The best Spanish restaurants in Cardiff

chef in tapas restaurant

Tapas – and Spanish cuisine in general in Cardiff – has come a long, long way in the past couple of years or so. 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 with a real passion for sourcing excellent produce and creating authentic dishes as good as any you’d find in Barcelona or Bilbao.

Whilst this dreary January weather has me longing for hot days drinking cold wine and eating salty snacks by the sea, for now I can happily settle for a bite to eat in one of these local Cardiff gems.

Bar44

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 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, here.

Curado Bar

This tapas bar recently opened in what used to be a Burger King on Westgate Street – clearly, gentrification is a good thing in some cases!  Curado specialises in ‘pinchos’ – small 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 yourself a glass of their own beer to wash down your snacks, and then head to the deli at the back to pick up a few bottles to take home.


La Cuina

I have just recently discovered the delightful La Cuina, a small Catalan deli and restaurant situated in the middle of Pont-canton, despite them being around for quite some time. 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. One of my new favourite restaurants.

Also worth a mention… Asador 44

Asador restaurants are said to be a way of life in Northern Spain, and in 2017 the same team behind Bar 44 will be bringing the concept to Cardiff. The name of the restaurant comes from the Spanish word “asado” meaning “to roast”, and Asador 44‘s offering will focus on grilling and roasting meat, fish and vegetables over charcoal and wood.

The new venture will be based where Brains’ Greenwood & Browns Brasserie used to be, and in typical Bar 44 fashion, provenance is paramount – they’ll even be rearing their own rare-breed beef and lamb especially for the restaurant.

Keep up with the plans for the new restaurant by following them on Twitter at @Asador44.

4 Comments

  1. Ed
    January 28, 2017 / 12:46 pm

    Why not go to the places you write about before doing an article? Just a thought.

    • January 28, 2017 / 1:05 pm

      Hi Ed thanks for your lovely sarcastic comment ?

      For reference, I have been to all three of Bar 44’s restaurants many times, have been to La Cuina twice – albeit both times in the last month, Asador 44 isn’t open yet (but seeing as I know it’s the same team as Bar44 and was sent the press release for info I can make a pretty educated guess as to the quality).

      The only one I haven’t been to, yet, is Curado – I’m off there next week. I am happy to point in the direction of other people’s thorough first hand reviews whose respected opinion gives me reason to believe they should be on this list – reviews like this one: http://gourmetgorro.blogspot.co.uk/2016/12/curado-bar-spanish-bar-and-deli-review.html).

      As this was meant to be a roundup of the best Spanish restaurants cardiff has to offer, it would be unfair to leave them out after the praise they have received so far, simply ’cause I have been too busy to visit yet.

      Then again, if my writing and editorial decisions are really not to your taste Ed, feel free not to come back ?

  2. Dean Euden
    March 23, 2017 / 8:38 am

    Nice reply Hungry City Hippy, the fact is some people love to sound off for no reason. I thought this was a great round up of Spanish offerings in the city. And agree that Asador44, although not open yet (today is first full day of service I think), is going to be superb, Owen and Tom will do an excellent job. I went there Tuesday for an open house and tasted some of the food and it was fantastic as you would have expected from them both. Cheers

    • HungryCityHippy
      March 23, 2017 / 9:06 am

      Thanks Dean! Had my first proper meal at Asador 44 last night, was very good – very meat heavy mind you! Tom & Owen always do a great job though, think it will be very successful. Plus the £10 lunch menu is a bargain! 🙂 xx

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