I tried the Bristol café loved for its ‘excellent’ vegan fry ups – and was blown away Leave a comment


When I think of vegan breakfasts, I envisage slimy avocado on toast, porridge with oat milk, or just a big fruit salad.

But I quickly realised my preconceptions of plant-based food were wrong when I visited The Nectar House to try its renowned vegan fry up.

The Gloucester Road venue is a cosy coffee shop-come-indie hangout with a friendly atmosphere, bohemian interior and raft of indoor plants, making it easy to see why people return again and again. Good coffee and a cracking brunch menu help, too.

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At 10.45am on a Tuesday morning, the café – which you’ll find nestled between independent gift shop Iota and a Tesco Express – is already buzzing with the sound of milk frothing and friends chatting.

I am met with a smile and choose a table at the back, before I’m given a menu which includes a buddha bowl and a tofu ‘super stack’.

I’m told to circle what I’d like to order, and opt for a trusty orange juice and the vegan version of the veggie fry up, which comes with scrambled tofu rather than eggs.

A glass of cold, fresh orange juice arrived within minutes, which hit the spot after the mile walk from the Bearpit to the top of Bristol’s indie shopping district.

But the trek was made totally and utterly worth it when a huge plate of colourful goodness arrived.

Two vegan sausages, two rashers of vegan bacon, a generous helping of scrambled tofu, Heinz beans, two large hash browns, roasted cherry tomatoes, wilted spinach, mushrooms and thick, buttered granary toast was a welcome sight given my appetite.

The meal arrived piping hot, less than 10 minutes after I’d placed my order.

I tucked straight into the bright scrambled tofu. It was well seasoned, soft yet a little chewy, and really did taste like egg. Maybe I was pleasantly surprised as my expectations for the plant based alternative – which I’d never tried – were low, but it was delicious nevertheless.

Before I tried the vegan sausages I just knew they’d be good. I could tell they weren’t just vegetables blended up – like the IKEA ones – and instead resembled a greasy, meaty sausage with a herby flavour.



The Nectar House on Gloucester Road

I was blown away by the vegan bacon, too. Granted, it didn’t look like real bacon and was a bit hard to cut, but its texture was bang on, and it resembled the same salty taste of actual bacon.

If you’ve read my series of breakfast reviews you’ll know I am a big fan of hash browns, especially when they’re done right. These were perfect. They were huge, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.

The main components of the breakfast were accompanied by a huge portion of baked beans, roasted cherry tomatoes, wilted spinach and mushrooms. These were all perfectly cooked and piping hot. The bread, almost falling off the plate, was thick, seedy and came slathered in vegan spread.

Conclusion

I was blown away with my meal at The Nectar House.

At £11 for the breakfast, and an additional £2.50 for the orange juice, the meal was far from cheap – but the portions were massive, everything was fresh and the service was friendly.

I’d much rather pay a few extra quid to support our city’s independent businesses, too.

You can find The Nectar House at 169A Gloucester Road, BS7 8BE. They do not accept bookings.

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