The capital and largest city in Wales, Cardiff has undergone a complete transformation over the past two to three decades. From a down-at-heel industrial city, it has become one of the most cosmopolitan places to live in the entire United Kingdom. Much beloved by students, media types and even TV companies, it also has a buzzing and vibrant social scene.
Here, we take a look at some of the best places to pause for a drink and perhaps a bite to eat as you watch the world go by in a city that is still, as far as overseas visitors are concerned, one of the UK’s best-kept secrets.
Located squarely in the city center on Westgate Street, this microbrewery and restaurant stands in a grade two-listed former industrial building close to Millennium Stadium. The roof terrace is available to diners only and has a feeling of exclusivity. There is no better place to enjoy the rich array of seafood and craft beers on offer.
If your vision of the ideal rooftop bar is salubrious surroundings where you can sip on a glass of champagne, this bar (formerly known as Kokos) on Miskin Street might not be the first venue to spring to mind. Favored by Cardiff’s students, it has a reputation as a no-nonsense bar where the drinks are cheap, the music is loud and the clientele likes to party. However, it underwent a revamp last year, and while it’s still aimed squarely at the student market, it now has a more universal appeal. It also has a fabulous little roof terrace, which is the perfect place to take in the night air and enjoy your drink in peace.
A prime location in Atlantic Wharf makes this the perfect venue for those who want a good view of Cardiff’s industrial past while enjoying present-day hospitality. It’s also the largest of three casinos in the city, so if you typically play at Loyal Casino on your smartphone and want to try out the games for real, this is the place for you! The Grosvenor actually offers a bar, restaurant or lounge, each offering a different perspective, so there’s definitely something for everyone.
Here’s a venue that lives up to its name. This roof bar is above a popular nightclub and can get busy on a Friday and Saturday night. If you want peace and quiet go elsewhere, but for a high-energy night on the tiles, it’s hard to beat.
This 50-seater roof patio sprawls above one of Cardiff’s busiest streets and is one of its most popular spots during the summer months. There’s an impressive choice of cocktails on offer, including plenty of the non-alcoholic variety. The food is reasonably priced, the staff is friendly and even dogs are welcome, so nobody has to miss out.
Located above one of Cardiff’s best-known nightclubs, Soda is an exclusive spot where you might easily catch a glimpse of a familiar face or two from British TV on a weekend evening. During the week, Soda is available for private hire, and it’s a popular place for hen nights, birthday celebrations, baby showers and the like.