Food store and off licence (Food Hygiene Rating 3: generally satisfactory. June 2012).
Fresh Bites opened in November 2011. Breakfast and lunch (e.g., baguettes, salad boxes, flapjacks and cookies); including vegetarian options (Food Hygiene Rating 3: generally satisfactory. Jan 2012).
The Ernest Willows
2-10 City Road CF24 3DJ (2048 6235)
The Ernest Willows is one of the seven (and counting) Wetherspoon pubs in Cardiff. This one’s a large modern single-floor building, which opened in January 2000. Unremarkable beer garden. The usual range of Wetherspoon pub food (with themed evenings) and good choice of beers. Children welcome during the day. Cardiff-born Ernest Willows was a pioneer of airship development (Food Hygiene Rating 3: generally satisfactory. Nov 2011).
Black-fronted independently-owned coffee house and bar, A Shot in the Dark has a large menu of coffee and tea options, and plenty of cake and sandwiches. Mainly light snacks, tapas and sharing platters, rather than big meals. Vegetarians are well catered for; plus an interesting beer and wine selection. There’s live entertainment in the evenings upstairs (e.g., acoustic nights), board games, newspapers, candlelight (Food Hygiene Rating 5: very good. Jan 2011).
Brains beer; Private club (Food Hygiene Rating 1: major improvement necessary. Sept 2011).
AJ’s Coffeehouse opened in 2000 and is run by three Cardiff brothers (Adam, James and Simon). It specializes in breakfasts, sandwiches, lunches (salads, burgers etc), and afternoon tea (for oldies). There is plenty here for vegetarians and the strong coffee is said to be a good hangover cure. Modern décor, with local artists exhibiting on the walls, and there’s a garden out back for al fresco dining (and smoking). Torchwood fans: it was transformed into Barista Station Café in London in Season Three (Food Hygiene Rating 5: very good. Nov 2011).
Kismet Indian Cuisine is a family-run restaurant that has operated on this site for over twenty years. It is surprisingly large (140 covers), given the modest size of the red-painted frontage; so it’s good for big groups. Kismet serves a wide range of Indian cuisine, including tandoori, balti, biriani, Bangladeshi fish dishes, seafood specials, and vegetarian specialities. There’s a bargain all-you-can-eat buffet through lunchtime and the afternoon, and also a take-away service (Food Hygiene Rating 3: generally satisfactory. Feb 2012).
This is one of 13 Subways in Cardiff, which all have basically the same sub/baguette menu. This one is take-away (no seating) (Food Hygiene Rating 4: good. Nov 2011).
Iraqi sandwich bar and coffee house, though mainly take-away kebabs, falafels, baguettes, with juice bar and teas. A catering service operates from here. Also shisha to smoke (range from mint to bubble gum flavours) in the Shish Lounge next door (Food Hygiene Rating 4: good. April 2012).
17 City Road CF24 3BJ
Coffee shop, juice bar and shisha lounge. Music venue with some food.
40 City Road CF24 3DL (2046 1162)
Radhuny is an Indian restaurant, which specialises in tandoori cooking. It is licensed and there is also a take-away service (Food Hygiene Rating 3: generally satisfactory. Jan 2011).
42 City Road CF64 3DL (2049 6088)
This restaurant offers contemporary Indian and Indonesian cuisine, and is situated on the corner with Vere Street. It is unlicensed; and probably unlikely to be licensed anytime soon, as it was caught in a sting operation illegally selling lager in 2011 (Food Hygiene Rating 2: improvement necessary. March 2012).
This Greene King pub dates from the early 1900s, and has good-value pub food and real ales. Large menu of “pub classics”, also sandwiches, burgers, and Sunday lunch. The pub sprawls over two floors, with plenty of screens for watching rugby and football, and occasional live music. The pub, one of five in Cardiff owned by Greene King, has changed its name several times in recent years (former names include ‘Ruperar Arms’ and the ‘Tut N Shive’) (Food Hygiene Rating 2: improvement necessary. Nov 2010).
Take-away and delivery (online via just-eat.co.uk). Mainly pizza (Hawaiian renamed as Tropical Touchdown, Miami Dolphin is tuna and sweetcorn and so forth). Also burgers, shish kebabs and jacket potatoes (Food Hygiene Rating 3: generally satisfactory. June 2012).
Lilo Grill House & Juice Bar
72-74 City Road CF24 2DD (2045 0089)
Inspired by cute Lilo character in almost-forgotten 2002 Disney film set in Hawaii, this family-friendly and plastic palm tree set-up specializes in Middle Eastern cuisine, mainly Lebanese. Dishes include pizza, kebabs, chicken shawarma, falafel, taboula and other Middle Eastern salads. The juice bar is a big feature; they juice a wide range of exotic fruits. Noted for its low prices (and student discounts); there’s also a take-away and delivery service. Not licensed. It is obviously popular, because during summer 2012 they expanded and took over the adjacent corner unit (no 76) that was formerly Al Borje (Food Hygiene Rating 1: major improvement necessary. Dec 2011).
The Moonlight is a shisha café bar (Food Hygiene Rating 3: generally satisfactory. May 2012).
A Chinese take-away, with all the usual options you would expect, and a range of hot and spicy Sichuan specialities you may not have tried before (e.g., pig trotters, pig intestines, pig ear, tripe, frogs legs; along with squid and mussel dishes, morning glory in garlic sauce and quick-fried luffa, and so on). You can order online via justeat.co.uk (Food Hygiene Rating 1: major improvement necessary. Jan 2012).
This family-run restaurant and take-away, on the corner of City Road and Penlline Street, was opened in 2006 and serves Indian and Pakistani cuisine. Specialities include tandoori grills, karahis, biryanis, nehari, paya dishes. They request that no alcohol is consumed on the premises (Food Hygiene Rating 4: good. Oct 2011).
Right (past Talworth Street):
This is the only fish and chip shop on City Road. They also do sausages, Balti dishes, kebabs and burgers. The chips and curry sauce is apparently a popular early hours choice.
Take-away menu structured around meal deals; mainly pizza and chicken pieces
(Food Hygiene Rating 0: urgent improvement necessary. Aug 2012).
Mehfil is a large Indian restaurant.
116/118 City Road CF24 3DQ (2048 2824)
This is a Syrian/Lebanese restaurant with Middle Eastern décor. Three course deals. Lamb ribs, fish and vegetarian options. Juices and teas; no alcohol.
Mexican take-away (of the Tex-Mex variety)
(Food Hygiene Rating 3: generally satisfactory. Jan 2012).
Baguettes, subs, wraps, sandwiches, jacket potatoes, on a large menu. Like Subway, but with home-made curry fillings a speciality. Also pizza, cakes and other sweet items (Food Hygiene Rating 3: generally satisfactory. Feb 2011).
Take-away: sandwiches, baguettes etc (Food Hygiene Rating 1: major improvement necessary. Aug 2012).
Tesco Express (134-142 City Road) on the corner just before Treharris Street.
The Golden Rickshaw is a Chinese restaurant and take-away specialising in Peking and Cantonese food (Food Hygiene Rating 3: generally satisfactory. Feb 2011).
This café changed its name in 2012 (from Café Madras), but well-regarded southern Indian cooking appears a constant. Wide choice includes specialities such as vada curry, kal dosa, utthappam (pancakes), varutha curry, mutton korma and vanchare meen varuval. Also take-away (Food Hygiene Rating 5: very good. Sept 2011).
The family-run Swallow Chinese opened as a restaurant in 1987, but has operated as a take-away only since 2006. It specialises in Cantonese, Peking and Szechuan cuisine. Specialities include duck with pineapple, wonton soup and BBQ ribs. Highly regarded on Internet review sites (Food Hygiene Rating 4: good. Jan 2011).
Kurdish bakery where you can buy a range of breads and sweets, including numerous types of baklava. Mediterranean Sweets was opened around four years ago by the owner of the older Continental Delicatessen on the other side of the road. Everything is made in-house (Food Hygiene Rating 2: improvement necessary. Jan 2012).
Right (between Treharris Street and Arran Street):
African and Caribbean shop that opened in 2004, with large range of imported foods, including pepper soup, biltong, plantains, yam, okra, and smoked and frozen fish (Food Hygiene Rating 2: improvement necessary. Nov 2011).
Take-away: pizza, fried chicken, burger and kebabs. Rocket Joe’s has another outlet in Riverside (Food Hygiene Rating 0: urgent improvement necessary. Feb 2012).
Take-away: 29 pizza options, plus kebabs, wraps, fried chicken, chips, pasta, and salads. Food can be ordered online (just-eat.co.uk) (Food Hygiene Rating 4: good. Dec 2010).
Take-away: kebabs, pizza, burgers, grills, shawarma and salads. It incorporates a Taco Express. Food for both can be ordered online (just-eat.co.uk) (Food Hygiene Rating 4: good. March 2011).
Taco Express shares the same unit as City Kebab. Tex-Mex take-away: Fajitas, tacos, paella, burgers and more (as above).
Haveli boasts a Bollywood Lounge, the Mughal dining room, an Indian tea room, and the for-hire Rajasthan Room. Owner Shaz Haris describes the food as contemporary pan-Asian cuisine. The chef’s specials include Shahi Murgh Korma, Murgh Jalfrezi, Palk Gosht, Fish Masala, and Vegetarian options. Haveli (meaning ‘Indian mansion’) opened in 2008. The décor is elaborate and Haveli promotes itself as a venue for Bollywood-themed birthday parties, corporate events and wedding receptions. There is a take-away menu, which is similar to the restaurant menu. The City Gate Indian Restaurant was formerly on this site (Food Hygiene Rating 2: improvement necessary. Sept 2011).
Moroccan and Lebanese restaurant, with tagine cooking a speciality (e.g., lamb meatballs). There are good vegetarian options. Stylish décor and bellydancing in the restaurant on Friday and Saturday nights (Food Hygiene Rating 5: very good. April 2011).
Opened over 10 years ago by Fazal Ali, it was the first outlet on City Road to sell Halal meat. Stocks a wide range of imported foodstuffs (e.g., SE Asian, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern) (Food Hygiene Rating 2: improvement necessary. Oct 2011).
162 City Road CF24 3JE (2019 4126)
City Bakery stocks Halal meat and a wide range of imported foods, as well as breads. It opened around 7 years ago, a few years after the Continental Delicatessen next door (Food Hygiene Rating 0: urgent improvement necessary. Jan 2012).
Polish coffee shop and Internet café.
Grocer store, specializing in imported Polish and Eastern European foods
(Food Hygiene Rating 1: major improvement necessary. Sept 2011).
A large traditional pub built in 1886, on the corner of City Road and Kincraig Street. Menu of pub classics, but this is mainly a drinking pub with a good range of beers and wines. Occasional live music. Note: this pub is nowhere near the park called Roath Park (Food Hygiene Rating 3: generally satisfactory. July 2011).
Over Kincraig Street, you’ll pass a Spar (176/178 City Road) and an Internet café.
A modern Italian restaurant opened in Jan 2011. Expect pizza, pasta, risotto, salads, cheesecake and tiramisu. The owner Zac describes Casa Bianca as a boutique restaurant serving authentic Italian cuisine. Lunch, evening and take-away menus (Food Hygiene Rating 1: major improvement necessary. Jan 2012).
An Indian take-away that serves a range of curries: Balti, tandoori, chicken, lamb and vegetable dishes. Chef’s specials include chicken karahi, lamb pasanda, butter chicken and Mugol chicken. You can also order online via just-eat.co.uk (Food Hygiene Rating 4: good. Oct 2011).
Take-away kebabs and other Middle Eastern dishes, with distinctive blue signage. The Adonis Kebab House was closed in August 2011 for several weeks after an E. coli 0157 outbreak traced to it hospitalised one person and left many more ill. Recent Food Hygiene Rating suggests it has cleaned up its act. Now features the Dubai Flavours Shisha Garden (Food Hygiene Rating 3: generally satisfactory. March 2011).
The Troy Restaurant and Meze Bar serves Mediterranean food, chiefly Greek, Turkish and Kurdish dishes. Food cooked on ocakbashi-style grill. Kebabs (lamb, chicken), vegetarian; lots of aubergines, peppers, yoghurt and butter sauce. Bildircin (grilled quails on skewers) among the chef's specials. Licensed (Food Hygiene Rating 3: generally satisfactory. March 2011).
Ifatu Afro-Caribbean Restaurant, with basic décor and authentic food, is run by Chidi Okafor who brews his own African-style beers (Food Hygiene Rating 1: major improvement necessary. June 2012).
208 City Road CF24 3JG (2047 1222)
Take-away: 16 pizza options, plus oven-baked chicken (mainly wings).
199 City Road CF24 3JD
Butchers (Food Hygiene Rating 1: major improvement necessary. May 2012).
Take-away: fried chicken; delivery service. Going 35 years (and inspired by KFC; the website features a photo of Miss Millie’s founder Harry Latham with Colonel Harland Sanders), this Bristol-based family-run business has 10 branches (the other one in Cardiff is along Cowbridge Road). Chicken in a bun, chicken tortillas and chicken meals. Chicken pieces prepared in-store, own gravy, barbeque beans and coleslaw (Food Hygiene Rating 5: very good. Feb 2011).
Take-away known for its kebabs; chicken and lamb shish kebabs, and kofta. It was formerly known as Aladdin Topoli Restaurant and Takeaway. Black awning and signboard. It stays open until the early hours (Food Hygiene Rating 1: major improvement necessary. March 2012).
Takeaway: fried chicken in all its forms (Food Hygiene Rating 5: very good. April 2011).
Lebanese Cuisine. Restaurant and take-away. Opened 2012 (formerly Ambala, an Indian Restaurant and takeaway that was on this site for around 20 years).
The café offers Mediterranean and North African food, especially Moroccan, although a big draw here is the shisha garden/hookah bar. Red and green tea, coffee etc. Licensed.
228 City Road CF24 3JH (2048 6688)
Formerly known as Ding Hua (until 2011) .CN offers authentic Chinese cuisine in a smart 60-cover dining room. .CN specialises in food from the northern provinces of China, including seafood, meat, vegetable, rice and noodle dishes. Unless you’re from northern China, there will almost certainly be something on the 100+ dish menu you won’t have tried before (e.g., Chinese hotpots, salt and pepper squid, shredded pig’s maw with spring onions and chilli sauce, pak choi with black mushrooms, and northeast China salad). It won a legal battle in Dec 2011 against Cardiff council to get a drinks license (initially refused because it is located within a designated saturation zone where there is a limit on the number of venues allowed to serve alcohol; the establishment’s rebranding as a high-end Chinese restaurant was a factor in the positive decision). Take-away and delivery service (Food Hygiene Rating as Ding Hua 3: generally satisfactory. March 2011).
When it opened in March 2012, it was the first Chunky Chicken in Wales. Founded in 2005 by Fareed Nasir and Mohammed Tayub, this Rochdale-based chain is mainly found in northern England. Menu focuses on fried chicken, chicken sandwiches and wraps, with their own “signature sauces” being a unique selling point. Also pizza and burgers (Food Hygiene Rating 3: generally satisfactory. May 2012).
Take-away: Indian cuisine with authentic flavour. Menu centred on biriyani and chicken tandoori dishes, with regional specialities such as dosa (crepes), steamed rice cakes and phool gobi Manchurian (deep fried cauliflower in tangy sauce). Delivery service and online ordering with just-eat.co.uk (Food Hygiene Rating 4: good. March 2011).
Milgi Kitchen, Lounge and Gallery was opened in 2006 and offers 100% vegetarian food (its customers voted the last meat dishes off the menu in 2010). Simon the chef puts a worldly spin on café standards (“Recipes from around the world, food from around the corner”) with some creative spicing, so there’s Asian tofu salad, Blackeye bean burger, Cinnamon French toast, Indian scrambled eggs, Mexican bean quesadilla and Milgi Falafel. There is a Veggie Roast Dinner and special menus (e.g., Thali Summer Sunday). The Milgi philosophy is to bring food, drink, music and art together under one roof (actually two, because many of the events take place in the distinctive yurt that occupies much of the beer garden). In the yurt, you’ll find the Supper Club with regular themed dining events (e.g., murder mystery, Moroccan etc), and the supper and storytelling evenings (Food Hygiene Rating 3: generally satisfactory. Nov 2011).
Tenkaichi Sushi and Noodle Bar opened in 1999 and offers “authentic Japanese cuisine with a British touch.” The menu features bento boxes, ramen, yakisoba and udon nodle dishes, sashimi, salads and rice dishes. There is a special sushi bar. Licensed; drinks menu includes Japanese beers, hot and cold saki, and plum wine (Food Hygiene Rating 4: good. Oct 2010).
KBS Kebab House serves kebabs, burgers and sausages (kbs), along with pizza. There are a few tables and chairs inside, but it’s essentially take-away (online via just-eat.co.uk) (Food Hygiene Rating 2: improvement necessary. Aug 2012).
244 City Road CF24 3JJ (2047 1467)
Taste Buds café, take-away and catering service has been on this site since 1988. Breakfasts are the big thing, especially the old-fashioned traditional British breakfast (Food Hygiene Rating 4: good. Jan 2011).
You are now at the junction with Richmond Road, Crwys Road, Mackintosh Place and Albany Road. You might have to ask for directions home from here, because that’s all from me for now!