As 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!
When I need home comforts nothing does it better than curry. First time at Madhav & sure won't be my last. Tastes like my dad's cooking did & instantly makes things better. 🙏🏽💗 and I now feel just as full as if fed by my family in India! 😂For £6.99 it's the best value & tasting thali in town (that I've had anyway). If you say vegan they swap the raita for tamarind sauce. Almost everything is vegan anyway on their menu.
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.
There's a new veggie restaurant in Cardiff worth checking out. Mangla Spice of Life by Victoria Park is serving up homemade traditional Gujarati dishes – almost all are vegan. Top evening with @sarapenbara sharing veg pakora, potato patri, moong daal, vegetable & chickpea saak, parathas & tomato chutney. The chickpea curry reminded me of what my family make in India – very authentic and delicious – and the owner bizarrely reminded me of my late father. They only opened last week so still ironing a few things out but when the food is served it's worth the wait! Already looking forward to going back to try the rest of the menu.
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.
Vegetarian sharing platter without goats cheese at The Yard, Cardiff. Last min choice after realising Vegetarian Food Studio isn't open on Monday and being too tired to go far. These 4 chilli sauces were just some of 20 & yup we tried most of them! #whatveganseat #vegansofig #veganfoodshare #veganpics #vegan #vegetarian #veganwales #vegancardiff #meatfreemonday #meatlessmonday
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!
Dowhoo Pat Prik stir fry at Bangkok Cafe, Cardiff. Crispy tofu with roasted chillies and red peppers and fresh green vegetables with a coconut dressing. Great kick to it. My mouth is still having a party 🎉🌶👄🇨🇷 #vegansofig #whatveganseat #veganblogger #veganism #plantpower #vegancardiff #veganwales #veganthai #veganfood #vegan #vegetarian #plantbased #veganfoodshare #veganpics
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!
Bravo @smallbar_cardiff for your vegan tofu dog & skinny fries! Good value at £7.95. They also have a vegan pizza on the menu making this a great option if dining with omnis. 🌭🌱💚🌭🌱💚🌭 #whatveganseat #vegansofig #vegan #vegetarian #veganfood #veganfoodshare #vegancardiff #veganwales #veganjunkfood #veganhotdog #tofu #cardiffeats #cardifflife #cardiffvegans
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.
Kumar's on City Road totally deserves the hype as one of Cardiff's best Indians. Dosas, sambar, chana bhattura & puri. Super cheap & really authentic tasting – like actual south India. . . #vegansofig #whatveganseat #veganbloggers #veganism #plantpower #cardiffvegan #vegancardiff #dosas #southindianfood #veganfood #vegan #vegetarian #plantbased #veganfoodshare #veganpics
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.
Photo cannot do this justice. Up there in my top vegan pizza (right after FED by Water) this vegan Billy the Kid with added chilli flakes was the absolute bomb. Spinach, caramelised onion, artichoke, mushrooms & vegan cheese that actually tastes like something (note, Zizzi's…), oh and the hazelnuts 😜😜❤️ The Stable – a country wide chain – is now one of my new faves for vegan options. . . #whatveganseat #vegansofig #veganfood #vegan #vegetarian #vegancardiff #veganpizza #cardiffvegan #veganfoodshare #veganfoodpics
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.
Decent vegan options at @bar44tapas for our Christmas meal last night including padron peppers, crispy chickpeas & tomatoes, tomato bread and better than the original patatas bravas plus some squash that was at the other end of the table. . . #whatveganseat #vegansofig #vegan #vegetarian #plantbased #veganfoodshare #foodie #veganwales #vegancardiff #vegantapas
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).
Impromptu dinner at CHAI in Roath was super awesome. The okra fries kick Dishoom in London out the window and the chana masala tasted like really Indian home cooking! The kachumber was refreshing but with a welcome hit. Very welcome to vegans – all veggie dishes expect the paneer are or can be vegan. In today's humidity I almost felt like I was in a cute Delhi cafe! . . . #vegansofig #whatveganseat #veganbloggers #vegancardiff #cardiffvegan #chaicardiff #veganism #govegan #plantpower #bestofvegan #veganfood #vegan #vegetarian #plantbased #veganfoodshare #veganpics #indianvegan #okra #okrafries
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?