Canteen, Stokes Croft, Bristol

The Canteen in Stokes Croft is an interesting place. Housed in a building owned by an organisation called Coexist, it is a bit of a hippy playground but one that does some pretty decent nosh.

Walking in off the street we were greeted by a busy street-front terrace that gives it the appearance of a pub. Walk inside at the decor is essentially ‘student union bar’. The tables are taken straight from a school or uni classroom/lunch hall. Traditional restaurant it is not.

And yet there is a proper kitchen with a team of chefs knocking out some pretty good food.

For £8 my girlfriend and I were fed an unusual but tasty risotto of brown shrimp with a crab butter. It came with a bean and potato salad and Included in the price, as with all dishes in the menu, was a starter consisting of fresh bread and a light vegetable broth.

Other menu offerings included salt marsh-reared lamb’s liver, and other things I frankly can’t remember. We also got some excellent local cider from the cider and real ale-friendly bar.

One of the best things about it was it was well- frequented by people in for a drink, a quick bite to eat before going out and people just whiling away the afternoon watching the world go by. It gave it a great laid-back ambience, a place to chill out for a while and unwind with some tasty grub and nice beer (Bristol Brewery) and ciders.

It might not perhaps be the place for a hot date or family celebration, but for somewhere to dip into now and again for a decent meal in unorthodox surroundings, I liked it.

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