Cardiff’s restaurant scene has come a long, long way in the last few years, and the change is particularly evident when it comes to Spanish cuisine. Long gone are the days when the Cardiff branch of La Tasca (in the Brewery Quarter – remember?) was the best we had to offer. Instead, we now have a handful of thriving independents who are all absolutely smashing it – combining top notch ingredients with passionate cooking and authentic flavours to delicious effect. In fact, it’s now pretty much impossible for me to choose my favourite Cardiff Spanish restaurant, they are all so good!
When the chilly Welsh weather has me longing for hot days drinking cold wine and eating salty snacks by the sea, I know I can always settle for a bite of something delicious in one of these local Cardiff gems.
Bar 44 are my go-to guys for great tapas in the city centre, but they also have outposts in Cowbridge and Penarth. My favourite dish is the ‘Polpo’ (slow cooked octopus with sobrasada, Pembroke potato, and spring onion), and the cheeseboard is definitely worth a mention, too. The meat they use here is always ‘impeccably, ethically sourced’; from using rare breed pigs for their pork, to 12 yr old, ex-dairy herd cows for their beef. Read my full review of their Cardiff restaurant for Olive Magazine, by clicking here.
This pintxos bar opened in what used to be a Burger King on Westgate Street – gentrification is a good thing in some cases! The little cousin to the Ultracomida restaurants in Aberystwyth and Narberth, Curado specialises in small Spanish snacks, typically eaten in traditional bars in northern Spain and especially popular in the Basque country. Pull up a stool at the bar and order a glass of beer or a Spanish G&T to wash down your nibbles, and then head to the deli at the back to pick up a few supplies. Read my full review for Cardiff Life Magazine by clicking here.
Having just recently discovered the delightful La Cuina, a small Catalan deli and restaurant situated in the middle of Pont-canton, I am smitten. It was the view from the pavement which enticed me – it looks so inviting, like someone has packed out their front room for an intimate supper club. The menu is full of tender, slow cooked meat dishes and rich, flavoursome sauces – featuring both big, hearty mains and a seasonal tapas menu. A proper neighbourhood gem.
Asador restaurants are said to be a way of life in Northern Spain, and in 2017 the same team behind Bar 44 brought the concept to Cardiff. The name of the restaurant comes from the Spanish word “asado” meaning “to roast”, and Asador 44‘s offering focuses on grilling and roasting meat, fish and vegetables over charcoal and wood.
The new venture is based where Brains’ Greenwood & Browns Brasserie used to be, and in typical 44 group fashion, provenance is paramount – they even source their own rare-breed beef and lamb, and they have a temperature controlled cheese room which you can see from the restaurant floor. You can read my full Asador 44 review by clicking here.
Which of these is your favourite Cardiff Spanish restaurant? Let me know in the comments below.