The ultimate student guide to vegan food in Bristol for every occasion
Stick to this guide and you’ll be eating good in no time
Bristol is known for its veganism. Almost every café, bakery or restaurant you go into is guaranteed to have a plant-based option. In fact, it’s more normal to order a coffee with oat milk than regular. This overwhelming amount of choice can make it difficult to decipher which places are actually good and for what occasion.
Are you looking for vegan food that doesn’t break the bank, or that you can bring your non-vegan date to? Do you need a fancier place to go with your non-vegan family? As a vegan who is obsessed with food and finding new places to eat, I feel adequately equipped to offer my ultimate food guide to you lovely readers.
Cheap(er) vegan eats
Vegan food has a reputation, and it’s not a cheap one. However, after eating my way through the city on a budget, I have found a few gems that have delicious food at reasonable prices.
1. Franco Manca
Whilst it’s not an all-vegan place, if you fancy sourdough pizza with a good quality sauce, Franco Manca’s pizzas are the one. You can get a vegan pizza for £6.5 and add toppings for under £2 or, if you are a fan of vegan cheese, you can get a margherita for £9.25 and swap the cheese to vegan for free. To make it even better, with Unidays you can get a pizza and a soft drink for £9.95 or, if you’re feeling fancy, a pizza and a glass of wine for £11.95.
2. Café Kino
This is an all-vegan spot in Stokes Croft just opposite Crofters Rights where you can get a bean burger for £7.5 (and it’s actually good). Or, if you fancy a proper English breakfast, they have a brekkie involving sausage, hash browns, mushrooms, tomato, beans AND toast only for £8. Their small bites are also delicious and will definitely make you feel like you’re not missing out. Cauliflower wings for £4 or mac and cheese for £3.5 – yes please.
3. Jack the Falafel
If you’ve had enough of Eat a Pitta, Jack the Falafel, located on Gloucester Road, serves up good falafel as well as being one of the only places to make jackfruit taste nice. They are an all-vegan café that will even let you sample their jackfruit. Their £7.50 jackfruit panini is filled to the brim and is super flavourful.
When your family comes to visit
1. Little Hollows Pasta
This classy, small and authentically Italian restaurant on Chandos Road always has a vegan option. Whilst this isn’t a cheap restaurant, it’s nice to have up-market vegan options. I went with my sister and had a tomato linguini with vegan nduja, grilled peppers and breadcrumbs, and a vegan chocolate mousse. It’s perfect for a special family treat as I can guarantee there won’t be any complaints from your nearest and dearest about the lack of non-vegan options.
2. East Village Café
Easily one of my favourites (which is hard on the bank account), East Village Café is an all-vegan spot in Clifton. They have unique and delicious pastries, including a cronut, pizza twists, and loads of different cakes, plus there is usually a seasonal option. Their coffee menu is the biggest I’ve ever seen, including drinks vegans are usually excluded from such as deluxe hot chocolates, frappés and even a red velvet latte. If you just fancy a simple coffee, you won’t have to worry about paying 40p for oat milk. Their actual food is also scrummy and it’s a lovely place to bring the family (if they don’t mind all-vegan) on a sunny Saturday.
For a special treat
1. The Viet Kitchen
The Viet Kitchen serves up authentic Vietnamese food with loads of vegan options. At £9.5 for a vegan pho or £7.2 for tofu bao buns, it won’t break the bank but it isn’t the cheapest in town. Nevertheless, you are guaranteed good quality. It’s a really good place to go with your non-vegan friends as they have a surplus of meat and fish options alongside vegan.
A student favourite for aesthetic coffee shop studying, Bakesmiths’ vegan options are creative and always hit the spot. If you really fancy treating yourself, they have a vegan toastie as well as several vegan cakes and cinnamon rolls or, if you are craving something savoury, their sausage rolls are definitely better than Greggs. Not cheap, but perfect for a little treat.
3. Little Bagel Co.
Whilst £6.25 for a bagel seems expensive, paying that for a good, filling vegan bagel isn’t bad. If you’re craving smoked salmon and cream cheese, or fancy a breakfast bagel with oyster mushrooms, a hash brown and chimichurri (the bougie breakfast bagel) that is filled to the brim then Little Bagel Co. won’t disappoint.
For Date Night
Located on Clare Street, conveniently opposite Commercial Rooms if you fancy a pint afterwards, Pho is a Vietnamese restaurant with a huge menu offering some mouth-watering vegan options. In each section of their menu they have a vegan option (or two) including bao buns, pho, Vietnamese pancakes, and noodles. If you’re going on a date with a non-vegan, the dark lighting and the atmospheric music, as well as the surplus of non-vegan choices, make this a perfect spot. Plus their 15% student discount never hurts.
2. Ahh Toots
Located at the bottom of the picturesque Christmas steps, this one’s an ideal spot for a Christmas date, plus it’s fun to say. Their gorgeous window display always includes vegan cakes, brownies and sometimes a cookie. Their portions are generously huge so if you feel like paying £4+ is too much for a cake, you won’t be disappointed.
3. Picaro Tapas
Spanish food isn’t often seen as very vegan-friendly but from a lot of experimentation I have learnt that most tapas restaurants will adapt any dish you want to make it vegan-friendly. Picaro Tapas is a cosy, family-run Tapas bar on Chandos Road. The intimate feel and the personal service ensured that when I went, they were adaptable and made loads of dishes vegan. My favourites were the fried aubergine, patatas bravas and pan con tomate. If you want to keep it on the cheaper side, you can just order fewer tapas as each dish was around the £10 mark, making it the spot for your really special someone