There’s nowhere that does café culture quite so well as Cardiff. From the student caffeine hubs in Cathays to the bustling arcade cafes, the city is jam-packed with independent spots ready to serve you a daily dose of caffeine with a side of homemade bakes.
Whether you’re a fan of a hipster pour-over or more into traditional afternoon teas, we’ve scoured the streets of the Welsh capital to find the crème de la crème of cafes in this city.
Here’s our pick of the best coffee shops in Cardiff right now…
Self-styled as ‘Cardiff Based Coffee Heroes’, the founders behind Hard Lines established their coffee brand back in 2016, serving blends roasted just outside the city centre from a stall in Cardiff Central Market.
Since then, they’ve changed names but remain the same iconic coffee shop with a millennial pink logo, neon lighting and chipboard walls, ensuring the small market counter has become legendary in the city for it’s £2 coffees and delectable bakes.
There’s nowhere better to head on a chill early morning than Unit 25 at Cardiff Central Market.
Unit 25 Cardiff, Central Market CF10 1AU
Located in the student area of Cathays, Stag Coffee is a favourite haunt of the university crowd thanks to its all-day breakfasts, tasty burgers and good coffee.
Stag is a Welsh affair: all their brews are made from Coal Town blends (a local roasters in South West Wales) and they source as much of their menu as possible from regional suppliers, including some brand-new vegan options for ethically minded eaters.
83 Crwys Road CF24 4NF
Another student-area favourite, this independent coffee house serves up the exotic combination of excellent caffeine with gourmet hotdogs.
HogWurst serve daily breakfasts until noon (all hot-dog based) but also some sausage-free choices including a bacon bap and coffee for £4.05, steamed porridge and unlimited toast offerings.
Our recommendation? Take some time for yourself and order a Vietnamese Drip Coffee – it requires patience but is worth the wait.
56 North Road CF10 3DZ
Brodies Coffee Co.
Life is too short for bad coffee, according to Brodie, so he’s made it his mission to serve up quality espresso to the people of Cardiff from a tiny coffee shop in Gorsedd Gardens.
Look out for the TARDIS-like blue shed to find this mini coffee bar amongst the trees and once you’ve bought a brew, sit down on some of their outside table and chairs to enjoy the late autumn sunshine in the park.
Gordsedd Gardens CF10 3DQ
After a recent refurb, this Duke Street Arcade coffee shop has refreshed itself for the 21st century, but that hasn’t affected its reputation thanks to a long history of serving Cardiff inhabitants coffee for 42 years.
Renowned in the city for some spectacular breakfast offerings, Garlands has even won national acclaim when it was featured in The Guardian’s Top 50 Best Breakfast Places in the UK.
Of all the coffee shops Cardiff offers, this is a must-visit spot.
4 Duke Street Arcade CF10 1AZ
A newbie coffee spot in Cardiff, Corner Coffee is located in one of the city’s famous shopping arcades. Head to the High Street arcade to enjoy your caffeine fix inside a historic building that’s been stylishly restyled into a coffee heaven.
Specialising in pour over brewing, indulge in roasted batch coffee from suppliers found across the UK, including the famous Missing Bean Coffee Roasters in Oxford, Exeter’s Crankhouse Coffee and of course, Wales’ very own Coal Town Coffee.
13 High Street Arcade CF10 1BB
Lufkin Coffee Roasters
Located over in the foodie hotspot of Canton, Lufkin’s founders say they find inspiration to roast their own beans in the farmers of Nicaragua, Santa Barbara sunsets, the waters of Lake Tahoe and trips through Wales.
Take from that what you want – what’s certain is that the coffee blends created in this small, Welsh roastery are high-quality and delicious. All roasting is done on-site and you can pick up a bag to take home or sit down and enjoy a mug in-shop.
They’re worth the trip out of Cardiff centre, but take note: Lufkin is shut on Tuesdays for roasting.
183A Kings Road CF11 9DF
Quantum Coffee Roasters
Run by coffee-mad couple Katia and Dimitris, Quantum Coffee deals with the cutting edge of coffee production. Roasting their own beans in Cardiff, their shop offers wacky and wild ways to taste their unique blends. Try your morning caffeine fix out of their Nitro Cold Brew Tap for an iced coffee like no other or sit down and try the oldest brewing method in the world to get back to the roots of where hot beverages began.
58 Bute Street CF10 5BN
KIN + ILK
A new favourite in the business quarter, KIN + ILK offers a light and airy respite from the city. Embracing Scandinavian design (and with plenty of handy power sockets to plug your laptop into), it’s the perfect stop to get some work done while enjoying a flat white and one of their delicious espresso caramel brownies.
1 Capital Quarter, Tyndall Street CF10 4BZ
Looking for somewhere in Cardiff to get your Puerh tea fix? Head to Waterloo Tea for any loose leaf cravings you might encounter while in the Welsh capital. Aiming to bring the best cuppas in the world to their four Welsh branches, Waterloo Tea serves over 13 different black tea options and fruit infusions as far ranging as tangerine ginger and nettle.
Sit down at one of their sturdy wooden tables and relax in the minimalist interiors as you browse their extensive tea menu.
Wyndham Arcade CF10 1FH
The Little Man Coffee Company
If you’re looking for artistic inspiration while sipping a morning coffee, head down to The Little Man Coffee Co. next to the Motorpoint Arena and take a look above the shop.
Alongside serving specialty coffee from over 25 roasters in various brewing methods, with a fresh menu and some seriously delectable bakes, this Cardiff coffee hub also hosts regular art exhibitions in the gallery space upstairs.
Top Tip: Patrons who use their own reusable cup get double stamps on their loyalty cards – saving about 30p per coffee!
Ivor House, Bridge Street CF10 2EE
Uncommon Ground Coffee Roastery
Run by two local brothers, you’ll find Uncommon Ground tucked away in Cardiff’s historic Royal Arcade, serving own-brand blends of simple and delicious coffee.
Head inside this welcoming and cosy coffee spot to pick up a homemade paninis or freshly baked cake to accompany your caffeine fix.
And with up and coming events all year round, keep an eye on their calendar if you want to learn how to home brew or get down and dirty with the espresso machine at a barista skills 101 course…
10-12 Royal Arcade CF10 1AE
The Plan Café
Another café located inside one of Cardiff’s famous arcades, take a table at The Plan for unique tea options you’ll be hard-pressed to find anywhere else in the city.
From all the classics, to exotic blends such as Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe and Russian Caravan plus gourmet loose leaf including Whole Chamomile Flowers and Fancy Formosa Oolong, there’s an extensive list of different leaves for you to choose from.
The Plan also serves a delicious menu throughout the day, with highlights including Welsh Rarebit, Smoked Scottish Kippers on toast and their homemade beef burger.
28 – 29 Morgan Arcade CF10 1AF
R.P.Culley & Co.
For a morning coffee in one of Cardiff’s most important historical buildings, head to The Exchange Hotel’s R.P Culley & Co.
Located within the landmark Coal Exchange at the heart of the Cardiff Bay Area, enjoy your daily caffeine hit while enjoying the architecture and history of one of Wales’ most significant buildings.
Restored to its former glory, with preserved original features supplemented by luxurious new interiors, there’s nowhere better to relax and unwind with a coffee.
Why not step back in time and enjoy a traditional afternoon tea at The Exchange? Sit inside the magnificent Grand Hall and soak up the rich history of this stunning building while you indulge in delicate finger sandwiches, moreish cakes and warm scones for a unique dining experience in the heart of Cardiff.
We can’t wait to welcome you to our beautiful hotel and incredible city. Book your afternoon tea today by calling 02920 107050.