Best for fine dining
The restaurant owned by Great British Menu finalist Tommy Heaney offers a refined yet relaxed dining experience, with a regularly rotating menu that could include Welsh lamb or Porthilly oysters. A three-course Sunday lunch menu is good value for £30, and a two-course weekday set lunch can be enjoyed for just £16. Look out too for talented guest chefs, including fellow Great British Menu star Michael Bremner, who take over the reins for special events.
Address: 6-10 Romilly Crescent, Cardiff CF11 9NR
For sample menu and reservations: www.heaneyscardiff.co.uk
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Best for a Cardiff Bay view
Situated at the vibrant Mermaid Quay, popular for its restaurants, bars and shops, this branch of Carluccio’s (one of two in the city) has wonderful views of Cardiff Bay. The Italian restaurant is also only a short walk from the Millennium Centre, so a perfect dining venue if you’ve tickets for the Welsh National Opera. A daytime and evening set menu is good value for money and most dietary requirements can be catered for.
Address: 2 Mermaid Quay, Cardiff CF10 5BZ
For sample menu and reservations: www.carluccios.com/restaurant/cardiff-mermaid-quay/
Best for Indian curries
This award-winning and highly rated restaurant serves innovative Indian cuisine, bursting full of flavour. Chef Anand George is responsible for the magic, using traditional ingredients and spices to give authentic dishes a modern twist. An early bird menu offers café-style thalis, while a seven-course Taster menu takes diners on a grand taste tour around India. A mouth-watering selection of curry mains average around £13.50. Cooking classes are also available.
Address: 185a Cowbridge Road East, Cardiff CF11 9AJ
For sample menu and reservations: purplepoppadom.com
Best for ambiance
The food, service and atmosphere all get top marks at Bully’s, a casual rustic bistro serving traditional French dishes using the best of Welsh ingredients. Located in Cardiff’s leafy Riverside district, the eatery is often referred by locals as a ‘hidden gem’, but word is getting out about the good food. There’s only a few tables, so book ahead. The à la carte menu is available on Friday and Saturday evenings, as well as on rugby days.
Address: 5 Romilly Crescent, Cardiff CF11 9NP
For sample menu and reservations: bullysrestaurant.co.uk
Best for something different
Yes, the address is correct, The Clink is no ordinary restaurant. Situated within the walls of Her Majesty’s Prison in Cardiff, food at this inspirational eatery is prepared by inmates eager to gain cooking qualifications. It might not be to everyone’s taste, but The Clink is praised for its fine dining, as well as its role in changing attitudes and transforming lives. Choose a four-course gourmet dinner, Sunday lunch or pop in for afternoon tea.
Address: HMP Cardiff, Knox Road, Cardiff CF24 0UG
For sample menu and reservations: theclinkcharity.org
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Best for a family get-together
A five-minute drive from the city centre and close to the Motorpoint Arena Cardiff and NoFit State Circus, Brewers Fayre is a family favourite, serving up meals to suit all tastes and all ages. With two meals for under £9 available weekdays from 12noon to 6pm, dining out will not break the budget, even if you have grandchildren in tow — spaghetti Beano-ease or a Bash Street burger costs just £3.99.
Address: East Moors Industrial Estate, Cardiff CF24 5JT
For sample menu and reservations: www.brewersfayre.co.uk/pub-restaurant/Cardiff/Ocean-Park-East-Moors
Best for French favourites
Conveniently close to Cardiff’s main train station, Côte Brasserie is a stylish French-inspired restaurant that serves a tempting breakfast, delicious set lunch and a selection of French à la carte favourites. Moules marinière, tuna niçose, steak frites and poulet grille are all on the menu, and can be enjoyed al fresco during warm summer months. A separate vegetarian menu offers additional choice for non-meat eaters.
Address: 10-11 Mill Lane, Cardiff CF10 1FL
For sample menu and reservations: www.cote.co.uk/restaurant/cardiff-central
Best for Wales Millennium Centre
Diners can enjoy Sunday lunch and all that jazz at Ffresh, a contemporary bar, kitchen and cabaret venue at Wales Millennium Centre. Tuck into a three-course meal, including a traditional roast, while listening to a live jazz ensemble. Or take advantage of the two-course pre-show dining menu for under £20, available before matinee and evening performances. Menus are in Welsh, but English translations will assist anyone not fluent in the language.
Address: Wales Millennium Centre, Bute Place, Cardiff CF10 5AL
For sample menu and reservations: www.wmc.org.uk/en/your-visit/food-and-drink/ffresh
Best for Cardiff Castle
The Potted Pig
In the heart of the city centre and just a two-minute walk from Cardiff Castle, there’s no prizes for guessing what’s on the evening menu at The Potted Pig. However, alongside pork — and there’s a whole suckling pig for eight people on the Feasting Menu — you’ll find other creative dishes that use seasonal Welsh produce, including lamb and chargrilled steaks from local farms. Housed in an old bank vault, the venue is also ideal for Sunday lunch.
Address: 27 High Street, Cardiff CF10 1PU
For sample menu and reservations: www.thepottedpig.com/
Best for a date night
An impressive renovated chapel, originally built in 1877, is now one of Cardiff’s best restaurants — as well as a quirky wedding venue. The setting is certainly romantic, with tables in the upper-floor à la carte restaurant nestled in intimate chapel booths or on the balcony beneath a wonderful and rather dramatic chandelier. The gastro lounge bar is equally as seductive — with an alluring menu of delectable desserts.
Address: Churchill Way, Cardiff CF10 2WF
For sample menu and reservations: chapel1877.com/
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