5 top Cardiff boutiques

Cardiff's Victorian-built alleyways, later covered with ornate roofs to form shopping arcades, are the city’s best-kept secret. Amy Davies of the Cardiff Arcades Project picks her fave indie shops. 

  • Spiller Records new location in the Morgan Arcade, Cardiff
    Spiller Records, Cardiff

    Cardiff is proud that the oldest record shop in the world – founded 1894 selling wax phonograph cylinders – can be found right here. Now in its new location in the Morgan Arcade, it remains the stalwart of the Welsh music scene with regular in-store live showcases. I love the wonderful personal service at Spillers from genuine music fans. You only get that from independent shops owned by people who are truly passionate about what they do. 

  • Coffee Barker, Castle Arcade, Cardiff
    Coffee Barker, Cardiff by

    This funky warehouse-style coffee shop from the people behind the adjoining clothes shop is Cardiff’s favourite hipster hang out. Think gorgeous, sink-into chairs, yummy cakes and fantastic drinks. This is a great cafe to sit and relax in during a shopping spree, read the paper on a lazy day, or just soak up the wonderful atmosphere of the arcades. It may not be the cheapest place to eat but the quality means it’s well worth treating yourself. 

  • Interior of Claire Grove Buttons, Castle Arcade, Cardiff
    Claire Grove Buttons, Cardiff by amydavies87

    One of the oldest, and probably smallest shops in the arcades, this arty beads-and-buttons emporium is one of my quirky favourites for its love of handmade crafts. Look out for beautiful things, such as an exotic array of buttons, beads and associated products, plus a range of laugh-out-loud greetings cards, prints and gift bags, all designed by the artist, Claire Grove, herself. A one-off gem. 

  • Troutmark books, Castle Arcade, Cardiff
    Troutmark books, Cardiff by

    I love old books, and Troutmark is a great place to come on a rainy afternoon for a browse through the labyrinth of shelves and stacks. It has everything from second-hand books to first editions via comics, annuals and magazines. And there’s a genre to suit every taste: local history, cookbooks and travel to name a few. My favourite? Hunting through the vintage children’s books on the ground floor. 

  • Interior of Hobo's Clothing, Castle Arcade, Cardiff
    Hobo's Vintage Clothing, Cardiff by AmyDavies87

    Even if you weren’t particularly into vintage shopping before, you will be after a visit to Hobo’s Vintage. It’s like a psychedelic dream with racks of brightly coloured retro clothing, accessories and knick-knacks – you can always find something of interest. Great bargains, friendly staff, and a feeling of shared history sum up this shop. Dig that Sixties and Seventies vibe. So cool.