We reviewed all the best places to eat on campus in 2017
Food glorious food
When you’re halfway through a philosophy essay or a series of engineering lectures, there’s nothing more invigorating than the prospect of food. But where’s the best place to quench this constant urge?
To find out, we went to every popular food joint on campus and beyond, testing out everything from extortionate prices to the positioning of the seats.
Parsons Cafe (5/5)
Coming in first place is Parsons Cafe on St. Michael’s Hill. It’s cheap, the deals are great and the design isn’t too shabby either. Parsons stands out from the other cafes on St. Michael’s Hill for its cheap lunch options, knowledgeable staff (who had a string of questions for me after I just ordered a mocha) and cosy atmosphere. Plus all coffee is £1 to take out. Trust us, it’s great.
Hawthorns Café (3/5)
A popular spot for both students and the locals, Hawthorns succeeds in being a spacious eatery with lots of seating and a lively atmosphere. No one is quite sure whether it is for students or for the public but it is always a good spot to meet people.
The Sainsbury’s meal deal is not only cheap but also has a wide variety of food to choose from. The meal deal is classic, affordable and a sure-fire way to satisfy the whale in your stomach which decided to express itself during your physics tutorial. That is, if you’re willing to queue for ten minutes and face some infuriating self-checkouts.
Also, it takes a stroll down to the Triangle to get there, and a climb to rival Everest on the way back up (thanks to Bristol’s stupid geography) – so go to Sainsbury’s at your own peril.
Coop tries to be a little more artisan than Sainsbury’s, starting with its ‘Truly Irresistible’ sandwich range which is actually quite resistible with a price tag of £3+. Coop has the advantage of being on the same altitude as the university and only a short hop from the ASS library. And with an NUS card, that £3 lunch is 30p cheaper.
The ASS library (3/5)
At face value, the Source cafe seems like a great lunch spot. It’s certainly convenient, and a favourite social hub of procrastinating Bristol students. However, this is what makes it a somewhat questionable gastronomical experience. Being perpetually busy loses the ASS some much coveted points straight away as it’s pretty difficult to get a seat, plus the card machine takes an age to accept my payment for a “Curry in a Hurry”, which is actually a wrap (who knew?).
Which leads me nicely onto my next point: the ASS library’s adoption of the “urban eat” range for lunch leaves us spending way too much. However, what this place lacks in variety it more than makes up for with its unique staff, charming enough to make the painfully long £3.60 card transaction for an “East Feast” all the less awkward.
As a weekly treat, Subway’s wonderful, but who genuinely wants to pay £6 for a bit of cold pastrami on a line of dough? Certainly not me. Plus that walk back up to uni? No thank you.
The Merchant Venture’s cafe (1/5)
So apparently this actually exists, and all the engineers flock to this cafe so they can hide away from the outside world. To them, maybe it’s a haven, but the rest of us should avoid like the plague.
Café Gusto (2/5)
This rip-off Subway does have some excellent combinations – Falafel and Chicken Wraps, Cheddar and Pastrami Paninis among others. Its only drawback, which is the main one, is the prices. Get yourself anything not pre-prepared and on display and you’ll find yourself paying up £7 for a smoked salmon wrap with cream cheese. Would not recommend.
This small pizza place nestles opposite the Highbury Vaults and has a daily lunch deal – £4.95 for a pizza with 2 toppings.
Honourable mention: The red tent
What is this place?
This deserves a mention, but what exactly is it? One minute they’re serving appetising cheddar and tomato sandwiches, the next it’s rocky road. Perhaps the appeal comes from its diverse nature. But if you’re going to eat there beware of the corner preacher waving a huge crucifix about or the paintballers trying to rope you into a match to the death. I’m not sure which is worse.