A leisurely breakfast, with good coffee and the papers has to be one of my favourite meals of the day, a real treat. Every time I get a day off, its what I crave. Quite often I’ll cook something for myself at home, but nothing really beats sitting in a busy, steamy café and letting someone else do all the work for a change.
Back when I was young and far less choosy, I’d hit the nearest greasy spoon, surrounded by high-vis attired customers, avidly flicking through the trashy tabloids and stuffing myself with gargantuan breakfasts where the only common theme linking all of the items on the plate would be cheapness. Piled high but ultimately tasting of sod all.
Nowadays, I'm a much more sophisticated chap. I wouldn't touch The Sun with yours, preferring instead the broadsheets. As for my breakfast, the choice hasn't changed that much, a full English remains a lifelong favourite. What has changed though is that I'm prepared to pay a hell of a lot more for quality. No more garishly pink, cardboard tasting sausages packed full of eyelids, lips and arseholes for me, No. If my breakfast banger hasn't been lovingly hand reared on a Wiltshire farm and actually suckled at the teat of a farmer called Alan who’s own diet consists solely of locally sourced spring water and grass, then frankly, I'm not sticking it in my gob.
Well. Not quiet, but I am incredibly picky.
But where to find a good breakfast in Bristol? I hear your anguished cry. Hold tight, bacon lovers, I’ve taken the required hefty cholesterol whack for the team and have compiled a list of my favourites. I’ll update this list from time to time, should my heart hold out. But right now, you should be eating breakfast in these places….
I love the Moroccan style breakfast at Poco in Stokes Croft. Merguez sausage, harissa, creamy scrambled eggs on toasted sourdough. Hell yes. The restaurant is also perfectly sited to watch the infinitely varied comings and goings of The Croft as you munch away. Believe me, people watching doesn't get any better than this.
45 Jamaica Street, Stokes Croft, BS2 8JP
Telephone: 0117 923 2233
They serve breakfast/brunch on Sunday from 10am-3pm and it's absolutely belting. Go here, have the full English, drink coffee, read the papers and give me a wave whilst I do the same. It’s my favourite breakfast haunt right now.
112 Princess Victoria Street, Clifton. BS8 4DB
Telephone: 01179 735435
Just down the road from the BRI, on the corner of St Michaels Hill, this steamy windowed café serves breakfast Mon-Fri 8-11 and all day on Saturday. Its fast becoming my favourite midweek go to. Laura Hart’s sourdough toast, cracking coffee and a belting full English for £6.50 (I'm a particular fan of the sausages, almost certainly hand suckled by farmer Alan), they also serve porridge, if you’re feeling virtuous.
Perry Rd, Bristol, Avon BS1 5BG
Telephone: 0117 329 0889
This Gloucester Road café does a lovely full English. If the sun is out, sit on one of the pavement tables outside and breakfast in a classy fashion, totes al fresco. Open Monday – Saturday from 8:30am and from 10am on Sunday.
16 The Promenade, Gloucester Rd
Bishopston. BS7 8AE
Absolutely cracking modern Middle Eastern restaurant, just South of the river in Bedminster. On the weekend, their brunch menu (served 10am-3pm) includes shaksohuka, a middle eastern breakfast of poached eggs, tomatoes, peppers, onions and spices. Throw in some merguez sausage for an extra £1.50 and you’re laughing.
277 North Street, Bedminster, BS3 1JP
Telephone 0117 966 6880
An excellent artisan bakery, located at Temple Meads in an archway underneath the station approach (very Hackney’esque), it’s a must visit for breakfast if you're travelling anywhere by train (or even if you're not) Ignore the abysmal chain offerings on the platforms and head here for Laura Hart's excellent coffee, superb cakes, pastries and bread (I'm a huge fan of the fennel and raisin variety). Open 7am-3pm, Tuesday to Saturday.
Arch 35 Lower Approach Road, Temple Meads. BS1 6QS
Seeing as this tiny Stokes Croft café is owned by my ex partner, I may be accused of favouritism by adding it to this list, but I’ve eaten far too many sausage sandwiches there, of my own volition to happily refute any such claims. Takeaway only, really (there is a small table inside for two) and open from 8am, serving toast, coffee, tea, sausage sandwiches and absolutely superb flapjacks (beautiful buttery, syrupy, filth).
Unit 1, The Coach House, 2 Upper York Street. BS2 8QN
Telephone: 0117 942 8392
If a slap up, full on breakfast is a bit much for you and you’re more in the mood for excellent coffee and maybe a cheeky pastry, then head to these places…
Full Court Press
59 Broad Street, Bristol, BS1 2EJ
Small Street Espresso
Small Street, BS1 1DW
Didn't You Do Well
20 Park Row, BS1 5LJ
So, there you have my favourite Bristol breakfast joints. I don’t consider myself infallible (OK, maybe just a bit) but if you know somewhere I’ve missed or I just don’t know about, then let me know in the comments.