Tag Archives: cafes

We love Cathays! Our favourite spots for food, drink, art, fitness and shopping!

Today, we’re taking a tour of Cathays, aka student-land – with local Beth Girdler-Maslen. So for today – We Love Cathays – our favourite spots for food, drink, art, fitness and shopping!

Cathays is right in the centre of Cardiff and full of vibrant and exciting places to eat, drink, shop and workout. However, being known as ‘Student Central’, it is overlooked due to its drunk and stressed inhabitants. Having lived in Cathays for the best three years of student hood, I’ve compiled a list of the best spots in Cathays that you may not know about.

Cardiff University’s Student Union, 45 Park Place

Besides being a place for lectures and where students escape to after a busy day, Cardiff University’s Student Union has so many events over the year. Club nights aside, it has live music and concerts with the likes of George Ezra and Youmeatsix having performed there. The Great Hall also hosts many sales, like posters, plants and clothes. Events like these are open to everyone and a great spot to find bargains.

Rose Street Flea Market, 37 Rose Street

Nearer Roath but still close to Cathays, this market is a hidden in what looks like a garage but is filled with classic and vintage treasures. Rose Street Flea Market is full of antiques, pictures, instruments, books and much more. Virtually unadvertised, the market is known about through word of mouth and only open on weekends. It may look like a junk shop from the outside, but the two-storey house is full of collections and great bargains.

The Early Bird, 38 Woodville Rd, @theearlybird_uk

Right in the middle of Cathays, The Early Bird has everyone flocking to its yellow bakery/café. Open in 2015, The Early Bird has become a staple for brunch with amazing food and homely and rustic furniture. It uses local suppliers and businesses for their produce and makes fresh bread and sweet treats everyday as well as roasting their own coffee.

Stag Coffee, 83 Crwys Rd, @StagCoffee

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Stag Coffee is a unique independent restaurant, offering coffee, brunch, burgers and cakes. Their menu is full of comfort food as well as new and exciting vegetarian and vegan options. To try to keep things exciting and different from other restaurants, Stag hits at the Instagram obsessed side of people, by serving their meals in creative ways. Jam jars/mason jars full of milkshakes and coffees, chopping boards for burgers and cups for chips are served to keep with Stag’s effort to keep your visit memorable.

Gassy’s, 39-41 Salisbury Rd, @Gassy’s

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Gassy Jacks or ‘Gassy’s’ as it is lovingly called is a brilliant bar full of food and drink as well as great activities all year round. It has a sporty vibe to it, with football and pingpong tables as well as TVs and projectors for the big games. They have weekly events, like Monday Quiz nights, open mic nights, cocktail nights on Fridays and karaoke on Thursdays.

The Hellenic Eatery, 100 Crwys Rd, @TheHellenicEatery

The Hellenic Eatery is a family-run Greek restaurant with ingredients imported from Greece with traditional dishes and music. On most Sundays, they invite you to come try Greek dancing.

The Woodville, 1-5 Woodville Rd, @TheWoodvillePub

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The Woody is right in the heart of Cathays and its student area. It’s a good old-fashioned pub with two makeshift beer gardens which are jampacked during the warmer months. It’s a famous spot for students and a pub crawl destination. It has an upstairs and a downstairs as well as a pool table. Their cocktails are definitely something to shout about with a classics cocktails as well as ‘hardshakes’ and summery cocktails served in cans with sweets on the side. Also, it’s dog friendly!

Locos, 7-9 Miskin Street

Similar to and overlooking Gassy Jack’s, Locos is another very busy pub with great food and cheap drinks. It’s very spacious and at night shifts to a darker scene with great music.

The Vulcan Lounge, 2 Wyverne Rd, @TheVulcanCdf

Another great pub with a friendly atmosphere and affordable food and drink. It’s mainly known for the pizza and is very wallet-friendly.

Sherman Theatre, Senghennydd Road, @ShermanTheatre

Right in the middle of Cathays, the Sherman Theatre develops work from Welsh writers and artists for its audience. This year it won an Olivier Award for its production of Killology, as well as the award of Regional Theatre of the Year, the first Welsh theatre to win. It hosts a range of comedy stand-ups, plays and musicals.

National Museum, Cathays Park, @Museum_Cardiff

The National Museum is right in the heart of Cathays and inside it is full of exciting exhibitions. It has a big section on natural history with dinosaur bones and animals, art work and ancient Wales. It regularly has special exhibitions, including The First World War collections, specific artists collections and most recently, women in photography and a Remembrance Day exhibition.

Adventure Rooms, 47 Newport Rd

For those who like to be more active and adventurous, Adventure Rooms is the place to go. It’s a live escape room, where you and your team are locked in a room and you must solve the clues to escape the room. There is a 60-minute time limit and different themed rooms ranging in difficulty, like The Mad Scientist, The Black Queen and Mafia. Prices depend on the size of teams but range from £15-25.

TeamSport Go Karting, 11 Dominion Way, Newport Rd

TeamSport is a multilevel go kart track that is a regular attraction for people of all ages. Upon entry, you are given a motocross suit, helmet, gloves and all the right clothes for go karting. After 20 minutes of being taught how to work the car and the track, you can race around the track as fast as you like, trying to beat the record for the day that has been set by others. You’re also given your statistics of how you did in the race to take home.

Stretchy Suzie’s, 99 Woodville Road, @StretchySuzies

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Along Woodville Road, Stretchy Suzie’s is a yoga studio and therapy room. It offers massages and retreats as well as fitness classes. It also hosts workshops and events.

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This piece was by Beth Girdler-Maslen – Beth is an English Literature and Journalism graduate, with a love of books, running and pugs. An aspiring author and journalist, you’ll mostly find her compulsively writing or with her nose in a book. Follow Beth’s Instagram: @bethgirdlerm / Follow Beth’s Blog – Reading On The Treadmill

We love Canton – our fave spots for food, drinks, arts, fitness and shopping

UPDATED 31st AUGUST! While one half of We Are Cardiff is a proud Cardiff Bay-er, the other half lives in Canton. As Cardiff is so small, we always take it for granted that everyone knows all the nice places to eat and drink. But we met someone the other day who didn’t know Canton beyond Chapter, so we thought we’d do a little round of our favourite spots in Canton (and slightly beyond) that you may not know about.
We’re assuming here that everyone knows the well-established big hitters of Chapter, Bangkok Cafe, CalabrisellaIchiban, Got Beef, Kimchi, Chai StreetTime and Beef and The Lansdowne. Have we missed any off this list?

St Cannas, 42 Llandaff Road @stcannas

This place has quickly become our new local since it opened in April. Run by the lovely James, he keeps us busy between free beer Fridays, delicious local ale, food popups from the likes of Pettigrew Bakery, Bearded Tacos and Great Eggspectations, pianos, games, dogs, babies, artwork and general warm, friendly lovely amazingness. We have SO MUCH love for this tiny micropub! (photos from @stcannas/@sarahchew1/ @pettigrewbakes)

Clwb Iechyd Da gym, 317 Cowbridge Road East http://www.iechyd-da.net/  @gampfaiechydda

Hidden away beside a mobile phone shop opposite Peacocks, we stumbled upon this place after moving to Canton. For £25 a month (no contract), you get access to a super friendly gym (run by the wonderful Mered), with a great selection of weights and cardio equipment and a fantastic selection of classes (no extra cost). From fitness pilates to to circuits, they also run socials and competitions. AND Mered let me rig my trapeze in the studio! What a hero.

Vivo Latino, 147 Cowbridge Road East www.vivolatino.co.uk@vivolatinocdf

It’s easy to miss Vivo Latino at the city end of Cowbridge Road, but it’s a great spot for big groups or a quick cocktail. When it first opened, we decided that their nachos are THE BEST in Cardiff. The staff are super lovely, the decor is cool and the drinks are great.

Crafty Devil Brewing, 16 Llandaff Road @craftdevilbrew

This place is a three-in-one: brewery, bottle shop and bar! The CD boyz make their own beer in Canton (I’m reliable informed it’s cracking stuff, especially the Mikey Rayer) the bar has a great atmosphere and they now have a big screen and Sky Sports out the back for SPORTZ. (photo from @craftdevilbrew)

Dusty Knuckle pizza, 70 Llandaff Road (inside Printhaus) @dusty_knuckle

Again, another hidden gem! If you wander through the Printhaus gate on Llandaff Road of an evening, you’ll find this oasis of tasty food and booze. Since they moved here about a year ago, it’s hard to get a table in the semi-outdoor restuarant. The pizzas are spectacular, with adventurous combinations and perfect dough. The environment is so special, and the staff are banging too.

Printhaus, 70 Llandaff Road, @ThePrinthaus

Speaking of Printhaus, we couldn’t miss those guys off our list. Printhaus is an independent creative community based in Cardiff, offering artists’ studios, screenprinting workshops and event space. We’ve all taken workshops here, from bookbinding to screenprinting, and their frequent artists’ markets are ideal for presents, interior decor and art. Super friendly classes are a great way to try out different skills for a day, You can see their upcoming courses here. (photo from @ThePrinthaus)

The Bone Yard, Rear of 35a Romilly Crescent http://www.theboneyardcardiff.co.uk/  @boneyardcardiff

The Bone Yard is a collection of fitted-out shipping containers in an old scaffolders yard at the back of the Printhaus. These colourful little boxes are home to myriad of creative, wonderful people and businesses including: Therapy at the Bone Yard, Free Range Frames, Twin Made, England Designs, Ffwrnes Pizza, Yurt in the City and Magpie Gallery among MANY more. So if you’re looking for a therapist, handmade books, galleries, craft classes, pizza, frames or regular markets and events – GO FIND IT!

Manglas Spice of Life, 587 Cowbridge Road East, @manglasspice

We were lucky enough to check Mangla’s out in the first week of trading, and since then she has brought a burst of spice and happiness to the top of Cowbridge Road (opposite Victoria Park). Her exceptional skills as a cook are matched by her hosting and effervescent personality. It’s an Indian vegetarian restuarant, but also has great reviews on the vegan site HappyCow.net. Read Mangla’s story on WalesOnline!

The Dough Thrower, 591 Cowbridge Road East @thedoughthrower

We literally only tried this place out yesterday, after hearing our buddies RAVE about it. It DID NOT disappoint! It’s just a few doors up from Mangla’s, and sports a fresh and modern interior that overlooks Vicky Park. Bedecked with houseplants and trendy lighting, the open kitchen churns out incredible pizzas with unusual toppings like cashew cream with spinach, and tasty-ass starters like dough sticks with a tomato dip and HUGE green, lemon infused olives. Smashing staff, great Poretti beer on tap and kid-friendly. They are planning to expand the menu to include meatballs, and are starting Prosecco Sundays…. I don’t know that it involves, but I’m in.

Pettigrew Bakery, 595 Cowbridge Road East @pettigrewbakes

YOU LIKE BREAD AND CAKES AND MERINGUES THE SIZE OF A CHILD’S SKULL? Yep, us too. The Pettigrew tea gang have built a baked empire of tastiness and long may it spread! Their innovative pop-ups (like pinxtos at St Cannas) are a fantastic way to sample their goods if you’re too lazy to walk up Cowbridge Road.

Falafel Wales, 122 Cowbridge Road East @falafelwales

It maybe not the trendiest, newest place on Cowbridge Road, but if you want super fresh, really cheap, tasty Middle Eastern food, this is the place.

Thompson’s Park, Romilly Road

We are always surprised how many people don’t know about this beautiful park that sits quietly between Canton, Victoria Park and Pontcanna. The beautifully kept lawns, gardens and trees are set across a gentle hill, and the field at the top has a great view across the city.

Canton Cobbler, 236 Cowbridge Road East http://www.cantoncobbler.co.uk/

And so, to end, a classic. If your heels break 5 minutes before leaving for a party- they’re there. If you need a new key cut after an scuffle with a metal-eating wolf- they’re there. If you’ve realised that you don’t have anything but Converse to get married in- they’re there. Cheap, reliable, excellent quality, AND they have a great logo.

ADDITIONS – 31st August

We had lots of suggestions for additions to this list, so here goes:

The Bee & Honey, 63 Clive Road http://www.thebeeandhoney.co.uk/ @thebeeandhoney

Image courtest of http://sswales.com/

This place only recently opened and we haven’t had the chance to visit yet. But, judging by the people who recommended it, we should head over soon! It’s a deli and cafe, and sells a wide range of goodies from freshly baked artisan breads and marinated olives to Welsh cheeses and homemade jams and pickles. The cafe menu looks fab too, we can’t wait to check it out!

Canton Grows Wild community garden, Lansdowne Road @cantongrowswild

Since its establishment up a few years ago (we covered it here), this beautiful little patch of life has matured into something fabulous. They throw garden parties and gives Canton and Riverside residents a chance to get their hands dirty by volunteering.

Park View Cafe, 571 Cowbridge Rd http://parkviewcafe.org.uk/ @parkviewcafe

Another recommendation from a lovely reader: Park View Cafe is just opposite Victoria Park, run by “lovely people and good food and very affordable prices” in the words of Aivi! We were sold already, but the cafe is also a social enterprise- it supports trainees with learning disabilities, who may struggle to find regular employment, to give them the confidence and skills to find work.

Cardiff Print Workshop, Market Road (opposite Chapter) 

Sally Williams left us a comment about the print workshop (unfortunately we couldn’t find a working website or Twitter account). She said “Cardiff print Workshop has a gallery and small workshop [..]  It’s open every Saturday from 10.00 to 3.00. They sell original prints, handmade books, cards etc. All of the work is made by members and are original prints that have been either etched, embossed, litho or relief printed. The work is really high quality and they do classes! Watch for the latest dates and times pinned up on the front window.”

I’ve never been in there even though I live on the next street – one to put on the list!

La Creperie De Claudie, 1 Victoria Park Road West https://www.facebook.com/lacreperiedeclaudie/

Image: tripadvisor

How could we miss this out?! Beautiful crepes and waffles, in a stunning location. Amazing service too! We’ve been reliably informed that the milkshakes are banging.

Fair Dos, 10 Llandaff Rd https://www.fairdos.com/ @fairdoscardiff

Image: http://peartreelife.blogspot.co.uk/

Lovely little Fairtrade shop- selling everything from food to candles!

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