If, like me, the time distribution of your Christmas shopping trip in Cardiff is essentially 5% shopping, 10% panicking about shopping, 75% coffee stops and 10% cake (quick maths), you’ll know that finding the perfect pit stop or two for that caffeine hit is an essential, and possibly the most important and enjoyable part of your day.
To help you with this critical decision this Christmas season, fear not, I’ve prepared a quick guide to my favourite coffee stops in Cardiff City Centre- you’re welcome.
- The Little Man Coffee Company
Ivor House, Bridge St, Cardiff CF10 2EE
Leave the hustle and bustle of St David’s 2, onward past the sparkly lightening bolt, and there, across the zebra crossing next to the Traders Tavern is The Little Man Coffee Company.
The vibe is always relaxed, with the smell of coffee (usually sourced from local Welsh Roasters) and the sound of funk and soul music in the air. The food menu offers a selection of classics with a twist, from toasties to colourful salads and, most importantly, they have a breakfast bar filled with fruit, cereals, breads for toasting, and Pop Tarts for less that a fiver.
2. Coffee Barker
Unit 13, Castle Arcade, Cardiff CF10 1BU
Situated in the Castle Arcade, this quirky little coffee shop is the perfect spot to sink in to a comfy armchair and cwtch up with a cuppa.
If you’re unable to find a a seat inside amongst the eclectic decor, don’t worry, you’re sure to find a spot in the seating area outside, where you can settle down at a candle lit table, pull on a blanket and watch the shoppers pass you by under the beautiful Christmas lights.
Oh, and the coffee is great too!
If you really want to treat yourself, grab an ice cream in sister cafe, Barker Gelato.
And they’re not going to stop at coffee and ice cream….soon, you’ll be able to grab a swift one at the new Gin and Juice bar if you’re looking for something stronger to take the edge off!
3. Hard Lines
Castle Emporium, Womanby Street, Cardiff, CF10 1BS
Cardiff Central market, Unit 25, Cardiff CF10 1AU
Grab a speciality coffee to go from Hard Lines as you weave through the hustle and bustle of Cardiff Market or search for unique treasures at the vibrant Castle Emporium.
The shop in the Cardiff Market sports a retro pink coffee machine and neon lights, whilst the shop in Castle Emporium sells newly released vinyls alongside your caffeine hit.
Both shops pride themselves on their passion for providing great single origin coffee.
4. Uncommon Ground
10-12 Royal Arcade, Cardiff CF10 1AE
Nestled near the St Mary’s Street entrance of the busy Royal Arcade, Uncommon Ground is definitely a hipsters’ paradise (and I for one am not going to complain about that!)
The vibe is really laid back and friendly and the shop itself has so much character with an industrial feel, from it’s exposed brick to the copper kettles and lights hanging in the window.
The in-house roasted coffee is insanely good- possibly my favourite flat white!
Uncommon ground is the perfect place to meet with friends, or to sit in the window, read a book and watch the world go by.
5. The Plan
28-29, Morgan Arcade, St Mary St, Cardiff CF10 1AF
The Plan is often said to serve the best range of coffees in the city centre, and not only that, it has arguably stolen the ideal spot, taking pride of place in the heart of Morgan Arcade, spanning two floors at the cross junction between the 2 branches of this Victorian building.
If you’re lucky enough to grab a much coveted seat, allow the expert baristas to recommend a cafetiere….and you might as well have some Eggs Benedict whilst you’re there too- shopping is hungry work!
What’s your favourite coffee shop in Cardiff City Centre?
I’d love to hear your recommendations.