Our Favourite Resaurants in Cardiff by the Sea
People often forget that Cardiff is a port city, but Cardiff Bay offers up some spectacular views of the point where the River Taff meets the Severn Estuary. The revitalised waterfront area has enjoyed something of a renaissance in the past few decades, with countless cultural touchstones (from the Welsh National Opera to the striking Welsh National Assembly) the area is also wealthy with culinary delights. So, if fancy dining by the sea in Cardiff, you have a number of superb options to consider. Here, we’ll be taking you through a small but impressive selection.
Veeno Cardiff (Mermaid Quay, CF10 5BZ)
A more refined chain which is (as the name suggests) centred around proper Italian wine, Veeno is a unique and relaxing venue serving only the finest wines alongside authentic cold cuts of meat and succulent bread and cheese boards. There can be few joys in life as simple and as special as sharing a bottle of wine with a good friend on the waterfront watching the world drift by. Veeno at Mermaid Quay on Cardiff Bay affords you just that opportunity (weather permitting, of course) and for a reasonable price to boot! Mermaid Quay itself is a chic waterside complex with boutique stores and a supermarket, alongside plenty of restaurants, cafes and nightlife venues.
The Admiral St. David (Havannah St, CF10 5SD)
The St Davids Hotel in Cardiff Bay recently relaunched its in-house restaurant, having stripped out the dark wood and rich fabrics and replaced them with a cool colour scheme of whites, greys and light woods, it’s truly a whole new restaurant and all the better for it. Being located on the idyllic Cardiff Bay, it will certainly come as no surprise that the seafood here is the real star of the show (the local Welsh mussels particularly), but the exotic food also borrows heavily from the Asia-Pacific region, with more fragrant dishes like coconut milk soup and sweet potato curry. It’s certainly one of the more premium priced restaurants in the bay area, but the ambience, the views and, of course, the food is more than worth it.
The Dock Bar and Kitchen (Mermaid Quay, CF10 5BZ)
The wonderful bay views and tempting menus will help you while away the hours at The Dock, which earns its pride of place in the popular Mermaid Quay district. With a picturesque balcony and terrace area peeking out of an iconic waterside location, there is truly no greater place to sit and enjoy the sunset in the entire city. The interiors, meanwhile, offer contemporary and eclectic designs that are framed by some gorgeous lighting and expansive windows. Just a quick hop from the city centre, but far enough away to feel like you’re escaping the noise and confusion inherent to city living, The Dock also features a stunningly diverse menu. World flavours share a stage with some truly adventurous twists on classic pub dishes, with an abundance of vegan/vegetarian options and some wonderfully affordable sharing platters rounding out the very special waterfront menu.
The Mount Stuart (Landsea House, Stuart Place, CF10 5BU)
Wetherspoons might get a lot of flack from the mainstream press, but the run some of the most beautiful and contemporary pubs in the UK. This former dock building is just one of them. Erected in the 1880s and once the offices of the Mount Stuart Dry Docks Company Ltd. The offices were built alongside Graving Dock No.1, part of Cardiff Docks, built by the Marquesses of Bute. The now-demolished Mount Stuart public house stood just outside the dock gates. Both the offices and the pub were named after the Marquesses’ ancestral home on the Isle of Bute. First refurbished by JD Wetherspoon in 2013, the pub boasts the usual Wetherspoon features (including those unbeatable prices) but does so in a stunning location overlooking the gorgeous Lands Gardens and Cardiff Bay.
The Fig Tree (The Esplanade, Penarth, Vale of Glamorgan, CF64 3AU)
Set in a beautifully restored Victorian beach shelter just down the coast from Cardiff in the town of Penarth, The Fig Tree boasts the best views in the Vale of Glamorgan! Whether you sit in the Restaurant, on the veranda or the roof terrace, you are treated to some knockout views of the Bristol Channel towards Somerset, Flat Holm and Steep Holm. The award-winning restaurant offers affordable traditional and contemporary fresh food for all the family. A restaurant where you could just as easily pop in for a light meal (such as the decadent Pembrokeshire Moules Frites) or a more substantial meal for a special occasion. Run by local couple Mike and Sandie, the tree is a restaurant firmly planted in the hearts and minds of locals and visitors alike.
The Classroom (CAVC City Centre Campus, Dumballs Road, CF10 5FE)
The classroom is a unique modern European restaurant with panoramic views across the city (from the centre all the way to the bay) in a unique floor-to-ceiling glass dining room. Named for its jaw-dropping location on the top floor of Cardiff and Vale College’s landmark City Centre Campus, there is a vision and a passion behind everything The Classroom touches. An expert clique of Michelin Star-trained chefs lead a team of aspiring fine dining pioneers from the college below, with the restaurant also working with a network of high-profile visiting professionals such as James Sommerin and Larkin Cen, who often lead enthralling masterclasses. The food, meanwhile, is all sourced from the highest quality regional Welsh ingredients, with all dishes prepared from scratch. Indeed, even the bread is made on-site! Menus change with the seasons too, so there’s always a reason to come back!
So, if you yearn for a seaside meal without leaving the action of the big city, it looks like your search has ended. Cardiff might not be known as a typical seaside town (the lack of a decent sandy beach perhaps being largely to blame), but the evocative views and the heady sea air are just as strong as those you’d find at some of the most popular seaside resorts in the UK.
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