After falling into disrepair after the collapse of the coal industry, Tiger Bay (as it was previously known) was given a new lease of life in the 1990's with the building of the Cardiff Bay barrage, which joins Queen Alexandra Dock and Penarth Head.
The building of the barrage meant that the existing mudflats were flooded to create a cosmopolitan waterfront leisure spot which is now filled with bars, restaurants, and cultural attractions like the iconic Wales Millennium Centre. On warmer days, this is where Cardiff locals head to eat ice cream, drink cocktails and soak up some sun.
At first glance, it would be easy to assume that Cardiff Bay is completely dominated by chain restaurants and big name brands - they occupy almost every single unit along the waterfront. But look a little closer though and there are some gems to be found.
The award-winning Moksh, headed up by equally decorated chef Stephen Gomes, serves up innovative and exciting indian fine dining on Bute Crescent, whilst a few yards down the road, his semi-permanent pop-up van specialises in cheap and cheerful authentic Indian street food.
Over on St James Street, Irie Shack focus on bringing Caribbean flavours to this seaside location, with Jerk chicken and one-pot goat curry being our favourites picks.
The Cardiff Bay Barrage is a great place to wander with a flask of something hot, but if you fancy sitting a while, href='https://www.getawriggleon.com/guides/cardiff/sio'>Sio, the smaller, trendier cousin of Canton’s iconic Chapter Arts Centre, is a good a place as any to stop for a slice of cake. The cafe sits on the first floor of a modern-glass walled building on Lloyd George Avenue offering excellent views of the Wales Millennium Centre.
A stone’s throw away sits the beautiful Sunflower & I; part cafe-part florist, it’s worth a visit just to marvel and the beautiful interior and artfully arranged blooms. Portuguese bakery href='https://www.getawriggleon.com/guides/cardiff/nata-co'>Nata & Co also have an outpost in this part of town, and we reckon it’s pretty much impossible to walk past without grabbing one of their delicious, still-warm Pasteis De Nata to take away!
There isn’t much in the way of independent watering holes at this end of town but a drink in one of the chain-owned pubs on the waterfront is a pleasant way to waste an hour. Visit The Dock (Brains), The Waterguard (Samuel Smiths) or The Mount Stuart (Wetherspoons) for unrivalled views across the water, or grab a cocktail on the terrace of the St David’s Hotel restaurant (called The Admiral) and watch the swans swim past as you sip a Pinot Grigio.