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Whether you drive for a living or simply enjoy the odd trip in the family car, it’s fairly safe to say that every driver out there can appreciate a good cup of coffee. Caffeine does more than keep us awake, however: a good cafe or coffee shop can also offer the perfect atmosphere to unwind, have a chat or grab a tasty bite to eat before getting back on the road.

Having a great place to stop for a quick hot bev is doubly important for somewhere like Bristol. This beautiful coastal city is a well-deserved favourite for tourists, and waves of commuters are heading to Bristol to settle, not only driving the city’s growing economy but also giving the city’s best cafes and coffee shops plenty of foot traffic. Plus, with all those moving jobs, there are probably thousands of thirst van drivers to cater for!

Let’s take a look at just some of the best cafes and coffee shops for drivers in Bristol.

Gordano Services

Located just west of Bristol on Junction 19 of the M5 motorway, Gordano Services may not have Michelin-star class, but it does offer the perfect stop for seasoned drivers. Spend any good amount of time on the road and you will soon learn the value of a top quality service station: caffeine, amusements, good grub – and any number of helpful accessories to make the next leg of your journey that much easier! 

While Gordano Services might lack the charm of tiny independent cafes, it’s still an excellent place to stop and refuel. It offers several well-known brands, including Starbucks, Subway, Burger King and Krispy Kreme, as well as a number of local hotels for weary travellers. Of course, if you are driving with friends or family, you could also pick up a comfy car pillow for when someone else takes their turn at the wheel. If you need a quick stop, don’t head to the main services, you could quickly grab a coffee and go at the drive-thru Starbucks.

Speaking on TripAdvisor, Sirenita123 wrote: “Lovely services, very busy but staff were friendly and efficient. Certainly, a good place to stop on the M5.”

Another reviewer, acupofteaonthe17th, wrote: “We stopped here to break up the long journey from London to Devon late on Friday evening. All was as you would expect and they gave us a discount for using our own keep cups! “

It’s true for most drivers going from London to the South West, Gordano Services offers a great halfway stop. It’s about half way down to Cornwall and the service stops after this are a little bit smaller so offer less options. 

Bakers & Co

Head into Bristol itself, and you may well find yourself on Gloucester Road. This beautiful stretch has plenty of popular cafes and eateries on offer, but one, in particular, stands out: Bakers & Co.

This establishment offers a nice change of pace from tiresome driving. The decor is inviting, with pleasant white walls and even a few hanging plants to break up the monotony of endless Tarmac. Of course, the grub will soon distract you: whether you prefer yuppy delights such as sourdough toast with avocado, orange and cinnamon sugar torrijas or something a little more simple, Bakers & Co will leave you feeling nice and satisfied.

Full Court Press

In recent years, Bristol has become a popular destination for London commuters. The growing riverside city has a great deal to offer in terms of employment and culture, but some Londoners may still feel homesick after making their big move. Luckily, Full Court Press would look right at home in one of the trendier parts of the capital.

That said, what Full Court Press has to offer is by no means skin deep. Those who truly appreciate their coffee will find a wide variety of blends to try out, and the staff is knowledgeable enough to ensure that you can find the perfect choice to suit you.

Playground Coffee House

Now, for those who don’t know the joy of decent coffee, the idea that you can have a real ‘experience’ at a coffee place may seem far-fetched. Luckily, ‘far-fetched’ is exactly the term we’d use to describe Playground Coffee House!

Stop in here and you can break up an exhausting car ride with a wide choice of board games, or even a turn on one of the swings (yes, we’re serious). The comfy leather sofas are just the ticket after a long journey and a great place to sit and read while you drink your coffee.

Speaking of which, caffeine aficionados will enjoy a range of espresso, as well as coffee-based cocktails during the evenings. There is also a wonderful selection of cakes for if you fancy a bite to eat – though we wouldn’t recommend eating on the swing set if you’re a queasy eater!

Metro Cafe

Yuppy cafes are all well and good, but there’s something timelessly satisfying about a good old fashioned greasy spoon. In the modern world of vegans and avocado toast, it’s nice to treat yourself to a decent fry up every once in a while, and this is exactly where the Metro Cafe has you covered.

Imagine this: you get off the road and sit down to a plate of fried eggs, sausages, bacon toast and other dripping delicious delights. While you chow down, you can enjoy a classic cuppa and read about what’s going on in the news today.

Easy to execute but difficult to perfect, the greasy spoon is a staple for British roadsters. For a more classic experience, the Metro Cafe is definitely the place to visit.

Lockside

Who else remembers Only Fools and Horses? Fans of the show will know that the footage of Del and Rodney’s flat was, in fact, filmed in Acton rather than Peckham. If that doesn’t sound strange enough, the real-life cafe that belonged to the fictional Sid was actually in Bristol – and its name was Lockside.

Located in Brunel Lock, this classic cafe has been around since 1963. Visitors can enjoy a traditional English lunch, along with stunning views of Bristol Harbour. After all, if David Jason and co were willing to make the trip for the sarnies on offer in Lockside, it’s definitely worth checking out!

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