Best places to eat in Cardiff

Not to be missed for a weekend away, the Welsh capital is becoming a major foodie destination with a host of impressive restaurants and cafés

Cardiff's food scene is seriously raising its game, with a variety of new restaurants and must-visit venues. Be sure to visit these local hotspots for a gourmet experience.

The Potted Pig

The potted pig

Best for: Casual dining, child friendly
Housed in an old bank vault in the heart of the city centre – the clue’s in the restaurant’s name as far as the menu is concerned. Their success has led to the opening of a sister restaurant, Porro, with two sites in Llanda and Roath. Mains from £17, two-course lunch £13.

Restaurant James Sommerin

Restaurant James Sommerin

Best for: Special occasions
The restaurant was awarded a Michelin star in October 2016. Four miles outside Cardiff in Penarth, its glass frontage allows you to dine with a glorious view of the Severn Estuary and beyond. Sommerin’s dishes are elegant and inventive, and the impressive wine list is top-heavy with biodynamic and organic options. Starters from £8.50, mains from £18. Six-course tasting menu £75.

Anna Loka 
Best for: Child friendly, casual dining, cheap eats

This is the brainchild of Adam El Tagoury, formerly a Hare Krishna monk, who successfully crowd-funded his 100% vegan enterprise into existence in 2015. Try the speciality burgers made from seitan (wheat gluten) – it's guilt-free vegan comfort food. Mains from £8.50.

Got Beef
Best for: Casual dining, cheap eats, child friendly

After spending four years in a catering bus providing grateful festival-goers with an alternative to cheap hot dogs, Cai Pritchard honed the art of burgercraft and is now established in Cardiff’s foodie-central zone, Whitchurch Road. The Breaking Bad-saluting ‘Heisen Burger’ is the headline act (Welsh Black beefburger with blue cheese, crispy bacon & blue drunken onions) at £7.95.

The Clink

The Clink

Best for: Casual dining, special occasions
This has the most decidedly unglamorous address – Her Majesty’s Prison, Knox Road, Cardiff – and is staffed by serving ‘guests’ of said establishment. It has been lauded as one of the best fine dining restaurants in Wales, with a bright, buzzy and welcoming interior. The menu offers riffs on classic dishes made with seasonally appropriate ingredients, many grown on the Prescoed prison farm.

Fish at 85
Best for: Casual dining, child friendly

In a thriving high-street fishmongers in Pontcanna, you can either take your fish home wrapped in the South Wales Echo or elect to have the chef prepare it for you however you would like it, in their light, stripped-back restaurant. The Scandi, no-frills feel to the room mirrors the lack of needless over-production when fish this fresh is on the menu.

The Deck

The Deck

Best for: Casual dining, cheap eats, child friendly
This restaurant in Cardiff Bay proves that anything – from the humble omelette to the cherry Bakewell – can become a thing of beauty in the hands of a genuine artisan, and that no big chain can compete with a family of dedicated caterers. The hog & hen (sausage, egg & bacon baguette) followed by a chocolate & Malteser cupcake are sheer bliss.

Milgi
Best for: Casual dining

Ten years at the heart of Cardiff’s student hub in Roath have allowed Milgi to build up a devoted and ever-expanding client base, won over by its eclectic decoration, well-proportioned cocktails and flavour-stacked, internationally-inspired, vegetarian plant-based street food. Starters £7.50, mains £11.95.

La Cuina

La Cuina

Best for: Casual dining, special occasions
Since opening La Cuina in 2012, Montserrat Prat and her crew of Catalan chefs have seen their marriage of ancient cooking traditions and locally sourced food take La Cuina right to the top of the Cardiff restaurant league table. Welsh ingredients are given the Catalan treatment, such as rabbit in a Moscatel vinaigrette. Mains from £13.50.

Chai St

Chai St

Best for: Casual dining, cheap eats, child friendly
Cardiff is known for its superb Indian restaurants, a reputation that has a lot to do with Ajit Kandoran and Latheesh Kottilil, whose restaurant Mint & Mustard has been the high watermark for Asian cookery in south Wales for 10 years. Their punky offshoot in Canton is the ultimate street food destination. Mixed thalis from £11.95.

Bully's

Bully's

Best for: Casual dining, child-friendly
Twenty years ago, Russell Bullimore (no prizes for guessing his nickname) opened a classic French-style bistro to showcase the kind of food that he loved, and no one has grown tired of it since. A meticulously sourced list of wines hand-picked from appellations all over France helps to complete the authentic Gallic mood, aided no end by a randomly assembled, themeless art collection that calls to mind semi-fictional Parisian brasseries where penniless artists paid for food with their canvasses. Starters from £5, mains from £15.

Shaam Nights

Shaam Nights

Best for: Casual dining, cheap eats, child friendly
This Syrian restaurant pulls out all the stops in its drive for an immersive Arabian experience, including a swirling Byzantine mosaic of bright tiles and Damascene bronze and glass lanterns. Specialities such as lamb Kubba Labania and chicken freekeh have legions of admirers. The alcohol-free policy means the napalm-hot biryani will need to be cooled with a yogurt smoothie or a strong Syrian coffee rather than a chilled beer, but you can expect wonderful food by warm-hearted hosts. Mixed meze £8, mains from £7.50.

Park House
Best for: Special occasions

Park House has become Cardiff’s restaurant yardstick since opening in 2005, not least for its afternoon teas. They're the precise, contemporary creation of head chef Ian Inman, who brings a modern vitality to a variety of menus found in Park House’s celebrated, oak-panelled, Bruge dining room. This antique/modish marriage is echoed in the Vanilla Rooms cocktail bar, which couldn’t be more ‘now’ if they’d hired Cara Delevingne to mix the mojitos with a Little Book of Hygge under her arm. Five-course tasting menu £55.

Nant

Nant

Best for: Casual dining, child friendly
The Nantgarw campus of the recently merged Coleg y Cymoedd (College of The Valleys) might seem an unlikely spot to hunt out grade-A cuisine, but that's the experience being enjoyed by thousands of diners who’ve given this old college a try. The in-house restaurant, Nant, is staffed from kitchen porter to pastry chef by degree course catering students. While the menu is concise, the quality has been gobsmacking (Nant is currently high up on TripAdvisor’s Cardiff restaurant chart). Three-course menu £9.95.

Society Standard

Society Standard

Best for: Casual dining, cheap eats, child friendly 
An expansive, industrial-look interior gives this address on increasingly gourmand Whitchurch Street the retro-fit vibe of a New York art gallery circa 1989. There’s influence too from Bristol, just across the River Severn, where the proprietors Tim Moores and Dom Wood also own Urban Standard and North Street Standard. The menu is designed to be enjoyed by friends huddled around a table, sharing pork or seafood platters washed down with a pint or two of locally brewed Pipes Beer. Extra points for the “Mactorious P.I.G.” sandwich. Starters from £4.50, sharing platters £14.90.

Arbennig

Arbenning

Best for: Special occasions, casual dining, child-friendly 
It takes chutzpah to call your restaurant ‘Special’ (arbennig in Welsh), but such confidence is well placed. Immediately after opening in 2014, the restaurant pole-vaulted to the top of The Good Food Guide’s list of Cardiff restaurants. Its menus defy categorisation but a commitment to freshness is evident in John Cook and his wife Ceri’s weekly changing menus. The recent arrival of their Arbennig Emporium (deli) also sees humble sandwiches, paninis and scotch eggs given the fresh Cook treatment. Starters from £5.25, mains from £12.95.

Ffresh
Best for: Special occasions, casual dining, child-friendly 

The highly vaunted Wales Millennium Centre demanded something several cuts above the norm for dining spots at UK cultural centres, and Ffresh delivers in spades. Under the stewardship of head chef Marc Corfield, previously at the Walnut Tree, Ffresh has become one of Cardiff’s most sought-after dining destinations. Corfield’s sleek, contemporary menu is appropriately Celtic in its outlook, as is the panoramic vista of Cardiff Bay. Three-course supper £23.50.

The Pot Bistro

The Pot Bistro

Best for: Casual dining, cheap eats, child friendly
This is the result of several years of evolution and development by husband-and-wife team Rhys and Laura Keogh, who took over The Pot when it was an unassuming café. Word quickly spread about their new, hearty cassoulets and bouillabaisse – and suddenly, 25 covers wasn’t enough. They’re now packing them in at their new location on Whitchurch Road, while the original venue has been re-reimagined as an upmarket café named, rather sweetly, Arty’s Kitchen, after their son. Breakfast from £5.50, main courses from £8.50.

Purple Poppadom

Purple Poppadom

Best for: Casual dining, special occasions
The name Anand George is whispered with sacred reverence in Cardiff. Learning his craft over many gruelling hours back home in Kochi, Kerala (and in some of the best kitchens in London), George set up the Purple Poppadom in Cardiff’s vibrant Canton district in 2007. His mission: to change the way Indian food is viewed. The clean, bright, modern presentation – the room as well as the plate – allows many varied flavours to breathe and bedazzle. Read all about it in George’s first cookbook, The 5,000 Mile Journey. Mains from £13.50, seven-course tasting menu £49.95.

Tiny Rebel

The Urban Tap House

Best for: Casual dining, child-friendly 
The brewing company that emerged from Brad Cummings and Gazz Williams’ garage endevour, Tiny Rebel has become a huge success. One of their most recent creations, Cwtch, won CAMRA’s coveted Champion Beer of Britain Award in 2015. The Urban Tap House in Cardiff city centre shares a similar enthusiasm-based genesis: they’ve basically built the kind of pub that they would want to spend every night in, from the simple but effective menu of burgers, pizzas and all-American dude food, to the arcade machine in the corner where you can put your Donkey Kong skills to the test. Burgers from £8.

 

5 foodie places to try

Madame Fromage
Source of over 150 international cheeses at two delis in Cardiff’s Castle Arcade, the Friday night cheese tastings sell out on a weekly basis. Great name too. 

Victoria Park Pie Company

Victoria park pie company

Born of the same pie-making family that created the legendary ‘Clarpie’, the Clarks’ pie shop in Canton is an essential pre-rugby match destination. 

The Welsh Food Box Company
If you don’t want to go to the food, let the food come to you. This Pontprennau operation specialises in getting the best locally sourced organic fruit and vegetables to your door. 

Lab 22

Lab 22

The chemistry of cocktail creation is performed to legions of admirers in this smart bar on Caroline Street. 

Is there anywhere we've missed? Let us know in the comments below...

All recommendations have been reviewed and approved as of 6 June 2018 and will be checked and updated annually. If you think there is any incorrect or out-of-date information in this guide, please email us at goodfoodwebsite@bbc.com.

 

Comments, questions and tips

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p waddup's picture
p waddup
4th Aug, 2018
I live in and eat out a lot in Cardiff, some of these places are good but society standard is not. milgis is awful and purely for lifestyle folk who are more concerned about what's written about food than what it actually tastes like. the nant is the best value for money restraunt you will ever eat but the environment isn't perfect and it's hard getting a table. the clinc is a wonderful charity and the food is top draw. purple popadom and the mint and mustard are incredible. on this list I would add oz urfa a fantastic experience.
Angilala
25th Feb, 2018
In September 2017 my son and I visited Cardiff for six day stay. Couldn’t get table reservations for many of the restaurants listed! My advise book in advance, especially if stay is over weekend. We did eat at Y Mochyn Du and all I can say, is thank goodness it’s been taken over. Certainly no namesake dishes (pork) to boast of, much of menu unavailable and what did eventually turn up at the table was terrible. Can recommend Porro, Italian in Llandaff. Enjoyable meal and welcoming team.
felicityelizabeth
7th Jan, 2018
I highly recommend Octavo's book cafe in Cardiff Bay for lunch, lots of fab vegetarian and vegan options and much cheaper than most of the restaurants in the Bay.
Frances Hilton's picture
Frances Hilton
6th Jan, 2018
Casanova In Quay street , Easy going charming hosts and authentic delicious food, and for some of us of course the all important spotlessly clean .
Miley
29th Jan, 2017
Many lovely places detailed above but personally I recommend "I Giardini di Sorrento" 12 City Road Cardiff as its homemade pastas and desserts are unbelievable. Another really great addition to cardiffs restaurants
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