Note: ZaZus has found another new home at the top of Gloucester Road, but fear not, the good food continues there…
Definitely not Tescos.
The Egg Poacher had befallen a fate not all that uncommon in the streets of Bristol – as a cyclist, he had been deemed invisible by an oncoming car and, like Humpty himself, had to be put back together again. So it was somewhat tentatively that we took our first steps out into Stokes Croft, and not long before we found the quiet sanctum that is ZaZu’s Kitchen. Owner Toby is a gent, and we had barely arrived before he was offering fresh fruit smoothies or softly scrambled eggs to my gap-toothed companion. For those of us not feeling the effects of a face plant, there’s also a short but super chalked-up menu to chose from, with a focus on all things local and seasonal. Breakfast favourites are there – eggs every way, their own granola, the full works. Fine dining is key, so portions aren’t massive, but you pay for brilliant quality and good coffee.
Price: From £3.50 (homemade granola) to £6.50 (full English).
So very, very nice. Soft Charleston plays as waitresses soft-shoe around small tables, delivering stonkingly good coffee, fresh leaf teas and organic breakfasts at a leisurely pace.
Now one of Gloucester Road’s most established eateries (and far, far superior to the chain-that-shall-not-be-named next door), Tart’s clientele is a mix of ladies who brunch and Montpelier couples who have stopped on their way to buy organic quinoa and The Observer. Arrive between 11.30am and 12pm on a Saturday and you’ll fall between two meals, but it’s worth getting up early for: the sausages are divine and the bread delicious; it’s baby-friendly, locally sourced and they have proper vegetarian options that go beyond mushrooms on toast (even the carnivorous should try the fantastic potato rösti). Portions aren’t huge, but if you’re still hungry there are some fantastically structured cakes on display in the window, all freshly made and most filled with enough cream to coat a cat in.
Price: From £3.95 (house granola and yoghurt) to £6.90 (full English).
Cliftonites bring people watching to the next level. Part ‘The Good Life’, part ‘Made in Chelsea’ it is not uncommon to see Crocs mix with Chanel, canvas bags with iPads. There are an awful lot of people called Barnaby. Having said that, the café culture is well established here and the passion for provenance and homemade food is strong. The Primrose is tucked away but well-known, and you may need to wait (fight?) for a table. The brunch menu is chalked up and there’s a line of wicked cakes in front of the bar. Sweet tooths could opt for the waffles with berries and crème fraiche, or there’s a mean-looking sausage-cheese ensemble for those of a hearty disposition. It’s not your standard bacon, eggs and beans affair, though there are lots of extras to add to your bagels, grilled tomatoes and bubble and squeak. It’s not bad value and there are boutique shops full of stuff-wot-goes-on-mantlepieces next door should you feel so inclined.
Price: From £2.75 (sausage roll) to £4.95 (regular breakfast); extras £0.95-£1.75.
Breakfast in Bedminster
There’s always a buzz in this particular Lounge, sibling of the 5 others that are dotted around Bristol (a further 13 are spread across the country). Bedmo locals and Bristol City fans flock, as do thick-rimmed and skinny-jeaned fashionistas with haircuts like upended seagulls. The staff are rushed at the weekends but generally friendly, and a busy kitchen sends out breakfast classics (full English, bacon, French toast and maple syrup, sausage baps) which are consistently good and served all day. Like all Lounges, it is family friendly and wooden tables are close together – so don’t go if you’re looking for peace. But the coffee is good, there are British and European beers on tap and a small sun terrace out back. Good value and big portions.
Price: From £3 (bacon butty) to £6.75 (full English).