Move over London – Bristol is home to a whole host of unmissable neighbourhood gems as Elly Curshen, author, chef and and founding owner of The Pear Cafe, reveals…
I moved to Bristol in 1999 and have lived all over the city, but Montpelier is my favourite area. I live a short walk from The Pear Cafe, which I opened over 11 years ago. It’s just a stone’s throw from Gloucester Road which is filled with shops, bars and restaurants. Bristol’s food scene is thriving and dominated by independent eateries, which pleases me greatly!
Katie & Kim’s Kitchen
Katie & Kim’s Kitchen is very close to home and hard to resist. There’s one big table in the middle, so everyone just sits together, elbow to elbow, and feasts. Their brunches are incredible and everything I’ve ever had there (I’ve visited many times!) has always been utterly delicious and a joy to eat. I love their toasted cheese scones which are perfectly charred, soaked in butter and topped with poached eggs, seasonal greens, date ketchup, aioli and lots of fresh herbs. katieandkimskitchen.com
Bell’s Diner (and sister restaurant Bellita)
Salt cod fritters with aioli, spiced cauliflower and yoghurt, chargrilled prawns – these are just some of the dishes that have appeared on the menu here. The food has a Spanish/ North African/Middle Eastern lilt and the chef uses lots of seasonal ingredients – I recommend ordering lots of the delicious small plates so you can try different things. The bread and wine are also brilliant. bellsdiner.com
Bakers and Co.
These guys really know how to do brunch! Their huevos rancheros is one of my top ten things to eat in Bristol and is what I usually order. I can rarely resist their breakfast pudding either (yes, it’s a thing!). Their cake display is always filled with deliciously tempting treats, too. bakersbristol.co.uk
When people ask me for a Bristol foodie tip off, this is my most recommended place. It’s a restaurant/bar/music venue with a mezzanine dining level which looks down over the bar area making it feel buzzy, but not too manic. Look out for the early evening deal as the dishes are ridiculously good value for money. Their Sunday lunches are also exemplary. thegallimaufry.co.uk
There’s some very stiff competition here, but I reckon Pi Shop’s pizzas are the best in Bristol. My personal recommendation is the soft serve and the dressed house salad. Next door you’ll also find Paco Tapas, which is run by the same owners. They serve sherry straight from the barrel and the tapas is better than what I’ve had in Spain. thepishop.co.uk
Full Court Press
This is my favourite coffee shop. Matt and his team are seriously skilled baristas and the brews they serve are constantly changing (but always great). It’s also the perfect place to try out lots of different styles of beans. Small Street Espresso, Little Victories, Spicer & Cole and Mokoko are all lovely too. fcpcoffee.com
Laura Hart’s bakery is located in an archway close to Temple Meads station. It’s always busy, and you can see why. They offer a sensational selection of breads and cakes and pastries – be sure to grab a loaf to take home with you. hartsbakery.co.uk
Elly’s latest cookbook, Elly Pear’s Let’s Eat (£20, Harper Thorsons) is out now