Street Food Cardiff’s guide to the Welsh capital
The founders of Britain’s best street food enterprise, present the insider’s guide to every eating eventuality in the Welsh capital.
A great cup of coffee (or tea)
Matt: Not only has Waterloo Tea in the Wyndham Arcade got the best tea, but also the best coffee in Cardiff.
Simon: Lovely staff … lovely coffee.
Neil: They’ve got places in Pen y Lan and Penarth too.
The Plan, Cardiff
M: City Road is Cardiff’s own World Food Mile and Kumar’s is an authentic Mumbai experience.
S: I’ll go for City Road too. .cn is a Chinese restaurant with a really different menu. Lots of tripe and tongue.
N: I love City Road, but I’m going for the Golden Corner Chinese. It’s a bit of a sketchy set up and the electricity goes off quite a lot too; but the food is authentic and like nothing else I’ve had in this country.
All the beer in the world?
M: You can’t go wrong with Brewdog on Westgate Street. Local award winning brewers Urban Tap House also have an impressive set-up, also on Westgate Street.
S: Pipes is a must-visit spot for a pint. Keep an eye on their Facebook page for monthly events.
N: Brewdog does it for me! They do my favourite wheat beer, which I can’t pronounce before or after I drink it!
A nice Sunday lunch?
M: The Lansdowne and The Conway both cook excellent roast dinners.
S: I love The Bunch Of Grapes. OK, so it’s not quite Cardiff but it’s within range, on the outskirts of Pontypridd. You’ll find it well worth the effort.
N: I always stay close to home on a Sunday, which is why I always end up at the Rhiwderyn Inn in Bassaleg. Again, not strictly Cardiff, but it’s proper homecooked fare.
A bit of a change?
M: Milgi is a plant-based restaurant that pushes the boundaries and perceptions of this kind of food. I have never left disappointed. The beer battered halloumi is pretty special.
S: For a real taste of the Orient, I like to go to .cn on City Road. I’ve mentioned this already but it really does serve the most authentic Chinese meals I’ve had this side of Kowloon.
N: Troy Charcoal Grill on City Road. The barbecued lamb’s liver with homemade Turkish bread and dips is stunning.
A warm welcome?
M: Cafe Citta in the heart of the city is an upscale cafe with a warm Italian family welcome. About the finest wood-fired pizza in Cardiff, paired with an easy, relaxed atmosphere. It’s like sitting around a family kitchen table.
S: La Vita Pizza restaurant. Marco cooks a mean pizza and makes you feel at home while you enjoy it.
N: iCookThai is a tiny Thai restaurant on Crwys Road. Pimm, who owns it, cooks whatever he fancies and accompanies your meal with renditions of popular songs on a very varied selection of instruments. There are only four tables, so it gets pretty intense. He’s a right character!
M: Milgi has the most creative cocktail list and never fail to deliver on flavour and ingredients. The place has a real neighbourhood hangout feel, which is a real rarity in Cardiff.
S: The Urban Tap House is probably best known for its beer selection, which is flawless, the envy of any city. They don’t do a bad job at cocktails either, with a good range of whiskey and bourbons. Boilermakers count as cocktails, yeah?
N: I do like a long mixer. 10 Feet Tall in the city centre attracts a young, energetic crowd – and the staff there can mix the classic cocktails well. That’s me mixing with the youngsters with mixed drinks.
A hearty breakfast?
M: The Pot on Crwys Road, if you can get a seat in this intimate space.
S: Servinis, Proper portions.
N: The Hayes Island Snack Bar is an institution and probably the longest standing street food option in the city. Lots of life and character passes you by with a decent bacon bap and coffee.
A bit of posh nosh?
M: The Purple Poppadom delivers upgraded Indian classics with a twist from award-winning chef Anand George.
S: Bully’s is the best neighbourhood bistro dining experience in the city. Welsh produce is given the classic French treatment in a place that delivers class across the board. Love the branding and the attention to detail on the plate and the table decor.
N: Bar 44, Amazing menu and you do feel like you’re somewhere special.
A pub with good food?
M: It’s not exactly Cardiff, but, as Simon says, the Bunch of Grapes is definitely worth the hop, skip and jump to Pontypridd. Great food and award winning Otley beer.
S: Okay not a pub, but a bar. Bar 44’s drinks and tapas are exceptional.
N: The Conway. Really great pub grub. Check out the homemade Scotch eggs. Life-changing!
Bunch of Grapes
A sandwich with a difference?
M: The hoagies from the New York Deli in High Street Arcade are a Cardiff institution.
S: Definitely, the New York Deli run the sandwich game as far as Cardiff is concerned.
N: Bombers puts a lot of love between two slices. They seem to offer something different to the other sandwich shops in the city. First visit they delivered about the best banh mi. I’ve tasted. Been going back for more ever since. Excellent.
Something cheap and cheerful?
M: A takeaway slipper from Cafe Minuet, commonly known as Marcello’s, in the Castle Arcade – a garlicky, cheesy slice of Cardiff.
S: You can’t go wrong with a stack of welshcakes from Cardiff Central Market. As little as £2 gets you a bagful of the best.
N: Mina, Penarth Road. Mediterranean food and filled rolls. Try their garlic chicken rolls; I like mine with beetroot.
An intrinsically Cardiff experience?
M: Chip Alley (otherwise known as Caroline Street) at 4am is Cardiff at its best – and worst. Also Pillars restaurant on Queen Street hasn’t changed since 1985.
S: A Sunday morning spent at the Riverside Market. A coffee from Caffeine Kid and a breakfast curry while catching up with friends.
N: The full-on Cardiff experience is down City Road. There’s a real mix of cultures that reflect the nature of the city. You’ll find amazing food from all around the world and there’s always a vibe down there.