Best restaurants in Wales

From her southern shores to her craggy peaks, Wales’ landscape is one of the country’s biggest assets. The second biggest asset - dare we say - is her collection of the best restaurants in Wales. This assembly of culinary gems is part of the reason tourism to the country has soared in recent years, with restaurants found in the shadows of some of the UK’s most beautiful mountains and on the shores of a smattering of Britain’s most glorious shores.

Updated on 13 April 2023

In fact, Wales is home to some of the most progressive kitchens in the whole of the UK. Here, many a chef has cut their teeth at a handful of dynamic restaurants on the cutting edge of British cuisine. In part the reason for this is the natural larder available to chefs in this western outcrop of Great Britain. Here you’ll find everything from the best lamb money can buy through to foraged sea vegetables bursting with sweet and salty notes. Around these local, seasonal ingredients, a myriad of interesting menus are built. Working with produce from the area doesn’t mean one-dimensional cookery though. From wonderful classic European style plates and pub grub through to burgers and seafood platters – our pick of the best restaurants in Wales encompasses just about all styles of restaurants you could wish for.

Aside from good food, one thing you’re nearly guaranteed at the best restaurants Wales has to offer is a warm welcome. This is a nation renowned for their hospitality after all. Wherever you land at you can be sure of being swept up in the top-notch service for a merry evening of fine food and wine.

Speaking of wine, many of these great places to eat in Wales are also – happily – great places to drinks. With professional sommeliers and life-long bartenders in place to see to your every need, these incredible spots ensure the full experience, from beginning to end, is one to remember.

Thomas

Thomas

3 & 5 Pontcanna Street, Pontcanna, Cardiff, CF11 9HQ

Culinary heavyweight Tom Simmons’ story takes him from working for big name hospitality players – like Gordon Ramsay at Claridge’s – through to owning his own restaurants and bakeries. He even competed on MasterChef. Having settled back in Wales now, Thomas by Tom Simmons is the chef’s piece de resistance and seamlessly melds local produce with French technique.

£50 - £79
French
Gwen

Gwen

21 Heol Maengwyn, Machynlleth, Powys, SY20 8EB

This diminutive wine bar in Machynlleth hides something special through a back curtain - an intimate chef's table run by former Ynyshir head chef Corrin Harrison. With just eight seats going for dinner each night, a spot at the table is pretty exclusive but the rewards are great as Harrison dishes up 10 spectacular courses right in front of your eyes. 

Over £80
Modern European
SquareMeal UK Top 100
Llangoed Hall

Llangoed Hall

Llyswen, Brecon, Mid Wales, LD3 0YP

Country house hotels aren’t always the most exciting culinary destinations, but Llangoed Hall’s bucks the trend with a menu rooted in classical techniques that is so perfectly executed it keeps itself at the forefront of the Welsh foodie agenda. Expect a set menu with a few seasonal choices per course, with a distinct French thread running throughout.

£30 - £49
British
Hills

Hills

Hills Bishops Meadow, Hay Road, Brecon, Powys, LD3 9SW

Burgers, when done well, can be a pretty blinding culinary experiences. Hills joins the ranks of those done well with legendary patties and buns flying out the kitchens in all kinds of iterations. Think a cheeseburger stuffed with fries and gravy, or the Juan Hilario which combines sobrosado, confit onions, and pimiento ketchup. There are also gluten-free and veggie/vegan options. 

Under £30
Burgers
Hare & Hounds - Aberthin

Hare & Hounds - Aberthin

Maendy Road, Aberthin, Cowbridge, Vale Of Glamorgan, CF71 7LG

With a real fire at one end and stripped back wooden floors, Hare and Hounds has spadefuls of charm. Nothing here stays the same for too long, with menus changing twice a day in line with produce availability. One thing that’s a constant though; crowd-pleasing, loudly flavoured plates served by staff with real heart.

£30 - £49
British
Gastropub
The Black Bear Inn

The Black Bear Inn

Clytha Road, Bettws Newydd, Monmouthshire, NP15 1JN

Clean, produce-led plates are the order of the day at The Black Bear Inn, one of Wales’ best gastropubs. The cosy, unfussy dining room lets the food do all the talking which it does with aplomb. Think gorgeous, gutsy things like roasted cod with crab broth, new potatoes and kalettes or rhubarb, vanilla and almond mess. Plating is chic in its simplicity, and the wonderfully well-humoured team are on hand to make everyone feel right at home.

£30 - £49
Pubs
Gastropub
Heathcock

Heathcock

58-60 Bridge Street, Cardiff, CF5 2EN

One of the capital’s best restaurants, Heathcock serves up a few things and does those things in an unshowy but absolutely brilliant way. Think duck leg pappardelle, rare roast hanger steak with confit potatoes and bearnaise or oysters with apple and tarragon.

£30 - £49
Modern European
Gastropub
Y Polyn

Y Polyn

Capel Dewi, Carmarthen, Carmarthenshire, SA32 7LH

With its simple, pared-back dining room and countryside vibe, Y Polyn is exactly the type of places many foodies love. It’s staunchly unpretentious with dressed-down staff and bare wooden tables, but the menu is an explosive hot bed of produce-led plates like crispy ham hock has with gribiche or a duck shepherd’s pie followed by rhubarb parfait with custard.

£30 - £49
Modern European
Annwn

Annwn

1 Market Square, Narbeth, Pembrokeshire, SA67 7AU

Paying homage to the landscapes of Wales, Annwn's ten-course tasting menu changes along with the seasons, offering delicately plated cuisine from chef patron Matt Powell. As well as top class dining, guests can also delve into the surrounding nature and take part in an unforgettable day of foraging.

Over £80
British
One Michelin star
SquareMeal UK Top 100
The Beach House Restaurant Oxwich Bay

The Beach House Restaurant Oxwich Bay

Oxwich Bay, Gower, Swansea, SA3 1LS

With quite possibly the best situation of any restaurant in Wales, Beach House’s view right onto Oxwich Waters are second to none. Alongside your views of sand dunes and and the breezy bay, head chef Hywel Griffith’s food is packed with flavour. Ingredients are carefully handled and beautifully presented, but there’s no pretention here – just good, honest cooking in a cracking setting.

£50 - £79
British
One Michelin star
Ynyshir

Ynyshir

Eglwys Fach, Machynlleth, Powys, SY20 8TA

When a restaurant entitles themselves as fat-fuelled and protein obsessed, we sit up and take notice. We’re not the only ones, Ynyshir repeatedly tops the charts when it comes to restaurant guide recommendations. In fact, it is the most highly awarded restaurant in the whole of Wales thanks to chef Gareth Ward’s completely unique style and a dining room that combines a live DJ with a theatrical open, live-fire kitchen.

Over £80
Japanese
British
Two Michelin stars
SquareMeal UK Top 100
Bryn Williams at Porth Eirias

Bryn Williams at Porth Eirias

Porth Eirias, Colwyn Bay, North Wales, LL29 8HH

Relax into the comfortable, chic surrounds of this beachside bistro and enjoy views of boats bobbing in the bay through the floor to ceiling windows. It’s a combination that keeps the restaurant packed all year round, with diners coming to try everything from breakfast through to dinner, with dishes made using the best of Wales’ larder. Think a daily catch made into fish fingers or crab linguine, or steak with charred broccoli and fries.

£30 - £49
British
Bistro
The Felin Fach Griffin

The Felin Fach Griffin

Felin Fach, Brecon, Mid Wales, LD3 0UB

The Felin Fach Griffin is a proper countryside pub; cosy and filled with hearty grub plus staff eager to give a warm welcome. Set menus are priced really affordably, with you able to eat extremely well here for under £40 per head, and there’s just a handful of well-executed choices that are dictated by what the day brings from the inn’s various suppliers.

£30 - £49
Gastropub
The Jackdaw Conwy

The Jackdaw Conwy

High Street, Conwy, Conwy, LL32 8DB

Erring on the side of trendy, The Jackdaw has a very distinct look. Crisp table settings, fleece strewn chairs and a pleasing mix of white walls and dark wood accents. At the weekend it’s a la carte only territory, while during the week there’s a fantastically priced tasting menu that comes in at £79 for eight courses. Each round a homage to Wales’ culinary narrative. Think an inventive take on the classic leek and potato combination and an updated lamb cawl.

£50 - £79
British
SquareMeal UK Top 100
The Walnut Tree

The Walnut Tree

Llanddewi Skirrid, Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, NP7 8AW

Thanks to its large swathe of countryside, Wales is home to many a restaurant with rooms. The Walnut Tree joins the ranks as one of the best. Here you can bed down for the night after a meal of sharp, classic cooking that manages to appear simple despite complex, technical skills on show in each plate. Unusually, this is a la carte Michelin starred dining, which offers more personalisation for guests than typical tasting menus.

£50 - £79
British
One Michelin star
Home at Penarth

Home at Penarth

1 Royal Buildings, Penarth, Cardiff, CF64 3EB

Run by James Sommerin and his family, Home at Penarth is a powerful expression of teamwork. The menus are stunning creations made from the best local produce, and the fun bit is that you never know what you’re going to get. The whole thing is a surprise, where guests put their meal in the hands of the chefs to serve them up a blind tasting menu from beginning to end. Please note that most dietary requirements can be catered for.

Over £80
Modern European
One Michelin star
SquareMeal UK Top 100
Sosban & The Old Butchers

Sosban & The Old Butchers

Trinity House, Menai Bridge, Gwynedd, LL59 5EE

No two days at Sosban and the Old Butchers are ever the same, with the team constantly changing the menu in line with the best finds from their honed list of suppliers. Every tiny aspect of the experience here has been thought through to give diners delight in the details. Think specially created ceramics and tableware, and theatrical food that’s served from the open kitchen in waves of delicious bites.

Over £80
Modern European
British
One Michelin star
The Whitebrook

The Whitebrook

Whitebrook, Monmouth, Monmouthshire, NP25 4TX

A Michelin starred restaurant with rooms, The Whitebrook provides the perfect excuse for a suitably suave staycation. Rooms are comfortable, but it’s the food you’re coming for. Chris Harrod reverently handles his ingredients and seamlessly fuses locally sourced ingredients in flawless plates. BBQ monkfish with crown prince pumpkin, elderberries, and hazel miso is an example of a dish that sounds a lot on paper but that sings harmoniously and in unity from the plate.

Over £80
Modern European
British
One Michelin star

If you’re not Welsh and are heading into the country for a foodie holiday, check out our guide to the best restaurants with rooms in the UK. Here we delve into gorgeous spots that offer pristine lodgings as well as captivating menus to give you more than enough of an excuse to stay a night or two.

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