9 perfect INDEPENDENT places to grab a quick bite to eat in BristolPosted on: 12 Sep 2018
The city of Bristol is rife with many wonderful independent eateries, as they lie at the core of the city’s hospitality industry. Trust us when we say we are well-versed in this sector; being co-founders of BARBIE (Bristol Association of Restaurants Bars and Independent Establishments), we are certainly in the know. Not acknowledging our fantastic, hard-working independents is a disservice to the city’s entire ethos therefore, we have put together a list of 9 perfect independent places to grab a quick bite to eat. See below:
1. Chilli Daddy
Chili Daddy was the first Szechuan street food stall in the UK, which started in 2011 in Bristol. It now has three restaurant locations in the city. A finalist of the BBC Food & Farming Awards 2014 for Best Street Food, a winner at the Bristol Good Food Awards 2016 and a holder of the Certificate of Excellence 2017 by TripAdvisors; prove that Chilli Daddy is one of the greatest.
Inside, the atmosphere is casual and homely. Pictures hang on the wall that tell the story of the owners Great Grandmother, and how she saved people from famine in China with her cheap and resourceful recipes. Much of this is incorporated into the short menu there, with huge noodle and rice dishes priced at £6 a pop and rated from 1-5 on account of spice. A word of warning though: don’t be overconfident to try the number 5…chances are you probably can’t hack it and your belly will never forgive you.
2. The Arcade
The Arcade in Broadmead is a Grade II listed shopping arcade and haven for independent businesses in Bristol. Located in the very heart of the city’s shopping quarter, there are four independent restaurants well-worth a visit:
Rollin Vietnamese is a relatively new Bristol resident. It specialises in healthy Vietnamese dishes such as Bao and Pho. Their bubble teas are one of a kind, you can’t leave there without one- it’s sacrilege!
The second newest addition, Wok Boxstix offer Asian Street food cooked fresh with local ingredients serving dishes from Malaysia, Singapore, Japan, China and Thailand. It’s easy as 1 2 3! Choose a base, pick a filling and decide a sauce and the unique noodle or rice box will be made in no time.
The Crazy Fox is a one-off independent coffee bar serving ridiculously tasty coffee extracted from the finest espresso blend roasted exclusively for them. They also create delicious juices and smoothies made from fresh ingredients, healthy salads, wraps and cold bites, and all food is prepared each day in store.
Taste of Napoli have quickly made a name for themselves here in the city. It is a family run café, that arose from the desire to bring traditional, authentic Italian food and drinks to Bristol. Their ingredients are sourced directly from Italy and they have many feature foods available. For breakfast, they offer a range of Italian pastries, for lunch and dinner they offer foods typical of their Neapolitan heritage and culture, including pizzas and pastas. Taste of Napoli also have many vegan options on the menu and serve the best Italian coffee around.
This area, made up of recycled cargo containers has become a foodie hotspot in the city in recent years. Take a wonder round and you’ll see why. Many independent restaurants and cafes reside there, with flavours from all over the world including; Greece, India, Asia, The Caribbean and Spain. Some fantastic places to grab a quick bite are:
The brainchild of former MasterChef finalist Larkin Cen, Woky Ko‘s menu is a contemporary take on classic Asian dishes. Featuring Bao and Xiao sharing plates as well as rice and noodle dishes. They don’t take bookings, just show up!
A rustic and colourful place where an Indian roadside diner meets Bollywood…Sholay offer a unique take on Indian street food. On the menu you’ll find small plates such as hale pakora and Peshwari lamb cutlets, alongside larger plates of curries, wraps and much more! Make sure you order one of their mango lassi’s to wash down your meal with- they are simply divine.
Serving the very best of Greek street food, The Athenian are famous in the city for their mighty Souvlaki’s. Consisting of a homemade pitta wrap filled with grilled meat (or veggie/vegan options), chips and salad; they encompass all that good Greek godliness.
The husband and wife team behind this wonderful eatery have perfected the salt beef brisket and have built up a loyal following here in the city. They use locally sourced beef farmed in Somerset, bread from a local family bakery and they even have mustard produced just for them at Gingerbeard’s Preserves (a Bristol local).
Hailed by many as the best burgers in town. Squeezed make their brioche buns fresh on site. Pair that with some quality patties, unique sauce combos and homemade lemonade… and you’re onto a winner!
Pizzarova make-you guessed it- pizza. Handmade and sourdough to be exact. For £11 you can create your own, with as many toppings as you like!
A perfect porky place. Pigsty serve all-things…pig. The team behind it are The Jolly Hog; a Bristol-based family-run business that have years of experience in hog roasting and sausage making.
Vegetables are the star of the show here. Small plates of locally sourced, seasonal veg lie at the heart of the menu, but they also offer fantastic regional fish and meat dishes on the side.
From the husband and wife team behind the famous Bravas, Gambas is inspired by the central market in Valencia. Focusing on fresh fish and seafood with Catalan flavours. There are many exquisite tapas dishes to be tasted on the menu.
With fresh, spicy vegetarian food at the core of the menu, Gopal’s Curry Shack create vibrant dishes using the finest of local produce. Think curries, pakoras and bajis galore.
Lovett Pies are a long-standing Bristol favourite. Who doesn’t love a pie here in the West country? With many interesting flavour combinations alongside the classics, they are always in high demand.
From the guys behind the popular Biblos, Calypso Kitchen make Caribbean and Middle-Eastern infused wraps, inspired by the founder’s family recipes, with the likes of 24hr slow cooked curry goat, Jerk pork belly, bbq ribs, Khobez flatbreads and yummy fish, as well as vegan options.
A pizza legend in the city. Bertha’s focuses heavily on the use of dough, fermenting it for days before baking at 500 degrees for 60 to 90 seconds in their hand-built Neapolitan oven. It’s no wonder The Sunday Times listed them in their top 25 pizzerias in the UK!
Friska specialise in healthy fast-food. Their hotboxes are the perfect combinations of flavour, options include; Red Thai Chicken Curry, Texas Pulled Beef Chilli and Roasted Cauliflower Dahl to name a few. Their vast menu includes; Pho, wraps and burritos, noodles, salads and much more! Many vegan and vegetarian options are available.
5. Taka Taka
Taka Taka, one of the most loved eateries on Park Street have recently opened at another location in the centre. Serving the finest Greek wraps, kebabs, souvlaki, gyros and their famous ‘magic rolls’, it is up there with the best of the best in takeaway food in the city.
Bristol Sweet Mart is the biggest supplier of Ethnic Foods and spices in the South West. It is a long-standing resident of the city and probably one of the most well-known. Located on St Marks Rd Easton, it has been a family run business since 1978. With more than 9000 food and drink products alongside a huge array of fresh deli produce, you could spend hours inside there choosing from all of the fantastic food options.
Pro’s in the wrap game- Biblos serve Lebanese and Caribbean infused wraps and delicious mezze platters and salads. Fillings include; Bajan Jerk chicken, Jerk fried chicken, Jerk fried fish, lamb kofte, coconut arancini and more. They really are one of a kind here in the city, and every dish is fresh, colourful and utterly mouth-watering.
8. Oowee Diner
Oowee have quickly built up a reputation for themselves as creators of the dirtiest burgers and fries in the city. We can vouch- it’s true. Their first branch opened in a tiny hole-in-the-wall takeaway in Montpelier. Ques would be out of the door, with customers waiting over an hour for one of their badboy burgers. More recently, they opened a sit-down diner in Bedminster. Their legendary dirty fries include options like: Cluckin’ Fries: crispy buttermilk fried chicken, melted mozzarella, chicken gravy and spring onion. And Nduja Butter Fries: blended spicy Italian Nduja sausage mixed with butter and tossed over fries. Oowee have also created a range of fantastic vegan options including; 3 piece chicken box, good burger + vegan cheese and vegan shrimp fries!
9. Chai Pani
Chai Pani brings to Cotham fresh, seasonal and local ingredients, with certified Halal meat and chicken in all of their dishes as well as Vegan and Gluten Free options. Inside, the walls are decorated with old Indian film posters and pictures depicting the beautiful culture of the continent; giving the place a retro, authentic feel. An atmospheric spot, that has a wide variety of dishes on their carefully thought out menu. Such dishes include the likes of Chicken Pakoras, Thali and Dhal dishes, as well as classic curry and Biryani dishes. They also have many Vegan, Vegetarian and gluten free options available.
Hannah recently graduated with a degree in English with Writing. She is an avid writer, freelancer and creative. She is currently writing her first full-length novel and a collection of poetry. Always out and about in Bristol's music scene, she attends music events on a weekly basis.