With a constant stream of new openings, it can be hard to keep up with Bristol’s burgeoning food scene. So, to give you a taste of what’s on offer, here are some of the places the locals keep going back to, from cool cafes and bakeries to down and dirty diners...
1. Hart's Bakery
You’ll find Hart's Bakery, conveniently, in one of the cavernous arches under Temple Meads train station. Its delicious baked goods are some of the city’s best-loved. Go for cinnamon buns that wouldn’t be out of place in Copenhagen and authentically creamy/crispy Portuguese custard tarts. The sourdough toasties are well worth standing in line for too.
2. Cafe Kino
Veggies and vegans have plenty of options in Bristol, but longtime favourite Cafe Kino is always a top choice. It was ahead of the curve with its meat-free comfort food – a portion of their falafel with sweet potato fries will keep you going all day. And for extra feel-good factor, it’s a non-profit co-op, sourcing its fresh fruit and veg sustainably from the city’s urban farms. Check out their calendar online for a rundown of the events they also host, from life drawing to gigs and comedy nights.
Those Aussies certainly know how to brunch... Well, that is if Melbourne-style Ceres is anything to go by. Laid-back as they are, the kitchen team are always looking to experiment (no surprises there - Head Chef Dan has worked with Heston Blumenthal). Think benedict baos, sweetcorn fritters, bircher muesli adorned with edible flowers and plump pancakes served with beetroot, lime, and white chocolate ganache.
4. Oowee Diner
Oowee Diner is famous among locals for its ‘deliciously dirty’ burgers and fries. So if you fancy a treat (and we mean a treat), take a seat and order yourself a meal so indulgent it’s a wonder it’s allowed. Just try and wrap your chops round one of their Marmite and Monterey Jack or Blue Cheese Bacon burgers. Or get stuck into a melty mess of Mexican Fries, topped with buttermilk fried chicken and a slathering of signature cheese sauce.
5. Playground Coffee
This dinky hangout is the perfect antidote to a bad day - simply order one of Playground Coffee's speciality brews and a slice of one of Lilly’s lovely homemade cakes, settle into a swing and pick out a board game to play. There’s over 100 to choose from, including some corkers like Stack the Fish (fish-shaped Jenga) and Dobble, a Snap-style game perfect for two. They make some mighty fine cocktails, too, and stay open until 11pm.
6. Mrs. Potts Chocolate House
If ever there were an excuse not to make it to the top of Park Street, Bristol’s notoriously steep hill up towards Clifton, it’s Mrs. Potts Chocolate House. One of the city’s newest additions takes chocolate lovers to the 17th-century and back with its contemporary take on the once-popular chocolate houses. You’ll go weak at the knees for the melted chocolate pots, with all sorts of yummy fruits and confections for dipping. And the Chocolate Chai is something to behold, especially with a massive toasted marshmallow on top.