That was a very hot, very long, fairly unusual British summer, wasn't it?! Love it or hate it, things have definitely taken a turn at long last. As the nights are drawing in and the frosty mornings are appearing, it’s time to dig out the cosy jumpers, winter boots and big coats. When it’s warm outside, here at Wriggle we love a salad as much as the next person, but when the temperature drops to single figures, there’s nothing quite as soothing as a hot meal, and preferably one that’s served in a bowl and eaten with a spoon. 

With that in mind, here’s our round up of Bristol’s top soups, stews and comfort foods to warm your cockles and defrost your toes.

Thanks to Sarah at YesStarling for her great list. 

Open for breakfast, lunch and afternoon sustenance, Bristol Porridge Project offer a variety of delicious toppings such as their “Crunchy Nutty Heaven” with almonds, cashews, crunchy oats and maple syrup, or their “Goldilock, Stock and Banana” with granola, banana and maple syrup. They demonstrate their magnificence by having a range of plant milks as well as cows milk, and by buying their maple syrup by the litre.

Read more about Bristol Porridge Project

The Station Kitchen is a YMCA-run social enterprise training café. As well as serving amazing food, the café offers training, volunteering and employment opportunities to anyone looking to get into the hospitality industry. On their lunch menu you’ll find soup served with sourdough among other hearty dishes like pizza and flatbreads. There are lots of vegan choices as well as daily specials.

Read more about Station Kitchen

The Shakespeare Totterdown is comfort-food central. Not only do they serve home-made soups and stews, but they serve them inside a fresh baked boule loaf! There are also sandwiches and small plates on the menu for those who don’t think they can resist the temptation of eating the boule before the contents.

Read more about The Shakespeare (Totterdown)

Tucked away down a peaceful Clifton side street, you’ll find Mockingbird Café. Their weekday menu changes weekly and includes a soup as well as an extensive brunch menu. They also serve the mysterious drink called London Fog, which is considerably more comforting than it sounds. Perfect for people watching, this cosy café is a perfect stop-off when out shopping.

Read more about Mockingbird

Upcoming Wriggles

There’s just one soup on the menu at Bomboloni, but when it’s a home-made minestrone, what more could you possibly ask for? Aside from the wonderful soup, you’ll be comforted by the welcome at family-run Bomboloni, their hearty, homemade pasta dishes, and their glorious garlic bread. Oh, and make sure you try their name-sake dessert before you leave.

Read more about Bomboloni

With fiery hot noodles, hot pots and more ranging in spice level from the approachable 1 to the fearsome 5, there's nothing quite like a Chilli Daddy to blow away the cobwebs. With recipes forged from the hunger of the Great Leap Forward (1958-1960) and Socialist China, passed down through generations, Dr Weng and Mrs Li are revolutionising the Szechuan scene of the south-west with fresh, local ingredients and a true passion for feeding people. Their mantra ​passed down from his grandmother, remains “never forget those still in hunger”; so make sure you don’t forget to check them out. A firm Wriggle favourite.

Read more about Chilli Daddy (Queens Rd)

Spike Island Café make all their menu from scratch. Whether you’re after soup, casserole, curry or pasta, you’ll find a warming bowl of it here. There’s an extensive selection of hot drinks and home-made cakes too, so it’s probably best to settle in for the afternoon and work your way through the whole menu. If time’s not on your side, they offer a wholesome, seasonal Daily Express bowl for £5.

Read more about Spike Island Cafe

Occupying one of the best people-watching spots in Stokes Croft, The Crafty Egg serve fantastic food all day. But in the evenings, out comes the star of the show; their fondue. Only available throughout the winter and all at once evoking thoughts of Christmas cheeseboards and cozy apres-ski (that we may well have only ever seen on telly) those bubbling pots of cheese comfort in a way that only molton dairy products can.

Read more about The Crafty Egg

Another venue providing the enveloping comfort of cheese is the Urban Standard with their ‘mid-week mac’. This is mac n cheese as you’ve never had it before; it’s on burgers, in deep fried patties, under pulled meat… The truffled mac is a thing of beauty, as is the beef and blue, but if you just want to keep is simple, the plain mac is instant comfort on a fork.

Read more about The Urban Standard

What could possibly be more comforting and warming than a massive, cuddly pie? A vegan owned and operated pop-up run by a husband and wife team all the way from the Antipodes, Pie Baby make the most delicious vegan pies with one purpose: filling your (pie)hole and satisfying your soul! All the pies come with with a kiwi twist (they're potato topped) and the flavours are down right sensational (vegan Macaroni Cheese, Spicy Mexican Bena Chilli and Creamy Mushroom Stroganoff to name a few). Delicious, vegan, and perfect for an autumnal feast.

Read more about Pie Baby @ The Golden Lion

You probably know that Taiwan-inspired CUPP do a huge range of bubble teas, but did you also know they also do an excellent noodle soup? There’s a meaty version and a vegan, so all bases are covered. The St Stephen’s branch also offers freshly steamed bao bun – perfect for warming you through and through with their pillow soft buns and delicious fillings.

Read more about CUPP

Windmill Hill City Farm Café uses home grown and local produce in their simple, comforting menu. There’s always a soup and a seasonal stew on the menu, as well as toasties and a tart or frittata. If you’ve got time, you can hang out with the farm’s residents and buy some goodies to take home from their farm shop.

Read more about Windmill Hill City Farm Cafe

Published -2nd October 2018