As a nutritional consultancy, you can probably imagine that my team and I love to talk about food – especially where we like to buy it. And so, to celebrate the food-filled city of Bristol, we wanted to cherry pick our favourite local haunts. Bristol produce is, however, incredibly abundant across a wide variety of shops and eateries, and so it quickly became evident that this was going to be a challenge…
With so many new bakeries opening up around Bristol, gone are the days when bread was a simple white or brown loaf. A firm favourite of ours is Harts at Temple Meads. Whenever I am in the area or at the station, I always stock up on their delicious sourdough bread. With the daily options ranging from wholemeal and sesame to their specials including rye, raisin and fennel, you really are spoilt for choice. To top it off, everything is made on site and baked using organic ingredients. There is also a small cafe at the front serving a delicious, seasonal menu. It’s always really busy, which can only be a testament to their fantastic food!
Another addition to our favourite bakeries has to be Chandos Deli. With four locations across Bristol, this gorgeous eatery stocks a wide range of Hobbs House bread, including their award winning sourdough.
“Chandos Deli is built on a reputation for great service and carefully sourced, wonderful tasting food. As our 25th anniversary approaches, we’re delighted to say that the excitement of tasting and sampling the greatest food on the planet has not worn off one bit!”
Another favourite stockist of Hobbs House bread is The Arch House Deli in Clifton, but make sure you get there early before it sells out for the day!
“We’ve been selling Hobbs House bread for 5 or 6 years now and will continue doing so, however recently we have also started working with Pullins Bakery as we’ve found they have some really good products too, since opening their new facilities in Clevedon. So we now stock a range of breads and pastries from both bakeries.”
Amongst an array of other baked goods and sweet treats, Pinkmans Bakery on Park Street sells a wide range of delicious bread. Following their basic philosophy that only uses the best quality ingredients, everything is baked on site with no artificial preservatives or GM foods. The cherry on the top is their delightful cafe, which is situated at the back of the bakery and serves food and drinks all day.
Finally, the team wanted to mention the recent addition to Whiteladies Road – Bakesmiths. The culinary brains behind the charming bakery are Tom Battle and Mike Thorne, who are passionate about baking wonderful goods ‘in line of sight’ of their customers. They pride themselves on serving great people, with great ingredients, in a great location – something they execute effortlessly. What’s so ideal about this place is that you can grab your loaf of sourdough and unwind in the cafe with a delicious cup of coffee. They also serve bottomless bread with their soup – incredible!
Fruit and Vegetable Shops
A firm favourite amongst the team was Matter – the organic fruit, vegetable and wholefood store based in Easton. Matter supports local farmers and businesses, and are passionate about supplying high quality, seasonal, organic foods. What is so great about this shop, is that it’s run primarily by volunteers, which enables them to keep their prices as low as possible – a philosophy we love as much as their food!
Some of our other favourites include Lloyds Greengrocers on Henleaze Road and Ashton Fruit Shop on North Street – both of which provide good quality fruit and vegetables for a very reasonable price.
The team and I also have to praise Reg the Veg – Clifton’s independent greengrocer that welcomes you with colourful boxes of fruit and vegetables as you enter the village. They proudly offer quality produce and prices that you often won’t find in the supermarkets. Alongside this, they are also the preferred supplier of many of Bristol’s best restaurants! What’s not to love?
“Reg the Veg is an independent, family run greengrocers in the heart of Clifton Village. We specialise in local and seasonal produce, and supply many local cafes and restaurants. Reg the Veg has been an established greengrocers for around 60 years, with Tom Hagon, his father John and family running it for the past 7 years.”
Sourcing and buying meat is particularly important to the team. In an ideal world, we would always like it to be organic, but unfortunately high prices often mean that this can’t always be the case. Despite this, one thing we always strive for is locating good quality, local meat. Ruby & White Butchers on Whiteladies Road definitely fits this description, serving a wide range of meats and a small selection of other quality foods. In our opinion, it looks more like a restaurant than a butchers shop!
“Ruby & White has sought to create a butchery business that gives members of the Bristol public a chance to experience locally reared, dry aged meat and West Country game at home. Creating a welcoming retail environment that holds all of the features reminiscent of a traditional butcher’s shop; but in a clean, modern and relaxing atmosphere – one that is suited to the modern consumer.”
Another favourite of ours was Rare Butchers of Southville, which sources high quality, free range meat from across the South West. The team are always so helpful and happy to advise on the best cuts for your dish at the best price.
“We’ve won Best Local Butchers at Bristol’s Good Food Awards for the last three years. Our beef is grass fed and all our sausages are made from free-range pork. We believe in the farms not factories campaign and avoid factory farms and stock local and free range meat.”
Following shortly behind is Clifton Village Butchers – stockist of farm-assured quality meat. This butchers has been running for over 10 years now, which can only be testament to their consistently good food and friendly service.
This was another tough one, so we have whittled it down to a select few! Source is tucked away in St Nicholas Market and only sells seasonal produce from top quality suppliers, so you can be sure that what you are getting is good! Their fishmonger sells a variety of fish and shellfish, and specialises in British wild fish and seafood.
Another favourite of ours was The Fish Shop on Gloucester Road. Their fish are all caught on small boats, which not only ensures better freshness, but also supports small local fisheries around the UK. The Fish Shop specialises in free-range salmon, which is farmed far out at sea and contains no antibiotics.
“Source has been providing an alternative to mass produced food for 8 years. We have a café and a food hall in St Nicks Market where we sell food with an emphasis on fresh, local and high quality. Our owner-operated team is knowledgeable and passionate about what we do. “
We also had to mention Tovey’s on Stapleton Road, Easton. Established back in 1935 Tovey’s is a small family run business, supplying many of Bristols restaurants and businesses. If you’re looking for something a bit more unusual, this is the place to come. With fish from all over the UK and the world, you can purchase everything from the ordinary cod and sea bass, to the more exotic mahi-mahi or red snapper. Fresh fish is also delivered daily.
With so many fabulous cafes continuously springing up, it was even harder to pick our favourite eatery hotspots. First up was Friska. The hardest thing about Friska is choosing which delicious dishes to indulge in. Friska always hits the spot with healthy, fresh, and inexpensive food without compromising on quality. We especially love their bean hot pots and inviting salads.
“I think we’ve created a reputation for being a real “feel-good” sort of place, the “feel-goodly-ness” though runs right the way through everything we do, from the produce we buy, the electricity that powers our stores, our people practices and even things like our Deki Partnership – loads of stuff to put a smile on your face.”
Following shortly behind is Cafe Kino – a vegan cafe and community space situated in the heart of Stokes Croft. Everything they offer is made fresh on site, including their acclaimed bean burgers, falafels, fresh salads and delicious cakes. What’s so great about this cafe is that it’s not only a non-profit cooperative, but it strives to support the locality in whatever way it can, from hanging the artwork of local artists, to providing a space for yoga and life drawing.
Next up is The Health Hub on Cotham Hill, which prides itself on being a hotbed for nutritional experts who have developed a menu based on seasonal, nutrient-dense food. From breakfast through to lunch, their aim is to provide you with the best nutritional choices that are dairy and refined sugar free. They also serve delicious organic juices. What’s more, as a community-based company, some of their profits go back into local community projects – a wonderful ethos to match their dedication to providing the best quality food.
And last, but certainly not least, we wanted to mention St Werburghs City farm. Tucked away in the centre of the city, is this family- friendly farm, which aims to educate both adults and children on farm animals. The cafe sources all its produce from their own farm or from local allotments, where the owners are encouraged to trade any surplus food they have grown for something in the cafe. What a great idea!
“As well as our very local sourcing policies, we always try and combine foods so that are not just really tasty but are beneficial nutritionally. We do our own fermenting on site and brew our own kombuccha, which we also use for all our own vinegars. Our herbal teas come from local herbalist Max Drak. We also always have options for any dietary requirements so you always have choices”
Health Food Shops
When we discussed the topic of Bristol-based health food shops, we realised that we are rather spoilt for choice! The Better Food Company was a firm favourite with the team, and with three stores open around Bristol now, you never have to go too far to source your organic, nutritious foods and natural skin care products.
“Better Food is a multi-award winning Bristol-based independent retailer. Their ambition is to support local and rural communities through responsible and thoughtful retail. They pride themselves on providing local, organic and ethical products and campaign hard for the communities they serve. Better Food had humble beginnings, when founder Phil Haughton set up an organic delivery service in 1992. Today there are three stores in Bristol, each with a café serving up delicious seasonal food and a retail store with everything you need for your weekly shop.”
Another long-standing local favourite of ours is Earthbound in Cotham. Run by a friendly couple, they stock predominantly organic goods and bread from Harts & Herberts. At first glance, Earthbound looks like a very small store, but it opens up at the back to stock a whole range of goods from pastas, teas, jams, wholefoods, natural cleaning products and much more. All of their produce is also sourced from local suppliers with “an emphasis on fresh produce with deliveries three times a week”
Finally, this list would not be complete without a mention of Harvest on Gloucester Road. With gluten free and dairy free alternatives, certified organic fresh fruit and vegetables, and not a GM ingredient in sight, this is the place to shop with a clear conscience. They stock everything from organic nuts and seeds, to environmentally friendly cleaning products. What’s more, since the start of 2008, the health food shop has been a carrier bag free zone and only offers more environmentally friendly alternatives in store.