The White Rabbit is an independent pub in Clifton, run by old friends in their twenties who are passionate about beer, pizza, and music. “Pizza and a Pint” is what they believe in, and they do it very well indeed. The Italian head chef carefully selects the best flavour combinations for his customers’ delectation, and the whole White Rabbit team takes pride in serving fantastic, authentic food made with the best Italian imported ingredients. Even the dough is freshly made in the traditional way – every single day – with only the highest quality Italian flour. Expect a great atmosphere, tasty food, a gem of a roof terrace and a range of top-drawer local ales too. If you’re after a Wriggle recommendation, indulge in a Lumberjack Truffle Oil pizza and keep an eye out for the Big Bang bottled beer from our friends at Good Chemistry.
We caught up with the Max, and this is what we found out.
What’s the story of how White Rabbit came about?
“In 2012 a couple of us were fresh out of university and very unemployed and got the opportunity to renovate, take over and run a gorgeous quaint little pub in the centre of Oxford. With the limited space we had and our love of Italy (where many of us have spent many years travelling around) we chose to start a Pizza Pub that put an emphasis on traditional Italian stone-baked pizzas and local craft ales. We were given the chance earlier this year to take over a similarly gorgeous building in Clifton and couldn’t help ourselves from trying to have a crack at Bristol, a wonderful city that we’ve loved for quite some time.”
What’s the best thing about doing what you do?
“Combining our love of an English pub with the kind of Pizza you can only really expect in Italy or top restaurants. This amazing building provides us with many possibilities. One-half can be a busy, noisy pub and the other side can be more cosy, warm and food-focused environment. We’re not used to having this much space at our disposal and we’re always trying to think of the best ways to utilise it.”
What do you love most about Bristol?
“What’s not to love, some of us know the city well and are happy to be back to what feels like home, but those who are new to Bristol have been taken aback by the sense of community and the friendly small town feel that this big city has. From a restauranteur’s perspective, it’s nice to be in a city that appreciates good, fresh and ethically sourced food, From the publican perspective there are just so many great local breweries (that deliver) around. So we’re lucky enough to be almost spoilt for choice.”
What are your favourite independent places in Bristol?
“Having the Anson Rooms directly opposite is great because they occasionally put on some great gigs. We love Poco (life changing stuff), Crofters and the Pipe and Slippers down on Stokes Croft and Taka Taka and Hope and Anchor close to our home here in Clifton. We’re all still on a mission to dig out all the hidden gems in Bristol – luckily Wriggle seems to have done most of the leg work for us so will have to trust you guys when we’re not feeling so brave. Special shout out has to go to Zapiekanki as well – they’re a shining beacon of hope in the early hours of the morning before the long and arduous walk home.”
What on your menu would you recommend to a first-time customer?
“I find that the best way to showcase our talents and also to exhibit what makes us different is to order a Hatter Calzone – where the chef makes whatever they feel. Now obviously this is all diet dependent; if you have allergies or are vegan/vegetarian etc. we can let them know but after that point, it’s in their trustworthy/floury hands. They make combinations that aren’t on the menu, combine toppings of pizzas that are on the menu, make favourites from their hometowns or make the pizzas that they make when they’re trying to think outside the box. They’re always different and always delicious.”
What are your plans for the future?
“Anything is possible really due to the space mentioned above and the opportunity that that brings. Movie nights are on their way soon and the ping pong table that arrived today is already being put through its paces (those who had the day off are already at a significant advantage). Music! We’ve got an all day music event on the 23rd of July with Breakfast Records where some great local bands will feature with a couple of friends from Oxford. We will also be serving a full English pizza that has to be seen to be believed. We’re excited to get the live music ball rolling with a big showing and then continue to try and put on some of the best bands around as we continue. A couple of us fancy the role of being The White Rabbit’s first head quiz master which should also be set up within the next few months.”
And that’s a wrap! If you’d like a pizza their social media pages, the links are below: