Fresher’s Foodie Checklist

We want to welcome Freshers to Cardiff by sharing our foodie favourites across the city! Don’t miss these absolute gems:

Words by Hannah Penwright

The Hellenic Eatery

The Hellenic Eatery is a Greek restaurant in the heart of Cathays, meaning it’s perfect for students looking for an inexpensive but very delicious meal out. Whether you’re a huge Greek food fan or have never tried it, I’d highly recommend giving it a go. In June, they doubled the size of the restaurant which means it will hopefully be easier to get a reservation, as last year it always got booked up very quickly! I took my mum and sister out for a meal there, and three courses cost us just over £30 in total which is amazing for such good quality food, especially on a student budget.

Our waitress was very lovely and happy to answer any questions we had about the food, and although it was very busy, each course came out in no time at all. They import a lot of their ingredients from Greece which means it tastes very similar to food I’ve had in Corfu. If you fancy a starter but aren’t sure what to pick, the ‘Tzatzikohoumotyrokafteri’ is a great choice because it means you get to try a few of the starter options in one, but it’s worth sharing with a friend if you want room for the other courses! I would highly recommend the yoghurt for dessert, as it was so deliciously creamy and thick that it really put supermarket Greek style yoghurt to shame- and only £3.00! It’s definitely worth visiting this year to check out the extended restaurant and discover authentic Greek food without having to leave Cardiff.

Words by Alice Baldwin

Juno Lounge

Juno Lounge is a comfortable, laid back café-restaurant, located on Wellfield Road, in the bustling area of Roath. Just a 10-minute walk down the hill from University Hall, it was perfect for my friends and I in first year when we didn’t want to pay a taxi fare into town! It’s a very popular place with many of the locals, and it’s always busy, but having said that, I have never had a problem finding a table. Note that they don’t take reservations.

My favourites are from the extensive options on the tapas board section of the menu, or if you fancy something more substantial, the burgers are sumptuous. They also offer an array of vegetarian and vegan options across the whole menu, something that is appealing to many students who choose to change their diet during university. Whether it is breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner, Juno Lounge has something to offer everyone. The price is reasonable for the quality and size of portions given, commonly costing between £4-12. If this doesn’t fit in with your student budget, why not suggest it to the parents when they come to visit? My parents took me to brunch a couple of times and they really enjoyed it too!

I was also delighted by the number of soft drinks offered, including flavoured lemonades (my favourite) which you can enjoy throughout the summer on the outdoor terrace, located on the upper level of the building.  But it’s not just a summer hotspot! There are also numerous hot drinks options available for those chilly winter days and if you head down on a weekday evening (between 5 – 7pm), you can take full advantage of the great cocktail deals – any two for £9.50. Don’t get too carried away on Monday nights though as you’ll need to engage your brain for the weekly quiz night!

Words by Andrea Drobna

Nata & Co.

With two locations in Cardiff’s city Centre, one situated just opposite Cardiff Castle and the second in the Capitol Centre on Queen’s street, Nata & Co. is a traditional Portuguese bakery that specializes in sweet and savoury pastries. The bakery also offers excellent coffee and prepares homemade soup and sandwiches over the lunchtime period. This bakery is home to the famous ‘pastel de nata’, a traditional Portuguese egg custard tart typically dusted with icing sugar and cinnamon.

In Nata and Co. they also offer a variety of different flavoured natas, such as peanut butter and chocolate, which are sold for only just over a pound per pastry! Some of the other traditional sweet treats they feature are ‘Pastel de Feijão’, a cake made with a base of white beans and almonds, and my personal favourite, ‘delicia folhada’, a cake made with puff pastry, custard cream, and icing sugar. For those less willing to step out of their pastry comfort zone, they also offer a variety of filled croissants and donuts (which are much fresher than the ones from your local Greggs, trust me). For the savoury fans, Nata & Co. serve hot brioche pastries filled with ham and cheese and most of their sandwiches are filled with either ham, cheese, bacon or chicken.

What I love most about Nata & Co. is that all their food is freshly baked and made from scratch daily. The bakery has a very homely and authentic feel to it and the staff are always very lovely. Based on requests from customers, Nata & Co. are also currently working on incorporating more vegan and vegetarian options into their menu. I would highly recommend that everyone visit this bakery and give both their sweet and savoury treats a try!

P.S.-if you’re looking to save a bit of money, Nata & Co. also offer 50% off all their sandwiches after 5 pm!

Words by Dafydd Wyn Orritt

Revs de Cuba

Havana oo na na! If Cuban cuisine and tapas, swanky cocktails and salsa dance lessons are up your street, then Revolution De Cuba (Revs de Cuba) is the bar/restaurant for you! It’s quite a pricey place for a student budget, but it’s also important to treat yourself once in a while! Located just opposite every Cardiff student’s favourite – Live Lounge, Revs de Cuba offers high quality food, cocktails, plenty of rum and even a vegan option. Personally, my favourite dish is anything from the tapas menu, whether it’s Calamari or Shredded beef nachos! Prices range from £4.50 to £6.50, however they do an amazing deal of 3 tapas dishes for £14 Monday to Saturday (more student friendly!)

If you’re looking for something a bit cheaper, they offer a main dish and a cocktail from their ‘Cuban icons’ menu every Thursday for just £12! And if you’re a fan of rum, there’s really no better place, with an offering of over 30 different Rum’s, from flavoured to dark, enjoyed as a shot or with a mixer. However, if you’re more of a cocktail person like me, don’t worry! Revs de Cuba do a 2 for 1 deal on some amazing cocktails, like my personal go to – Aperol Spritz. If you fancy something stronger then I’d go for the Mojito! Revs de Cuba also doubles up as a litty Latino night out, with a mix of classic Cuban music and mainstream pop – you’d be crazy not to step on that dancefloor, especially after a few of the classic Cuban cocktails!

Words by Holly McElroy

Society Standard

Society Standard is hidden gem in the Cardiff food scene, offering up a sophisticated and cool setting for brunch, dinner or just a few drinks. Its location on Whitchurch road is ideal for those who want a change from the usual chain restaurants in town or are just too lazy to walk that far after a day of lectures. The stylish, red brick interior oozes class and creates the ideal atmosphere for drinks with friends or even date night. Furthermore, with a menu that largely consists of mac n cheese and dirty fries and burgers, what’s not to love? They also offer up an extensive wine list and a popular Sunday roast, for which booking is highly recommended.

If you want to treat yourself after a gruelling seminar or cure your Wednesday night SU hangover I highly recommended the ‘Mega Mac Fries’. This dish consists of spiced skinny fries layered with mac ‘n’ cheese, BBQ pulled pork, even more cheese and finished off with BBQ sauce and sour cream. If you’re looking to try a bit of everything, they also offer great sharing boards ideal for 2-3 people. The ‘Meat Mezze Board’ offers a selection of fried chicken, pulled pork and other meats as well as corn on the cob, flatbread and fries. Similarly, a ‘Vegan Mezze Board’ is available with delicious humous, tofu curry, Cajun cauliflower and sweet potato fries. Pair any of these meals with a bottle of wine or a few beers and you’re good to go for a fairly in-expensive, delicious and indulgent evening.

Words by Sarah Belger

Waterloo Tea

With five locations in and around Cardiff, including one in Wyndham Arcade and Pen Y Lan, Waterloo Tea is a great place to make a pit stop mid-shopping trip in town, or after a day roaming around Roath Park. Their huge variety of specialty teas means you’ll never get bored of visiting, and if that doesn’t keep bringing you back then you’ll surely be tempted by the choice of freshly baked cakes (including gluten free and vegan options!). The breakfast and lunch menus have far more enticing options than those you might find in the Starbucks or Costas around the corner, all without breaking the bank.

Hoping to ‘push the boundaries of what a café can be’, the art gallery style of the café and free Wi-Fi makes Waterloo Tea an attractive alternative to the ASSL when readings and deadlines inevitably start piling up. It’s also a great place to take your parents when they come to visit to try and convince them there’s more to your life than downing VK’s every Wednesday night! With so many independent café options in Cardiff, Waterloo Tea really stands out for its cosy, living-room-like atmosphere, making it a lovely spot to escape the Welsh weather and warm up with a (slightly boujee) cup of tea.