If you’re skint this summer, fear not: here are Wriggle Cardiff’s top twenty places to enjoy a budget-friendly bite to eat. All of these cheap and cheerful meal deals will cost you no more than a tenner.
Asador 44's lunchtime deal
Asador 44 has established itself as one of the city centre’s top spots for fine dining. Cheap it ain’t though, so if you’re skint, try the lunchtime deal. For a tenner, you can choose from the market fish of the day, steak frites (we’re talking 40-day dry-aged Welsh rump here) or a veggie option. Available from Tuesday to Thursday until 3pm and until 5pm on Fridays.
Where: Quay Street, Cardiff
This is a bit of a Cardiff institution and does some of the best (and biggest) sandwiches in town. The New York-themed menu offers bagels, burgers and hoagies with all the cheese and pastrami you could dream of, but there plenty of veggie and vegan options, too. You’ll leave here absolutely full to bursting and with change from a tenner, too.
Where: 20 High Street Arcade, Cardiff CF10 1BB
Calabrisella is a 20-minute walk from the city centre but it’s worth the journey. This family-run Italian is perfect for pizza and pasta and it's super cheap, too. There’s also a room upstairs which you can book out for karaoke at the weekends. Could this place get any better?
Where: 154 Cowbridge Road East, Cardiff CF11 9ND
Go for a wander around Cardiff Central Market and you’ll discover this little gem. Feast your eyes (and belly) on all sorts of veggie delights, including pasties, halloumi slammers and lentil dahl – most dishes are under a fiver, so it’s kind on your wallet, too.
Where: Stalls 167 and 170, Cardiff Central Market, Cardiff CF10 1AU
If you’re at the market, you should definitely check out Milgi's little lunchtime outpost. Cardiff’s hippest veggie restaurant now has a stand there where you can enjoy a heavenly but healthy lunch. Our favourite is the bahn mi with lemongrass tofu, a twist on the traditional Vietnamese snack. Oh, and the cakes are to die for, too.
Where: Cardiff Central Market, Cardiff CF10 1AU
Get your Greek on at this family-run restaurant on Crwys Road and eat all the gyros, souvlaki and halloumi you can manage. Every single thing on the menu is guaranteed to make your mouth water and most mains are under £10!
Where: 100 Crwys Road, Cathays, Cardiff CF24 4NQ
This award-winning Asian takeaway is very popular with Cardiff folk, and it’s no wonder when the food is this fresh and tasty. We love the Kati rolls, an Indian flatbread with a variety of meaty or veggie fillings, but you can also go for noodles, curry or pizza with a Thai twist. The £5 lunch deal is brilliant value for money.
Where: 92 Crwys Road, Cathays, Cardiff CF24 4NP
This unassuming looking café in Cardiff’s student heartland is home to some of the finest falafel we’ve ever eaten. You can also feast on kebabs and salad galore, it’s all as cheap as chips. There’s a licenced bar, too, so order a crisp Israeli lager and chat to friendly owner Ronen while you wait for your food.
Where: 76A Crwys Road, Cathays, Cardiff CF24 4NP
Originally a spit and sawdust kind of bar, The Flora pub has quite recently had a makeover and so has its menu. All the mains are under a tenner and the burgers are proper good.
Where: 136 Cathays Terrace, Cathays, Cardiff CF24 4HY
You could easily mistake Kongs as one of St Mary Street’s many nightclubs but inside, it’s an Aladdin’s cave of retro video games and ping pong and foosball tables. You’re invited to geek out then stuff your face with Burger Theory burgers. With names like Down and Dirty and The Sheriff, this is clearly a serious business, and so it should be –they’re downright delicious.
Where: 114-116 St Mary Street, Cardiff CF10 1DY
We couldn’t write about cheap eats and not mention this place. Terrific thali, Indian sweets and bring your own booze - even the most committed of carnivores will love the food. Everyone’s a winner here.
Where: 115-117 Penarth Road, Grangetown, Cardiff CF10 6JU
This award-winning restaurant dishes up some pretty perfect pizza; in fact, The Guardian voted it one of the top ten pizzerias in the UK. You can find it at the back of the Printhaus, a community studio for artists in the heart of Canton; it’s one of our favourite places for a spot of al fresco dining
Where: The Printhaus, 70a Llandaff Road, Canton, Cardiff CF11
This is hands-down the best value thali in town. Pay a visit to Madhav, a five-minute walk from the city centre, for authentic Indian dining. There’s also a shop so you can pick up anything you need to cook up a storm in your kitchen at home.
Where: 59 Lower Cathedral Road, Cardiff CF11 6LW
Cardiff’s coolest night cafe pops up inside a greasy spoon as soon as night falls, and serves up some fine, fine food. The menu is small but perfectly formed; think Korean fried chicken, Asian steamed baos and they even have their own house beer.
Where: 4-5 Quay St, Cardiff CF10 1DZ
This is the place to go if you want to enjoy authentic Asian street food in a relaxed setting. Try the nasi lemak, a traditional Malaysian street food dish that's the speciality here, or our favourite, the turmeric fried chicken. The staff are just lovely and it’s great value for money, too.
Where: 101 Woodville Road, Cardiff CF24 4DY
The Embassy Café at Cathays Community Centre sure is a feel-good kinda place. It describes itself as being as an ethically and environmentally sustainable project and it welcomes all diners to pay whatever they can afford for the food they serve - which happens to be pretty darn delicious with plenty of vegan and veggie options.
Where: 36 Cathays Terrace, Cathays, Cardiff CF24 4HX
This popular Portugese bakery is famous for its pastries but it also does a mean lunchtime deal. For under six quid, you get soup, a tosta or classic sandwich and a custard tart. It’s almost ridiculously good value for money.
Where: 118 Clifton Street, Roath, Cardiff, UK CF24 1LW
or; 96 Bute Street, Cardiff Bay, CF10 5AB
or; 1–7 Castle Street, Cardiff, CF10 1BS
Although SEN BBQ is best known for its kebabs, we’ve used this photo to show that vegans can also enjoy some of the restaurant’s Turkish treats, too. Carnivores fear not, however, as there are plenty of meaty meals and the bread is AMAZING. Everything’s super cheap and you can bring your own booze, too.
Where: 146 Cowbridge Road East, Canton, Cardiff CF11 9ND