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Boston Tea Party, Stokes Croft, Bristol

The 13 best breakfast and brunch spots in Bristol

From swanky restaurants to greasy spoons, these are the absolute best places for breakfast and brunch in Bristol

By Huw Oliver
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They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. So what does that make brunch? Equally important if you ask us. Life offers few pleasures greater than starting your day in sterling – and copious – culinary style, and that holds whether you’re more into the idea of a full English cheap eat or a long and lazy continental brunch at a smart-ish tableclothed restaurant. Feeling peckish? You better be – these are the absolute best places for breakfast and brunch in Bristol.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best restaurants in Bristol

Best breakfast and brunch spots in Bristol

Harts Bakery
Photograph: Sal Maxuda

1. Hart’s Bakery

Restaurants Cafés

Opened by Bristolian sourdough queen Laura Hart in 2012, Hart’s Bakery is the Temple Quarter’s go-to for cut-above caffeine (courtesy of local roasters Extract Coffee) and breakfast on the go, with a big communal table that works well for more leisurely pit stops. Watch the baking action unfold in the open kitchen – and get first dibs on that new batch of cinnamon buns – as you sample your way through their sourdough toast, breakfast muffins and flaky sausage rolls. 

2. Source

Restaurants Cafés

Source is locally renowned for its independent food hall and hearty lunch offerings, but it’s at breakfast that this place’s commitment to seasonal sourcing really comes into its own. This is a café that knows its – predominately local and available in the adjoining shop – suppliers, and genuinely cares about ingredient quality. And the proof is in the perfectly poached egg on your plate. See for yourself as you join the crowd of local workers, foodies and early-bird shoppers for a bowl of Drambuie-spiked porridge, delicately smoked salmon with creamy scrambled eggs or a perfectly presented full English. 

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The Bristolian, Bristol
Photograph: Sal Maxuda

3. The Bristolian

Restaurants

Long renowned as one of the best breakfast joints in Bristol, the most recent incarnation of Montpelier’s cherished café was opened by new owners in 2012 after several months of closure. For former breakfast regulars, any concern about new-fangled menus was swiftly abated – it’s still breakfast that means business here. Take your pick from meaty, veggie or vegan takes on the classic Bristolian fry-up (all feature crispy fried potatoes and lush spinach), go large with a ‘Bristolian Challenge’ or check out the waffles or eggs florentine. 

Cafe Kino, Stokes Croft, Bristol
Photograph: Sal Maxuda

4. Café Kino

Restaurants Vegetarian

You can’t get much more Bristol than this Stokes Croft workers’ co-operative café. Breakfast is a highlight, with flavoursome meat-free fry ups (crispy hash browns, garlic mushrooms, facon) our pick of the bunch. Wash it down with a soya latte (though they do make an exception for cow’s milk in drinks if you prefer) and watch the rest of the world rush to work through the massive floor-to-ceiling windows. 

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Bakers & Co 2, Gloucester Road, Bristol
Photograph: Sal Maxuda

5. Bakers and Co

Restaurants Cafés

Kieran and Imogen Waite’s Cotham Hill tapas joint, Bravas, finds itself at the top of many a Bristolian foodie’s favourites list, so it came as no surprise that this new venture was an instant hit when it opened on Gloucester Road in early 2014. Many come for the punchy and imaginative brunch menu: fresh juices, spicy huevos rancheros, sticky warm cinnamon buns and chilli and lime-spiked avocado smashed on to sourdough toast made in the open kitchen. The baking doesn’t stop at bread, either. A typical day might see brioche or pumpkin, cinnamon and chocolate loaf artfully arranged on the counter and reduced to nothing but a dusting of telltale crumbs before the day is out.

6. No.12 Easton

Restaurants Cafés

It’s all about the waffles at this stylish neighbourhood café and foodstore on Easton High Street. And whether you opt for them with crispy bacon or slathered in syrup and seasonal fruit, one thing is certain: you need to get your order in early because they have been known to sell out. To say that BS5 locals have come to cherish this airy corner café with its big windows, whitewashed walls and large communal tables is something of an understatement. 

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Monte Carlo Café
Photograph: Sal Maxuda

7. Monte Carlo Café

Restaurants Cafés

Stapleton Road’s legendary Monte Carlo Café has been offering salvation to hungover souls since 1964. Don’t mistake the lack of pretension and bargain prices for bad quality, either. This place is as spotless as it is welcoming, and the fry-ups are fabulous. Plump for the veggie breakfast (eggs, mushrooms, potato scallops, beans, tomatoes and veggie sausages) or brave the gigantic Full Monte, a mammoth undertaking of bacon, sausages, black pudding, eggs, potato scallops and all the trimmings.

8. Rosemarino

Restaurants

This Italian neighbourhood restaurant is a firm favourite with locals. Having won the accolade of best breakfast and best Italian restaurant in Bristol at the Bristol Good Food awards three years in a row, you can be certain the food here is good. Bacon butties (in a ciabatta, actually), full Englishes and their BLT are all superb, but it’s Tommy’s 1-Pan Wonder that really draws the crowds – bacon, mushrooms, onions and potatoes fried in a pan, with an egg cracked on top with grated cheese to follow. 

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9. Budapest Café

Restaurants Cafés

This small but perfectly formed café behind Whiteladies Road brings a slice of the Deep South to BS8, with blues on the stereo, friendly service and seriously good buttermilk biscuits (a sort of fluffy, savoury scone) stuffed with egg, cheese, bacon, sausage or all four. Their house baked beans – a sweet, spicy taste sensation so good we had to order a second helping – are very popular. The biscuits remain the main draw here but there’s also seasonal granola and sourdough or granary toast served with American-style toppings (peanut butter and jelly, sweet cinnamon butter).

10. Primrose Café

Restaurants Cafés

If you can find someone with a bad word to say about the Primrose, they’ve probably never lived in Bristol. Choose from a lengthy menu featuring cut-above fry-ups, bubble and squeak, waffles, mushrooms on toast and the world’s most indulgent hot chocolate, then place your order at the counter in the homey dining room downstairs. In fact, the only thing we can think of to complain about is how difficult it can be to get a table at the weekend; set the alarm early to bag a prime spot next Saturday.

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Souk Kitchen, Bristol, North Street
Photograph: Sal Maxuda

11. Souk Kitchen

Restaurants Vegetarian

Plates of food don’t come much more vibrant than those served at Souk Kitchen, which has succeeded in its aim to bring authentic Middle Eastern market dishes to Bristol. However, it’s not just exotic ingredients from warmer climes on offer here. The sausages are from Gloucester old spot pigs, and most of the bread is made by Mark’s Bread, only a few hundred yards away in North Street. Brunch, served at the weekend, includes a particularly good Bloody Mary for £3.95 and a veggie fry-up for £6.80. 

12. Lounge

Restaurants

A showstopping all-day brunch menu, burgers, tapas and damn fine cocktails, all ordered at the busy counter and delivered to your table with a smorgasbord of sauces. The full English covers all bases with bacon, egg, sausage, black pudding, mushrooms, tomato and perfect hash browns, but savvy meat-eaters might want to add on one of the sweetcorn fritters from the equally impressive veggie version. Elsewhere there are pancake stacks, breakfast muffins and veggie kedgeree to get stuck into, all best accompanied by the well-spiced Bloody Mary.

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13. At The Well

Restaurants Cafés

The attention-grabbing pancake stacks (with blueberries, bacon, or both) are top of our must-try list here, with savoury and sweet french toast, bacon sarnies and eggs on toast following closely behind. Great for coffee, hangover obliteration and entertaining small children – thanks to a brilliant kids’ play corner – there’s absolutely no requirement to join the queue for the giant dryer out back but should you feel the need laundry prices are reasonable and the service washes are life-changing.

After more solid recommendations?

The 19 best restaurants in Bristol

Restaurants

Frankly, there’s nowhere better than Bristol for an unpretentious and delicious dining experience – even the higher-brow restaurants we list here share a sense of fun when it comes to their food. So whether it’s burgers, brunch or a big-bucks blowout you’re after, tuck in!

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