Get us in your inbox

Search
Immaculate food and magnificent service at The Heathcock in Cardiff, Wales
Facebook/The HeathcockImmaculate food and magnificent service at The Heathcock in Cardiff, Wales

The 13 best restaurants in Cardiff

Cardiff is fast becoming a foodie mecca, and these are its finest spots for pigging out.

Written by
Rosemary Waugh
&
John Bills
Advertising

The Welsh are passionate folk, and that passion really shines through when discussing all things edible. The old 'traditional yet modern' cliche abounds in these parts, as classic Welsh ingredients (lamb, leeks etc) are accentuated by cutting edge technique and supporting flavours that shouldn't work but, my word, how they work. Cardiff is front and centre of the Welsh foodie world, with a collection of restaurants that are the envy of bigger cities around the UK. Get your cultural fix of the city with a trip to the best museums before grabbing a burger, or energise with a hearty brekkie before checking out all the things to do in the city. Pick the spots you want to sample from our selection of the best restaurants in Cardiff, or simply organise a trip that includes them all. You said you were hungry, right?

Best restaurants in Cardiff

Bully's

Why go? Many might not be aware, but the Welsh and the French have long had a great camaraderie that extends beyond thrilling rugby nights in Paris and Cardiff. Bully’s is one of a number of Cardiff restaurants that creates yet another bridge between the two cultures, using Welsh ingredients to breathe new life into traditional French cuisine. The match is one that works, an understatement and then some, creating dishes so aesthetically pleasing that diners are often faced with the very real limitations of modern cameras. Delicious and delightful. Mid-range/High-end.

Thomas
Facebook/Thomas

2. Thomas

Why go? 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 indeed. Very delicious too, although be sure to make reservations ahead of time for this one.

Advertising
The Dough Thrower
Facebook/The Dough Thrower

3. The Dough Thrower

Why go? Can’t make pizza without first throwing some dough around, right? Cardiff isn’t short of excellent pies but The Dough Thrower is right at the top of the tree. Growing up in a family bakery in Switzerland is obviously a pretty good way to get an education in all things bread but that knowledge still has to be applied in a practical manner, and the minds (and hands) behind the Dough Thrower get things very right time and time again. They also offer a gluten-free version of all their pizzas but this needs to be confirmed eight hours ahead of arrival, a clear indication of how fresh these ingredients really are.

Milkwood
Facebook/Milkwood

4. Milkwood

Why go? 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.

Advertising
The Heathcock
Facebook/The Heathcock

5. The Heathcock

Why go? 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 moorish bite, best enjoyed through its sharing plates. The menu changes on a daily basis 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 on its way above too, for those after something a little more opulent.

Why go? 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.

Advertising
The Grazing Shed

Why go? Super tidy burgers you’ll want to get super messy eating.
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. Mid-range.

Park House Restaurant and Wine Bar
Photograph: John Bills

8. Park House Restaurant and Wine Bar

Why go? Housed in the sort of building that deserves all the plaudits it gets, Park House is a restaurant that serves fine dining fare that matches the architectural grandeur of its location. The Grade I-listed building itself is considered one of the most important 19th-century houses in Wales, while the simply-monikered restaurant wears its love for French cuisine well and truly on its sleeve. Modern French food made using classical techniques served in one of the most beautiful houses in the city? Park House is very much a win-win-win.

Advertising
Zero Degrees

Why go? Microbrewery and pizza restaurant where you MUST try the mango beer.
It’s a hot day in Cardiff. The sun is beating down and you’ve spent all day trudging round 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 Zero Degrees, it tastes like heaven and they’ll serve you a pizza to go with. Mid-range.

The Plymouth Arms (St Fagans)

Why go? Modern, wholesome pub located right next to the St Fagans Natural Museum of History.
If you’re heading out of town for a day trip to St Fagans, one of South Wales’ most popular tourist attractions, chances are you’re going to need to refuel at some point. The Plymouth Arms is a delightful pub that’s perfect for warming up (or cooling down) in after a brisk stroll around the outdoorsy St Fagans. Burgers, pizzas and steaks, plus vegan dishes. Mid-range.

Advertising
Chapel 1877

Why go? As the name suggests, Chapel 1877 is found in an old renovated Gothic chapel, set over three gorgeous floors that do justice to the quality of the dishes that come flying out of the kitchen. Everything about these feels luxurious without coming across as haughty, an impressive achievement and then some, but one that Chapel 1877 pulls off with aplomb. It has been referred to as the most vibrant restaurant in Cardiff and it is difficult to disagree with that sentiment.

Why go? Authentic, but modern Indian cuisine in south Wales.
This ornately decorated restaurant (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. Mid-range, but with some bargain lunch options.

Advertising
The Cornerhouse

Why go? This good looking bar in the centre of town is a good pit stop during shopping or sightseeing.
While you'll find items like burgers and pies on The Cornerhouse menu, this is no typical pub fare. Every dish has a gourmet touch to it and is presented beautifully. In fact, this is probably 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. Mid-range.

Discover Time Out Market: the best of the city under one roof


Explore Time Out Market

Ready to plan your trip?

The 11 best things to do in Cardiff
  • Things to do

This ancient city has a bevy of museums, attractions, parks, music venues, restaurants and bars to explore. We’ve pulled together a list of all the best things to do in Cardiff, from indoor surfing at one of the UK’s best watersports centres to art trails and chunky slices of British history.

Recommended
    You may also like
      Advertising