Italy's reputation for great food and drink certainly brings home the trophy and Cardiff offers a range of Italian eateries all within easy walking distance of one another
Dorothy tapped her feet together and said there’s no place like home. But she’d clearly never been to Cardiff on a match day – because whether you’re a fan of the sport or not there’s no denying that the Capital’s atmosphere when the rugby is on is second to none!
Finding good Italian food in Cardiff is easy thanks to the influx of Italian settlers, who travelled to Welsh capital in the 19th century with suitcases full of recipe books! There are now more places to grab a cappuccino or a slice of the old country in Cardiff than you can shake a corner flag at.
If you want to be among the hustle and bustle of match day, head to Giovannis. A Cardiff institute! This city-centre restaurant boasts fresh and authentic Italian cuisine every day (just like mama used to make). Think mounds of squidgy risotto, fresh fish and substantial salads. Keep your eyes peeled for celebs too, as this place is a firm favourite with actors, musicians and the Italian rugby squad. (You might even recognise it from an episode of Sherlock).
Average price: £25 each for 2 courses and a glass of wine
A quieter option is the area of Pontcanna – only a 10 minute stroll from the city centre, through the beautiful Sophia Gardens, is home to one of Cardiff’s best Italians CIBO. Here you’ll find dense, comforting pastas, fresh pizzas and the best garlic bread in the city! The well-stocked bar looks like it was plucked from a Scorsese film set and Cibo’s will definitely leave you channelling your inner Clemenza because you’ll want to leave your (metaphorical) gun & grab the fresh cannoli’s instead.
Average price: £22 each for 2 courses and a glass of wine
If it’s authentic grub you’re after, Calabrisella in Canton will keep you full all day and leave change in your pocket for a beer or two. This budget joint is a big hit with the locals and is one of Canton’s best kept secrets! Never judge a pizza box by it’s cover though, because the fresh, bubbling, floury dough topped with smooth sauce and hot melting cheese will truly blow your mind.
Average price per head: £13.00 pizza and a beer
Caffeine Fix – the Cardiff Way
If you’re looking to perk up and shake yourself out of that carb induced coma, we recommend heading to one of Cardiff’s local coffee shops for a quick pick me up. No one does espressos like the Italians! And with over 14 billion shots of the stuff sold every year in Italy, they certainly know what they’re talking about.
That’s not to say the Welsh don’t! Over the past year Cardiff has seen a whole saucer load of Artisan Coffee shops opening up, serving freshly ground beans and locally made pastries. With eight arcades dotted around the city to choose from, you’re spoiled for choice for a caffeine fix in Cardiff.
We recommend Uncommon Ground situated in the beautiful Victorian Royal Arcade for a truly Instagram worthy cup of Joe. But if it’s a Cappuccino and a slice of cake you’re after it has to be Garlands. A real hit with the locals, it’s situated within the Duke Arcade and serves some of the best cake in the city.
So if you’re looking to grab a pizza the action, head to Cardiff. There’s a warm Welsh smile (and a pint of Peroni) waiting to greet you.