the old chef served up some cracking cheap meals - we hope he comes back.

Atmosphere: ***
Food: *
Price: ***
Overall: ***

The Kings Arms, Wareham

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A solid traditional village pub. We stopped in here after the Southern Night Championships on Gore Heath (7/12/13) to present trophies to winners who missed the prize giving. We tucked ourselves away in a cosy corner and were generally impressed with the quality of the drinks on offer. Three drinks cheap enough not to tip us over the £10(!) minimum card payment so we topped up with chips as well which were nice and chunky. Would probably try the pubs by the river on any future visits.

Atmosphere: ****
Food: ****
Price: ****
Overall: ***

Portcullis

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We took for the upper room this time around to try out the copious board games on offer. Drink prices were are little on the high side but too be expected given the interior. All the nibbles they offer (supplied by the Arch House Deli...) are very good, a little bit of experience should give you a better chance of picking a dish that give you the best value for money.

Atmosphere: ***
Food: ***
Price: **
Overall: ***

Highbury Vaults

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Trooping into the pub clad in our delightful running gear, most of us proceeded to order a pint of Thatchers Gold each, standard. At a mere £2.65 (I think) a pint this was a bargain! The heated outdoor area was crowded so we took a long table just inside the door. Crisps were purchased, although Duncan made the fatal error of buying ready salted, for which he was ridiculed by all. This, however, did not slow down how fast the packet disappeared!

Atmosphere: ****
Food: ***
Price: ***
Overall: ****

The Penny (Farthing)

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We didn't know what it used to be like but now it's well furnished and expensive. On the food front they've outsourced to Pieminster pies which a few too many pubs do these days. Though Matt Whipple is a fan. The tables are quite nice though we were stuck up against the window. Given the prices it was decided one drink was enough and that we should head to the W.G. Grace Weatherspoons further down Whiteladies instead. To celebrate our good choice Abi bought a couple of pitchers!Atmosphere: ***
Food: 
Price: *
Overall: **

Cotham Porter Stores

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A funny little, place but nothing to write home about. Inside we found ourselves a nice little wood panelled cubby-hole to sit in with a bench down one side. The drinks were reasonably priced and one of us felt the Pieminster pies were too and was eager to tell everyone so! The TV on the wall meant we could keep an eye on the latest European football scores.Atmosphere: ***
Food: ***
Price: ***
Overall: **

Robin Hood

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Described as "the Landsdown of Kingsdown" by Duncan, this smart pub serves a range of interesting beers and ciders, though of course the fancy decor and drinks mean higher prices than our usual cheaper haunts. There are a few seats out the front from which you can watch people struggling up St Michaels while sipping your trendy beverage. We did not sample their food, though they do have an extensive selection of crisp flavours (chorizo?!) and the pork pie is delicious!Atmosphere: ****
Food: ***
Price: **
Overall: ***