When it’s all dark and wintery outside, there’s nothing that warms the soul quite like a plate of something hot, comforting and familiar. Stir up feelings of foodie nostalgia for family dinner classics by indulging in some edible comfort for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Read our round-up of where to get delicious and satisfying comfort food in Cardiff.

First, get those tastbuds flowing with a look at Madame Fromage's Welsh Rarebit...

You don’t have to be Italian to appreciate the satisfaction of devouring a hearty bowl of perfectly cooked pasta. This cosy little restaurant in the centre of Cardiff is the place to try the real deal, where they rustle up their rustic Italian magic in the open plan kitchen, as delicious smells fill the room while you wait. The menu has all the Italian comfort food favourites like Carbonara and Arrabiatta, but to try something really unique, order their signature dish, Linguine Citta – a rich, creamy indulgent plate of pasta made with Ricotta, pine nuts, sun-dried tomatoes and chilli.

Read more about Café Citta

Porro has two lovely venues, one located on Llandaff High Street and the other on Wellfield road. They are ardent advocates of the Italian philosophy of ‘celebrating simple, quality ingredients’ and strive to use locally sourced produce wherever possible. Their ever-changing menu features a range of seasonal and comforting dishes, perfect for tucking into whilst cwtched up in the warm embrace of the exposed brick and snugly-lit surroundings.

Read more about Porro

The Chai Street empire is expanding rapidly across Cardiff, taking their contemporary and cosy interiors and delicious brand of comforting Indian street food dishes to the masses. Our favourite dish is the Chai Special Thali, featuring one meat and one veggie curry, plus dal, raita, pickles, mini poppadums, rice and a naan bread - it's perfect picky food for the commitment phobic. Surely there’s nothing like a curry to warm the cockles?

Read more about Chai Street

Rory and Oliver are the burger-theorists behind "Burger Theory", and they've concocted a menu to turn heads and tantalise tastebuds. Their portions are generous, their flavour combinations are experimental and their eccentricity makes a real statement. Craziness aside, there is a connecting theme here: all the burgers are big and all the burgers are juicy. You bite these burgers, and they damn sure bite back. It's hard to pick just one to recommend. Of the beef variations, the Blue Cow, the Don and the Sheriff all stand-out. The Prairie Girl is a stunning deep-fried chicken burger - and the Veggie Burger ("Rory's Best Ever Veggie Cheese Burger") is one of the best veggie burgers that team Wriggle have tasted. Period. The chips are bang-on, too. Crunchy, salty and oh-so-moreish.

Read more about Burger Theory @ Kongs Cardiff

Servini’s has been around for nearly fifty years in Wyndham Arcade (the oldest arcade in Cardiff, no less) – there's a whole lotta history in this room. With a team boasting over 45 years experience, they offer freshly cooked food in a cosy, comfortable environment. This is honest food done well, sold at an affordable price. Expect knock out coffee and all the best-loved British staples – including proper cooked breakfasts, toasties and jacket potatoes, but the star of the show is the slap-up Sunday roast dinner, just like mum used to make!

Read more about Servini's Cafe

Society Standard takes inspiration from the industrial-chic feel of New York's Lower East Side - it's all bare brick, brushed concrete and Edison-lightbulb chic. Their culinary creations move away from well-worn NYC-inspired burger and fries offerings though, so don't be too hasty when making your meal decision. A wide-ranging menu has plenty to suit all tastes - from fish pie to featherblade of braised beef. For us though, the Mac 'n' Cheese has got to be one of the best in town.

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What sets Mezza Luna apart on City Road? The welcome, the hosting and the food. Meat grilled over flames, generous servings, hummus so silky you could make pyjamas out of it. The duck shawarma is superb – richly meaty with a citrus kick from pomegranate molasses. The menu delivers all the Lebanese classics – shish taouk, muttabal, kofte – but the Moroccan dishes are equally delightful. Unusually for the grill houses on City Road, you can also buy alcohol here, so sit back and relax. This is happy food!

Read more about Mezza Luna

This popular delicatessen in the Castle Arcade sells a huge range of cheeses from artisan producers and local suppliers - but did you know you can also dine here? Settle in for hearty portions of Welsh classics such as slow-cooked lamb cawl, as well as warming soups, tartlets and meat & cheese platters. This is the perfect spot to enjoy a relaxing lunch whilst soaking up the atmosphere of the vibrant Victorian arcade.

Read more about Madame Fromage

Published -1st March 2018