Feeling Sourcey? Ranking the top 10 Source cafés in Bristol University buildings

It’s time to settle this once and for all. Shoutout to Priory Road, you never let me down

If you’re one of the few strong individuals who can enter Senate House and leave without a coffee in hand, I commend you. Unfortunately for most of us, this isn’t the case. A glimmer of hope emerged with Bristol Moves+, tricking us into thinking we were saving money on coffee, yet with only two vouchers every two weeks we are still being rinsed by the uni-owned cafés.

As much as I complain, I have free will. And every day I choose to stand in line, stamp my loyalty card, and sip that sweet nectar. Nothing hits better than leaving a lecture, ordering an oat flat white and tucking into a little treat whilst complaining the lecture was soooo difficult to focus on (you played Papa’s Pizzeria the entire time).

The chokehold Source café has on us isn’t going anywhere, so it’s about time we ranked all the branches, starting with the worst.

10. Stoke Bishop Transport Hub

Coming in last is the Transport Hub branch because, honestly, I forgot this Source café existed. It was probably opened to gaslight Stokey B students into thinking they have food and drink on their doorstep when in reality it’s a U1 job down to Clifton Down Sainsburys. It is relatively scarcely frequented with minimal pastries but they do have some vending machines- not all hope is lost behind the Downs.

9. Hawthorns

Hawthorns has to be low on the list as it was closed on a weekday at 2pm when I visited – not ideal. It does also run out of soup quite frequently which is a bummer if you’re on the £1.20 soup and a roll grind. Beyond the cafe, there are plenty of tables to study at while enjoying your coffee which is a bonus, plus the heating is always on full blast. The Source van is sometimes outside Hawthorns, however it isn’t constantly there and shouldn’t be relied upon.

8. Merchant Venturers Building

As an arts student, this building is completely irrelevant to me and therefore not a go-to Source café. However, if we ignore this biased opinion (I hate STEM), it’s an okay option. Computer scientists, go crazy. Nothing separates it from the others apart from the fact it has a 3D model of Bristol which is pretty cool.

7. Chemistry

The fact you cannot get a proper coffee in the Chemistry Source café means it has to come in with a low ranking. If studying in the Chemistry building you’ll have to trek to Biomed for a proper coffee, ugh, it’s a hard life. However, they do offer a vast selection of instant noodles which is a great, cheap snack if you cannot be bothered to go and get a meal deal because no one is paying the Source sandwich prices.

6. Biomed

Truthfully speaking, this spot was very nearly taken by Queens. However, the slight odour that greets you when entering Biomed has swayed it to number six. The coffees at Biomed are very good and that shouldn’t be ignored. However, there always seems to be a bit of a wait time, nothing compared to Senate House but one that should be noted. There is a huge social space which hasn’t got the most buzzing atmosphere (STEM hate continues) but does the job for a quick coffee break and a gossip.

5. Queens Building

An engineering student will convince you that this is the place where dreams are made. Don’t believe them. It’s fine, and similarly to Biomed makes a decent coffee and has a good selection of food, but it feels quite serious as the seating area has computers and is used for actual studying – typical engineers. It does have quite nice natural light and is obviously very convenient if you spend most of your time in Queens.

4. Priory Road Complex

Priory Road Complex is a tricky one. Atmosphere-wise, it’s pretty dire. The ceilings are incredibly low, it’s very dark, and there isn’t much seating. That being said, it offers one of the best selections for food with more hot food options than most. It’s en route for lots of second and third years walking to campus so is good to stop by on the way to a lecture, especially so given the queue is normally very short. Shout-out to the efficient workers, big love for you guys.

3. Source Van in Wills Memorial Building

This has to get a high ranking because the man who runs the van is so lovely and kind that it’s worth buying a coffee there just to speak to him. Obviously, it has no food, but Sainsbury’s is right there, so it isn’t really an issue. The Source van at Wills highlights the power of a smile.

2. Beacon House

Beacon is absolutely one of the best, it has a lovely bustling interior and great options for both food and drink. As it’s situated near lots of coffee shops, it has to compete on a higher level than the others and it definitely succeeds. The only negative is it can get very busy.

1. Senate House

This may be seen as a very predictable first place, but it just is- accept it. The variety of food is unmatched with proper lunch options like falafel bowls and pizzas. The coffee is great, and the staff always play phenomenal hype music as you’re ready to face the floor three hunt for a seat. It does get extremely busy but the wait is worth it, especially if you’re getting food. It has to be one of the campus’ gems and it really cannot be faulted (apart from the slightly pricey meal deals).

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