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Heaneys- Pigs head, egg, lettuce, seaweed

BBC Good Food reveal the top ten places to eat in Cardiff

Not to be missed for a weekend away, the Welsh capital is becoming a major foodie destination with a host of impressive restaurants and cafés. The team at BBC Good Food have rounded up their favourites with some must-visit venues and local hotspots for a tasty gourmet experience.

Heaneys

Tommy Heaney

Best for: casual dining, special occasions

Head to Heaneys in Pontcanna for a casual yet refined dining experience in a contemporary urban space. Opened by Great British Menu finalist Tommy Heaney in October 2018, the daily-rotating menu features a selection of sharing plates using innovative, expertly combined ingredients. Standouts include a starter of Marmite butter, sourdough and duck ham slices, plus mains of cured sea bass with horseradish sorbet, crispy quail ‘nuggets’ and birch-smoked Welsh lamb. Desserts are equally inventive – in one dish, a blanket of Earl Grey custard gives way to soft apple crumble with a hidden blackberry sorbet centre.

Dusty Knuckle

Best for: casual dining, kid-friendly

Occupying a charming covered outdoor courtyard at the Printhaus, Dusty Knuckle offers finest Neapolitan-style pizzas in a casual street-food setting with artfully graffitied walls. The open kitchen features a wood-fired oven, from which the alluring aroma of freshly baked pizzas wafts over to the seating area. Quench your thirst with craft beers, cider or wine before tucking into the main affair – a selection of seasonally inspired pizzas with soft, doughy centres and billowing, crispy crusts. Founders, Phil and Deb Lewis are champions of the ‘slow food’ movement, placing emphasis on the provenance, quality and sustainability of ingredients. From its modest beginnings as a market pop-up, this eatery has rapidly gathered a host of accolades.

The Potted Pig

Best for: casual dining, kid-friendly

The Potted Pig

Housed in an old bank vault in the heart of the city centre – the clue’s in the restaurant’s name as far as the menu is concerned.

The Early Bird

Best for: casual dining, cheap eats

The Early Bird

A hidden gem nestled within Cardiff’s lively student district of Cathays, this rustic little café and bakery is a popular brunch spot with locals and visitors alike. Exterior yellow brick walls enclose a cosy, bustling haven offering speciality homemade doughnuts, pastries and freshly baked sourdough. The Early Bird’s wide-ranging brunch menu boasts high-quality, locally sourced ingredients and includes plentiful veggie and vegan options. Choose from hearty offerings such as poached eggs, steamed spinach, smoked ham and pistachio pesto drizzled on a soft brioche bun, or a tower of sweet, sticky French toast topped with Nutella, bananas and hazelnuts. Wash it all down with a cup of home-roasted coffee and head out with a bag of baked goods for later.

Restaurant James Sommerin

Best for: special occasions

James Sommerin

The restaurant was awarded a Michelin star in October 2016. Four miles outside Cardiff in Penarth, its glass frontage allows you to dine with a glorious view of the Severn Estuary and beyond. Sommerin’s dishes are elegant and inventive, and the impressive wine list is top-heavy with biodynamic and organic options.

Anna-Loka

Best for: kid-friendly, casual dining, cheap eats

Anna-Loka

This is the brainchild of Adam El Tagoury, formerly a Hare Krishna monk, who successfully crowd-funded his 100% vegan enterprise into existence in 2015. Try the speciality burgers made from seitan (wheat gluten) – it’s guilt-free vegan comfort food.

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Got Beef

Best for: casual dining, cheap eats, kid-friendly

Got Beef

After spending four years in a catering bus providing grateful festival-goers with an alternative to cheap hot dogs, Cai Pritchard honed the art of burgercraft and is now established in Cardiff’s foodie-central zone, Whitchurch Road. The Breaking Bad-saluting ‘Heisen Burger’ is the headline act (Welsh Black beefburger with blue cheese, crispy bacon & blue drunken onions).

The Clink

Best for: casual dining, special occasions

The Clink

This has the most decidedly unglamorous address – Her Majesty’s Prison, Knox Road, Cardiff – and is staffed by serving ‘guests’ of said establishment. It has been lauded as one of the best fine dining restaurants in Wales, with a bright, buzzy and welcoming interior. The menu offers riffs on classic dishes made with seasonally appropriate ingredients, many grown on the Prescoed prison farm.

The Deck

Best for: casual dining, cheap eats, kid-friendly

The Deck

This restaurant in Cardiff Bay proves that anything – from the humble omelette to the cherry Bakewell – can become a thing of beauty in the hands of a genuine artisan, and that no big chain can compete with a family of dedicated caterers. The hog & hen (sausage, egg & bacon baguette) followed by a chocolate & Malteser cupcake are sheer bliss.

Milgi

Best for: casual dining

Milgi

Ten years at the heart of Cardiff’s student hub in Roath have allowed Milgi to build up a devoted and ever-expanding client base, won over by its eclectic decoration, well-proportioned cocktails and flavour-stacked, internationally-inspired, vegetarian plant-based street food.

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