The 10 Best: Independent Coffee Shops in Bristol

From cute to cool, Bristol has a truly thriving café culture and coffee scene.

The city is home to many of the best cafés and coffee shops in the region, thanks to an ever-growing selection of small and cool independents.

So, whether the day calls for a place to sit and sample the best of the Bristol roasts or somewhere to meet for fun and food, there is sure to be a place to please.

In no particular order, here is our pick of the best independent cafes and coffee shops in Bristol right now, plus a look ahead at what's to come.

Our Pick of the Best Cafes and Coffee Shops in the City

1. Small Street Espresso, Central Bristol

Best known for: Their beautiful baby-blue La Marzocco coffee machine. 

Having been open for more than 10 years, Small Street Espresso may be one of Bristol's smallest coffee shops, but it serves some of the best coffee in the city.

These guys take their beans seriously, and from day one have been supplied by Bristol's own Clifton Coffee Roasters, along with many other independent local vendors. Be sure to spend some time here and soak up the rustic and friendly atmosphere, conveniently placed in the centre of Bristol.

2. Playground Coffee, Bristol City Centre

Best known for: Their selection of board games.

Playground Coffee is another contender for Bristol’s best coffee shop. Located in the heart of the city centre, this spot is a dream for coffee-lovers and beer and board-game enthusiasts alike.

Take a seat in one of their swinging chairs and try your chance at a game of Dobble with friends. Their coffee comes from Bristol-based independent roasters, Cloud Fruit Coffee. 

3. Spicer and Cole, Various Bristol Locations

Best known for: Their fresh and flavourful food and drinks. 

Now serving coffee, specialty teas and delicious food in four locations, independent Spicer and Cole is famous in the City for having some of the best coffee in Bristol. 

Their house blend is provided by Bristol-based Extract Coffee, with a personalised blend of beans that produces the ultimate espresso. With tea coming from nearby Cheltenham, the coffee shop really understands the importance of locally-sourced produce. 

The same goes for the food they serve; make sure you don't miss out on their homemade pastries and salads.

4. Full Court Press, Central Bristol

Best known for: Their huge range of specialty coffee.

You will find Full Court Press in the heart of the City. Here, they roast, blend and serve their own specialty coffees, so there is a cup for every taste. 

If you think of yourself as a coffee connoisseur, then Full Court Press is bound to hit the spot. Enjoy your drink with a cinnamon bun or an egg tart supplied by a local institution: Hart's Bakery. 

5. Warmley Waiting Room, Warmley

Best known for: Its unique location.

Situated at the halfway point on the Bristol to Bath Railway Path, this quirky café is one of the cutest in Bristol. 

Located trackside in a disused train station, the Waiting Room is a great place for dog walkers, cyclists and families to stop for coffee and a bite to eat among the beautiful gardens. 

Doctor Who lovers should be sure to check out their ‘Tardis Toilet’ during their visit!

6. Tincan Coffee Co on Gloucester Road

Best known for: Their vintage coffee trucks.

With two cafés in Bristol city centre, Tincan Coffee Co is a great place to work, meet or relax. 

This coffee house serves their own specialty coffee blend from local roasters Clifton Coffee, along with loose leaf teas, hot chocolate and smoothies. The team is well-known in Bristol for their vintage coffee trucks which pop up at the city's festivals, film sets and more.

7. Beehive Coffee House in Downend

Best known for: Their HUGE, seasonal milkshakes.

Undoubtedly one of the coolest cafés in Bristol, The Beehive Coffee House is a great place to take the kids to enjoy a coffee while they indulge in one of the famous "freakshakes". 

On your visit, be sure to try the Salted Caramel Shake with popcorn, cookies and caramel sauce or The Custard Queen, including Custard Creams and white chocolate buttons.

8. The Crepe and Coffee Cabin at Bristol Harbourside

Best known for: Their beautiful Harborside views.

The Crepe and Coffee Cabin is one of the only places in Bristol where you can grab yourself a sweet or savoury crepe and a coffee with a famous Bansky print on it. And all while watching the cities paddleboarders try to stay upright! 

Sit here and enjoy the lively atmosphere of Bristol Harbourside. We think this is the best café with outdoor seating. 

9. Windmill Hill City Farm Café

Best known for: Being an essence of nature in the City.

Based in Bedminster, this is one of the best farm shop cafés in Bristol, with free entry and plenty of adorable animals to see.  

Sit outside and indulge in homemade brownies or a slice of carrot cake while you get an amazing view of the surrounding paddocks and animals. The café serves locally roasted coffee, along with a delicious range of hot and cold drinks, and seasonal meals using produce from the farm. 

10. Coming Soon: Café 16U at Hangar 16U, Brabazon

A new café and coffee shop for Bristol

Once complete, Café 16U will be among the best independent cafes and coffee shops in Bristol.

Here, you will be able to enjoy a freshly brewed coffee with brunch, or a locally sourced cake under the historic Belfast trusses of the Grade II listed aircraft hangar, 16U.

This open-plan café is just one part of the Hangar 16U restoration project at Brabazon, which will see the disused hangar transformed into a new, local social hub for North Bristol with a modern library, meeting nooks and study spaces, community hall, activity rooms, and a wellness centre for fitness.