Being a vegan in Bristol
I remember when I first turned vegan just over 3 ½ years ago now. At the time Holland & Barrett seemed like the holy grail for all things vegan as there was very little choice in any other shops.
Now the green movement has really been building up speed in mainstream media and now #Vegan is officially in fashion! Back in the day being a vegan meant being a dirty hippy (self identified!). Now being a vegan seems a much more mainstream choice, meaning the number of vegans is growing exponentially!
So it makes sense that Bristol, England’s trendy city, has followed suit. After being voted the green capital in 2016, Bristol has taken it a step further…
This year Bristol has been officially voted as Vegan Capital of the World!!! (as if there wasn’t already enough reasons to visit Bristol!)
So ramblings aside, I am here to tell you the local insider secrets of the 11 best plant-based spots in Bristol!
(I’ve realized writing this that I really don’t take a lot of photos of my food, so here are some lovely sights of Bristol instead!)
(disclaimer- I personally do not exclusively eat in Vegan-only restaurants therefore some of the listed offer plant-based as well as meat options)
1) Falafel King
Maybe this option seems boring as for some reason being a vegan means being inundated with falafel goodness for every options (Goodfellas I am looking at you with your falafel pizza, well and truly WTF?!) But after having tried more falafels than (insert culturally relevant joke here) I can GUARANTEE you are that Falafel King is the best falafel I have ever had! The craving I have for Falafel King when I am travelling is unreal! Not only are the falafel incredible, but Falafel King also does Vegan Shawarma, every-single salad option is delicious and the Baklava is banging. Downstairs there is a grotto-like middle eastern lounge with Shisha if that tickles your fancy. Everything is made fresh on the premises and it is a veggie only restaurant (egg and cheese options). Cannot rate Falafel King highly enough,thank god they offer a loyalty card!
2) Catch 22
My love story with potatoes is both endless and potentially concerning. I once ate chips for three meals in one day… I think I should be ashamed but its point of pride at this point of my life. Therefor, I am always on the hunt for the best chips. And by god I think I’ve found it!! If you want authentic English cuisine I recommend Catch 22. Though it is on the pricier side for fish and chips it is well worth it. The chips are incredible (and massive) and they even serve a really yummy vegan fried fish. No need to miss out on the food you love any longer! And lastly it has a pun for a name, swoon.
おいしいおいしい日本料理！Welcome to Nomu with some of the best Japanese food in Bristol. The menu is not sushi heavy but rather focuses on small Japanese plates which means you can try a bit of everything. As someone who is both indecisive and wants to eat EVERYTHING this is a massive plus! I really recommend the avocado fritters and the pumkin korokke. Not to mention the cocktails are absolute fire as well. The restuarant is super peaceful and intimate so I recommend this one for a romantic dinner with someone special!
4) La Grotta
La Grotta was one of the first places I ever ate in Bristol and it won me over within the first bite. La Grotta is an intimate, family-run Italian restaurant with some of the best Italian I’ve had in my life. There are numerous vegan options including proper Italian pizza. Everything is made fresh so if you want any alterations to menu options (e.g penne di mammina without the cream) they can make that especially for you. It is always busy (for a reason) so make sure to book, especially on weekends.
5) The Burger Joint
If you are feeling dirty, head over The Burger Joint with their customizable menu for the dirtiest burger ever. With multiple different buns, burgers, sauces and topping options, you can make the perfect burger for you! Fancy a peanut butter and pineapple burger, they got it. Maybe you want a jackfruit, vegan cheese and battered onion burger they’ve got that. The list is never-ending so you do you boo and get your burger on!
6) Mission Burrito
After living in Central America I am a taco fiend! Luckily I’ve found my fix in Mission Burrito. There are burritos, nachos and taco options both in wheat and corn tortillas. For veggie fillings you can pick between (and/or) black beans, fried veg and sweet potato chilli, then add salad, hot sauce and guac as you please. Top it off with a cold Corona and treat yo self.
7) Bento Boss
Sushi fiends check out Bento Boss! Located directly above the Clifton Down Sainsburies, it is a safe haven away from the rush. Sit down by the window and look out on Whiteladies as you enjoy the delicious veggie sushi options, Asian salads, soups or noodles. I personally really enjoy the Vegetable futomaki, which includes 4 pieces of sushi, a wakame salad and a miso soup all for £8.50. Really delicious and quite a bargain!
This option is not for the health conscious vegans! Vx is an American style diner that is entirely vegan. The freak shakes are out of this world, I really recommend the vegan chocolate milkshake which comes with a little cake on it! There are loads of options from burgers, to mac and cheese, quesadillas, chicken nuggets and ribs. All of which are delicious…. Just remember to wear your eating trousers!
9) Taka Taka
You cannot have spent any time on the triangle in Bristol without hearing about the Taka Taka hype (so good they named it twice apparently!). This Greek-style restaurant is constantly packed and for good reason. There are loads of options (meat and veggie) but I personally recommend the vegan magic roll. Not only is it really tasty, but it is also larger than my forearm. Correct me if I’m wrong but there is something quite impressive about eating something thats larger than your own face. And for all of you party animals out there, Taka Taka is open till 4am Monday-Saturday so no need to settle for soggy chips after a night out!
10) Fi real
Everyone needs a bit of spice in their life and Fi Real is the answer to this! Serving veggie and vegan Caribbean food it really is a bit of sunshine in windy Bristol. The curries are mega and they make homemade juices and smoothies on the daily! It is delicious, fi real!
11) Café Kino
Lastly, I couldn’t finish this list without the place that started it all. I remember when I first became plant-based Café Kino was one of the only options for me to go to. Though the food is simple, the options are solid. I would recommend the Full Kino breakfast which is the vegan equivalent to a Full English. This cooperative has a great feel, is a great place to sit down to do some work with a coffee or a milkshake (my personal favourite), or go to an event to in the night.
This is not AT ALL an exhaustive list as there are new plant-based options popping up everyday! Furthermore, there are loads of vegan food stalls in the various market places across Bristol (St Nicks Market has a particularilly strong choice) and lots of vegan events and fairs (Bristol Viva! Vegan Festival is my favourite).
This should hopefully give just you a taste (pun intended) of what Bristol has to offer.
Safe travels and tasty munchings,
Interested in other ways to travel and eat sustainably? Check out my sustainable travel life hacks!