Rainy Day Falafel in Bristol

April in Bristol was typically wet, living up to the ‘April Showers’ tradition with brief sunny spells breaking up the icy rain. I had come into Bristol centre to meet my ratemyfalafel.com associate partner for a ‘cultural day’. I had managed to get hold of some free tickets to a couple of exhibitions that were currently on – one at the M-Shed called Tattoo: British Tattoo Art and another one at the Bristol Museum about Leonardo Di Vinci.  Yeah that’s right, we don’t just do falafel. We can also do culture, especially on a rainy Thursday when there really is nothing else to do. I did have a job interview to go to but I cancelled it at last minute, deciding there was only so much rejection I could take for one week (I had already gone to 2 interviews that week and been rejected by both).

tattoo ex5

The Tattoo exhibition was pretty great, although we were both disappointed that there weren’t any severed hands or bits of old skin on display. I saw Galileo’s finger when I was in Florence recently and that was super cool. Anyway, the tattoos throughout the ages were very interesting and it made me want to get even more tattoos (I already have 8, though they are all so small you can’t really tell).


Some of the vintage designs were very appealing and I considered getting a full length, cheerful looking sailor on my back. I wouldn’t use their tools though, they looked absolutely lethal. My colleague decided that she would really love a transfer tattoo instead and we vaguely thought about heading to Claire’s Accessories to fulfill that dream. However, as soon as we emerged into the pissy rain we realised we were starving hungry. It was almost 3pm and had therefore missed lunch, which almost never happens.

Bristol was declared the Vegan Capital of the WORLD this January and you can definitely see why. There is literally nowhere that doesn’t boast a vegan menu these days. The choice is astonishing. There are even fully vegan vending machines where you can grab a vegan sandwich or cake on the go. Naturally everything is obscenely overpriced, but hey, convenience is king and I for one can’t be bothered to cook. So, where would we go on this rainy Thursday? So much choice. Asian fusion? Buddha Bowl? Vegan pizza?

You guessed it, we went to the nearest falafel place. You really can’t teach an old (getting older by the day) dog new tricks. We headed straight to St Nicks Market where I knew there were a few falafel places I hadn’t reviewed yet.

We were enticed by the interior of Cafe Atlas which looked warm and cosy, decorated in a typical Moroccan style. The menu boasted a falafel with ‘caramelised onion’ which intrigued us so we sat down and waited for our meal to arrive. We were pretty disappointed when it arrived and a) wasn’t a wrap and b) didn’t have caramelised onion. We re-read the description and realised it didn’t actually say it was a wrap, but we didn’t hallucinate the caramelised onion so, that was minus points straight away. There were 3 tiny triangles of pitta and a tasty yet small blob of hummus next to an average salad with some average falafel balls. Actually, as my colleague pointed out, they were more like cylinders which actually made it easier to cut up. We know that Moroccan cuisine does not actually normally include falafel, but still, it wasn’t a good show. It was also a whopping £5. With Eat a Pita literally opposite and much cheaper, you would think they would make more of an effort.


Falafel – 3/5

Bread – 2/5

Salad – 3/5

Service – 2/5

Intoxication – 0/5 (totally and painfully sober)

After we finished off the falafel we immediately headed over the road for a free Eat a Pita sample and both agreed that just one of their falafel balls was far more satisfying than the entire meal at Cafe Atlas.

We never made it to the Leonardo di Vinci exhibition but we did go to an art exhibition at the Crypt and were forced to contribute a drawing of a flower for reasons I have already forgotten.



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