If you’re in Bristol and asking the question of where to eat, the answer is Pinkman’s Bakery. Unlike many other bakeries in the city, Pinkman’s not only crafts incredible loaves, but also ambitiously serves an extensive food and drinks menu from 7am through to 11pm.Yet this ambition to do it all comes at no compromise to quality, and you will not be disappointed whatever time of day you visit.
Breakfast is, unsurprisingly for a bakery, rather bread-heavy. Superlative toast can be topped with your choice of wood-fired mushrooms, beans, eggs and more. A bacon sandwich comes with sweet roasted tomatoes and a course, crumbly cornbread is softened by crème fraîche, avocado and smoked salmon. For those who do not live in fear of their dentist’s bills, there is brioche dipped in custard and served with maple bacon or blueberry compote.
At lunch, the kitchen produces a feast of quiches, fritattas and sandwiches. Our favourite is the baguette whose addictively chewy crust makes the perfect pocket for a creamy filling of mozzarella, avocado, tomato and pesto. We also enjoy a dense, nutty rye roll, which provides a study base to balance the saltiness of smoked salmon, the slight acidity of cream cheese and the spike of peppery dill.
The non-bread options are also excellent. Perhaps you will opt for the aubergine parmigiana or one of the hearty salads. Amongst many tempting options, there is sweet potato, green beans and tuna; earthy beetroot and lentils with tart, zippy chunks of goats cheese; or sweet peas, asparagus and new potatoes given a little heat by fronds of fiery watercress.
Pizzas arrive from noon through until the evening, when they are joined by cocktails and mood lighting. Their deep acidic tang and elastic base give the very best sourdough pizzerias, from Flour & Ash to Franco Manca, a run for their money. On the topic of finances, it is worth noting Pinkman’s pizzas offer great value. Prices start from £6 for a margarita and stretching to a princely £8.50, in a city where it's difficult to find a pizza for less than a tenner.
My pizza sings with tender, caramelised confit garlic and bright, lemony wedges of artichoke, quietened by cooling clouds of ricotta. The meat eaters in our party are very happy with a pizza studded with meatballs, which pool their rich, claret-coloured juices on to the mozzarella base.
If I’m being picky, I’d point out that the stools are not particularly comfortable and the acoustics leave you straining to hear your neighbours, but I can find little fault with the food. It’s probably enough to say that I’ve been three times in as many weeks. I’m still yet to try the sweets though, so I will undoubtedly be back for a fourth visit in the very near future.