Local guides

Where to eat in Cardiff: Gastronomic gems in the Welsh capital
Published 09 May 2022

Credit: Jonny Gios / Unsplash

From independent coffee roasters to plump Polish Pierogi, Cardiff has plenty of choice for visiting foodies.

A few doors along Pontcanna Street from his eponymous Thomas by Tom Simmons restaurant is the Pembrokeshire-born chef’s ‘artisanal boulangerie’ Ground Bakery. As well as cold-pressed juices and speciality coffee, there’s an enticing menu that includes Llys Meddyg smoked salmon and scrambled eggs on sesame rye.

Leafy Pontcanna is also home to Milk & Sugar, an eco-store and cafe with a zero-food waste policy and brunch dishes such as Turkish eggs, dill Greek yoghurt, Turkish pepper flakes and pomegranate on sourdough. Pontcanna also boasts popular-with-the-locals Milkwood, an all-day breakfast, brunch and lunch venue that, on Friday and Saturday evenings, also serves delicious small plates such as Mangalitza black pudding, hen’s egg, lardo, and pickled walnut.

Some of the best coffee in Cardiff is to be found at Little Man Coffee on Bridge Street. Not only does it roast its coffee on site, there’s also a bar dispensing local ales and high-quality low intervention ‘natural’ ciders.

Credit:Little Man Coffee / Instagram

At the entrance to High Street Arcade, Corner Coffee serves first-rate coffee from small independent roasters and it has also just reopened its Aprés beer and wine bar for the summer (Fri-Sun, 4pm-11pm).

The latest addition to the lunchtime street food choices on the top floor of historic Cardiff Market is Pierogi, which is drawing a crowd with its plump Polish dumplings stuffed with the likes of hand-minced duck with plum sauce.

When it comes to authentic pizza, Cardiff is blessed. Both Scaramantica on Pen-y-Lan Road in Roath and Fizz n Flour on Cowbridge Road East specialise in stone-baked Neapolitan pizzas backed up by confidently made cocktails.

And if it’s superior burgers you’re after, look no further than Ansh on Cowbridge Road East. It’s the brainchild of a former teacher, farmer-turned-butcher who uses meat from the family farm at the foothills of the Cambrian mountains.

If you’re in the market for Welsh and Spanish meat cooked on the charcoal grill, Asador 44 on Quay Street is hard to beat. Choose your cut from the dry ageing cabinets in the dining room as you dive into the notable wine and sherry list.

Credit: Kindle

Sophia Gardens may be the spiritual home of Welsh cricket but it’s also where you’ll find Kindle, one of Cardiff’s newest local gems. Occupying the park’s old warden’s house, husband-and-wife team Phil and Deb Lewis have teamed up with Tom Powell, the former head chef of the estimable Walnut Tree in Abergavenny, to create a menu of global small plates (think Iran, Southern India, and Korea, if you can quite get your head around such a diverse combination) cooked over real fire.

The Lewis family also owns Nook in Victoria Park, a venue where natural wines are accompanied by seasonal small plates such as faggots, peas and spring broth; and Jersey Royals, laver butter and sea vegetables.

Also new to the Cardiff scene is Sopra 73, which is above a long-running pizzeria in Whitchurch. This neighbourhood venue focuses on bistro-style French and Italian dishes cooked by well-known local chef Padrig Jones. He cut his teeth under Stephen Terry at The Canteen in London before making his name at 90s and noughties favourite Le Gallois in Cardiff.