I only visited Bristol last year for the first time and now, two visits and a year later it’s very close to my heart. Bristol all about independent retail and cafes make no exception. You will be spoiled for choice when it comes to coffee (and treats) here. The city is nicely sized which makes it very convenient for you to visit a good batch of cafes (or all of the specialty ones if you’re on a coffee trip) at once. It didn’t take me long to realize that Bristolians are very serious about their coffee. All Specialty cafes have an even greater attention to detail than the one I was accustomed to. Think boards that explain the espresso and filter beans and flavour profiles with and without milk. Both trips to Bristol have definitely left me inspired and full of new ideas, and as I was writing this I had a sudden urge to revisit.

 

Small Street

@smallstespresso | 23 Small Street, BS1 1DW

 

I’m not calling favorites (or am I), but Small St. was the first place that came to mind when I was prepping the Bristol Guides. Cute little café with two separate seating areas, a small but curated sandwich and pastry selection, and well thought coffee alternatives.

 

Full Court Press

@fcpcoffee | 59 Broad Street, BS1 2EJ

The quick stop here was all I needed to get an understanding of their philosophy. Expect to find a wide variety of roasters like Clifton, Roundhill and Colonna but not only: the framed bag collection that adorns the main wall will give you a better idea. I loved watching the barista make the aeropress his particular way and it didn’t disappoint. They make flavours and origins a priority and always have at least a few options of filters and espressos to choose from, and for that they have my outmost respect. Hats off, gentlemen.

Society

@societycafe | Farrs Lane, Narrow Quay, Bristol, BS1 4BD

With two locations in Bath, one in Oxford and one in Bristol, Society has made its point very clear: quality can indeed, scale. It takes a lot of passion and determination, but it is definitely doable. With a variety of sitting areas and a curated selection of magazines (not to mention they have their very own newspaper) there’s something for every mood. Their coffee menu is one of the most detailed I’ve seen to date, elaborating on the origins, varieties and flavor profiles of both espresso and filter options. Crankhouse, Origin, and Triple Co together with coffee books and gear make for very well equipped coffee shelves. Did I mention they make their own cold brew in the cutest little glass bottles?

Little Victories

@littlevictoriescoffee | 7 Gaol Ferry Steps, Bristol BS1 6WE

The guys from Small Street have hit the spot with this second location. Espresso bar by day, craft beer, natural wine and cocktails in the evenings. Need I say more? Not to mention that it’s located in my favorite area in Bristol: Wapping Wharf, the innovative Cargo area packed with creative and inspiring food and retail spots. The beans are from the omnipresent local roaster Clifton, and I would usually go here for a Chemex but if you’ve had a little too much caffeine for the day they make a creamy, luscious golden latte. Oh, and if you’re here past 5pm, charcuterie board and wine it is.

Mokoko

@mokokocoffee | 2 Gaol Ferry Steps, Wapping Wharf, BS1 6WE

Two steps away from Little Vics, lies Mokoko: a specialty coffee space that blends so nicely with the open plan bakery. They are as serious about baking as they are about coffee, and they’re very transparent about both. James, one of the baristas, was more than willing put up with me whilst I was filming his aeropress making process in steps for my ig stories. We had a very interesting and knowledge sharing coffee chat which always adds to the experience. Even though they roast themselves, they don’t hesitate to selflessly feature an eclectic collection of other roasters like Hasbean (which I’m known to have a soft spot for). Mokoko can easily be called a non-coffee drinkers paradise as there’s food and drink options galore. And they’re all homemade! Their quiches and lemonades are a testament of their creativity and will to push their limits and make great things even greater.

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