Friday, 10 May 2013

High Street, Cardiff

Cardiff’s High Street/Stryd Fawr is not as long as you might think. The street that runs from Cardiff Castle down to Cardiff Central railway station and Callaghan Square is called St Mary Street for most of its length (and sometimes the entire street-length gets referred to as St Mary Street). High Street is one of Cardiff’s oldest streets, linking the Castle to the place where the tidal river used to reach, at what is now the junction with Quay Street.

In recent years, High Street has been pedestrianized. The attractive new street furniture, Welsh flags and new paving have turned the street here into a pleasant open space. Last summer, the High Street was the location of the Castle Quarter Farmers’ Market, a mid-week offshoot of the popular Riverside Farmers’ Market.

At the place I left you, on the corner of Castle Street and High Street, on the previous leg of this walking tour:

34 High Street CF10 1PU (2037 3024)
Flavour Coffee Shop is a small take-away sandwich bar (though there are three stools at a window seat). Baguettes are the main thing, with a large selection of cold fillings that include some novel options (e.g., beef and stilton; peanut butter and sweet chilli chicken) and plenty of vegetarian/vegan options. Hot baguettes and paninis (e.g., bacon or sausage), breakfasts, and soup, especially in the winter (Food Hygiene Rating 3: generally satisfactory. Oct 2010).

The Goat Major
33 High Street CF10 1PU (2033 7161)
A friendly Brain’s pub that serves a home-made Pie Only menu (midday-6pm): Welsh steak and ale, Pork and cider, Curried mutton, Bacon and black pudding, Lamb and rosemary, Cheesy leek, Wye Valley Pie, and more unusual pies on the daily specials board. All the usual Brains cask ales on draft, plus Brains craft brews. Their craft beer ‘Beardface’, a 5% milk stout, was launched in The Goat Major this February. The pub is to be found in CAMRA Good Beer Guides. The pub dates from around 1813. notes that the pub was originally called The Goat, but it must have changed its name to The Blue Bell soon after; becoming The Goat Major in 1995. This name comes from the mascot of the Welch Regiment, in particular the goat that survived the Crimean War and was introduced to Queen Victoria back in London. The pub was refurbished in 2003, but retains a traditional atmosphere, with wood panelling and comfy leather armchairs (Food Hygiene Rating 4: good. Dec 2011).

Pizza Express
29-30 High Street CF10 1PU (2023 3091)
This is one of three Pizza Express outlets in Cardiff (the others are in the St David’s Centre and on Mermaid Quay in Cardiff Bay). Go for the pizza. It has a back door in Castle Arcade (Food Hygiene Rating 5: very good. Oct 20110).

Zizzi Restaurant
27 High Street CF10 1PU (2064 5110)
Pizza is also the big thing at Zizzi (an Italian restaurant chain established in 1999). This is the older of two Zizzi in Cardiff (the other one being in Cardiff Bay) and is located in the impressive space of a former Lloyds Bank building. The menu also features calzone, salads, risotto, pasta and gelato. Child-friendly. I think this was the first place I ate in Cardiff, a few years before moving to the area (Food Hygiene Rating 5: very good. Feb 2013).

The Potted Pig
27 High Street CF10 1PU (2022 4817)
The Potted Pig was opened in 2011, in the former Lloyds Bank vault (underneath Zizzi) by The Chameleon Group (who also own The Meating Place, The North Star, and The Vulcan Lounge in Cardiff). There are dark corners and candlelight for intimate dinners, while larger groups can be catered for in the former strong room (suckling pig being a popular choice for parties, such as the entire Championship-winning Cardiff City FC team recently). Meat eating (of the nose to tail variety) is to the fore, but fish and vegetable dishes also feature. Potted Pig is a signature starter (shredded pork shoulder lightly spiced); others incorporate duck hash, smoked trout and potted shrimp. I can recommend the Barnsley Chop (a double lamb chop cut); other mains may include 6-hour slow roast belly pork, Welsh topside of beef, ham hock, Madgetts Farm roast chicken, pan-fried pollock with cockles and fennel, and brown crab. The menu varies seasonally (Food Hygiene Rating 2: improvement necessary. Jan 2013).

High Street continues a short distance to Quay Street on this side. Return to the start of High Street, across from Flavour, and walking down the left hand (eastern) side:

Bella Italia
6 High Street CF10 1AW (2039 9466)
One of three Bella Italia in Cardiff (the others in the Brewery Quarter and Atlantic Wharf), serving pizza, pasta, risotto, salads, meat and fish dishes. Child-friendly. Does take-away (Food Hygiene Rating 5: very good. Oct 2011).

On the far side of the High Street Arcade entrance:

Atlantic Coffee
13 High Street CF10 1AX (2023 2202)
Atlantic Coffee is an independent sandwich bar and coffee shop on the corner of High Street and High Street Arcade. Serves soups, sandwiches, cakes, and is highly rated for its coffee selection (Food Hygiene Rating 2: improvement necessary. Oct 2011).

14 High Street CF10 1AX (22022 9814)
Kitchens opened in 1990; it is one of the UK’s largest specialist cook shops, selling a wide range of kitchen ware and catering utensils. I spend too much money in here.
Taste (15 High Street) opened in December 2011, but has recently closed.

A little further along is the junction with Church Street. I’ll see you here next time, when we will carry on down the street, which changes its name to St Mary Street.

See also:


The Potted Pig


Previously, on the walking tour:

Castle Arcade and Castle Street

Womanby Street and Quay Street

Westgate Street


Cathedral Road

Pontcanna 2

Pontcanna 1

North Canton

Cowbridge Road East 3

Cowbridge Road East 2

Cowbridge Road East 1

Bute Park

Cathays Park

Cathays Terrace

Salisbury Road

Woodville Road

Crwys Road

Wellfield Road

Albany Road

City Road


  1. I found this on a non-Cardiff related image search strangely – and I'm very glad Google threw this up too. Great site. Keep up the good work. C

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