Hello there! Today’s post is all about the delicious food I enjoyed on a recent trip I took to Bristol, so a little closer to home than my first posts about being vegan in Barcelona! You can read part one here and part two here. I realised I’ve only ever been to Bristol once before for a friend’s hen do, and never really gotten chance to see the city. So, on a recent day off when I had nothing better to do, I decided to take a train ride up there and have a look around.
Bristol seems to be a super-foody city. I asked for ideas of where to go eat and got some good suggestions. First up was Kettle and Kale, which I walked to after I went on a free walking tour that morning (which I would definitely recommend by the way!)
I was so excited because I’ve heard great things about this place, but when I got there it was closed! Luckily, it’s in the Stokes Croft area, which just so happens to be vegan cafe central it would appear! So I headed a little further up the road and stopped at Cafe Kino for my lunch. It’s a community run, not for profit cafe, much like The Art House where I sometimes volunteer in Southampton. Any money they make goes back into the cafe, all their food is supplied by local, independent businesses and they even have a basement downstairs where they host creative events such as food workshops and life drawing classes!
I went for some standard vegan fare: falafel, pitta and hummus. It was very tasty! There was a generous portion of salad and slaw on the side too which was great. Most of their food is made on site, and the cakes looked so tempting. However, I was only in Bristol for the day so thought I’d better move on to get my sweet fix. I would definitely come back here on my next visit to Bristol though!
After my lovely lunch I set off towards St Nicholas Market which I was told was great to look around with some good food stalls too. On my way however, I strolled past an interesting looking place called The Phoenix Cafe. With cute flowerpots hanging in the windows I peered inside and discovered it was a vegan cafe and “artshub”. There was even a collage area where you could cut up magazines and get creative. I was so glad I found it; I ordered myself an Oreo brownie and cup of tea and sat reading a book (which I’d got off the bookshelf towards the back of the cafe) for a while. It was such a comfortable atmosphere, so lovely to spend some time just chilling out as I’d done a lot of walking by then!
After my little pit stop I eventually made it to St Nicholas Market where I had a lot of fun browsing the shops and stalls (as well as buying some awesome yoga pants)! The food section was as good as I’d been told, and I loved taking in all the sights and smells. Another place that had been recommended to me was Eat a Pitta. I was kinda sad that I’d already had lunch because this place looked pretty amazing! Loads of fresh pitta, hummus and colourful salad on offer; I was jealous of all the people walking away with containers full of delicious food! I did try a free sample though and it was pretty tasty!!
But then I found more cake… I saw this awesome stall just next to Eat a Pitta and first felt a little sad thinking “that cake looks amazing but I bet there’s nothing vegan…!” Well, I was wrong! Ah Toots actually had about 3 different vegan options including a flapjack, brownie and cookie! I’d have loved to get the brownie which looked delicious, but as I had already had one at Phoenix I decided to go for the cookie instead.
I couldn’t eat it then and there as I was so full! But I saved it for train ride home later and it was delicious! I’ve not tried many cookies since going vegan but I honestly couldn’t tell the difference between the vegan one and a “normal” cookie – just like I honestly can’t tell the difference in any cake or brownie I’ve tried so far either! Seriously, if you’re vegan-curious but are worried about not being able to have cake any more – FEAR NOT!!
Ah toots also serves food and drink but the amazing cake display was what caught my eye so I couldn’t tell you if they had any savoury vegan fare on offer. You should definitely check out the gallery of cakes on their website though as they are incredible!
After a bit more pottering and shopping, it was nearly time for my train home. I was annoyed cause I was still pretty full from lunch and my brownie, but at the same time I wanted to experience as much food as I could while I was here so I knew I had to eat some tea before heading home!! Cafe 1897 is a small chain of vegetarian/vegan restaurants and I discovered it on Happy Cow. I was so impressed with this place, it was the opposite end of the vegan spectrum to the first two cafes I’d been in.
I’ve talked about this before, how there seem to be two types of vegan: the hippies and the health freaks. Well I like to see myself somewhere comfortably in the middle – I am vegan for completely ethical reasons and am also keen to start buying more cruelty free beauty, clothing and household products as well as being more environmentally friendly, however I also am very health conscious so like to stick to plant based whole foods that are very nutritious (with a generous helping of cake thrown in of course).
Anyway, my point is, 1847 is a very modern restaurant, appealing to vegans and non-vegans alike (when sometimes I feel the more community style cafes/restaurants can be a little too “hippy” for some non-vegans). I feel places like this are great for attracting a wider range of people to come and see how amazing food can be without animal products! The food was incredible! I went for the “surf and turf” which was an aubergine steak with a seaweed salad and baby new potatoes. The flavours were divine; I don’t think I’ve ever had such delicious food anywhere, even before I went vegan! So this place gets a huge recommendation from me, I just wish I wasn’t so full as the desserts sounded amazing too!!
A few days after I’d been, I was delighted to receive a message from my friend Alice from The Bristol Food Tour to let me know that a ticket had become available for their vegan tour in November! So now I am immensely excited to be going back there next month to learn about even more of vegan hotspots from the real experts! So expect another Bristol food post in a month or so!