Food: 7 Drink: 9 Atmosphere: 8 Price: £ Overall: 8/10
Tucked away in Bristol's old city centre near the courts is a pocket sized, unassuming cafe where the baristas serve the barristers - a cool coffee shop aptly located on Small Street.
From the outside the warm lights and steamy windows draw you in (especially during those icy winter months), and once inside the quality of the coffee and the range of baked goods is hard to turn away from. Walking in with my coffee companion, who had insisted on our walk over that she would not be ordering anything, it was not long before she was persuaded into one of their salted caramel brownies.
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri: 7.30-4.30 Sat: 9.30-4.30 Sun: Closed
Aesthetically, the inside is just as delightful with shelves displaying coffee paraphernalia and high ceilings where bright bulbs hang down. Despite being seemingly edgy and ‘cool’ the café is ultimately unpretentious, with the baristas, offering warm conversation and excellent service. There is fairly limited seating, but don't let this stop you from coming as the seating arrangements allow for intimate coffee dates, and on those warm summer days outside seating is available.
The coffee was strong, with a perfect golden brown foam - I’d even go so far as to say it was the best coffee I've had in Bristol. The cafe also offers a selection of tasty treats, some of which are from the well known Harts Bakery - these should not be missed.
One thing worth noting is the lack of wifi which could make it an inefficient place to work (or if, like me, the internet distracts you it may be just the place you have been searching for), so I would recommend this as the perfect spot to come with a mate for a Saturday morning coffee date. But, don't get there too late as this place shuts at 4:30 pm and is, frustratingly, closed every Sunday.
I ordered a flat white for £2.50, and she an almond milk flat white. One criticism I have is the additional charge of 30p for the use of soy/almond milk, however, it seems all cafes do that so don't let this put you off. From our first impressions the cafe had set high expectations for an ‘out of this world coffee’, and it did not disappoint. The phrase “worth going into your overdraft for” was even slung about amidst our coffee haze.
Small St. is a wonderful cafe, potentially the best in Bristol. The Independent has even named it in their article “Britain’s 30 best coffee shops”, and the team have worked for pop up events for Carhartt.
I will almost certainly be returning as soon as possible, I hope to see you down there too.
https://www.smallstreetespresso.co.uk/ instagram: @smallstespresso