The influence of Italian immigrants has long been evident among the eateries in Cardiff. But these days it’s the city’s attitude towards internationalism that’s shining through with Italian bistros being joined by Japanese, Turkish, Mexican and French restaurants – to name but a few. So without further ado let’s check out the places to enjoy international cuisine in the Welsh capital.
For a taste of North Africa in the heart of Cardiff try the hugely popular Anchor Bar and Restaurant [map] on Cardiff Road, which serves quality Mongolian cuisine. At this Welsh pub you simply fill a bowl with raw vegetables, meat and seafood, add oil and sauces and take it to the huge griddle where there chef will sizzle it to perfection the Mongolian way. If you don’t like the result, no problem, just throw it away and start again!
If Far Eastern food is more your style then there is a good selection of Chinese, Thai and Japanese restaurants on offer in the city.
Izakaya [map] is a traditional Japanese tavern, which has become one of the trendiest eating spots in Cardiff Bay. The menu consists of a wide range of small-portion dishes, and the idea is to choose two or three at a time with a glass of Japanese beer, sake or green tea.
Silom Place on Whitchurch Road offers traditional Thai cuisine in a relaxed and informal atmosphere that has proved a big hit for business lunches and parties in the evening.
One of Cardiff’s newest restaurants is Bosphorus [map], set on the swanky Mermaid Quay in Cardiff Bay. This classy eatery offers the finest Turkish meals with fantastic views overlooking the bay.
If you like spicy food then why book your table at a Mexican restaurant as both Jumpin’ Jacks and Hawaiian Pacifico offer classic fajitas and tasty specials to satisfy any spice craving.
Jumpin’ Jacks has a huge menu and an endless supply of cocktails that are guaranteed to get you merry in no time at all. There is also outdoor and indoor seating along with live music nights and happy hour promotions on drinks.
Situated on City Road, the laid-back Hawaiian Pacifico [map] is filled with masses of fake palm trees and Hawaiian-style music. The restaurant offers a good range of cocktails and an authentic menu.
Cardiff also has a good choice of Portuguese and French restaurants including Porto’s and The Dome, which bring a little bit of European culture to Wales.
Situated right in the middle of the city centre on St Mary Street, Porto’s [map] is a busy, upmarket restaurant that carries the Portuguese theme all the way through in terms of decor, music, atmosphere and food. While The Dome [map] is located in the impressive Atlantic Wharf cinema complex and recreates the Parisian scene of cafés lining the pretty streets. The excellent French cuisine comes with a great wine list and the atmosphere is relaxed, airy and friendly.
For Greek food try the Hasariko Restaurant where you can almost imagine waiters smashing plates on the floor in true Greek tradition. Combining cool décor and live music this place is more than just an eatery, it’s a whole night out rolled into one. The laid-back atmosphere appeals to a younger clientele whilst the extensive menu includes imaginative fish dishes and a good selection for vegetarians.
Finally, if you fancy tasting some good old-fashioned Welsh cuisine there are plenty of places dotted around the city including the renowned Blas Ar Gymru, which means ‘a taste of Wales’. Here you’ll find an extensive menu of top-quality meats and fresh local vegetables – all bought in daily and prepared according to old family recipes.
Also good for Welsh food is the Armless Dragon [map], a classy restaurant housed in two terraced garden cottages near the university, where the chef blends the best of Welsh with international themes.
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