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Tired of the Co-Op’s 10% student discount? Got an embarrassing amount of Nectar points? Branch out from the trinity of Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Co-Op by taking a look at Online Food Editor Sarah Roller’s top picks of some of Bristol’s independent food shops.

One of the words most often used to describe Bristol is independent: from clubs and dress sense to cafés and bakeries, there’s no excuse to follow the crowd. Don’t get me wrong, supermarkets are great for some things, but supporting local shops not only leaves you feeling good about helping the community, but often leaves far less of a dent in your bank account than a quick Tesco trip. Here’s a round-up of some of our favourites…

1.)    Salad Days // Reg the Veg // Cotham Hill Fruit & Veg

These three fruit and veg shops are all student stalwarts: way cheaper than their supermarket counterparts, the deals to be found here are almost unbelievable. Most famously, Salad Days caters to the ultimate Bristol stereotype, selling 5 avocados for £1 – not one to be missed if you’re in need of a good brunch. Not only are they cheap, the owners are friendly, and the produce is fresh.


2.)   Ruby & White Butchers

Admittedly Ruby & White isn’t as cheap as Sainsbury’s, but it is really, really hard to resist when you walk past the barbecuing sausages being sold out front. Look out for their daily offers to snap up a bargain (50% off chicken breasts anyone?), and their 10% student discount Monday – Thursday. Perfect for date night, treating yourself, or one last shopping trip with your parents.

3.)    Whiteladies Road Market

Held every other Saturday morning, Whiteladies Road Market showcases a range of produce, from fruit, vegetables and plants to homemade fudge and freshly ground coffee. The stallholders are lovely, there’s lots of free samples, and by buying produce here, you’re really supporting local start-ups. We recommend the decadent donuts as a weekend treat.

4.)    The Redland Bakery

10% student discount, freshly baked loaves, bread rolls and pastries, and located incredibly conveniently in Redland and on Cotham Hill, it’s super easy to pop in here and grab whatever baked goods you need on your way home from uni, whilst supporting a local business and paying no more than you would in a supermarket for bread that tastes so much better (example 1: the demolition of an entire cob loaf in one evening by my housemates). What’s not to love?


5.)    Gloucester Road

To cover all of the independent food shops on Gloucester Road would require many pages, but in brief, there are lots, and they’re super good. For international inspiration look to the cheap Polish, Japanese, Indian and Latin American food shops and impress your new housemates with your culinary skills, or simply pick up some cheap, fresh fruit and vegetables to pack in some of your 5 a day. It’s completely worth taking the time to explore all Gloucester Road has to offer in culinary terms, and bonus points if you find the newsagents that sells white chocolate Snickers.

Missed out one of your favourites or got some more to add? Get in touch! 

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