Cardiff has long been devoid of restaurants with Michelin stars. In fact, it wasn’t until the guide released its updated line-up of restaurants with Michelin stars in 2022 that the Welsh capital finally gained a Michelin-starred restaurant: Home by James Sommerin. It’s just the one restaurant, with just the one star, but it’s an awesome achievement for the city and, of course, the restaurant.
The thing is, Wales’ largest city is jam-packed with note-worthy places to eat – you can use this list of Cardiff’s best restaurants as a solid starting point. In addition to Sommerin’s Home, there are more than a handful of restaurants in the city that have banked themselves a mention from the almighty institution, an accolade that’s also known as a Michelin plate. It might not have the same ring as a star does, but in a way, we find these underdogs (if you can call them that) just as exciting. These are the places that are really very good, but perhaps just a little less formal, a characteristic we see as a positive mostly. These restaurants are up-and-coming and, perhaps one day, might earn themselves a promotion from perfectly-good plates to something-to-talk-about stars.
There isn't a definitive rule that links the restaurants with Michelin plates mentioned in the guide below, just in case you thought they all had to don white tablecloths and plates laden with foams and gels. A very good restaurant is a very good restaurant, after all. Potted Pig, for example, is a character-lead establishment that focuses its attention on proper British grub and an excellent gin list. La Cuina, on the other hand, takes its diners to Catalonia via a selection of tapas sharing dishes and larger plates, all set within simple, neighbourhood interiors. There’s a reason the Michelin Guide has singled these restaurants out, which we explain in a little more detail below. Have a look for yourself.
Are there any Michelin-starred restaurants in Cardiff?
There is one restaurant in Cardiff with a Michelin star: Home by James Sommerin. The restaurant is located in Penarth, specifically, which is actually four miles south of Cardiff city centre. Close enough.
What: Home is a restaurant that strives to stay true to its name, with a small family-driven team and a relaxed feel as soon as you walk through the door. Chef James Sommerin sits at the helm, while his wife ‘does the admin’ and his daughters form the kitchen team and front of house. Meanwhile, its tasting ‘Surprise Menu’ is so seasonal that it changes every day - but you can expect eight courses of intrigue.
Where: 1 Royal Buildings, Cardiff, CF64 3EB
Book now: Home
Are there any Michelin starred restaurants in Wales?
There are a total of five restaurants in Wales that have Michelin stars. The restaurants in Wales with one Michelin star are as follows:
- Walnut Tree, Abergavenny
2. Ynyshir, Powys
3. Sosban & The Old Butchers, Anglesey
4. Beach House, Swansea
5. The Whitebrook, Monmouth
There is also one restaurant in Wales with a green Michelin star, which recognises restaurants who are leading in the industry for their sustainable practices. This is Pale Hall Hotel in North Wales, which uses a hydro system to power the entire hotel with carbon-neutral energy. Its fine dining restaurant, meanwhile, only sources from suppliers that are sustainable, seasonal and local.
Restaurants in Cardiff with a Michelin plate
Okay, so while we can't offer you any more than one Michelin-starred restaurant, we can offer you something nearly as good - restaurants recommended in the guide. Here are all the places with a coveted 'Plate' in Wales' capital city.
What: Occupying a space that was once a bank vault, the shabby-chic dining room at Potted Pig features long wooden tables, studded leather sofas and a lot of bricks (ceiling and walls). The food is just as comforting as you’d expect it to be, but executed with modern flare; it's hearty and fundamentally British, but with influences from further afield here and there. Look out for things like porchetta, three pork cassoulet and cavolo nero, rabbit pappardelle with wild mushrooms and monkfish with samphire and lemon caper butter. And don't miss its 30-strong gin list!
Where: 27 High Street, Cardiff, CF10 1PU
Book now: Potted Pig
What: This Spanish grill and wine bar is a rustic chic space found on Quay Street. With a wide selection of wines by the glass, plus more premium bottles made to be enjoyed over a couple of hours, guests can take a tour of Spain’s many wine regions during an evening spent here. The menu, meanwhile, is made for sharing. Choose from a selection of Spanish-inspired small plates, from spiced Iberian pork and octopus terrine with piquillo, fennel and cracker, to chicken and smoked morcilla.
Where: 14-15 Quay Street, Cardiff, CF10 1EA
Book now: Asador 44
What: Another Spanish favourite in the Welsh city, this time focused on Catalan cuisine, La Cuina is a simple neighbourhood restaurant that celebrates small suppliers and authentic recipes. Its food offering is tempting: cured beef with homemade cecina croquettes, beetroot, and Manchego cheese; smoked sardines with artisan bread, escalivada and basil; and fish of the day with black ink rice, king prawns, samphire and aioli. Its wines are sourced from Catalan micro producers, including a selection of cavas, Reservas and Gran Reservas.
Where: 11 Kings Road, Cardiff, CF11 9BZ
Book now: La Cuina
What: Not one to be missed, Purple Poppadom is a step and a half above your standard curry house and has earned a rep amongst locals and critics alike for its imaginative and colourful food. The main menu is a la carte-style, or there’s a seven-course tasting menu if you’re struggling to decide. Start off with Nandu, which is crispy soft-shelled crab dusted with curry leaves and garlic and served with a spiced crab cake. From there you’re on your own, but let’s be honest, it’s all going to be good.
Where: 185a Cowbridge Road East, Cardiff, CF11 9AJ
Book now: Purple Poppadom
Park House Restaurant and Wine Bar
What: This fine dining restaurant is housed inside a grade-I-listed gothic building and serves modern French-accented cuisine. Opt to dine a la carte, or choose from six or nine-course tasting menus. Dishes might include ravioli of Brecon venison with sage and a butternut squash sauce; dry-aged Aylesbury duck breast with compressed apple, parsnip, feta, chocolate, and beurre noisette; and chocolate delice with peanut brittle and butterscotch ice cream. Vegan and vegetarian menus are available also.
Where: 20 Park Place, Cardiff, CF10 3DQ
Book now: Park House Restaurant and Wine Bar
What: French-inspired dishes cooked with Welsh ingredients is the name of the game at Thomas. This elegant restaurant is the brainchild of Pembrokeshire-born Tom Simmons, who’s love for Welsh-grown produce is evident in the dishes he’s curated. Chicken liver and madeira parfait with blackberries, roasted seeds and brioche is just one from a list of fine creations, alongside Pembrokeshire chicken breast with black cabbage pesto, celeriac and jus gras, plus and Tom’s famous fish and chips.
Where: 3 & 5 Pontcanna Street, Cardiff, CF11 9HQ
Book now: Thomas
What: Good things come in small and quirky packages in the case of cosy French restaurant Bully’s, where a jigsaw of picture frames and mirrors line the walls while a hodge podge of furniture and colours fill the eclectic space. But don’t let the interiors dictate the standard of food, which is simple, rich and reliably good. Think beetroot tartare with a goat’s cheese croquette and chestnut puree and pork Wellington with fondant potato, apple and chicken butter sauce.
Where: 5 Romilly Crescent, Cardiff, CF11 9NP
Book now: Bully’s
What: The whole vibe at Heaneys is focused around an ‘everyone’s welcome’ mantra. Low-level lighting, a vibey playlist, guest DJs and friendly service all form the basis of this neighbourhood spot, and that’s before you’ve even addressed the food. A great-value set lunch menu features sourdough with marmite butter, a wild mushroom tart with hollandaise and truffle and lamb with yeasted cauliflower and black garlic, all of which can also be found on the lengthier tasting menu.
Where: 6-10 Romilly Crescent, Cardiff, CF11 9NR
Book now: Heaneys
What: Nook is the sort of trendy place that serves natural wines and sharing plates – and we’re all for it. We love that the menu is short and sweet and changes with the seaons. You might find the likes of baby gem, courgette, pickled onion and toasted almond salad, or deep-fried camembert with fig mostarda on the menu. Whatever there is, you can guarantee that the ingredients shine through on every plate.
Where: 587 Cowbridge Road East, Cardiff, CF5 1BE
Book now: Nook
What: This pub with rooms offers two dining and drinking experiences. Take a seat at the bar to sample a selection of ales, wines, seasonal cocktails and bar snacks, or head to the dining room for a superb meal where sourcing and seasonality take the lead. Sharing is encouraged, so lots of the dishes can be enjoyed by the whole table. Look out for braised venison with red wine, smoked bacon cavolo nero and confit potato.
Where: 58-60 Bridge Street, Cardiff, CF5 2EN
Book now: Heathcock
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