Some may say the world is a better place when you’re a child, when fish fingers, nuggets and waffles were delicious parts of your everyday diet and you didn’t think twice about it. Now you’re an adult, and the word ‘nugget’ is almost taboo. It’s true we all get cravings to return to those simple times, to relish in the tastebuds of our younger selves without panicking over additives or whether it’s gluten-free. Well fear no more, because a handful of Bristol's hidden gems are seizing this gap in the market, serving desirable kiddy grub alongside exciting incarnations. Read on and prepared to be whisked away to the glory days.
Release your inner kid at the oh-so-good Oowee with some glorious waffle fries. Any selection of their popular cheesy fries can be magically transformed into waffles, with the added bonus to load them with bacon, jalapenos, buttermilk fried chicken and buffalo shrimp. These are old-school waffles turned dirty, and they’ve never tasted so good.
There’s no denying that fish fingers are pretty damn delicious, yet they are sadly restricted to the diet of a child. That is, of course, until the celebrated arrival of the fish finger sandwich, a modern twist appropriating fishy treats for adults to enjoy. Bristol welcomes the fish sarnie with open arms, and The Urban Standard arguably offer the tastiest one to date: plaice goujons stacked in a brioche bun, with minted mushy peas and fennel tartare or smashed avocado and chipotle mayo. These sarnies are pretty bang on and taste far far better than your bog standard Birds Eye.
Bow down to the mighty Soul Fish, as these guys are bringing chip butties back to their former glory. Aiming to serve comfort food with a conscience, you can rely on this chippy for their throwback food, tasting and looking better than it ever did before. Think proper chunky chips with a crispy golden outing and a soft fluffy centre, generously loaded in a chunky white baguette. Mmmm. If you fancy a taste of the seaside, I'd advise to skip the beach and hop over to Gloucester Road instead for a cheerful taste-bud trip.
Nestled in the heart of St Werburghs, discover a restaurant renowned for its primordial dishes and brilliantly eccentric treats. In among The Cauldron's weird and wonderful dishes you may indulge in what some may regard as little bites of heaven: the chicken nugget. These meaty morsels are the truest and most original of their form, and can now be enjoyed without the addition of a McDonalds toy.
Pimped out jackets are on the menu at Prince of Wales, serving the ultimate comfort food in the form of taters, beans and cheese. Along with beloved staples you can expect creative twists and worldwide inspirations, with spuds dressed up to the nines with Moroccan lamb tagine, beef brisket chili and El Comado chorizo.
Sometimes all you need is a buttery, crunchy slice of toast to get you through the day. Luckily, The Toast Room are giving you just that. Here you can get back to basics with generous lashings of jam, marmalade, marmite or peanut butter, or munch on a slice loaded with homemade baked beans. If you’re down for a proper filling up, wallow in the full works with their new ‘Full English on Toast’ (think sausage, streaky bacon, sauteed mushrooms, plum tomatoes, fried egg). Either way, a visit to The Toast Room will set you up with a great-tasting brekky.
Fancy the ultimate blast from the past? If so, then a visit to Atomic Burger is on the cards. With an interior boasting a ragbag of 70’s memorabilia and video games, these stylishly dated quirks will send you right back to your childhood days. Alongside their lip-smacking burgers and potato waffle stacks, their desserts ramp up the nostalgia with a proper overdose of throwback treats - perfect for all sweet-toothed fiends.
If you’ve managed to spare room for dessert, there’s an impressive display of sugar coated goodies to enjoy: slurp on a mighty Freakshake topped with cream, ice cream, jelly beans, jelly snakes, flying saucers and strawberry sauce, toast mallows at your table with your own campfire or devour a wookie cookie sundae with oreos, marshmallow fluff, ice cream, chocolate sauce and a cherry on top. Whatever takes your fancy here, you’re certainly in for a sweet ride.
Pretty certain milkshakes never looked this big growing up. Beehive Coffee’s giant shakes are the after-effect of the Freakshake epidemic, where milkshake meets dessert and monstrous creations are made. Sugar sweats are officially a thing here, with shakes stacked high with doughnuts, brownies, biscuits and sweets. Layered with lashings of cream and drizzles of sauce, these are the shakes of your childhood dreams. Every creation stands out as an individual piece of artistry, brimming with colour and the sweetest of flavours.
Bomboloni made so good, they named the place after them. When it comes to cake this local Italian certainly know their onions, with gorgeous servings of little sugary doughnuts paired with lemon and raspberry dipping sauce. Cooked fresh and served hot, these fluffy bites are light, delicious, and beautifully simple.
So artisan cocktails may not be the ultimate throwback, but at HMMS you’re certainly guaranteed a childlike drinking experience (this by no means alludes to a can of Strongbow in a field). Here you can revel in a sliding scale of boozy delights with cocktails served in wellies, sweet dispensers and noodle soup boxes (there’s even a cocktail served in a toilet bowl). It may sound slightly immature, but these drinks pack a serious punch and besides, it’s far more enjoyable than drinking from a kilner jar.
You can read more about Helen avoiding the kitchen and swiping the free tasters at Eat a Pitta here