Tag Archives: Gusto

Caffe Gusto vs Starbucks


The staff at Starbucks, Bristol Temple Meads, are the friendliest that I have encountered so I was a little surprised not to be greeted with a smile yesterday. Turns out that the soy milk delivery was late so they couldn’t serve me.

Instead, I found myself heading to Caffe Gusto to buy a coffee before the morning train. I had just missed mine by about a minute so I wasn’t in much of a rush. The Gusto branch, which is one of many that surround and inundate the city centre (four more outlets than Starbucks), is found at the very front of the road that leads to the train station. Next to it is the Passenger Shed and a nursery.

I walk in and there’s a soft orange light that fills the cavernous interior leading to the counter. To my right are the tables and chairs for the customers. The light is more natural and it’s very quiet with a couple of occupied tables. Free wi-fi is advertised by the door.

A latte costs £2.15 for a single shot and £2.45 for a double. Soy milk is available for an additional 30p as is flavoured syrup. My decaf, vanilla, double shot latte costs me £3.05. At Starbucks the extra shot, syrup and soy milk are free for Starbucks card holders and if I reuse a tray there is a discount of 25p. Gusto so far cost me £1.20 more. I also order a muffin and an apple as substitute for the porridge I would have had from the other coffee retailer.

The soy milk at Starbucks is Alpro which is the nicest I’ve tasted by far. Their vanilla flavoured one with cinnamon on top was my favourite drink at Dashi before they shut down in January. I don’t know what they use at Gusto but it tastes akin to what skim milk tastes to people who don’t drink it, shit, watery, unpleasant and much like dish water. When you’re drinking decaf, as I am, there isn’t even the compensation of the caffeine hit.

I am not saying that Starbucks has amazing coffee which I choose for its flavour. The soy latte is sweet, milky (to an extent), and comforting. The extras are all free and I can ask for it the way I want it, ‘extra wet’ which means no foam. It’s also cheaper.

The muffin was the best part of yesterday’s breakfast and I wonder if they make their own. The whole purchase cost £5.60 and I am not too keen on going back.

This morning I caught the 7am train and I went by Starbucks for porridge and coffee. They apologised for yesterday’s lack of ingredients and didn’t charge me. The latte is comforting and the porridge is served with dried fruit and tastes great.

For me, Starbucks wins hands down and the service at Bristol Temple Meads is exceptional.

Caffe Gusto, British Empire & Commonwealth Museum, Clock Tower Yard, Temple Meads, Bristol, BS1 6QH
Starbucks, Temple Quay, 1 Temple Square, Unit A, Restaurant/Bar Cafe 2, Bristol, Bristol, City of BS1 6EB


All the lunches I never had, Bristol

After coffee with the lovely Eleanor today, I wandered around Bristol to run some errands and find something delicious for lunch. We both had Americanos at Bordeaux Quay and then I headed off to Broadmead while she went off on her own way.

I could have had pasta at Bottelino’s but walked on to not have a rocket and crayfish sandwich at Chando’s Deli. No lunch special of two courses and a glass of wine at Brasserie Blanc and no arancini ball at Carluccio’s. No lasagne at £9 at Piccolino’s although the most beautiful green colour of the seating was extremely enticing. I didn’t have a mushroom and cheese panini at Starbucks accompanied by a vanilla soy latte, no rough and ready sandwiches made with home made bread at Sourdough, the new sandwich shop at St Nick’s. No jerk chicken at Caribbean wrap and no Kofta kebab with babaganoush at the Real Olive Company. No lamb sweetbreads or pork, chorizo and clam stew at Source just past Trethowan’s cheese stall. No mezze platter at Big Chill Bristol followed by warmed up pecan pie and no coffee and no panini with haloumi and roast vegetables at Gusto. No smoked salmon and cream cheese sauce on spaghetti at the Watershed (pasta of the day) and no chips at £2.25 from @Bristol cafe. No La Reine pizza at Pizza Express and no king prawns and aromatic crispy duck at Zen. No curly fries at Las Iguanas and no food and non-alcoholic fruit cocktail at the Living Room.

I didn’t even venture up Park St so no soy latte and no bean burger with potato wedges from Boston Tea Party. No amai udon at Wagamamas and definitely no tamarind and chilli pavlova for dessert. No lunch time buffet at Cosmo for £12.50 and no charcuterie platter at Browns. After wandering from a quarter to 12 until almost one thirty to try to find some lunch, I started to get fed up (no ironic pun intended). I couldn’t decide on what, but I wanted something amazing and it occurred to me that whatever I ate it would probably not be as wonderful as the next thing along. Nothing to do but let someone else decide.

So I took home a Caribbean pasty and a feta and spinach triangle from Royce Rolls and I shared them with my housemate who had his lunch at home. Lunch was his choice and accompanied by crisps and four Oreo cookies it all worked beautifully. There is so much from which to choose in Bristol that it can get very tiring. Was a great wander around town though.