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Immaculate food and magnificent service at The Heathcock in Cardiff, Wales
Photograph: Facebook/The Heathcock

The 13 best restaurants in Cardiff

The Welsh capital is has become a foodie paradise, so if you're looking for the best restaurants in Cardiff, check out our top picks

Written by
Rosemary Waugh
John Bills
Liv Kelly

Cardiff might just be the best-kept foodie secret in the UK. The Welsh capital gets overlooked in favour of some more famous places, but that just means more delicious food for those who make the wise decision to head to the city. Many of the most innovative chefs in the UK have made there way here, and the dishes flying out of Cardiff's kitchens are proof that ambition is the most important ingredient. 

Our top picks tick all the boxes, from immaculate, Michelin-guide worthy fine dining to hearty, wholesome scran. So, if you find yourself in this fabulous city sometime soon, make sure you're headed to one of the the best and most exciting restaurants in town. 

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At Time Out, all our travel guides are written by local writers who know their cities inside out. For more about how we curate, see our editorial guidelines

Best restaurants in Cardiff

Photograph: Facebook/Milkwood

1. Milkwood

This Pontcanna pearler describes itself as an independent modern Welsh bistro, and a more accurate description may not exist. There is a homely quality to Milkwood that has made it as popular with neighbourhood residents as hungry businessmen, proving again that good food is the thing that unites all strands of society. Milkwood is predominantly a lunchtime venue, although the small plates offer on Friday and Saturday are well worth a look. There’s a lot to love about Pontcanna, and Milkwood deserves its place on that long list.

Purple Poppadom
Photograph: Jason Ingram

2. Purple Poppadom

There is a celebratory nature to traditional Indian food that is often overlooked, but that certainly isn’t the case at Purple Poppadom. This is a restaurant that takes its food seriously but is fully aware of the social and triumphal nature of good gastronomy. A frequent winner of awards (including the UK’s Best South Asian Restaurant gong) and never far away from the attentions of the eyes (and mouths) of the Michelin Guide, Purple Poppadom is a joyous journey into the many flavours of the Subcontinent.


3. Asador 44

Looking for a gorgeous bite to eat after exploring the Principality Stadium? Head to Asador 44, a Spanish Grill and Wine Bar that transports diners to the many provinces of spectacular Spain. It remains very much a part of Cardiff, of course, but Asador 44 offers something different to the foodies descending on the Welsh capital. Oenophiles will be in love with the wine list.

4. Daffodil

Come here to sample all Welsh everything at one of Cardiff’s newest spots. Wales is blessed with incredible ingredients, and appreciation for that produce is taken to new levels at delightful Daffodil. Everything on the menu is seasonal, bringing an old-fashioned feeling of respect to what is simply delicious food. The wine list is pretty darn good, and the gorgeous decor rounds off the offer.

The Heathcock
Photograph: Facebook/The Heathcock

5. The Heathcock

Llandaff is one of the most enchanting parts of Cardiff, and The Heathcock may well be its finest place to stop for a bite to eat. Of course, you’ll struggle to stay here for just one bite, as this place seems to have mastered the art of the moreish bite, best enjoyed through its sharing plates. The menu changes daily but always keeps its proverbial eyes focused on the seasons, making for fresh as anything dishes and a real sense of the present. A champagne and oyster bar is above for those after something a little more opulent.

6. Spice Quarter

Authentic but modern Indian cuisine in south Wales? Yes, please. The ornately decorated Spice Quarter (toned down by the bright white tablecloths) oozes Asian charm, from the vibrant paintings to the colourful curries. The dishes are all traditional fare, so expect to see jalfrezi, tikka and aloo gobi, but also a few Welsh delicacies scattered through.

Photograph: Facebook/Thomas

7. Thomas

Pembrokeshire-born and bred Tom Simmons has long been considered one of the finest culinary minds in Wales. It stands to reason that his eponymous restaurant (found in charming Pontcanna) will therefore bring the best of Welsh to the fore, and that is very much the case. Simmons has put together a menu inspired by the rural heritage of his home base, taking recipes and memories of yesteryear and creating something very special. The menu at Thomas is very delicious too, so make reservations ahead of time for this one.

8. The Corner House

While you’ll find items like burgers and pies on The Corner House menu, this is no typical pub fare. Every dish has a gourmet touch to it and is presented beautifully. In fact, this is the kind of place you’d bring a date for a romantic night out that isn’t too formally fancy. They also serve quick bites like salads and sandwiches for the lunch crowd. A great pit stop during city-centre shopping or sightseeing.


9. Little Kochi

Cardiff has plenty of great Indian restaurants, but something about the stunning creations at Little Kochi hits different. Little Kochi brings the smells and tastes of Kerala to Albany Road, and the diners of Cardiff are the real winners. Expect innovative South Indian cuisine from one of the city’s youngest chefs. Stunning stuff.


10. Zerodegrees

It’s a hot day in Cardiff. The sun is beating down, and you’ve spent all day trudging around the Hayes on the mission of all shopping missions. You stop. Sit down. And pick up a pint of the coolest, sweetest, delicious-est mango beer and slowly suck it down… MANGO BEER?! Yes, mango beer. Beer made of mangoes. It’s made at Zerodegrees, it tastes like heaven, and they’ll serve you a pizza to go with it.


11. The Grazing Shed

The Grazing Shed prides itself on its ‘super tidy’ burgers, which are so delish you’ll be mid-way through shoving it all in your gob before noticing just what a mess of your shirt you’ve made. Their flavour combinations take inspiration from all over the world, but their meat, bread and other ingredients are all Welsh.

The Plymouth Arms (St Fagans)

12. The Plymouth Arms (St Fagans)

If you’re heading out of town for a day trip to St Fagans, one of the most popular tourist attractions in South Wales, chances are you will need to refuel at some point. The Plymouth Arms is a delightful pub, perfect for warming up (or cooling down) after a brisk stroll around the outdoorsy St Fagans. Expect burgers, pizzas and steaks, plus vegan dishes.


13. Got Beef

Got Beef (great name, first of all) serves up burgers that are no frills but very much all thrills, the sort of burgers that can only be eaten while making a massive mess. That’s how burgers should be devoured, of course, and Got Beef is keenly aware of this. Load up on sides, obviously. 

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