For a relatively small city, we have a lot of coffee shops. How do you tell the good places with expertly brewed coffee from the not-so-expert?
This handy guide to the best coffee shops in Cardiff should help.
If that’s not enough, check out our original guide to the best Cardiff coffee shops, featuring some older establishments that serve equally good coffee.
This cafe is so small, you can barely fit six people standing up inside of it. What it lacks in size it makes up for in the quality of the coffee the team brew and their interest in keeping trade fair. Specialists in artisan coffee, they roast small batches of coffee one kilo at a time. If you drink in-house, they’ll brew your coffee using the ‘drip’ or ‘pour-over’ method, allowing you to bask in the glory of a full-bodied expertly made cup. You can take their roasted coffee away to enjoy at home too.
183a Kings Road, Pontcanna, CF11 9DF – more info
There are two branches of Artigiano in Cardiff, both serving the same things. A wine bar by night and a coffee shop by day, each branch is a cosy yet modern place to go for refreshments. They brew their specially chosen coffee on a separate bar, then go to good lengths to make it look pretty with frothy latte art. There are often events on in the evening – live music, open mic nights – so you can relax whatever time of day it is.
115 Queen Street, CF10 2BH/ 16 Working Street, CF10 1GN – more info
Uncommon Ground Coffee Roastery
Photo: Uncommon Ground on Facebook
Near the St Mary Street end of Royal Arcade is Uncommon Ground, an arty coffee shop that you cannot resist a look at when you walk past. Kitted out using dark wood and ambient lighting, and fronted by two huge windows that look out into the arcade, it’s a place that looks as good as the coffee tastes. Their flat whites come highly recommended.
10-12 Royal Arcade, CF10 1AE – more info
Speaking of relaxing, few places are as chilled as Milk&Sugar. On the corner of Windsor Place, next to Buffalo, Milk&Sugar is somewhat of a hidden gem as it sits right on the edge of the shopping areas. Step inside and you’ll be whisked away – just like the frothy milk that sits atop of their luxurious Illy coffee! We love how they take their coffee seriously, yet they have a laid-back attitude in general that makes the cafe homely.
10 Windsor Place, CF10 3BX – more info
Photo: Handlebar Barista on Facebook
Have you recently seen a man riding a bike in Cardiff with a somewhat cumbersome wooden construction and a coffee machine built into it? You’ve witnessed the magician that is the Handlebar Barista. Cycling around the CF11 postcode, the Handlebar Barista company bring proper coffee to you, much like a warmer, more grown-up version of the ice cream man. Don’t let the DIY nature of the converted trike distract you; the coffee served on this contraption is better than that at most chain cafes, as well as being served at the ideal temperature and being relatively cheap.
Cycling somewhere near you – more info
Photo: The Danish Bakery on Facebook
The first Danish cafe and take-away bakery in Cardiff has become a popular stop-off spot since opening last year. Formally known as Brød, the little eatery in Pontcanna serves wonderfully dark coffees that partner delicate pastries and rustic loaves influenced by traditional Danish cuisine. It’s only open on certain days as it’s a small business, so check their Facebook page before heading there.
126 Wyndham Crescent, Pontcanna, CF11 9EG – more info
Run by an extreme sports enthusiast, this skateboarding-themed cafe is one of a kind. The decor and tables are built from scrap skateboards, some of which were donated by Spit and Sawdust (a local skateboarding social enterprise). Their coffees capture the fun of skate culture. With drink flavours like iced Nutella latte, creamy mocha and milky cinnamon latte, you can’t go wrong. Take advantage of their suspended coffee scheme too, where you can pay for a homeless person to be treated to a coffee.
8 Duke Street Arcade, CF10 1AZ – more info
Quantum Coffee Roasters
Photo: Quantum Coffee Roasters on Facebook
While there are lots of chain restaurants down the Bay, nothing beats finding a new independent coffee bar to snuggle up in. Quantum Coffee fulfils the latter description. It’s a small, independently owned cafe, one with a rustic yet cosy interior and a specialism in drip coffee. You can choose how you want your coffee brewed (via a filter or in an impressive-looking scientific glass device) and pick from a range of carefully selected blends.
58 Bute Street, Quayside, CF10 5BN – more info
From the team behind Arbennig Restaurant, the family-owned fine-dining eatery in Pontcanna, comes this casual dining destination. Just one door down, the staff here have the same high attention to detail as is demonstrated at their bigger brother, but the food is more snacky and lunch-based. Their cakes and baked goods are always perfect, so order one of them with a barista-standard coffee for a warming treat.
4 Romilly Crescent, Pontcanna, CF11 9NR – more info
Pettigrew Tea Rooms
— Pettigrew Tea Rooms (@PettigrewTea) January 16, 2016
Set on the edge of Bute Park, one of Cardiff’s most beautiful green spaces, Pettigrew Tea Rooms is a quaint cafe that’s perfect both for a pit-stop or a lazy afternoon. Their afternoon tea is really popular thanks to their plentiful and simply delicious homemade cakes. For coffee drinkers, they’ve chosen a locally roasted blend with notes of chocolate and nuts. It’s so good, you may want to swap the tea in your afternoon tea for a coffee.
West Lodge, Bute Park and Arboretum, Castle Street, CF10 1BJ – more info
More insider’s guides for Cardiff foodies:
5 of the best places for gluten free food in Cardiff
10 of the best pizza places in Cardiff
9 of the best places for ice cream in Cardiff
10 of the best places for vegetarian and vegan food in Cardiff
Main image: Brod on Facebook