This is by no means meant to be an exhaustive list of everything to do on Gloucester Road. It is one of the longest stretches of independent businesses found in the UK. With head-turning institutions all the way up. Many tourists and locals alike have found themselves suddenly on the outskirts of north Bristol. Drawn far along the road by the many wonders residing each side of the street, losing half a day in the process. Every shop, restaurant and pub is arguably worth a visit in your lifetime, but what we’ve done is try to make this mammoth shopping experience a little more manageable. By picking out some of the very, very best businesses worth your time.
1. The Gallimaufry
Gallimaufry means a ‘confused jumble or medley of things’ and we couldn’t think of a better word to describe Gloucester Road. It rings true of this vibrant and colourful establishment too. The pub is the perfect place to start or end your journey up the Gloucester Road with its quirky décor, fantastic food and drink, and eclectic nightly music – be it jazz, prog, hip hop and beyond. Mothership Connection, the weekly funk jam sessions, are always out of this world.
26-28 Gloucester Road, Bishopston, Bristol BS7 8AL
2. El Colmado
Have you always wanted to have homemade paella, or to carve your own Iberico ham? Look no further than Bristol’s only specialist Spanish store. You can pick up all you need to achieve both these dreams and more at the cosy El Colmado shop. From cured meats and cheeses you can try at the deli counter, to picking up recipe kits and fine wine pairings, the staff here will guide you so your tapas night goes off without a hitch.
57 Gloucester Road, Bishopston, Bristol BS7 8AD
3. Wild Leaf
Walking into Wild Leaf can feel like being hit by a tidal wave of shrubbery. There is flora growing from the floor to the ceiling in this plant shop that often acts more like a community centre for all local plant lovers. The staff are very knowledgeable and will always pick you out something perfect for your next houseplant purchase. So whether you need help resurrecting your succulent or redesigning your office, Wild Leaf is the place to head.
43 Gloucester Road, Bishopston, Bristol BS7 8AD
Although it started life as a stall at London’s Portobello Road Market in the 80s, this vintage clothing store has been posted on Gloucester Road since 1994. So it firmly has its roots in the city these days. It’s a great place when looking for bargain clothing, so you can turn yesterday’s fashion into tomorrow’s trend. Downstairs there is also a record store called Prime Cuts with a huge stock of vinyl because… well, why not? It is Bristol.
85 Gloucester Road, Bishopston, Bristol BS7 8AS
After the best pizza in Bristol? Look no further Pizzarova. The Bristol-based pizzeria has three locations in the city, with one on Park Street and another in Wapping Wharf. (A fourth will be opening on North Street sometime this summer). But we’re on Gloucester Road and you’re hungry, so head to the OG location and order one of their freshly made sourdough pizzas – that uses a 70-year-old starter for the dough. You won’t regret it.
289 Gloucester Road, Bishopston, Bristol BS7 8NY
6. Reclaimers Reclamation
It might look like a junkyard from the outside, and that’s because it kind of is one, but trust us when we say you have to go here. Between the stacks of furniture and boxes of trinkets, you’re bound to find something unique at this antique store. This is an Aladdin’s cave of vintage items and upscaled goods. We can’t predict what you will walk away with, but it’s guaranteed to be special. Just avoid any magic lamps.
347a Gloucester Road, Bishopston, Bristol BS7 8TG
7. The Bristol Flyer
There’s nothing too fancy about this pub, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s spacious, friendly, and hard to miss, all things we appreciate in our drinking holes. We’ve tried to avoid listing too many pubs as we don’t want your Gloucester Road trip turning into a bar crawl – though with over twenty on the road, it is very doable. If you do need somewhere to quench your thirst, however, The Flyer is a great place to start.
96 Gloucester Road, Bishopston, Bristol BS7 8BN
8. The Grace
We know what we just said, but The Grace is sat across the road from The Bristol Flyer and has something different to the other bars on the road. Thanks to an extensive wine list it offers a slightly more sophisticated drinking experience and is a great alternative if you prefer your pinots to your pale ales.
197 Gloucester Road, Bishopston, Bristol BS7 8BG
9. Grape & Grind
Speaking of wine, all aficionados should make a note to stop off at Grape & Grind. They have all the usual top-notch wines you can expect from France, Italy, Australia, South Africa and Argentina. But they also stock a range of wines from the Somerset vineyard (yes, you read that correctly) Dunleavy too. Those not looking to make the trip might consider investing in their wine club instead that delivers 12 of the most interesting bottles they have in stock to your door.
101 Gloucester Road, Bishopston, Bristol BS7 8AT
10. Room 212
This art gallery and shop is at the very heart of Gloucester Road, literally and figuratively. It is a symbol of the street’s independent spirit and showcases some of the best local, artistic talent. The artist-run shop sets a new theme for the exhibition space in the back regularly to encourage new work, while there is a selection of prints, cards, mugs and more to purchase from the gift shop. It also hosts a number of painting events in the garden behind Room 212. A perfect place to get creative juices flowing.
212 Gloucester Road, Bishopston, Bristol BS7 8NU
11. Scrumptiously Sweet
Big American candy stores seem to be all rage at the moment in Britain. It’s good to know some places are still keeping things traditional, however. And Scrumptiously Sweet does things very traditionally. Aniseed balls, bon bons, or jelly beans. All your favourites from your childhood are here. So pick up a bag and start shoveling everything you see in. Just close your eyes as you step to the scales to pay.
83 Gloucester Road, Bishopston, Bristol BS7 8AS
12. Per & Kor
Ever wondered if Korean and Persian cuisine would sit well on a menu together? Nor us. But apparently they do as this restaurant attests. There’s no fusion attempts here from the husband and wife owners of Per & Kor, thankfully. Just a nice collection of classics from these seemingly unconnected parts of the globe. There’s nothing else like it. And few places can say that.
362 Gloucester Road, Bishopston, Bristol BS7 8TP
13. Pinkmans Cafe
After all this walking, you’re going to need somewhere to have a coffee that will wake you up. Our suggestion? Pinkmans Cafe. What started as a pop-up for one of our favourite bakeries has become a permanent fixture on the Gloucester Road. Their sour-dough-nuts are also mind-bendingly tasty.
324 Gloucester Road, Bishopton, Bristol BS7 8TJ