As with all the best foodie cities, Bristol is as famous for its street food as for its fine dining.
To help you all make the most of your time in Bristol, below are the details of the best street food markets in the city, along with when they are and what to keep an eye out for when you go!
St Nicholas Market
The most famous market in Bristol, located in the purpose built Victorian covered market just off Corn Street. The market is split up into different areas, with stalls featuring jewellery, clothing, hot chilli sauce, an old fashioned sweet shop and a very good South African shop (try their home made biltong – its fabulous). If you are hungry the Glass Arcade in the centre of the market is where to head for. Food from all over the world can be found here, from Moroccan tagine to Caribbean jerk chicken, all cooked fresh that day.
Opening Times: Monday to Saturday 09:30 – 17:00
Best Stall: Ahh Toots Bakery
Wine/Corn Street Markets
From first thing in the morning local food producers set up their stalls, hoping to make a few early sales to those on their way to work, but in truth the market doesn’t really get going until later in the day. There are two markets here, the Farmers Market and the Friday Street Food Market. The Farmers Market is generally dominated by local producers, but there are occasionally stalls from further away such as truffled pecorino cheeses from Italy. The Street Food Market is comparatively more cosmopolitan with international dishes taking up the majority of stalls.
Wednesday Farmers Market 09:30 – 14:30
Best Stall: Local cheese place
Friday Food Market: 10:00 – 16:00
Best Stall: Pippin Doughnuts
Temple Quay Food Market
Located right next to Temple Meads Railway Station, the large open square has plenty of room for a large number of diverse food stalls. Building on the success of semi-permanent food stalls such as Yurt Lush in the area, the market strives to bring new and exciting food concepts to Bristol’s commuters and office workers, as well as the usual producers that show up regularly at each of Bristol’s markets. Get here early to avoid the mad rush between 12:30 – 13:30.
Opening Times: Thursday 12:00 – 14:00
Best Stall: South Street Kitchen
The new kid in town, but this market is no retiring wallflower shyly sneaking in to the back of class. It may be new but it has already caused quite a stir, and dare I say has really upped the game in terms of the quality of local street food. This market reminds me a lot of the South Bank market in London, with incredibly fresh food, cooked and prepared in front of you, and presented beautifully. The atmosphere here makes you want to hang around rather than just pass through; the seating down the centre of the path means that people are choosing to sit and enjoy their meals, comparing choices with friends, and enjoying the music that is played through a couple of large amps. This place has a real buzz.
Opening Times: Friday 12:00 – 14:00
Best Stall: Crispy Squid
Whiteladies Road Market
The most traditional of the markets outside of St. Nicks. A series of gazebos are set up just north of River Cottage Canteen on Black Boy Hill, with a few other stalls set up on the pavement down towards Clifton Down Station. This market really does celebrate the organic and sustainable food ethos that have become serious buzzwords in the Clifton/Redland area of the city. Look out for chains of garlic and onions sold from an old fashioned bicycle, and te taco stall for something a little different.
Opening Times: Saturday 08:30 – 14:00
Best Stall: Old Sudbury Lamb Butchers
Spread along the edge of the harbour opposite No.1 Harbourside this market was set up to support local producers and to provide a safe space for people to shop and enjoy the idyllic waterfront area. The weekend market features a number of stalls from antiques to organic soaps, however Thursday is strictly about the street food.
Opening Times: Thursday 12:00 – 15:00, Saturday & Sunday 11:00 – 16:00
Best Stall: Ginger Beard Preserves
Tobacco Factory Market
Located in the area surroundings of Bristol’s most intimate and creative theatre, this weekly market offers 40 different stalls, with a strong emphasis on local, organic food served in biodegradable packaging. There is a real community feel in this, the biggest of south Bristol’s markets, as the organisers put on creative projects for children as well as offering a space to meet and hang out with friends old and new. The market strongly encourages all of its customers to get to know the producers and ask responsible food journies which are key to the ethos of the market.
Opening Times: Sunday 10:00 – 14:30
Best Stall: Agnes Spencer Jamaican Food
Stand Alone Street Food Stalls
There are also a number of stand alone food trucks in Bristol that are worth seeking out, Some of the best are listed below.
Perhaps because it is the ultimate street food; portable, delicious and containing a good balance of carbs, protein and vegetables, burritos have flooded the Bristol food scene. Perhaps the best street food burritos to mention are those at the Woolly Cactus and Bearritos.
Woolly Cactus – Victoria Street, BS1 6TP
You won’t be able to miss the brightly coloured van just the other side of Bristol Bridge from Castle Park. The once knitted exterior has been removed and the now more practical van sells a range of mexican street food, all based on the favourites; pulled pork, steak asado and chipotle chicken. The nice thing with this place is the wraps are a little different, very herby but this makes them stand out from the usual plain burrito tortilla.
Bearritos – Bearpit, BS1
With a menu that is in essence almost identical to the Woolly Cactus, Bearritos serves the other side of the city centre. Located in the Bear Pit, the subway under St James’ roundabout, this interesting food truck operates out of an old double decker bus, with the upstairs providing a seating area.
Pickle – Victoria Street(Near Temple Meads Station)/Underfall Yard
Originally just a small catering van producing very high quality sandwiches and coffee, the love and care that goes into even the most simple of products shows just how good food should taste. The van has now expanded to offer a breakfast menu; think porridge, granola and bacon sarnies, and taken up a second residence in Bristol’s historic docks where it provides more substantial meals and even has an alcohol licence.
Jason Donnervan – Clifton Triangle, BS8
Ok, I admit this is not really the kind of place you will want to eat at during the day, but trust me at 3am after a night of partying on the Triangle, there is nothing better than rocking up to this hilariously named kebab van and ordering something to quench that late night hunger pangs.
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