Those who take their coffee seriously will rejoice in the fresh aromas at Triple Co Roast. It’s an open-access micro-roastery which was founded by a local Bristolian after he spent two years out in California learning all there is to know about coffee. High quality coffee beans are used to rustle up hot beverages, while you can sip on drinks safe in the knowledge that beans were purchased via direct trade with farmers.
How many places can lay claim to two Banksy pieces? Stokes Croft most definitely can. The Mild Mild West, showing a teddy bear throwing a Molotov cocktail at three riot police, is one of the area’s most famous, but there’s also another piece hidden just off Stokes Croft Road depicting a rose inside a trap. Ironically, the outdoor artwork has been framed by local residents in order to protect it from any graffiti.
At The Well does two things particularly well: Laundry and pancakes. As a laundrette and a cafe, it provides a one-stop shop for people wanting to get their laundry basket into gear while keeping their energy levels topped up. Homemade granola and soups sit on the menu alongside vegan smoothies, but the real star of the show is their Transatlantic Pancakes which combine American-style pancakes with mushrooms, scrambled eggs and streaky bacon – and then a generous drizzle of maple syrup on top.
Stokes Croft’s hip reputation has only strengthened in the past year, as more and more people have started to cotton on to all it has to offer. In comparison to other neighbourhoods on this list, Stokes Croft is virtually microscopic. It comprises of the 0.2-mile Stokes Croft Road, sandwiched in between the city centre and Montpelier, and its surrounding streets. Yet, what it lacks in size, it more than makes up for with its kaleidoscope of street art, alternative nightlife and one-of-a-kind events.
Much of Stokes Croft’s charm is best viewed while you’re out and about. Take the open-air See No Evil Gallery, for instance. Made up of a variety of public art from multiple graffiti artists, the gallery first came into being back in 2011 during what was then Europe’s largest street art festival. The next year, the gallery was completely repainted, ready for even more artists to get creative. But that’s not the only place you’ll find street art – The Carriage Works is regularly updated with fresh coats of graffiti paint, and has even been designated a Grade II* listed building by English Heritage.
Stokes Croft has a lot more to offer than just street art, however. It’s also a hotbed for independent cinema, with a whole host of movies being shown at The Cube Microplex, an ‘arts venue, adult creche and progressive social wellbeing enterprise’ that’s been around since 1998. As well as movies, there are comedy events, performance art showings, amateur film-maker nights and avid discussions. And you won’t find brand names on the drinks menu, either – the cinema prioritises local produce and homemade goods.
Elsewhere, The Bearpit is a haven for community activities and events. It was born out of a need to rejuvenate what was once a hotbed for crime and violence, and is now at the centre of the Stokes Croft community. Nowadays you’ll find a cafe, a 12ft bear sculpture by a local artist, a fruit and veg shop, a 1970s Bristol bus that doubles up as a Mexican restaurant, and frequent art installations. Oh, and more street art. We are, of course, still in Stokes Croft.
"Attracting visitors from all over the world, Stokes Croft is renowned for its street art, bars, clubs and restaurants. Home of one of Banksy’s most iconic pieces, Mild Mild West and Cosmo Sarson’s stunning ‘Breakdancing Jesus’ (both of which are best seen with a drink in hand outside Hamilton House’s Canteen) this is an area that is fiercely independent and spurns convention. It is defined by its people, the small businesses and the community enterprises that have collectively put this area on the map."
Kathryn Davis, Head of Tourism at Destination Bristol