Cafe hopping: Bristol's best independent cafes

If you didn’t know by now, Bristol excels at independent businesses, and if there’s another of the many things it excels in, it’s cafés. Bristolians know their mocha from their matcha latte – and they know how to create some beautiful spaces to sip that drink in, too. So, here are some of the best independent cafés in Bristol, ready for your next café-hopping trip:

Cowbee, College Green 

A café with a difference, Cowbee serves up delicious drinks, and equally delicious ice creams, desserts and cakes. Perfect for when you’re fancying something sweet – and Instagrammable – Cowbee is situated opposite famous College Green and favours foliage and bright, neon ‘You are my sunshine’ signs to brighten everyone’s day (and Insta feed).

Spoke & Stringer, Clifton & Harbourside 

Touted as an independent deli and lifestyle store, Spoke & Stringer, found on Whiteladies Road in Clifton and also at the Harbourside in the city centre, is a do-everything café. Championing independent brands and seasonal ingredients, the café is famed for its brunches, hot chocolates, and sought-after locations.

Hart's Bakery, Temple Meads 

Artisan bakers at their finest, Hart’s Bakery is situated just a stone’s throw from Temple Meads station, making it the perfect grab-a-coffee-and-go pre-travel delight. This café/bakery is on every guidebook hit-list for Bristol, and they specialise in sourdough, handmade pastries, seasonal cakes and savouries.

Baker's and Co, Bishopston 

From its inviting yellow-and-Instagram-worthy exterior, to its health-conscious brunches and yummy coffees, Bakers and Co serve Bishopston well. San Francisco-inspired, let this café be your perfect study spot, transporting you to warmer climes to get you in the calm yet determined mindset to power through that work.

Bakesmiths, Whiteladies Road 

An ever-favourite for Bristolians, Bakesmiths on Whiteladies Road in Clifton is a must-visit. Specialising in just about everything and now offering ice cream and sorbet on its menu, Bakesmiths allows inside dining, outside lounging and takeaways, meaning it’s the perfect place for a café hop.

Little Victories, Wapping Wharf 

Old favourite, Small Street Espresso in Bristol’s Old City, opened Little Victories as its sister venue. Situated in Wapping Wharf, it’s the perfect harbourside pit stop, and it’s a versatile little place. With crazy good coffees and cakes in the day, and coffee cocktails, craft beers and organic wine in the evenings, you can get coffee’d up to take you from day to night at Bristol’s Harbourside. 

The Bristolian, Montpelier 

This one’s a café and bistro, and serves up food as equally good as its coffee. Take roasted coffees and homemade tapas in Bristol’s bohemian suburb of Montpelier – surrounded by foliage and many a cactus.

The Crafty Egg, Stokes Croft 

Recently pivoted during the pandemic to offer not just great coffee and brunch but also plants for the people of Bristol, this much sought-after café-turned-garden-centre is on everyone’s Bristol bucket list. In the heart of Stokes Croft, you can sightsee one of Bristol’s coolest, up-and-coming, arty areas on your trip down to this one.

Beehive Coffee House, Downend 

When we say outrageous, we really do mean outrageous with the Beehive Coffee House in Downend. Outrageous of the best kind, this café does architecturally-planned freakshakes of freakishly good proportions – topped with cakes, doughnuts, sauces and more. The unique comes hand in hand with the traditional, as well, and you can expect great coffees and cakes when you pay this place a visit.

Pinkman's Bakery, Park Street 

Tipped as the home of the sour-dough-nut, Pinkmans Bakery is a famous one. People visit from far and wide to get a taste of this café on hilly Park Street, and the not-quite-so-enjoyable trek up to the café is totally worth the end result.

Mrs. Pott's Chocolate House, Park Street 

Famed for doing the best chocolate cakes, chocolate cookies and hot chocolates in Bristol (and, arguably, the world) Mrs. Potts is a choccie lover’s heaven on earth. On hilly Park Street, you can get those steps in – it’s the best of both worlds.

Bristol Loaf, St. George's 

With insane coffee, vegan-friendly food and an eco-conscious mind-set, Bristol Loaf in St. George’s is a great place to go to get your café fix.

Images courtesy of the venues' Instagram accounts.

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