Bristol is full of baes who know food, who know how to run a business, and are smashing glass ceilings. These ladies are achieving their dreams and more by running some of the most successful restaurants and bars in town, writing about the best places to eat and generally contributing to the food scene we love.
So without much ado, meet the women carving up the Bristol food-scene:
The infamous vegan truck parked on Alma road in Clifton is owned by Louise Abel, who is passionate about food that's ethical, good for you and good for the environment. Louise has been featured in Buzzfeed and national newspapers for serving up some of the best, wholesome, vegan dishes that delight even the most unapologetic meat eater. Look out for her pop-ups around Bristol and strive to try something guilt free this 2019.
Mary (pictured here with her partner Jan, head chef and co-owner) has created a perfectly formed little English bistro. Dubbed after Mary’s family name, this 24-cover spot offers up a weekly changing menu using ingredients which are grown, hunted or gathered locally by Mary and Jan themselves. Mary has taken the the torch from her parents, bringing the Wilsons family name and the stain glass sign, from their London restaurant to Chandos Road.
Serving tea and vintage glamour, Cox and Baloney are the place to go on Cheltenham Road. Starting with a small cafe and shop, the girls have taken the brand to new heights offering high tea, gin cocktails and a banging full English breakfast. If your twitter profile mentions you love tea or gin and you haven’t been here yet, you need to have a word with yourself.
Shona (previously of Yurt Lush) named her gorgeous little cafe after her niece Emmeline. Taking over the previous shop, Dutty's, that occupied the site in Stokes Croft, Shona has made Emmeline her own. With flowers, succulents and cacti for sale from The Mighty Quinn, fantastic coffee and delicious food, and the ever-lovely welcome of Shona, Emmeline is one of our favourite independents. If you're an Emmeline fan like us, you've probably noticed that the gorgeous spot has been temporarily closed for a while, after damage to the shop front – but the word on the streets is things are getting moving again – we can't wait to have Emmeline back!
From small seeds come mighty loaves, and Laura Hart certainly knows her loaves! Starting in a small bakery down a back road in Clifton, she has taken her skills and team to a Victorian railway arch in Temple Meads. Making and selling pastries, sandwiches, hot drinks and everything in between, Laura is a Godsend to travellers and office workers alike.
Ladies, we’d always encourage you to avoid being a slave to the laundry basket. Run by three sisters (and occasionally their mum), this super relaxed café allows you to treat yourself to a cappuccino and a stack of pancakes with your gals, while the on-site launderette does the hard work for you. Instead of a tropey Diet Coke break man to entertain you as you watch your smalls whizz around, they have live music, speedy internet access and cake. I’d rather watch cat gifs and eat brownies than watch a topless man showing off any day.
A top choice, this place is a wholesome yoga studio-cum-super food café, managed independently by role model businesswoman Janice (previously of Kate's Kitchen and Arch House Deli). It’s a haven of female empowerment that encourages you to care for the body and soul. We at Wriggle love being nourished from the inside out (it helps to counteract the amount of burgers we eat) and Janice provides really tasty food that is actually good for you too. We salute the sun to you, Janice.
The fabulous Charlie Harding is not only one of the sassiest women in food in Bristol, she also runs an extremely readable, enjoyable food blog. Find out about the latest openings, or read her impassioned views about all manner of food and booze issues, from naked women on beer pump clips to why chicken kievs are the best – there's not a lot that Charlie doesn't cover.
This is the jewel-in-the-crown of Bristol's Korean food scene. Set up and run by Wizzy Chung, a chef with years' of experience at Michelin Starred establishments, this place screams low-key quality. A beautiful space with an invariably warm and informal welcome, the whole point is making haute-cuisine accessible – and affordable – to all. Using produce she has grown herself on her allotment, Wizzy cooks up simply gorgeous food. Either swing by for a takeaway bento box for your lunch or come with friends for a more leisurely dinner in the evening. Either way, you're guaranteed a delicious time.
Invest in yourself and book into a life drawing class or a course in wellbeing at the Folk House. Liz Haughton is a truly impressive entrepreneur, and has created a space where good food and creativity meet in a harmonious space. What's more, she's now done it three times, with the recent opening of Bowl of Plenty following Spike Island Cafe. These wholesome, organic-inspired cafés are perfect for catching up with friends over a drink or two.
Kate’s Kitchen set up at one of Bristol's most unusual beauty spots, the Arnos Vale Cemetery. The Cafe has gained a reputation for some of the best brunches in the business, with the stunning Arnos Brunch leading the way. Kate has run her own catering business for years before opening up the cafe – and now works with a predominantly female team. We'll drink to that!
Tracy Koh (pictured here with her partner James Fong, who's the executive chef at Bento Boss and Ramen Ya) is a woman filling Bristol with Asian flavours via her two successful restaurants. Bento Boss has been a knock-out success in a previously difficult location by Clifton Down, earning a reputation for being somewhere to nab a quick lunch or enjoy an indulgent dinner. Tracy has recently expanded and opened Ramen Ya on Gloucester Road, serving delicious bowls of Ramen and Bao in a cosy setting.
Elly Curshen – formerly Pear Cafe, Cookbook Writer & Insta-Inspo
Although we were gutted to say goodbye to the beautiful Pear Cafe in Stokes Croft a while back, we couldn't not include Elly Curshen in our round-up of fabulous foodie females. If you don't already follow her on Insta, get ready for serious food and photo envy – as well as some rather glorious outfits, too. Some of Bristol's best foodie havens are documented via this account, so it's well worth following for a few hot tips. A woman of many talents with nimble fingers in all the pies, she hosts regular cookery classes, has two recipe publications under her chic belt, with a third on the way, and is a strong advocate of vegetables – we are big fans.
Heading up her first retail unit at Whapping Wharf, Hayley Wright is the owner of The Mighty Quinns Flower Emporium – and is spreading flower power throughout Bristol, providing beautiful bouquets for the special someone in your life. Although she doesn’t serve food, we had to include Hayley on our list – as a pillar of the foodie bubble of Wapping Wharf. Hayley can’t do enough to help you if you’re not sure about what you want and her flowers are stunning.
Blogger, Bristol Champion, Food Award Judge, Story Telling Night Host and all round good egg Shonette, has been crowing about Bristol since the day she made the move up the hill from Bath. One of the most familiar faces at Bristol's food events, you can guarantee she has something positive to say and an idea for another event (her Rumageddon evenings are now legendary). Catch up with her blog or work at Visit Bristol and absorb some of those good vibes.
Romy is incredibly accomplished; one of the few Indian women who own and and run their own kitchen, she's breaking down barriers wherever she turns. Romy was even awarded a MBE for her services to the hospitality industry on the Queen’s 90th Birthday Honors list in 2016. She has been a judge on the Chef’s Table in the Celebrity Masterchef Final in 2016, and was the resident cook for April’16 in the Guardian newspaper. If you haven't yet headed to Thornbury to see what all the fuss is about, get a Wriggle on – you won't be disappointed.
Bursting on to the scene in 2017, Alice and Jo, along with their trusty band of female tour operators, are taking Bristolians and those from further afield on the tastiest tours across the city. Focusing on particular city areas and delicious themes, you can book to be taken on a beautiful tour of the city and try some of the best food around, safe in the knowledge that in the summer, you can even get your bike out and enjoy going a little further afield. You will leave very full and bursting with knowledge!
The amazing owner (with husband James) and Front of House at Michelin Star Awarded Wilks Restaurant, Christine is well known for being warm and inviting as well as championing local food and drink. Christine has an accomplished history of running FOH in restaurants in France and Turkey and we are very pleased she decided to settle in Bristol.
Arguably the Queen of food PR in Bristol, Pam Lloyd is the owner and head honcho of her own PR business in Bristol. Based in Montpelier, she and her almost completely female-led team champion Bristol restaurants and independent food products across the South West and beyond.
Dynamic duo Meg and Frankie are ruling foodie social media right now, providing marketing, event PR and a whole host of other things to some our best loved bars and restaurants in Bristol. Not only are they nailing food, with their small all-female business team rapidly growing, this pair also perform as star spangled DJs, playing at some of Bristol's biggest venues and events. You can't help but drop it like it's hot when you're watching them go.
Burger-chomping social media queen and Crumbs Magazine team member Natalie burst onto the scene a few years back and can now count some of Bristol's biggest movers and shakers in the food scene among her friends, followers and fans. If you're after a recommendation on where to find the best fried chicken burger, the hottest new pop-up restaurant, or the best cocktails in the South West, Natalie is your gal. Running a Bristol food podcast called Stuffed!, Natalie loves food, eating and talking about it, and we love her.
Mel and Heather are part of the fabulous gaggle of businesses that make Wapping Wharf the thriving foodie heart of today's Bristol. Their delicious veggie and vegan curries are fantastically priced, utterly seasonal, good for you, and most importantly: totally delicious. Their heavenly food even led them to being crowned the winner of the 'Best Vegetarian' category at the 2018 Bristol Good Food Awards.