Discover the newest food and drink offerings to hit the streets of Cardiff

After Eventbrite named Cardiff as the UK’s fastest growing city for food and drink in 2015, the city is showing no signs of slowing down any time soon. With places to eat and drink popping up all over the place it can be hard to keep up, but we took a look at some of the newest to hit the streets so you know where to visit next!

Shake Shack

(Upper Grand Arcade, St David’s Dewi Sant, Cardiff, CF10 2EF)

Back in 2001, Shake Shack was nothing more than a hot dog cart in Madison Square Park in Manhattan, but now it has several international locations - and the latest is Cardiff!  On the top floor of the restaurant wing of St David’s 2, Shake Shack already stands out from the crowd - with its dark wood panelling and contrasting luminous lighting, Welsh language words such as “sglodion” (chips) fill its signage, offering just a hint at why this place is different.  

With the slogan “Stand for Something Good”, Shake Shack is committed to being eco friendly in all areas of business.  This includes sourcing produce locally: ensuring burgers are 100% Aberdeen Angus beef and have only been grazed in the UK and Ireland. The menu offers a selection of craft beer and a wine list featuring local partners Celt Experience Brewing and Tiny Rebel Brewing Co.  All plastics are recycled and the cooking oil is reused to produce clean energy. Even the restaurant itself is made from recycled materials!  

They are invested in giving back to the community, too, so 5% of sales from the Welsh Cake Jam concrete goes to The Wallich, a charity addressing homelessness across Wales.

A cross between a regular fast food place and a more upmarket sit-down restaurant, you choose a table while you peruse the menu, then go up to place your order, where you are given a little buzzer that goes off when your meal is ready for you to collect it.  The staff are really friendly and while we were waiting, we were offered free samples of hot chocolate (basically like melted chocolate in a cup, yum!), and their “fifty-fifty lemonade”, which is a blend of lemonade and iced tea and rather refreshing.

Shake Shack

Shake Shack, Cardiff

Arriving on a plastic tray and in paper bags, the food had an authentic burger-bar style: we tried the SmokeShack and the ‘Shroom Burger, as well as the crinkle cut chips to round things off nicely.  For drinks, we sampled the ShackMeister beer and the chocolate shake.  The shakes are created with a special frozen custard made on-site and simply lush!  Super chocolatey and creamy, this is one of the best shakes we have ever tasted!  You can create your own dessert or have one of their “concretes”, which is a blend of this frozen custard with exciting extras like Welsh cakes!  

Even at peak time, we found that there was still plenty of room across a mixture of table sizes. So if it’s a cosy date you’re accommodating, or a larger catch up with mates, Shake Shack has room for you.  It’s even pet friendly: offering the Pooch-ini and the Bag O’ Bones on the “Woof” menu, your pampered pooch can enjoy a selection of red velvet dog biscuits!  Dine in or take-away, the Shake Shack is definitely worth trying!

Visit the Shake Shack website or you can find them on Facebook and Twitter

Barley and Rye 

(2 Greyfriars Road, CF10 3AD)

The newest edition to Greyfriars Road, one of Cardiff’s nightlife hubs, Barley and Rye is a Bier Bar with a difference. Standing out from the street’s wealth of nightclubs and sports bars with its rustic design and chic interior, Barley and Rye aims to match top quality, freshly cooked food with its range of over 80 beers - not to mention a generous choice of speciality whiskeys (laying claim to the biggest selection in Wales).

With a focus on modern, Welsh food with a bit of a twist, the menu has been designed specifically with the bar’s planned range of beers in mind. The owners aim to provide customers with beer and food options that complement each other perfectly. 

And head chef Gareth Dobbs knows exactly what he’s doing, having worked at world famous restaurants under two Michelin-starred chefs, Michel Roux and Marcus Wareing. Under Dobbs’ expert eye, Barley and Rye promise that their staff are knowledgable and enthusiastic, able to advise customers on what sort of beer would best compliment their food, all of which is fresh, high-quality and locally sourced. 

The menu itself is extensive, filled with recognisable dishes that have an element of the unexpected thrown in. Starters, for example, include chicken liver, tequila and cranberry pate, or a celeriac and apple soup with a Perl Las dressing. Mains are comprised of hearty yet classy dishes - Cwrw Braf braised featherblade of beer, or a beetroot tarte tatin with Pantsygawn goats cheese. Puddings are not forgotten, either, with delicious sounding treats including a coffee pannacotta served with passion fruit jelly and peanut butter ice cream, or Halen Mon salted caramel chocolate torte. Yum. 

The spacious interior of the restaurant and bar brings, along with its capacity for over 250 people, a touch of class to Greyfriars Road, combining a modern concept with rustic decor. Think plush booths, chunky wooden tables and long, knotted benches - providing the perfect place for a post-work drink or a relaxed evening meal. What’s more, with the sheer range of alcohol on offer, Barley and Rye can expect to fill up over the weekends, bringing in a crowd eager to sample its variety of wares. 

Open from 11.30am to midnight, 7 days a week, and also available to hire for business and private events, Barley and Rye is set to bring something new to Cardiff’s swathe of bars and restaurants. 

Visit the Barley and Rye website or you can find them on Facebook and Twitter

KIN+ILK

(1 Capital Quarter, Tyndall Street)

KIN+ILK is a new coffee shop that’s challenging the way we work. Geared towards businesses  and creative freelancers alike, it aims to be the place where people of all backgrounds and interests can come and work, meet and play, whilst also enjoying a wonderful selection of food and drink. 

Founded by a host of directors - Paula Morris, David Davies, Alex Jenkins, Angela Gidden and Rhys Champion - the company has built its foundations on combining locally-sourced food and drink from artisan producers and a mix of European delicacies to tempt the taste buds as you work on your next novel or business plan. 

After 18 months of deliberation, careful planning and waiting for the right venues, KIN+ILK came into being - proving that patience is a virtue as they began to refine what kind of venue they were going to create. Over those 18 months KIN+ILK evolved into a place where creatives and businesses can collaborate in a space with the customer in mind.  

The team have started with their first venue in the new Capital Quarter, and, in the next 6 weeks, they’ll open up another on Cathedral Road and then Cardiff Bay soon after, making them set to become one of our favourite places to go in Cardiff. 

All venues will be decorated with Scandinavian styled features with high ceilings, natural lighting and beautiful pine furnishing; plus super fast Wifi to pacify those who are ever-present online, and plenty of plug sockets to keep up with their charging needs (with a USB charger included as an added thoughtful touch). 

KIN+ILK

KIN+ILK, Cardiff

But what about human fuel? They’ve carefully chosen from a wide range of locally sourced companies to supply them with food and drink for any time of the day. Among these is The Parsnipship, which supplies KIN+ILK with a wide range of vegetarian, vegan and gluten free produce to make sure there’s something for everyone. They're open from 7:30am to serve you up that much-needed bacon sandwich and coffee, whether to go or eat inside; and their alcohol licence permits them to stay open until 7pm for the winter months - for those important after work gatherings.

Over the next couple of months, they plan to be the central hub for hosting regular and inspiring talks from local freelancers, business owners and successful thought leaders to inspire social learning and collaboration within the community. They are also in talks with Cardiff University to offer competitions and projects to give students more opportunities to build up their experiences outside of the University. 

All in all, KIN+ILK are sure to be the one to watch and visit this year: whether you need a new space to work in or a new venue to meet up with friends it's definitely the place to go. 

And the coffee in itself is well worth it! 

You can find KIN+ILK on Facebook and Twitter

The Dead Canary

(Barrack Lane, Cardiff)

Located somewhere on Barrack Lane (look for the feather), this bar offers a fresh take on a night out in Cardiff. Boasting such cocktails as the Port Talbot (Appleton 12yr with Oaked Port, Gautier VSOP, Lemon Sherbert, Angostura) and the Beef Me Up Buttercup (Flor De Cana 4yo, Chardonnay, Creme de Cacao Blanc, Olive Brine, Black Pepper, Bilton), the drinks menu is varied and interesting. Wines and beers are also on the menu and are similarly as eclectic as the cocktails. If you’re stuck for choice the staff are more than happy to offer suggestions. Food is also on the menu, and includes vegetarian options, with all dishes coming to a neat £4.

 The lighting is low-key, as is the seating: don’t expect to be shouting over music here. With two floors, there is plenty of space for a group of friends - and there are also plans for a small VIP area for guests looking for a bit more exclusivity.

 The Dead Canary owes thanks to two like minded individuals with a combined bucket full of experience in the bar industry. Both Jon Saunders and Andy Spratt envisaged a speakeasy environment where you can relax, enjoy the best cocktails Cardiff has to offer, and listen to the subtle notes of prominent jazz artists. Music is another important aspect of the bar and features musicians that will excite swing dancers especially. On the night that CDF visited, a band was performing to a great reception from the patrons present, though when asked for a name, decided to make one up on the spot. Good luck, Nick Jordan Trio.

Entry to this exclusive venue remains a mystery to most, but booking is required via their website. 

Visit The Dead Canary website or you can find them on Facebook and Twitter

Guest news story by The CDF 

The CDF is a monthly events and listings magazine written, edited and distributed by a small team of dedicated Cardiff residents. Covering events, reviews and venues, they want to show off everything that makes Cardiff a brilliant city to live in and visit.

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