Vegan adventures in Cardiff part 2 

Chaiholics.pngAs per usual my best intentions for writing were overtaken by other priorities such as actual work (I know, right?) and Netflix. C’mon, it’s winter. I’ll reintegrate into normality come March. Ok, April.

My previous – and only, gulp – post on vegan eats in Wales – really just Cardiff – outlined just some of the great places to get vegan scran in a place that some might think would be limited in choice.

My other excuse is that since the last post I’ve been lodging in a house whilst in Cardiff meaning less need to eat out. But I have still sampled a fair bit of what the city has to offer so here’s my second round up of vegan food in Cardiff. Happy salivating!

MADHAV 59 Lower Cathedral Rd, Cardiff, CF11 6LW

Despite being on my walk home it took me eight months of working here to actually try this vegetarian cafe attached to a food store.  I recently really needed home comforts so made sure I got down before the 7pm closing and wished I’d been sooner! At £6.99 for a thali it’s great value – two curries, dahl, sambal, two chapatis, rice, pickle, pakora, tamarind sauce (instead of raita to be vegan), poppadom and a sweet. Washed down with Rubicon (mango, obvs) I was in heaven. By the end I was in a serious at-home-in-the-village food coma. How it should be!

 

MANGLA’S SPICE OF LIFE Cowbridge Road East, Cardiff

This recently opened family-run vegetarian, mostly vegan, restaurant serves up wholesome traditional Indian cuisine. It really reminded me of my dad’s cooking and that of his family back in India. It’s reasonably priced and you can put up with slow service for authentic charm and tongue-tantalising meals. The chickpea and aubergine curry was out of this world. The lack of social media presence and information anywhere (hence the half address provided above) also adds to the charm.

 

YARD 42-43 St Mary St, Cardiff, CF10 1AD

This Brains (Cardiff brewery) pub is an unlikely inclusion for vegans. The standard menu  has two salads and a falafel sandwich on it. We ordered the latter plus the vegetarian sharing platter without the goats cheese. The platter was surprisingly full of fresh and tasty veg. The pièce de résistance is the shelf of around 20 chilli sauces which we happily worked our way through.

 

JALAN MALAYSIA 101 Woodville Rd, Cardiff, CF24 4DY

There’s only one vegan-friendly starter and main but said main is utterly delicious. The spring rolls are nothing special and tbh quite small for the price but it’s all about the tofu rendang here. The tofu is moist, flavoursome and packs a proper punch in a nutty sauce. Served with coconut milk, cucumber, peanut & sambal (ask for extra instead of the egg and anchovies) it’s mouthful after mouthful of sheer delight. Most of the desserts are vegan too as they’re made with coconut milk. Winning.

 

ATMA  9-10 Church St, Cardiff, CF10 1BG

Located near St. David’s Hall, this vegetarian Hare Krishna run cafe dishes us really reasonable and tasty Indian dishes plus favourites like veggie burgers and wraps. The thali plate is cheap and packed full of curry, dahl, rice, puri and pakora. Next time I plan to grab the beet burger so I’ll report back. Eventually.

 

BANGKOK CAFE 207 Cowbridge Rd E, Cardiff, CF11 9AJ

This quite restaurant is easy to miss among the masses on Cowbridge Road but it’s definitely worth seeking out. Most of their vegetarian dishes are vegan – just make they understand the no fish sauce thing and you’ll be golden. The red and green curries can’t be adapted but everything else can – yay!

 

SMALL BAR 17 Church St, Cardiff CF10 1BG

Off the main drag of St Mary’s Street is one of Cardiff’s newest brew bars. Vegan options are clearly labelled which includes a tofu dog, pizza and skin-on-fries. I’ve only had the dog and fries so far which is good value at £6.95 and fills you up. And dayum, I could eat only those fries for days!

 

WATERLOO TEA Wyndham Arcade, Mill Lane, Cardiff, CF10 1FH

A rare opportunity to have lunch out meant I hot-stepped to this café where vegan options are in abundance and all clearly labelled. Torn between the avocado and chilli on sourdough and the winter salad, my eyes slowly wandered to the sandwich section (I usually bypass such sections as sandwiches aren’t usually exciting) where I was excited (yup) by a roasted cauliflower and cashew cream on sourdough option. Maybe one of the best sandwiches I’ve ever had. Although it wasn’t a sandwich as it had no top. So I stand by my point about sandwiches.

 

KUMAR’S 129 City Road, Cardiff, CF24 3BP

Often mentioned as one of Cardiff’s best curries, I would definitely agree. Packed full of Indians which is always a good sign. They do outstanding dosas plus various curries and snacks typical of south India, as well as other regions. I could easily demolish bowls of the chana (chickpea) bhattura curry.

 

THE STABLE Ty Admiral House, Cardiff CF10 2EH

A UK-wide pizza chain with a bespoke vegan menu (long before Zizzi’s had one), I first sampled The Stable in Cardiff. This is the Billy Goat with added chilli because why not. I absolutely love their thin, crisp crust and they don’t shy on toppings. Plus their vegan cheese trumps Zizzi’s any day. The menu has changed since I last week but it still looks super fit.

 

BAR 44 15-23 Westgate St, Cardiff, CF10 1DD

I was hyped this was chosen for our work Christmas meal as they do a vegan menu. This included padron peppers (my fave), crispy chickpeas and tomatoes, roasted squash with seeds, tomato bread – which I ate a lot of in Andalusia the following week and patatas bravas that were so much better than the non-vegan that everyone wanted these ones. Result! Would definitely go back.

 

CHAIHOLICS Wellfield Rd, Cardiff CF24 3PE

Chaiholics claims to be the UK’s first authentic chaiwallah house which is quite a claim. If you like spiced tea it’s definitely the place to go! It did remind me of the trendy parts of Delhi and the food was authentically delicious.  Not to be confused with Chai St. on Cowbridge Road which I really didn’t late (microwaved starter, bland curry).

BEANFREAKS 3 St Mary St, CF10 1AT, 95 Albany Road, CF24 3LP and 124 Cowbridge Road East, CF11 9DX

Not somewhere to eat but somewhere that I regularly pick up tofu, tempeh, dairy-free cheese or other vegan treats. I’m a sucker for their peanut seitan jerky! They also have a decent frozen section that stocks brands including Frys. There’s branches on Cowbridge Road East and St Mary’s St – the latter can be seen in a frame of Human Traffic if you’re eagle-eyed enough!

BRØD – THE DANISH BAKERY 6 Wyndham Cres, Cardiff, CF11 9EG

Vegan pastries, warmth and free WiFi. I don’t really need to say more than that.

Have you been to any of these places? Any favourites?

I only have three months left working in Cardiff. Where else should I hit up?

 

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