Eating out in Cardiff is an experience that combines countless cultures and culinary styles. A hub for contemporary art and a lively student city, the capital of Wales is home to traditional Welsh food, international fusion cuisines and stunning, designer décors. We explore ten of the best restaurants in Cardiff, from charming tearooms to unforgettable Michelin venues.
Standing proudly in the redeveloped Cardiff Bay area, this is a venue not to be missed. Described as ‘Wales’ No.1 Visitor Attraction’, the bright and bold Wales Millennium Centre is the spiritual home of the Cardiff arts scene, and is a cultural and architectural landmark. Open since 2004, the Centre has rapidly achieved its current status as a global art and culture destination. Visitors can enjoy a vast number of Welsh and international exhibitions and performances, including opera, theatre, ballet, dance, music, and comedy. The Centre also offers great food, at the Ffresh restaurant. The culinary team provides delicious Welsh cuisine, using fresh, local and seasonal ingredients. There are succulent meat and vibrant vegetarian options, with special dietary requirements catered for on request. Ffresh was featured in the Michelin guide in 2013 and has been part of the Good Food Guide for the past three years. The restaurant also offers stunning views of the Bay.
An artistic space that acts as one of Cardiff’s hubs of international culture, the Chapter arts theatre and restaurant offers a feast for all of the senses. For over 40 years, Chapter has been a core area for the beating heart of Cardiff’s cultural scene, showcasing the best of local and international art works, performances and film. The venue is a great option for tasty brunches and baguettes as well as fresh salads, inspired pastas and prime meat burger options. There is also a selection of pizzas that change on a weekly basis. Chapter uses locally sourced ingredients, and prepares a vast array of vegetarian and vegan alternatives. The restaurant was commended for being one of Wales’ best ‘Cheap Eats’ options in the Observer Food 2013, and has been chosen by PETA as one of the Top Five Vegan-Friendly Cultural Venues in the UK.
Located in central Cardiff, Chapel 1877 pays homage to its past, magically combining the medieval chapel built in 1877 with modern artistic touches and contemporary dining. A unique dining experience, visitors can expect sophisticated surroundings based on French-Italian themed designs courtesy of 1800s architect Henry C Harris. Welsh-style dishes on the menu include mouth-watering pork belly, Roast Middlewood Farm Breconshire venison loin, and succulent Pembrokeshire spatchcock poussin. Diners can follow with delicious desserts including tasty tarts and sweet sorbets, before heading to the bar for after-dinner drinks.
Indian cuisine is very popular throughout the UK, and the Purple Poppadom is one of the finest examples of gourmet Indian/Welsh fusion cuisine in Cardiff. The restaurant offers nouvelle Indian cooking courtesy of Chef Anand George, and repeatedly receives rave reviews and awards for its sublime cuisine. Offering seasonal dishes, the restaurant’s ‘A Winter’s Tale’ menu features a selection of options including delicious duck pidi with tharavel, luscious lamb petit tour, flavoursome ffesant chou fleur, and the Keralan-influenced sospan o wyau, among others. Purple Poppadom was awarded the Welsh Curry House of the Year accolade in 2012. It has been described as ‘fresh and vibrant’ by the Mail on Sunday’s Tom Parker Bowles, who praises the restaurant’s use of ‘excellent Welsh seafood’ and features in the Michelin Guide 2014.
Located in the Penylan area, Cardiff’s Waterloo Gardens Teahouse offers some of the best international teas in the city and beyond. The owners of this teahouse strive to provide a relaxing, high quality venue. Stocking a large selection of teas, tea connoisseurs will find this teahouse irresistible. For those slightly less passionate about tea drinking, there are also notable coffee options available. The teahouse has also gained a positive reputation for serving food and drinks suitable for those with special dietary requirements. The cakes on offer are numerous, and wow-inducing. Local baker Jackie supplies the teahouse with a daily selection of delicious gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan cakes consisting of vibrant, mouthwatering flavours. Diners can enjoy exotic combos such as the eye-popping chocolate orange and chili cake. The teahouse also serves light breakfast and lunch options and hosts regular gallery exhibitions showcasing the work of up-and-coming artists.
This is a Chinese restaurant with a difference; the food served at .cn is authentic Chinese cuisine, influenced by the cooking styles and flavours of the northern provinces in China. .cn offers customers a unique, fresh dining experience, with a menu that showcases delights including succulent steamed sea bass, Peking pork, served with a tasty pancake, and the spicy MaPo tofu. For more adventurous eaters, the fresh squid, pig’s trotter, and historic Chinese hot pot dishes open a window on traditional Chinese delicacies. The idea behind the hot pot, for example, is a social one. Diners take bowls of spicy or vegetable broth and combine it with different selections of meat, seafood and vegetable options, sharing with their fellow tablemates. The Head Chef, Yuan Bi, is Shenyang native and focuses on bringing high quality, authentic Chinese cuisine to the people of Cardiff.
This curiously named, award-winning restaurant is housed within a former bank vault under the city and specialises in contemporary British, continental European and North American cuisine. The Potted Pig has rapidly earned itself the label of being one of the best restaurants in Cardiff. In the smouldering surroundings of the bare walled interior, guests will enjoy a selection of juicy meat dishes with strong flavours. The menu changes on a regular basis, with a passion for cooking and eating remaining throughout each refresh. The kitchen team use local, seasonal ingredients where possible. The Potted Pig also supplies a tempting selection of beers, wines and spirits, with the gin collection being a notable standout, from fruity to spicy, or floral to crisp, best served with a choice of tonics. The restaurant is perfectly situated in the Castle Quarter, which encompasses the enchanting Cardiff Castle, and the expansive, tranquil Bute Park. The Potted Pig is also within walking distance of the Millennium Stadium, an Olympic football venue.
Describing itself as ‘something distinctly different’, Milgi is a late-night vegetarian restaurant specialising in seasonal world cuisine that looks and tastes great. The restaurant put the power of the people into play when deciding what food to serve. After a public vote, Milgi become a 100% vegetarian restaurant, bringing healthy, vibrant, vegetarian cuisine to the fore. Milgi’s Chef, Simon, uses fresh, local ingredients from organic farms, creating all delicious dishes from scratch. The venue has, over time, become a melting pot of Cardiffian culture, with diners indulged in a magical journey of global music, and local artwork, which proudly adorn the walls of the restaurant. Beverages are also served using local ingredients and homemade sugar syrup to ensure the strongest and freshest flavours are crammed into every heavenly glass.
This luxurious restaurant is housed within the historical surroundings of the elegant Park House, a property built by the Marquess of Bute in 1874, who also commissioned the docks that helped transform Cardiff into the world’s largest coal port. Named after the famous artist and architect William Burges, the restaurant itself features a selection of seasonal menus with separate tasting and cheese menus also available. Head Chef Jonathan Edwards and his team use the finest of Welsh and British ingredients to prepare gourmet cuisine. On Friday and Saturday evenings, guests can enjoy a relaxing vocalist and pianist to accompany their relaxing meals. The venue is also home to an art gallery and hosts a vast wine collection, alongside stunning lounge bar rooms within the building, where the party continues on after dinner.
Located within walking distance of the National Museum of Wales, and Cardiff City Hall, this restaurant is situated near to one of the more scenic areas of the city centre. Laguna Kitchen & Bar is housed within the award-winning Park Plaza Hotel, and is itself the recipient of numerous awards for its high quality cuisine. The restaurant uses predominantly Welsh ingredients to create delicious dishes with international infusions, forming global flavours. Tantalising dishes include fresh Gower Peninsula mussels with Gwynt-Y-Ddraig cider, chorizo, and warm crusty bread, herb-crusted rack of Welsh lamb, and mouth-watering roast Brecon venison among others. The Laguna Kitchen & Bar has also gained renown for its classy bar and daily Afternoon Tea sessions, a traditional British pastime. Diners can enjoy an outdoor eating experience on the relaxing terrace during warmer months.