Food & Drink

Cardiff’s Comfort Food

By Ellie Philpotts

Uni is good for lots of things. Independence, meeting new people, experiencing city life, making the most of the last dregs of limited responsibilities. Oh, and that day at the end of it all when you actually have a degree and pose in front of City Hall before going off to start that frequently-discussed adventure also known as the ‘real world.’ However, it’s not so good when the Freshers Flu which ends up dragging on for a whole lot longer than Freshers, does nothing to quench your cravings for some proper good grub.

So here’s where to head when the paradox strikes – you need to inject your weary, hungover self with some comfort food that could almost rival home cooking, but somehow whipping it up yourself is just too much effort.

  1. Pieminister – The lovely people at Pieminister know what’s up. Admittedly, it’s probably also your cholesterol, but we’re willing to shove that to one side. Having been serving up some great pies for 12 years, it’s fair to say Pieminister proudly rule the pie scene, which they do here in Cardiff on St Mary Street, so you won’t have far to walk if you’re doing the sensible thing and lining your stomach before a big night out. Whether you’re after the classic Mothership, or think you can take on the Tower of Power, they’ve got you covered. They even go as far as the ice-cream pie, in case you ever wondered what that actually is. (Image credit: Seasons – Having a little gander round the Arcades is about as much of a Cardiff Fresher’s staple as arriving laden with baked beans, or commemorating your first sighting of Main Building over Instagram. However, the abundance of charming cafes found nestled here means you’ll keep pinging back in a manner similar to a boomerang. Castle Arcade’s Seasons is a stand-out – think Welsh specialities like rarebit and oggie (no we hadn’t heard of it either, but we’re glad we have now). The name may be slightly ironic, as Cardiff only ever seems to have one season – winter – but it definitely is the perfect place to hide from the rain. (Image credit:

3. Giovanni’s – While the climate is worlds away from anything you’d encounter in the Med, at least Cardiff’s Italian food scene is here to soften the blow. We’re spoilt for choice, with other gems including Cafe Citta and Calabrisella, but, proving Italians don’t have to begin with ‘C’ to be good, Giovanni’s is one to get acquainted with. Both the Hayes branch and Park Place closer to uni, combine authentic flavours with a lovely ambience and even the opportunity to brush up on your own cooking skills, because the learning process shouldn’t be confined to the lecture theatre, right?! (Image credit:

4. The Deck – It’s fair to say you’ll venture to the Bay at least a few times during your time at uni, so you might as well get to know the best places to eat. Sometimes comfort food isn’t all plates piled so high you’d think The Supremes were singing about them. There are times when you need a sugar high, and The Deck definitely do it with more style than your flat energy drink in the ASSL. Not content with just being Cardiff Life Awards finalists and Certificate of Excellence winners, they’re even ‘Cwtch-Approved Vendors’, which is about as Welsh as you can get. The Deck do impressive breakfasts and baguettes, but it’s their cupcakes and coffee that are the talk of the Bay. (Image credit:

5. Jalan Malaysia – You know the score. You want good food but you don’t want to go far for it. Well sometimes your laziness can actually be a blessing, because without it you might not appreciate what’s right on your doorstep – and here that’s in the form of Jalan Malaysia. Bang on student central Woodville Road, Jalan makes us question whether variety really is the spice of life – or if that honour actually goes to cinnamon, ginger and chilli. Happy Eating! (Image credit: