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Bristol’s Hidden Gems: Best Places for Dessert

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Spoke and Stringer. Photo: Emma Roffe

In this month’s feature, we’re tucking into some of the greatest after-dinner treats the city has to offer…

The best desserts come in all shapes, sizes, textures and styles. For many, the final dish in a meal is the main event, and treating yourself to something succulent, creamy or classically chocolate-rich is the perfect way to see off a week. To that end, we’ve raced around Bristol sniffing out - and of course tasting - an array of puddings, desserts, cakes and treats. It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it…

Situated in a newly restored section of the Bristol harbourside, Spoke & Stringer is a café-bar and adventure lifestyle shop with attitude. With a focus on ride culture (that’s cycling, surfing, skateboarding and motorcycling to you and me) their set up allows you to have a browse then nibble on some delightful treats. They do a wide-ranging menu of brunch, lunch and evening pintxos (snacks), and typically offer anything from a Créme Brûlée to a salted caramel brownie and baked frangipane and fig tarts. Delicious!

Spoke & Stringer is at The Boat House Unit 1, Lime Kiln Road, BS1 5AD.

Quick Crepes

If you find yourself wandering around town looking for that perfect sweet treat, look no further than Quick Crepes - an unassuming food outlet that’s been parked in the city centre for years gone by. It’s the ideal speedy and cheap alternative to some of our pricier options, and with a large choice of filling it’s easy to skip the main and head straight to the dessert. There isn’t really any seating, so it’s very much an option for a snack on the move, but if it’s a sunny day there are plenty of benches to relax on near the fountains, looking over the Floating Harbour.

Quick Crepes is in the city centre, next to The Fountains.

Ahh Toots

Alternatively, pop over to the vibrant St Nicholas Market and visit Ahh Toots, a delightful little enterprise tucked away amongst the array of stalls and shops. Their cakes are nothing short of fabulous: make sure to check out their online gallery to really get salivating. The majority of their ingredients are locally-supplied and baked fresh, so pop in to sample what they offer. The brainchild of baker Tam and only opened in 2014, the café has quickly become a hot destination for the very best coffee and cake break.

Ahh Toots is at 4-8 Glass Arcade, St Nicholas Market, BS1 1LJ.


For a dessert that doesn’t particularly need to follow the main, head over to Rocotillos on the Triangle, just off the top of Park Street. This local-favourite is styled like an American diner and serves up - you guessed it - some of the best milkshakes in town. Whether you want Oreo, cookie dough, strawberry or just plain old vanilla, they’ve got the shakes to satisfy your need. Keep a particular eye out for the double or even triple thickness upgrades to create a milkshake to write home about.

Rocotillos is at 1 Queens Row, Clifton, BS8 1EZ.

Primrose Cafe

Also up in Clifton you’ll find The Primrose Café, a friendly local establishment serving salads, brunches and homemade cakes that are locally-, ethically- and sustainably-sourced. Run by the same owners for 25 years, the café is always popular, partly thanks to its summery roof garden. Plus, you’re right on hand for the many shops, restaurants and bars of Clifton Village. It’s an especially good choice for those on a particular diet (or with a gluten intolerance) as the café makes the food to order, so just make sure to ask for what you need.

The Primrose Café is at 1, Clifton Arcade, Boyces Avenue, Clifton, BS8 4AA.

Harts Baker

An old favourite of ours. For those coming in and out of the city, pop in to Hart’s Bakery, tucked away in a railway arch beneath Temple Meads station. There you’ll find a smorgasbord of delights, all freshly-baked. Whether you fancy some sourdough toast, cakes or pastries, it can be the perfect treat for an upcoming train journey. Coffee fans will want to pair their purchase with a drink from Extract Coffee Roasters.

Hart’s Bakery is at Arch 35, Lower Approach Road, Temple Meads, Bristol BS1 6QS.