Going meat-free is sometimes associated with ‘going without’ – but these days, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Whether you’re a fully fledged vegan or just trying to eat less and better meat, there are loads of reasons to make eating vegan a regular thing, and you can be sure to find something tasty on the menu at any of these spots.
This isn’t a list of *exclusively* vegan restaurants, but these are my favourite places to eat plant-based in Cardiff.
My favourite places to Eat Vegan in Cardiff
Alex Gooch is a household name around these parts; his delicious breads are stocked in farm shops, delis and restaurants all around the South West, but his original bakery / shop is based in Pontcanna in Kings Road Yard. Six days a week you can pop by to pick up a vegan sourdough, yeasted bread or pastry. On the weekends, try one of the wood-fired pizzas (all plant based, too).
The first fully vegan restaurant to open in Cardiff, this place has become a bit of an institution – and bloody good it is too. There are plant-based twists on plenty of favourites, from the vegan fry up and the burgers, to the hot ‘n’ sour udon noodles and the To-fish & chips.
I know what you’re thinking, ‘isn’t this a steak restaurant’? Well, sort of, but the vegan options here are very carefully considered and not just an afterthought. The coal roast celeriac, with horseradish, wild mushroom, and sherry proves that meat-free food can be just as comforting and hearty, too.
A pop-up to permanent success story, you can find Bao Selecta’s first permament stall on the ground floor of Cardiff Central Market at stall 39. Here, they offer a vegan-only menu which includes the popular (and award-winning) crispy seitan ‘beef’ bao bun and a whole new menu of delicious-sounding rice bowls.
Another offering from the 44 Group and again, it’s certainly not a vegan restaurant – but a separate, dedicated vegan menu makes eating plant-based here a total breeze. Dishes like triple cooked patatas bravas, and jerusalem artichoke, with black trompette & truffle dressing are easily matched with a substantial vegan wine list.
Brother Thai have been regulars on the street food pop-up for the past six years. Back in 2017, they won ‘best vegetarian dish’ at the UK Street Food Awards for the vegan roti which comes stuffed with succulent spicy jackfruit and shiitake mushrooms – it’s still my favourite thing on their menu. You can now find Brother Thai at their first Bricks & Mortar site on Whitchurch Road.
Situated in the beautiful old Morgan Arcade, Crumbs is a bit of an institution. They serve a range of hot and cold, tasty vegetarian and vegan food (think salad bowls, soups and picnic-worthy picky bits) in Cardiff city centre.
Situated inside Cardiff’s old market hall, Clancy’s is a fab little veggie food stall, just perfect for a quick lunch. Bean burgers, butternut bhajis, and superfood bakes are available ready-to-eat hot, or cold to take away and enjoy at home.
Kindle combines fire food with natural wine in a vibrant, informal and unique setting. The restaurant works closely with local farmers, gamekeepers and gardeners to use ethical produce with an emphasis on provenance & sustainability; 70% of the menu is meat-free, so there are always plenty of vegan options to choose from.
The Lazy Leek ‘shack’ looks just like a garden shed, but this mini-kitchen at Kings Road Yard in Pontcanna serves up some of the best plant-based burgers and sides you’re ever likely to eat. I love the Finding Nori burger; white wine and dill marinated tofu coated in beer batter, with pea & mint yoghurt, tartare sauce and sweet pickled red onions. Ooof!
Nook is a cosy neighbourhood bistro, big on carefully sourced small plates and natural wine. The veg here comes from Paul’s Organic Veg in Monmouthshire, and is always cooked in creative and comforting ways; try the tempura broccoli with cashew ricotta.
Wahaca has recently made it even easier to eat green, with over half the menu now made up of fresh & vibrant veggie or vegan options. I love the roasted sweet romano peppers filled with organic squash, herb rice & olives – served with ancho relish and cashew nut mole.
This non-profit cafe aims to make good food accessible for all – offering up accessible, healthy plant-based meals with a pay what you can afford approach (they have suggested prices for those who can afford it). Think warming hot drinks, cakes and an eclectic menu of salads, stews and bowl foods to feed the soul.
These guys are on the list for one thing and one thing only; their vegan cauliflower ‘wings’. They come in a few different flavours but always have the same, consistent crunch which goes so well with an ice-cold pint.
This no-frills, BYOB restaurant has been the stalwart of the veggie scene in Cardiff for years. Expect a menu chock full of Indian vegetarian specialities; try the extra hot chilli pakoras served with tamarind chutney. Mouth-wateringly spicy!
Where is your favourite place to eat vegan in Cardiff? Let me know in the comments below!