Between pop-up galleries, pop-up bakeries and pop-up shops, Stokes Croft is considered as one of the most bubbly areas of Bristol. Almost every week a newly painted graffiti brightens up the walls of a building and an interesting event is taking place just around the corner. Every visit for me is like a little adventure and of one thing I can always be sure, Stokes Croft never fails to surprise me.
Conveniently located in the heart of Bristol, the several independent cafés, pubs and restaurants make an intriguing alternative to the usual clubs and chain-restaurants. I often head over to one of them for a cosy brunch or for a quick bite during my lunch breaks. Below you can find three of my favourite spots.
108 Stokes Croft, Bristol BS1 3RU
The unique (and oh, so Instagram-worthy) look, the delicious vegan & vegetarian food and the general laid back and friendly atmosphere have made of this cafe an iconic venue here in Bristol. Fun fact: Cafe Kino is a not-for-profit co-operative owned and run by its workers as well as volunteers. It proudly serves ethically and locally sourced food, and most of the ingredients used are often homemade.
When the smiley girl behind the counter told me she had just finished to milk some almonds, initially I started questioning my own knowledge of English…excuse me, what did you just say? When she confirmed I was not going nuts it didn’t take her long to persuade me to try it, and eventually I found myself walking to my table with a cup of chai tea and a jug of fresh almond milk. And you know what? It’s nothing like the bottled one, it’s thicker and slightly bitter, with a rich earthy flavour. The first sips took me by surprise, but by the end of the jug I had gone from ‘Uh, this is weird!’ to ‘Hey, I really like it…is that weird?’
Since I was drowning in deadlines at the time I spent the whole morning working on an essay by the window, and between one paragraph and the other I sipped on a cup of tea with hemp seed milk, a lighter and naturally sweet alternative to dairy milk. Oh, and look at that massive slice of the best lemon and poppy seed vegan cake ever, guess how long it lasted for?
The Crafty Egg
113 Stokes Croft, Bristol BS1 3RW
Just in front of Cafe Kino, The Crafty Egg stands out for its bright blue store front, the homely atmosphere, and a rich menu you can read from the window and that makes you stop by wondering whether having a second breakfast straight after breakfast is socially acceptable. Their speciality is everything with eggs, as the name suggests, but the whole menu sounds like second breakfast is gonna have to be a thing, oh yes.
Need one more reason to pop in? Apparently The Crafty Egg proudly serves the only Cheese Fondue in Bristol. Yup, you got it right, gooey warm cheesy delight at your doorstep. I stopped by for a quick brunch and, trust me, the choice was tough. However, being a predictable little creature I am my brain just froze when I saw ‘salmon, cream cheese and avocado and rocket warm bagel’, I’m sure you can guess how this story ends. Ten additional points for the lovely long tables by the windows looking out on the street, people-watching while eating nice food is one of my favourite hobbies.
116 Cheltenham Rd, Bristol BS6 5RW
When you pass by Emmeline is hard not to stop by and sneak a peak in…is it a bar? is it a florist? is it a gift shop? Truth is, Emmeline is all of them. Champion of healthy-everything from eat-clean lunch boxes to cheat-clean treats, this unique cafe and takeaway is, in perfect Stokes Croft fashion, proudly independent and fiercely cute.
You don’t exactly come across a menu and a variety of treats like those offered here. Imagine entering a pretty coffee shop, a first look at the seasonal menu and you realise you don’t know what half of the drinks are, as if your initial disorientation wasn’t enough the sweet lady behind the counter asks you whether you’d like to try some zucchini cake…sorry, what?
In the end I sat by a lovely display of tiny cactus plants, sipping on a cup of turmeric latte, a spicy-licious winter warmer that ‘is rich in antioxidants, helps digestion and makes a tasty shield agains colds and flu’, said the sweet lady. I also tried, not without suspicion, a generous slice of that zucchini cake and, believe me or definitely believe me, it was unexpectedly yummy. I know what you’re thinking: ‘Oh, come on, now! Vegetables? in cake? are you serious?’, well if you don’t trust me there’s only one thing to do, head over to Emmeline and try it out yourself, darling!