Eating healthily needn’t mean having to sacrifice flavour, colour or excitement in your food.
It can be hard to find food when you’re out that won’t blow your good intentions off-track, though.
Luckily for you, we’ve tracked down five of the very best places to eat out in Cardiff that will be pleasing to your tastebuds, purse and waistline.
The Pure Kitchen
Photo: Paleo Fuel Salad, by Creative Hacks
The most health-focused cafe restaurant in the city, The Pure Kitchen is all about serving delicious food that is nutritional balanced. They specialise in suiting all sorts of diets; at the back of the menu is a tick-box grid of some 20 common allergens and every one of the dishes served, so that diners can check if the food will be suitable for them.
If you want to bulk up, you can opt for a paleo feast like the Paleo Fuel Salad: a thick, lean tuna steak atop of fresh spinach, salad leaves, broccoli, fruit, cabbage, courgette and other greens. Alternatively, get a vitamin boost from the berry smoothie: with a coconut water base, low fat natural live yoghurt and loads of fresh fruit blitzed to smoothness, it’s a sweet and natural way to stock up on anti-oxidants and anti-aging vits and mins.
The Flourish, Lloyd George Avenue, Cardiff Bay CF10 4QH, thepurekitchen.co.uk
Part of Cardiff for well over 20 years, Crumbs is a homely cafe perfect for nutritious, substantial and fairly priced homemade food. Open from early morning to mid afternoon, you can pop by for a sit-in or take-out vegetarian breakfast, lunch or snack. Their lunch bowls are legendary, a mix of six house salads – grated carrot salad, brown rice with peanuts, apple and vegetables, chopped red and white cabbage, coleslaw and cheese. Also on sale are hearty soups and quiches, hot homemade chilli or curry with brown rice and jacket potatoes with healthy fillings. There’s no chance you’ll go hungry!
33 Morgan Arcade CF10 1AF, crumbskitchencardiff.co.uk
— Kemi's Pontcanna (@KemisCafe) August 7, 2015
It may be a little further out of town in Pontcanna, but a trip to Kemi’s is worth the walk (plus you can count the commute towards your daily exercise tally). The small eatery is a cafe by day, and occasionally opens as a relaxed restaurant by night. With a full deli selection and an array of hot and cold foods – all of which are wholesome and naturally flavourful , there’s plenty to choose from.
We recommend one of the salad plates – they change every day, but always comprise of six or seven creative, exotic and truly delicious salads and deli items. The great thing is that there’s always something different that you haven’t tried before, which keeps healthy eating exciting.
Kings Road, Pontcanna CF11 9DF, kemis.co.uk
Photo: Organic, locally sourced Eggs Florentine, by The Plan on Twitter
This highly regarded cafe in the middle of Morgan Arcade is the place to go if you’re looking for all things organic. Serving breakfasts, lunches, salads and cakes, they try to include organic ingredients wherever possible. Their stuffed peppers are always a winner; the roasted red peppers are packed with fluffy herby couscous, scattered with pine nuts and goat’s cheese for a salty flavour and served with bread and hummus.
Also good are the organic Welsh egg and cress sandwiches, made with organic white or wholemeal bread. Whatever you choose, it’s easy to find a healthy and locally-sourced option here.
28-29 Morgan Arcade CF10 1AF, twitter.com/theplancafe
Roughly translating into ‘healthy food planet’, Anna-Loka is the first 100% vegan eatery in Cardiff. Its aim is to allow people to make health-conscious and environmentally moral decision about what they eat when dining out, rather than attempting to convert people to veganism, which is a welcome attitude to have. Their meals pack impressive flavour thanks to expertly matched herbs, spices and other ingredients, and the kombucha (a fermented tea health drink that is packed full of probiotics and vitamins) that they serve is a refreshing pairing.
The raw tacos are a particular favourite – perky lettuce leaves filled with rich cashew-based guacamole, cherry tomatoes and raw courgette and carrot slaw – a healthier version of traditional tacos, but certainly equal in taste (if anything, better).
114 Albany Road, Roath CF24 3NS, facebook.com/annalokacafebar
Main image: The Pure Kitchen, by Creative Hacks