Top 5 Food Spots
For as long as I can remember, Wally's has been my favourite place. I remember as a child visiting this nirvana - with it's parma hams dangling from the ceiling, the smell of good parmesan heavy in the air - and thinking I'd died and gone to heaven. Although not that long ago, this was still a time when good quality Italian produce was hard to come by. Now you are able to buy ready greated mozzerella in Tesco but Wally's is still the best place to go. Not only is the produce outstanding (You can buy everything from Italian Pork and Garlic sausages to Bombay Duck as well as a wide variety of produce from Poland, Germany and South Africa) but the staff are warm, friendly, and, most importantly, know their stuff! If you are visiting Cardiff and only have one place to go - make it here. I promise you will not be disappointed! For those not visiting they also deliver to the UK and overseas (please contact them for more info).
Held every Sunday along the Taff Embankment (opposite side to the Millenium Stadium), Riverside Market is something I've only discovered since moving to the City. From 10am - 2pm you can buy the best fresh, local, Welsh and organic produce as well as homeopathic and natural remedies. There are some "fast" food stalls (though i begrudge to call them this as it demeans what is a wonderful product) selling Asian cuisine, tea and coffee as well as the obligatory venison burger (which are great!). I love heading down there on a clear day, loading up with fresh breads, cheeses, pizzas and cakes before holding a picnic in nearby Sophia Gardens.
Caroline StreetAffectionately known as "Chippy Lane" by the locals, Caroline Street has enjoyed something of a revamp in the past few years due to the redevelopment of the new Brewery Quarter. There were calls to have the chips shops, kebab houses and "Adult" books store removed from the sight of the new (and rather exclusive) flats but luckily Chippy Lane is such a firm fixture in the Saturday nights of so many people it has stayed and prospered. Personally I head to Tony's for my battered sausage and chips - don't ask me why but old habits die hard.
For an altogether classier affair head to the Mermaid Quay area of the Bay. Littered with small boutiques, gastro pubs and chic restaurants, it too has seen huge changes during the regeneration of Cardiff Bay. Home to some of my favourite (or at least, most frequented) eateries there truly is something for everyone from theBosphorous to The Pearl of the Orient. If you're looking for somewhere to sink a pint then I recommend Terra Nova - lots of hidey holes to slink away into and the food is bloody good too.
Heading just out of the main thoroughfairs of Cardiff you will find Tudor Street. It's not much to look at at first, just a garage and some old houses turned into flats, but walk a little further and you'll discover a treasure trove of Oriental and Halal markets. Here you can stock up on your staples of rice and noodles, spices from around the world, sauces and marinades as well as dim sum and other eastern delights. Go and explore!