If you’re one of the lucky commuters who gets to walk from south of the Avon into town and back each day, chances are you already know about Cargo — the development of cafes and restaurants that landed on the harbourside in summer. For the uninitiated, what we’re talking about here is a foodie’s haven, where everything from fresh pork platters to steaming coffees and hoppy beers are served in style.
Cargo opened its doors to a group of local food bloggers restaurant critics last weekend, to share their wares with the wider world. With your taste buds tingling, read on for a little insight into what’s on offer there…
Wild Beer at Wapping Wharf
This sleek, contemporary bar and restaurant serves up delicious fish dishes alongside a stellar selection of craft beers from their adventurous brewery down in Somerset. The food is excellent, but for my money it’s the beers that stand out here. Expect everything from heavily hopped pale ales, fruity brews and bitter beers that push the palate to pastures new, and deliciously malted stouts with the heady aroma of caramel, dark chocolate and coffee.
Pigsty is the brainchild of Bristol-based Jolly Hog — a team of dedicated pork-eaters experimenting to find fresh ways of enjoying their favourite meat. The results are truly delicious. During my visit we tucked into a generous platter of sausages, brisket and pork patties with fries and a side of fresh slaw, which really hit the spot. Pigsty delivers healthy servings over breakfast, lunch and dinner, with a focus on tasty local produce.
Bristol Cider Shop
The Cider Shop is Bristol’s own award-winning, er, cider shop — moved from Christmas Steps to Wapping Wharf. Visitors are met with a wall full of ‘proper’ ciders and perries, all selected from traditional breweries within a 50-mile radius. 50 miles gets you a lot of cider here in the West Country, but the knowledgeable staff are on hand to help you fine-tune your taste buds among the 100+ brews on offer. They also run regular tasting sessions showcasing a broad range of the region’s finest ciders and perries. For more details on this goldmine of fruity goodness, check out the blog I wrote following the shop’s move to Cargo.
This friendly corner café is your go-to spot for a caffeine hit. Sister-venue of the Small Street Espresso in the Old City, Little Victories is named after those well-deserved wins we get every day. (Ok, most days.) The owners travelled the world in search of the freshest coffee flavours and brought their findings right here to the harbourside. Customers enjoy a huge range of fresh coffees alongside tasty sandwiches and cakes. A café by day, Little Victories transforms into an intimate cocktail bar on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.
Finishing on a high here… Chicken Shed takes pride of place on the top floor of Cargo1, and bills itself as “a finger-lickin’ dirty chicken joint with heart and soul”. If you’re thinking this is KFC for hipsters, you’ve got the wrong idea (though that would make a good tagline…) The Chicken Shed knocks together beautifully cooked chicken dishes, with meat sourced from happy birds raised to the highest possible welfare standards. Fine harbour views and menus prepared by Mr. Josh Eggleton of Pony & Trap fame complete the picture.
For more details on the diverse restaurants, shops and cafes on Wapping Wharf’s Cargo installation, check out the Wapping Wharf website.