Local foodie Charlie Harding gives us a guided tour of the neighbourhood surrounding the popular Gloucester Road, AKA Bristol's Indie District.

You can read more about the area on our Gloucester Road and Stokes Croft page, or the Local's Guide to Horfield covers the upper end of Gloucester Road if you want to keep exploring!

Gloucester Road Mural

Where to eat

Bishopston has a thriving independent restaurant and bar community with enough choice to please any palate. Here are just a few top picks from the wealth of choice on offer...

Bomboloni 

A real neighbourhood restaurant run by the Griffin family, here you will find traditional Italian fayre with the odd modern twist. Heaps of saucy pasta, pungent garlic breads and of course their famous bomboloni, small flavoured doughnuts, served piping hot and dusted in sugar and with two flavours of sauce for dipping. On sunny days enjoy the outdoor seating for a taste of european summer holidays. 

Suncraft 

With veganism gaining popularity, the team behind The Gallimaufry across the road (more on there later) have opened a relaxed vegan eatery without a couscous-stuffed pepper in sight. Taking their inspiration from all over the globe, you can enjoy Ethiopian stews, Korean rice cakes and Japanese noodles with exciting sides and desserts. Even diehard carnivores will leave satisfied. All dishes are best enjoyed eaten in the window seats while people watching. 

Suncraft Bristol
Credit: Suncraft

The Nectar House 

Not only is it a glorious cafe by day serving breakfast, lunch, coffee cake and smoothies, it also opens in the evening with a changing series of pop-ups. They also are trying their hand at helping our pollinators by selling locally-made honey and ensuring their lovely garden space has as many bee-friendly plants in it as possible.

The Grace 

If small plates, fine wine and good atmosphere are your thing, you can’t do better than The Grace. Their freshly-made, seasonal menu keeps everyone coming back for more whilst their range of local beers, top tier spirits and impressive beer garden will keep you seated long after your meal is done.

The Grace beer garden Bristol
Credit: The Grace

Seoul GaJa

The first thing that hits you when you enter this unassuming local Korean diner is the smell of kimchi. The food is traditional and a welcome change to the usual East Asian fare you can find in the UK. Bulgogi beef, bibimbap and hotpots are all on the menu with plenty of small dishes for you and friends to try before your main. It’s also a BYOB venue so well worth forking out for some decent beers that compliment the spicy flavours. 

Koocha Mezze 

This totally vegan restaurant serves the mezze style food you know and love, but without using any animal products. By cleverly using vegan alternatives, in most cases you will barely notice the meat is missing. The cocktails are also worth a visit alone, expertly blended and best enjoyed in the front garden. 

Koocha Mezze Bristol
Credit: Koocha Mezze

Per & Kor 

Persian and Korean might not be the first thoughts when you consider fusion food, but this husband and wife duo have combined their expert knowledge of eachother's home cuisine and created something quite spectacular. They don’t create mixed dishes, but offer options of both styles of food to be enjoyed. There is no pre-booking here, so turn up erly and nab a seat. 

Hobgoblin 

The only place to try if you want big burgers, dirty fries and the hottest chicken wings this side of Buffalo, New York! These guys have been smoking their own meat for years and know their way around a patty, be it beef, chicken or seitan. The perfect place to pig out with friends, cure a hangover or tackle their eating challenge, if you dare! 

Eat a Pitta 

Eat in or takeaway, Eat a Pitta has become a Bristol institution. You will be amazed at their towering piles of hummous, pickles, salad and more and get to watch fresh fried falafels come straight out of the fryer. Those who enter here shall be rewarded with a box stuffed to bursting with the finest falafel and mezze and enough to keep you going for more than one meal.

Eat a Pitta Bristol

Where to drink 

The Gallimaufry

If you like cosy nooks and nik nak stuffed crannies The Galli, as it’s locally called, is the bar for you. A range of locally brewed craft beers are available on the taps or in the fridges as well as cocktails, wines and spirits. The outdoor seating is perfect for enjoying come rain or shine and evenings are a always filled with live music. The food here is fantastic too with one of the best Sunday Roasts in Bishopston as well as plenty of small plates for those who are just wanting a snack between pints. 

The Drapers Arms

This micro pub was the first of it’s kind in Bristol and has paved the way for many more to follow. Serving expertly kept cask beer, white or red wine and one local gin (they got rid of the cider) you can nip in for  a pre-match pint or a lazy Saturday afternoon. This is an electronics free pub so no music, no gaming machines and no sitting on your phone if you’re with friends. If you do, you might be subjected to a local mistaking you for being lonely and will attempt a chat. 

The Drapers Arms
Credit: The Drapers Arms

The Inn On The Green 

This family friendly pub is a popular place to be with a great food menu, rotating cask ales and a very pro dog policy. You would be silly to miss their weekly pub quix that usually ends in a meat raffle and their summer beer festival is an absolute hit, serving over 100 beers, live bands and the customary burgers and chips. 

The Golden Lion 

This live band hotspot is the place to go if you like your music loud. With a gig booked for almost every night of the week, there is a sound for everyone being served here. The beers on offer are standard fare but exactly what you want to be drinking in between pogoing to a Ska ensemble. 

The Golden Lion Bristol
Credit: The Golden Lion

Where to shop 

You can pick up everything from hammers to nutritional yeast in Bishopston, it’s certainly the area to go if you like to shop locally and ethically. 

Scoopaway 

Scoopaway was offering shoppers the chance to weigh their own produce long before it was fashionable. Shelves are stocked high with organic produce and meat and dairy alternatives whilst the back of the shop boasts a huge choice of loose spices, cereals , dried fruit and even coffee for you to choose and weigh.  

The Fish Shop 

Sadly the local butcher, baker and fishmongers are all but gone from most high streets but Bishopston has all three. The Fish Shop has a huge range of fresh, frozen and smoked fish and shellfish with expert fishmongers to help you with any questions you have about preparing your fish supper. 

Bishopston Hardware 

Spades, seeds, wood, drill bits, anything any DIY enthusiast needs for a Bank Holiday weekend in can be found in this local ironmongers. The staff are true experts, something you might lack from a certain, large orange organisation and are happy to advise you on the finer details of your projects. 

Co-Lab 

If you’ve seen something you like in the Bristol art scene, chances are you can grab it here. Clothes, furnishings and jewelry are just some of the options you can purchase with your favourite Bristol artists prints and designs on. They also offer a co-working space and open mic nights in the evening, giving the opportunity to really absorb the vibes. 

Colab Bristol

Totally Toys 

You would be forgiven in thinking that toy shops are a thing of the past, with them fading into obscurity when massive Toys R Us style warehouses show’d up (and where are they now!) but Totally Toys is absolutely stands the test of time, selling more modern electronic gifts alongside your ore old school farm animals and Playmobile. Even an adult can get caught up in a nostalgia trip in there, so be warned! 

Kiln 

If you’ve ever wanted to make your own ceramics but haven’t room for a workshop, Kiln is the perfect compromise. Book in to one of their classes to learn to hand make clay mugs and bowls or choose to pick something off the shelf and paint it yourself with friends and bottle of wine in the evenings or with the kids during the day. Whilst there, don’t forget to stock up on coffee and cake and make an afternoon of it! 

Figures of note

Both  Robert "3D" Del Naja and Daddy G of Massive Attack were brought up in the area as well as well as two Nobel Prize–winning physicists, Paul Dirac and Cecil Frank. 

Sports 

Hidden away is the Gloucester County Cricket Club which is home to both local and International games and the odd music performance, including Tom Jones and Elton John! Nearby you'll also find The Memorial Stadium, home of Bristol Rovers FC - one of two football teams based in the city.

Gloucestershire Country Cricket Ground

About the author

Charlie Harding is a food blogger and freelance writer living in Bishopston, making the most of the local food, drink and shops right on her doorstep. You can find her blog at www.bedsitbonnevivante.com. 

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Gloucester Road Shopping
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