Review: Folk House Cafe

by Jess Carter

30 May 2018

It was a first time visit to this chilled out, ethical café for me...

The light, fun, eclectic interior of the Folk House Café gives plenty away about the food that the kitchen team knocks out. The walls display work from local artists; repurposed tins are used as cutlery holders on the tables; contrasting colours coat almost every surface; and festoon lights hang at the bar for a cool, festive feel.

The food, you’ll also find, comes from local residents (The Severn Project, Four Seasons Organics, Bruton Dairy) with a focus on sustainability – the team are keen to do their bit to limit their impact on Mother Earth. And the dishes are vibrant, colourful and varied, with hearty, comforting dishes sitting alongside more virtuous meals on the ever-changing menu.

To drink are organic wines and spirits and locally brewed beers. Coffee comes from Clifton Coffee and would go down a treat with anything from the heaving display of cakes and slices, which include a really decent selection of vegan and gluten-free bakes.

Lunch is served 12pm-3pm (brekkie stops at 11.30am), and the menu is made up of a seasonal soup (£4.70), a pasta dish (£7.50), a daily plate (£8), a hot bowl (£6), and a tart (£7.50). All of which, obviously, change up on the regular.

Having missed the tart (it was already sold out at 1.30pm – a good sign), we dove in with a pasta dish, a hot bowl and the daily plate.

The pasta was macaroni cheese, the long tube shapes bound in a thick sauce and topped with toasted breadcrumbs for a lovely bit of crunch. Stodgy and cheesy, it screamed homemade comfort food. The hot bowl, meanwhile, was a black bean chilli, served with rice, sour cream and fresh coriander. It had spice and smokiness in equal measure, and, shovelling it into our gobs, C and I commented on how we’re still on the hunt for a properly decent veggie chilli recipe like they’ve used here.

‘Hefty’ would be the chosen adjective to describe the daily plate, which was piled with all the meze favourites. Dolmades were soft and, as C commented, not nearly as greasy as they can sometimes be; the hummus was topped with a generous peppering of paprika and a glug of good olive oil; and the sweet, earthy beetroot borani paired up nicely with a slightly salty, herby feta. More still came in the form of a good heap of potato salad, grilled courgette slices, a pile of green olives and a mound of generously dressed salad leaves,

Needless to say, we didn’t have any room left for one of those cakes, sadly…

Staff are friendly and laid back, food is fresh, fuss-free and good value, and – seeing as the place was pretty well populated when we rocked up in the middle of the day on a Thursday – it seems safe to say that there are plenty of Bristolians inclined to agree.


Folk House Café , 40a Park Street, Bristol BS1 5JG; 0117 908 5035