Little Man Coffee Co

Locations: Ivor House, Bridge Street (main site); 10 Tudor Lane (Little Man Garage)

About: Both outlets of Little Man Coffee Co serve great hot drinks, with a good range of teas to match the clout of their own roast of house coffee. The Bridge Street cafe is a large, bright and open space in a former bank (spot the quirky historic features), while the Garage is compact, kitted out with vintage furniture and has an open fire.

Top tip: Pair your coffee with a slice of cake, freshly made at the main site. If you like the house roast, buy a bag of beans to take home.

Waterloo Tea

Locations: 5 Waterloo Gardens, Penylan; Wyndham Arcade; 190-192 Whitchurch Road; 41 Wellfield Rd

About: Waterloo Tea started off as a specialist tea cafe in Penylan, with over 50 different teas on the menu at any time. Since then, it's grown into a small local chain of teahouses, all with consistently bright decor and attention to detail when it comes to food and drink. Despite being a teahouse by name, the baristas make fantastic coffee-based drinks too.

Top tip: The chocolate and avocado cake may sound strange but it's delicious - trust us! Pair it with a pot of Meghalaya tea or a long black.

Coffee Barker

Location: 1-13 Castle Arcade

About: Inspired by Parisienne cafes and NYC's East Village coffee hubs, Coffee Barker serves generous brunches, indulgent milkshakes and big cups of coffee every day of the week. Slump into one of the armchairs for an hour or so, enjoying the eclectic decor.

Top tip: If you have a sweet tooth that stops you enjoying straight black coffee, order the Nutella latte for a creamy, sugary, hazelnut hit.

Hard Lines

Locations: St Canna Court, Canton (cafe); Unit 25, Cardiff Market (kiosk)

About: Want an expertly prepared flat white, made from locally roasted, sustainably-sourced beans and served with a friendly smile? Hard Lines is calling your name! The diner-inspired coffee shop in Canton, and the kiosk in Cardiff Market, are the primary city centre spots to try the roaster's wares. The Canton cafe has an open kitchen that turns out pancake stacks, Mexican dishes, sandwiches that aren't boring, massive cookies and big smiles.

Top tip: Choose from one of the two roasts on offer each day, or order a coffee flight if you want to try them all.

A man standing behind a counter holding up a cup of coffee.
A hand holding a cup of milky coffee.

Hard Lines Coffee in Cardiff Indoor Food Market

Corner Coffee

Location: 13 High Street

About: Right on the corner of High Street Arcade, the aptly named Corner Coffee slings top quality espressos and filters from guest roasters. If you know your beans, you'll love it there. It's a small but light space, with huge windows looking out onto the arcade and High Street.

Top tip: Try a signature, super-sweet Deliver Dough donut with your coffee.

I Want To Ride My Bike

Location: 26 Park Place

About: If you need to get your bike fixed up while refuelling on caffeine, I Want to Ride My Bike can sort you out. The friendly cafe bar has a small but tasty range of sweet and savoury options to go with your flat white, hot chocolate or tea, and the staff are as clued up on coffee as they are on all things bicycle.

Top tip: Visit the nearby National Museum Cardiff afterwards for a culture hit.

Bloc

Location: Victoria Park

About: Although you wouldn't know it by looking at it, Bloc - a small brick building at the front of Victoria Park - used to be a block of toilets. Don't let that put you off, though; the transformation into a characterful, inviting pit stop in one of Cardiff's green spaces is quite something. With a focus on community and supporting fellow independent businesses, its coffees, cakes and events do good for many (including the lucky people getting to enjoy them!)

Top tip: Get a takeaway flat white and a traybake slice to enjoy on one of the park benches.

Quantum Coffee Roasters

Location: 58 Bute Street

About: The family-run Quantum Coffee Roasters is arguably the best independent coffee shop in Cardiff Bay. Quantum sources coffee from Africa, America and Asia, offering it as single origins and blends. Its house blend, Tiger Bay, is strong, full bodied and beautiful with or without milk.

Top tip: If it's a warm day, try the Nitro Brew. It's a small batch cold brew coffee, served on tap.

Been to all of these?

Here are some other great independent coffee shops to check out in Cardiff:

Kin+Ilk - 31 Cathedral Road; 1a Hill Street, The Hayes

Brodie's - Gorsedd Gardens (cabin)

Rhostio - 16c Crwys Road

Sibling - 39 Lochaber Street

Big Moose - 4-5 Frederick Street

Related stories