There’s a heck of a lot happening in Cardiff . Mike Took has the inside knowledge on… everything!
Cardiff . Caerdydd. The ‘Diff .
Our mighty capital has been the scene for many great sporting and musical triumphs, but this summer is set to put it into the focus of the world. Mega gigs from Robbie Williams, Justin Bieber and Coldplay take place at The Principality Stadium, whilst cricket fans will descend on the SWALEC Stadium for the ICC Champions Trophy. There is also the small matter of the Champion’s League Finals at Cardiff City Stadium and the National Stadium of Wales, where the best male and female footballers will duke it out for Europe’s most prestigious club prize. So, aside from world-class sporting drama and music megastars, what else does Cardiff have to offer? Whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned Cardiffian, you’ll find our handy guide to the best places to eat, drink, shop and play utterly indispensable!
Pitch - Mill Lane
Pitch is the place to go for alfresco diners in the summer months. And if it gets a little chilly, fear not; there’s plenty of warmth inside this classy Cardiff eatery. Owner Ben Browne sources all his produce locally so expect some top beef and lamb cuts. But if we had to choose a favourite it would be the fresh mussels from Pembrokeshire every time.
Call: 029 2022 8882 Web: pitchcardiff.com Facebook: pitchcardiff 3 Twitter: @pitchcardiff
Troy - City Road
In a survey by The Times, Troy Restaurant was ranked as one of the top five kebab restaurants in the UK. The meat is cooked over an open ‘Ocakbashi’ charcoal pit, not vertically rotating on a spike. Th row in some tasty meze dishes and aromatic breads and this is anything but a stop-off for the late night boozing brigade. No, this place is the real Turkish delight.
Call: 029 20499 339 Web: troymezebar.com Facebook: Troy-Meze-Bar Twitter: @troymezebar
Chai - Wellfield Road
First opened as a Chai house, Chai has spread its culinary wings a little and now offers Indian styled bistro to its customers. Dishes are made from scratch daily by Pramod Nair. His glittering CV includes 5 star Indian Hotels, cooking for royalty and the title of Welsh Curry Chef of the Year. So, the food is nothing short of regal.
Call: 029 2049 5975 Web: chaiholics.com Facebook: Chaiholics.Cardiff Twitter: @ChaiholicsUK
Arbennig - 6 - 10 Romilly Crescent
Located on the cusp of Pontcanna and Canton, Arbennig (Welsh for distinct or unique) certainly lives up to its billing. It off ers a smorgasbord of the finest Welsh produce with Porthgain crab from Pembrokeshire and Pant-ysgawn goat’s milk cheese from Abergavenny. Keeping with the homely feel, bilingual staff are ready to take your order in either Welsh or English. Perff aith!
Call: 029 2034 1264 Web: arbennig.co.uk Facebook: Arbennig.co.uk Twitter: @ArbennigCardiff
Yakitori#1 - Mermaid Quay
At Yakitori#1, you can go carte blanche on the menu without staring nervously at your waistline. Using only the freshest ingredients from sustainable sources, expect the best sushi, grilled meats, fish, rice and noodles that Cardiff has to offer.
Call: 029 2049 5050 Web: yakitori1.co.uk Facebook: 1Yakitori Twitter: @1Yakitori
Porro – Llandaff Village and Wellfield Road
Hip and trendy, this eatery is from the same people behind the Potted Pig but indulges their love for all things Welsh and Italian with a menu that fuses the best of both cuisines. Th e freshest ingredients are imaginatively combined and prepared expertly and with passion - buon appetito!
Call: 029 2240 2200 Web: porrocardiff.com Twitter: @porrocardiff
Restaurant James Sommerin - The Esplanade, Penarth
A winning combination of seriously tasty food and seafront scenery, Restaurant James Sommerin (RJS) is one of Wales’ best restaurants. Th e proof? RJS was recently named Restaurant of the Year by the AA and bagged a coveted Michelin Star. If you really want to impress your nearest and dearest, this is your destination.
Call: 029 2070 6559 Website: www.jamessommerinrestaurant.co.uk Facebook: restaurantjamessommerin Twitter: @RestaurantJS
The Longhouse - St Nicholas, Cardiff
Cardiff ’s newest gastro pub, Th e Longhouse is a perfect setting for food and drinks with mates. This 17th century Longhouse (hence the name) is full of original features and offers superb views over the capital. The menu is a mix of perennial pub favourites and tasty Welsh seasonal fare. For drink enthusiasts, The Longhouse Cellar Club is a great opportunity to try new wines, spirits, beers and cocktails.
Call: 029 2115 7754 Web: longhousewales.com Facebook: longhousewales Twitter: @LonghouseWales
Etc Penarth - Stanwell Road, Penarth
A collaboration between designer Alex Mules and chef Stephen Gomes, Etc Penarth is a great fusion of style and taste. Part cocktail bar and part restaurant, Etc Penarth is all about providing a high-end gastronomic experience. We recommend going all out and trying the sensational 5 course Chef ’s Tasting Menu.
Call: 029 2009 0060 Web: etc-penarth.com Twitter: @etc_penarth
The Kings Arms - Church Rd, Pentyrch, Cardiff
Situated in the chocolate box village of Pentyrch, Th e Kings Arms is a picture postcard 17th century gastropub and restaurant that has been the focal point of the local community for most of its existence. New owners Owen and Helena took the helm in March 2017, giving this friendly public house a refurb along with a refresh of the menu.
Call: 029 2089 0202 Web: kingsarmspentyrch.com Facebook: KingsArmsPubPentyrch Twitter: @kingsarmswales
Kestrel Inn – Brecon Road, Nr Crickhowell
OK, we know this is nowhere near Cardiff , but there are times when you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Th e Kestrel Inn is perfect for those seeking some quiet time. Th e food is mostly inspired by the Mediterranean with local produce at the forefront of the menu. We recommend booking a room and taking in the splendour of the Brecon Beacons.
Call: 01874 731044 Website: www.thekestrelinn.com Facebook: thekestrellinn Twitter: @thekestrelinn
Chez Francis – Glebe Street, Penarth andCowbridge Road East, Canton
Now open in Penarth, Cardiff ’s best French restaurant, owned and run by Francis Dupuy, serves up classic, rustic French staples such as cassoulet and coq au vin as well as Petits Plats (French tapas) like chicken livers and ratatouille plus a lovely Sunday roast, all presented with a little ‘je ne sais quoi’.
Call: 02920224959 Web: www.chez-francis.co.uk Facebook: chezfranciscardiff Twitter: @eatchezfrancis
New York Diner – City Road, Cardiff
A bite of the Big Apple in the ‘diff , NYD’s home to some mighty fi ne Burgers, plus plenty more Americana - waffles, steaks, dogs and shakes. A special addition to their menu to mark the UCL final is the awesome Champion’s Burger consisting of 6oz of fresh minced Veal pattie, Italian parmesan, Spanish-style ratatouille and standing tall in a black brioche style bun. Championes…
Call: 029 2048 9790 Facebook: nydcardiff Twitter: @nydcardiff
Lab 22 - Caroline Street
Fancy some award-winning cocktails in sleek surroundings? Lab 22, as the name suggests, takes a scientific approach to creating lip-smacking tipples. Book a masterclass with one of the resident mixologists and create your own cocktails (or just sit back and let the experts show you how it’s done).
Call: 029 2039 9997 Web: lab22cardiff.com Facebook: Lab22Cardiff Twitter: @Lab_22
The Bootlegger - Womanby Street
Haverfordwest siblings Lee and Gary Miller opened their first Bootlegger bar in Bristol and have brought the New York style-speakeasy over to Cardiff. Over 80 cocktails are on offer along with some fine craft ales. They’ve also got live music on every night with a mix of soul, jazz, blues and funk.
Call: 029 20373 482 Web: cardiffbootlegger.co.uk Facebook: Bootleggercardiff Twitter: @CdfBootlegger
Chapter Arts Centre - Market Road
One of Cardiff ’s most revered cultural institutions, Chapter has been serving art, cinema, comedy and a lot more in between for more than 40 years. There’s also much to admire on the food and drink front with a wide-ranging menu and regular beer and cider festivals.
Call: 029 203 0400 Web: chapter.org Facebook: chapterarts Twitter: @chaptertweets
Crouch - St David’s Shopping Centre
Crouch is a name synonymous with quality and it’s renowned for its fine range of jewellery, rings and watches and has a particularly large collection from Rolex. In addition, the store offers a complete repair, valuation and re-modelling service, as well as expert help and advice on insurance replacements.
Call: 029 2034 1795 Web: fraserhart.co.uk/store/Cardiff-StDavids/
Castle Fine Art - St David’s Shopping Centre
Castle Fine Art features original and limited edition fine art from the country’s most innovative and talented artists. Whether you’ve yet to acquire your first piece of art, or are lucky enough to already own a growing collection of work, Castle Fine Art is a welcoming, inspiring and exciting gallery space.
Call: 02922 130 100 Web: castlegalleries.com/ galleries/castle-galleries-cardiff Facebook: castlegalleries Twitter: @castlegallerie
Morgan Menswear - Morgan Arcade
Morgan Menswear specialises in selling high quality, distinctive clothing, footwear and accessories. If you’re not sure what gear you’ll look best in let Morgan Menswear create a combination of outfits just for you. You’ll be looking your sharpest whatever the occasion.
Call: 029 2022 7877 Web: morganmenswear.co.uk Facebook: morganmenswear Twitter: @MenswearMorgan
Watches of Switzerland – St David’s ShoppingCentre
They say you can tell a lot about a person by the watch they wear. Well, if you see one of your friends modelling a timepiece from Watches of Switzerland, you know they’re doing pretty well for themselves. This is a showroom that’s laced with high-end brands (Hublot and Patek), expert customer service and an exclusively that marks it out from its competitors.
Call: 029 2034 0300 Web: watches-of-switzerland.co.uk Facebook: watchesofswitzerland Twitter: @WOS_OfficialUK
Cardiff International White Water - Watkiss Way
Located in the heart of the International Sports Village in Cardiff Bay, Cardiff International White Water is the place to go if you’re looking for high-octane water sports. Get a few mates together and hurl yourself into white water rafting. If you’d prefer to ride solo, step on a board and surf on the awesome indoor FlowRider.
Call: 029 203 0400 Web: ciww.com Facebook: cardiffintww Twitter: @cardiffintww