Bike café Roll for the Soul

Even if you don’t always get around on two wheels, Roll for the Soul is a treat.

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What do you call a cycling enthusiast? There’s ‘petrolhead’ for car lovers, ‘chocoholic’ for chocolate but for cycling, I feel like there should be something more than the Joe Bloggs level ‘cyclist’.

For whatever those lycra-wearing, fixie-fixated types are, Roll for the Soul is a bit of a Mecca. Set up on July 1st 2013 as Bristol’s answer to hipster-cyclee central Look Mum No Hands! on London’s Old Street, Roll for the Soul rolled around Bristol as a pop-up venture for about a year before finding their own premises on Quay Street. As they rightly say on their About page, why on earth did the city that pioneered town centre cycling in the UK not have it’s own cycling café?

Well, now Bristol has one too and a darn good one at that, even for those of us who don’t know the nooks and crannies of our inner tubes.

I went in with the lovely RP who I often meander through a weekday lunch hour with. The outside is  unprepossessing, nestled under some concrete brutalist-type building on a street whose basic purpose is to link the harbourside to Cabot’s Circus. Inside, things are plain and straightforward. It’s thought out by people who want to go in and get a good ‘feed’ – i.e. stoke up for the next ride.

But the food is better than just ‘feed’. We each tried one of the café’s wraps which are rammed with veg and come on Middle Eastern Khobez bread – a more solid version of a chapatti. RP went for the pan fried halloumi, I had falafel; both of us went for a good dousing of homemade sweet chilli sauce. Neither of us were disappointed.

Word also had it that their coffee was amongst the best in Bristol. They source it from the well-loved Clifton Coffee Co and the Americano did slip down very smoothly. Truth be told, it probably was the best I had yet had in the city (wait for the post on Small Street Espresso to come…). I was doubly delighted to find out that it’s on my way in to work and coffee is just £1.50 before 11am. Sayonara hangovers.

Upstairs they have a bike workshop and a hub for cyclists groups who want somewhere to meet. Plus, the whole place is a not-for-profit business in support of Bristol’s bike community so let’s just hope it keeps on rollin’.

(And if anyone knows the word for cycling addicts, please give me a shout)

Roll for the Soul, 2 Quay Street, Bristol, BS1 2JL. 07596 917946; rollforthesoul.org

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