There’s no denying the fact that Friska has made quite a name for itself in Bristol. With a number of shops already open (and more planned over the next year I’ve heard on the grape vine), Friska will be converting even more people to their feel good food.
I’ve been to Friska only a couple of times before – once to the Victoria Street store for coffee and then for lunch at Queen’s Road with a friend. The two have a very different feel but what you can be sure of is beautifully made coffee and hearty, healthy food that fills you up without feeling bloated ( I didn’t feel hungry again until gone 2pm).
There is a lot of competition in Bristol when it comes to coffee. New coffee shops are and have been opening up all over the city as the love for a good coffee never goes away. Some stay; some go. One that is definitely here to stay is Friska; a Bristol-born independent that prides itself on high-quality, locally-sourced produce and boasts an impressive sustainability record.
This latest visit was quite spur of the moment. I was due to meet a prospective client but had a bit of time to kill and as I went past Friska on Queen’s Road a number of people were just leaving, so many in fact that I had to stop on the doorstep until they’d passed. A sign I’m sure…
In case you’ve not heard about Friska before, their mission is to ‘redefine your expectations for how a breakfast and lunchtime place makes you feel’. How do they achieve this? First off is the friendly greeting as you approach the counter. Even the slightly drawn out hello I gave back as I was looking up trying to decide on the type of coffee, which food option to go for and whether I’d got enough time to take a seat. It didn’t seem to phase the girl behind the counter. I have been to so many place that make you feel like you have to rush your decision but Friska wasn’t like this at all.
Once I’d ordered I was told about all the necessities, like where to collect your coffee and how to find your cutlery, which will be a huge benefit if you’re a first timer. I found a nice quiet corner to tuck into my eggs and ham hock on toast (which arrived incredibly quickly and with faultless service).
Now, as someone who barely goes a day without eating eggs in some variety, I am quite critical of how my eggs are cooked. Remembering that everything is served in recyclable containers, (have I mentioned that they have a very impressive sustainability record? They have recently been judged as the most ethical restaurant by the Observer and send zero waste to landfill!), the presentation of my food was lovely. Just because it wasn’t served on a plate didn’t mean that any less attention had been paid to how it looked. I think the next photo says it all…
It was absolutely delicious. You could tell that it was prepared with incredibly fresh ingredients and the toast (supplied by local bakery, Hobbs House Bakery) was all buttery and divine. The coffee was a very good blend and the only disappointment in the whole meal was that by the time I’d finished my food my coffee was colder than I like it, but that’s my fault and nothing to do with how it was served. I just couldn’t put my knife and fork down long enough to take a sip!
When I was at the Victoria Street store I found it quite noisy; it’s hard to escape the sound of the coffee machine. But Queen’s Road is a whole different world. Seating is away from the counter and there was some great background music playing – I’m sure there’s never a shortage of great tracks with the music store upstairs! If you have time, take a wander around the music store and vintage shop upstairs; you’ll be surprised what you find up there.
Overall I couldn’t fault my food, my coffee or my experience as a whole. Next time I’m in the area I will definitely go back and will be recommending it as a place to go with my girlfriends who are visiting in a few weeks’ time.
This post first appeared on Bristol #PROSPECTUS, a project that has now ended.