A guide to the best bars in Cardiff from Exchange Hotel

Our Guide To The Best Bars In Cardiff

Dead Canary cocktails - best bars in Cardiff

The people of Cardiff have got it good.

Everything from a thriving live music scene to some amazing places to eat and let’s not forget all the fascinating historical landmarks, but what really makes Cardiff a fun place to be is the huge selection of speciality bars.

We’ve put together a guide to all of the best bars in Cardiff where you can quaff a quality cocktail or a cheeky craft beer in quirky, cool surroundings.

Plan your next night out in Cardiff using our guide and we guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

Crafty Devil’s Cellar

Where: 16 Llandaff Rd, CF11 9NJ

Crafty Devils' Beer Cellar - best bars in Cardiff

What started out as a specialist brewery in Cardiff has now become the best place to pick up a quality craft beer in the city.

The team at Crafty Devil Brewery create batches of experimental tipples and bottle them up for the consumption of beer connoisseurs in Cardiff.

The Crafty Devil’s Cellar is an inviting space with its own sun-drenched beer garden and a cosy, bar come shop where you can sit and sup or pop in and purchase a selection of hellishly good craft beers.

Tiny Rebel

Where: 25 Westgate St, CF10 1DD

Tiny Rebel Bar - best bars in Cardiff

The Tiny Rebel bars in Cardiff and Newport are spreading like wildfire and it’s little wonder why.

Not only does the brewery create pint after pint of pure beer perfection, but every month there are regular fun and exciting event nights to attend such as vintage arcade and video games nights and live jazz.

What really makes Tiny Rebel Brewery special is their huge list of crazy craft beer concoctions. Think Ice Cream and Cheeky Vimto, a lip-licking Peaches and Cream combo or the sour and fruity Frambuzi.

Tiny Rebel Brewery logo - best bars in Cardiff

Oh, and have you seen their mascot/logo? So cute!

The Dock

Where: Mermaid Quay, CF10 5BZ

With cocktails to match the exquisite views, The Dock is a shipshape venue where you can sip sophisticated cocktails whilst gazing over the picturesque Cardiff waterfront.

The Dock Gin cocktail - best bars in Cardiff

The speciality Gin list is as long as your arm and cocktails of the classic and creative variety aren’t in short supply either.

One of the best bars in Cardiff to snap a selfie for your social media profile, colourful cocktail and stunning sunset included.

Buffalo Bar

Where: 11 Windsor Place, CF10 3BY

If you are looking for laidback chic for your night out in Cardiff why not try a visit to Buffalo Bar.

Their cocktail menu consists of all the classics with creative twists such as the Salted Caramel Alexander and straight from 80s Japanese Slipper.

Inside you’ll see an eccentric blend of neon signs, wall mounted typewriters and a sultry smooth jazz and soul soundtrack. Outside there’s a suntrap of a beer garden complete with trendy wall art and a comfortable gazebo to sit in.

And every now and then the chill at Buffalo Bar is briefly interrupted to host some of the best rave nights in the city that are so good they often sell out.

The Philharmonic Cardiff

Where: 76-77 St Mary St, CF10 1FA

Known affectionately among locals who love it, ‘The Philly’ is one of the best bars in Cardiff with an unending Gin list (or Gin-inventory as they like to call it).

Philharmonic Gin-ventory - best bars in Cardiff

Inside explore three towering floors that have recently undergone a major transformation under new ownership. The old Victorian building is now a hotspot for party people looking to sample the very best Cardiff nightlife.

Your soundtrack for the evening; old-school chart tunes that’ll take you back a few years and resident DJ’s bringing the very best house music seeing you through into the early hours.

Academy Espresso Bar

Where: Unit 1, Hood Rd, CF62 5BE

Don’t let the name fool you. This is one of the best bars in Cardiff to serve up all three C’s with flare.

Coffee, Cocktails and Craft beer.

Specialising in high-quality coffee is where it starts but for those looking for something that packs a boozy punch, the craft beer selection contains all of your favourite imports from around the globe and a few local ones too.

Academy Espresso cocktails - best bars in Cardiff

Cocktails are created in line with the seasons and, as its summer whilst we are writing this, the offerings range from fun and fruity to clever and classic and all that lies between.

The venue itself used to be a working pump house and offers plenty of stylish space for the many events and live music performances hosted here.

Pitch Bar & Eatery

Where: No. 3 Mill Ln, CF10 1FL

By night one way by day another, Pitch Bar and Eatery serves as one of the best bars in Cardiff as well as a top place to enjoy brunch the day after the night before.

Pitch Cocktail - best bars in Cardiff

The cocktail list is about quality, not quantity, with inventive creations using local liquor such as the Pitch Green made with Gin hailing from the Brecon Beacons or classics such as the spiciest of Bloody Marys.

Pitch Bar - best bars in Cardiff

With a small, charming interior that’s full of character, furnished with funky tasselled lampshades that bathe exposed brick walls in an eerie red glow, there’s an otherworldly mystique to Pitch that arrives with the night and by sunrise, it becomes a welcoming café once again.

The Dead Canary

Where: Barrack Ln, CF10 2FR

A thing of beauty is a joy forever and you’ll never forget a night in Dead Canary.

Dead Canary cocktails - best bars in Cardiff

The venue itself oozes glamour and style, with dark mahogany furniture, low-level lighting and intimate booth or bar level seating.

The staff are what make The Dead Canary such an enjoyable experience, their skills in the art of mixology are unrivalled in Cardiff and they can produce a long list of menu options as well as any special requests you might have.

Dead Canary bar staff - best bars in Cardiff

Making the most beautiful cocktails in Cardiff is what they do six days a week all night long. Pop in and be surprised by what you’ll find in Dead Canary.

Dirty Martini

Where: Imperial Gate, St Mary St, CF10 1FA

If you and your friends are on the hunt for somewhere glamourous then check out one of the best bars in Cardiff to offer just that and more.

Dirty Martini is famous for three things, their happy hour, glam venues and many, many Martinis.

Choose from no less than 15 different types of the tasty tipples ranging from a perfectly poured Pornstar to an expertly crafted Espresso and more Martinis that you’ve never even heard of.

If you like things, shaken, stirred and a just little bit Dirty this is one of the best bars in Cardiff to get your Martini on.

Irie Shack

Where: 64-66 James St, CF10 5EZ

Bringing a taste of tropic heat to the shores of Cardiff Bay is the Irie Shack.

Irie Shack - Caribbean coolers -

If you are hungry the menu is one delicious and spicy affair filled with the flavour and heat of the Caribbean

The shack boasts a cocktail menu with colourful Caribbean origins at their core. As pleasing to the eye as they are to the taste buds these creative concoctions include classics like mojitos, daiquiris and long island ice teas but there’s also a massive choice Irie Shack specials to choose from too.

Irie Shack Wray and Ting - best bars in Cardiff

Try the popular Caribbean coolers or the Wray and Ting made from zesty Caribbean fruit fizz and a healthy dose of Wray and Nephew Rum. The perfect tipple for time spent in the summer sun.

Brass Bat

Where: 60-61 St Mary St, CF10 1FE

A fairly new edition to the Cardiff nightlife scene and fast becoming one of the best bars in Cardiff, The Brass Bat is the place to go for delicious affordable drinks, live music and a great party night out on the town.

Mojito time… #saturdaynight #havingfun

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Indoors you’ll find a well-stocked bar and rustic décor and outside you can sit down and soak up some sun whilst watching the crowds of Cardiff go about their business.

Cracking cocktail offers, huge pitchers and the promise of a live music performance should be enough to entice you into the Brass Bat on your night out in Cardiff.

Handsome Jacks

Where: 41 St Mary St, CF10 1AD

Secretive and as sexy as the name suggests, Handsome Jacks is Cardiff’s answer to a prohibition-style speakeasy.

A hidden gem in the city centre which is located in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it basement, Handsome Jack’s serves the best cocktails in Cardiff and provides oodles of choice.

If there’s a cocktail you’ve been dying to try or something you want that’s not on the menu just enquire with the knowledgeable bar staff who will point you in the right direction and pour something truly special into your glass.

Dark, moody, chic and cosy, Handsome Jack’s is the place to enjoy a fab night out in Cardiff . . . if you can find it!

Lab 22

Where: 22 Caroline St, CF10 1FG

Imagination Is More Important Than Knowledge” Albert Einstein

Lab 22 cocktails - best bars in Cardiff
source: https://facebook.com/yonyphotography

And when it comes to cocktail making Lab 22 have taken Einstein’s words and made them an art form.

If it’s cool and slightly unconventional you’re after then you are in the right place at Lab 22, where the drinks are as mad as the scientists that create them.

Expect nothing more than brilliant beverages and showstopping cocktail tossing performances inside the unconventional walls of Lab 22.

10 Feet Tall

Where: 11A-12 Church St, CF10 1BG

When your tall its easy to stand out from the crowd and when you offer a one of kind experience of Cardiff’s nightlife its even easier.

10 Feet Tall cocktails - best bars in Cardiff

Spread over three floors inside one of Cardiff’s ancient terrace buildings, 10 Feet Tall delivers everything from cracking cocktails and fantastic food to a never-ending party atmosphere and unforgettable club nights.

In short, 10 Feet Tall is one of the best bars Cardiff to deliver everything you could want or need from one night out in the city.

Mocka Lounge

Where: 1-2 Mill Ln, CF10 1FL

A Cardiff bar that certainly delivers on the party atmosphere, Mocka Lounge is always packed to the rafters with people looking for memorable nights out in Cardiff.

Enjoy live music every Friday night, take in the elegant surroundings and artistic décor and best of all select your choice of beverage from an exceptionally large cocktail menu.

Mocka Lounge - best bars in Cardiff

Start, end or spend your night in the Mocka Lounge, you might need a whole day just to work your way through that cocktail menu!

Ten Mill Lane

Where: 10 Mill Ln, CF10 1FL

Causal laid back vibes are the order of the night in Ten Mill Lane and what awaits inside definitely scores 10/10 in our books.

Their funky themed cocktail menu that has retro options like Who Loves Orange Soda? (Keenan and Kel fans hello!) or The Pogman (hands up who had a Shiny Pog) all of which are served alongside classics like sweeter than sweet daiquiris and marvellous Mai Tai’s.

If you think it cant get any better than all that, well think again!

On the first Friday of every month, Ten Mill Lane adopts a Grand Theft Auto Vice City theme complete with themed cocktails and a retro radio soundtrack direct from the much-loved video game.

Trendy, cheeky and nostalgic Ten Mill Lane is the place to be in Cardiff for those who love to look back.

Penny Royal

Where: 22 High St, CF10 1PT

Another clandestine establishment masquerading as an old off-licence, Penny Royal would fit right into the 1920s prohibition era.

Penny Royal Entrance - best bars in Cardiff

Once inside visitors will find shelf upon shelf of the good stuff with cocktails inspired by ancient medicinal remedies.

Penny Royal cocktail - best bars in Cardiff

Mixing things up all the time, the menu is an ever-changing and eclectic mix of tried and tested favourites and specially created experiments.

Seeing is believing when it comes to Penny Royal, you simply have to go suck it and see.

Society Standard

Where: 79-81 Whitchurch Rd, CF14 3JP

At Society Standard they have certain . . . standards when it comes to the food and drinks they serve.

Up to six taps pour out only the best local beers and the gifted bar staff create what can only be described as drinkable masterpieces.

They have a minimum of six taps serving out some of the best beer around and do what they can to showcase Cardiff city as the gastronomic hub it is fast becoming.

Society Standard cocktail - best bars in Cardiff

Combine this with the warehouse style setting decorated with graffiti artwork and you have a thoroughly enjoyable place to drink and eat in Cardiff.


Where: Womanby St, CF10 1BR

It seems there’s a trend in Cardiff following the style of prohibition bars and Cardiff Bootlegger is one of the best bars in Cardiff to pull off the theme.

Celebrating the end of prohibition 85 years after it ended Cardiff Bootlegger welcome all in with open arms.

They invite strangers to rejoice in the availability of booze and revel in the taste of classic and newly invented cocktails.

With live blues, jazz, swing and rock music Cardiff Bootlegger promises an evening of liquor loving fun for all who follow the strict but simple house rules.

Soda Attic Bar

Where: 4-6 Mill Ln, CF10 1FL

The best bars in Cardiff are often the ones that not many people know about and the VIP Attic Bar above popular Soda nightclub is certainly secretive.

Its small and sophisticated interior is perfect for those who have had enough of the wild party downstairs in Soda nightclub and fancy somewhere stylish to sit back, enjoy a drink or two and a chat with friends.

Thanks to its exclusivity there aren’t many pictures that exist of Soda’s illusive Attic Bar so in order to see what its all about you’ll just have to pay a visit yourself.

Steinbeck and Shaw

Where: Greyfriars Rd, CF10 3DP

One of the best bars in Cardiff lies just around the corner from Exchange Hotel and serves picture perfect cocktails and a superb staff table service.

Steinbeck and Shaw - best bars in Cardiff

No need to cue or stand around waiting to be served, Steinbeck and Shaw are pioneers when it comes to giving the customer what they want and that’s is treating them like celebrities.

The amazing cocktail menu is complemented by a fashionable grungy décor, graffiti-covered chairs and neon message lighting.

Visitors can book a booth, pick a package and spend their whole night inside one of Cardiff’s top social spots in the city.

Staying at Exchange Hotel

When staying with us at Exchange Hotel we want to make sure you have access to the very best nightlife the city has to offer.

Cardiff hotels to explore best bars in Cardiff

Our guide to the best bars in Cardiff will help you navigate all the popular hotspots in the city and keep you away from the same old same old you can experience anywhere in the world.

If you are planning a night out in Cardiff then Exchange Hotel is the perfect base to explore the best nightlife the city has to offer and our group accommodation makes it fun and affordable to stay together in one room with all your friends.

Exchange Hotel Group room for four

Check out some of our amazing accommodation offers and start planning the best night out in the capital by using our guide to the best bars in Cardiff and call 0151 601 8801 to speak with our team who’ll be happy to help.

For more information on Exchange Hotel or to inquire about staying with us, you can also email info@signatureliving.co.uk .