Being the fussy one of the family shouldn’t have to mean you miss out - here is a huge brainstorm on Cardiff’s finest with the most delightful vegan options in store.

we’ve all been there

Cardiff, as of recent, is riddled with vegans. You’ll even see restaurants with tons of potential but the chef or waiters have no idea what’s suitable. So you’ll have to do the work yourself!

Trust me, it’s more fun than it looks. To help, I’ve accumulated a mini list of my favourites for family outings - so you won’t have to compromise all the time. Many other restaurants offer beautiful options but these are the chosen gems for accommodating everybody.

zizzi

A beautiful restaurant serving Italian delicacies renowned for its catering for vegans, vegetarians and gluten free customers alike.

OUR FAVOURITES:

- Smoked pesto, cheesy garlic bread (ask for vegan cheese)
- Lentil ragu: a flavourful equivalent to bolognese
- Spaghetti pomodoro
- Green Goddess broccoli salad
- Vegan margherita with spinach, garlic and roasted peppers
- Vegan dessert calzone: all flavours of sorbet in a fresh dessert coating with banana
- Coconut and chocolate ripple gelato

Wetherspoons

Whether you’re getting ready for a big night out or just want a meal as far on the cheap side as you can get, even Spoons is ready for you!

OUR FAVOURITES:

- Tomato, mushroom, baked beans and hash browns in a ‘pick-your-own’ breakfast
- Jacket potato with side salad and baked beans 
- Sweet potato, chickpea and spinach curry 
- Onion bhajis 
- Vegetable samosas
- Nachos (ask for no cheese or sour cream) 
- Pasta pomodoro

las iguanas

A Mexican food place commonly loved for its dimly lit atmosphere and flavourful curries.

OURFAVOURITES;

- Chilli sugar snaps (ask for vegan version)
- Three Mushroom Fajita: a nice platter of fresh fried vegetables (ask for vegan version)
- Moqueca de Palmitos: the iconic coconut curry (ask for vegan version)
- Veggie chilli: a fresh spicy plate sprinkled with beans (ask for vegan version)
- Refried beans (ask for vegan version)
- Spring onion rice
- Mango sorbet

pizza express

A cheap go-to restaurant that serves Italian dishes such as pizza, pasta and meat.

OURFAVOURITES:

- Leggera Superfood salad: all the colours you can imagine! (no dressing or cheese)
- Bosco: garlic chestnut mushrooms (ask without cheese or dressing)
- The naturally vegan Pianta pizza
- Any vegetarian pizza (requested without cheese)
- Piccolo sundae (raspberry sorbet is available with chocolate or fruit sauce)

wagamama

Scattered across cities everywhere, Waga’s is a sure stop if you’re ever in need of a big noodle dish or some nice hot soup.

OURFAVOURITES:

- Wok Fried Greens: fresh vegetables tossed in oil
- Yasai Gyoza: beautiful Japanese dumplings
- Vegetable broth: brought to the boil with ground pepper
- Yasai Itami: stir fried veg with coconut and lemongrass
- Miso Soup
- Juices: Positive, Repair, Power, Carrot, Super Green, Blueberry Spice
- Teppanyaki noodle dishes (varies by branch, ask staff)

carluccio’s

Spotted in the town and at the bay, Carluccio’s is a simplistic Italian for a nice family lunch or a quick dinner out.

OURFAVOURITES:

- Homebaked focaccia
- Antipasto di Verdure (ask for no mozzarella)
- Spaghetti al Pomodoro e Basilico
- Fagiolini: warm green beans
- Misto di Verdure: fried mixed veg in a generous dish
- Sorbetti (ask for no wafer)

nando’s

Not the first option for budding vegans but with families that don’t compromise on their choices, at least you can make the best of a bad situation!

OUR FAVOURITES:

- Houmous with peri-peri drizzle
- Veggie burger / wrap / pitta (ask for no mayo or yoghurt)
- Portobello mushroom and halloumi burger / wrap / pitta (ask for no halloumi)
- Quinoa salad (ask for no feta) 
- Garlic bread
- Peri salted fries
- Sweet potato wedges
- Passion fruit gelato

the clink

Run by prisoners, this odd take on a food experience definitely provides for the vegans.

OUR FAVOURITES:

- Soup of the day with sourdough bread
- Courgette risotto  
- Grilled peaches and raspberry sorbet
- Wild mushroom rosti with crispy kale
- Miso and rice noodle broth
- Seasonal vegetable ratatouille
- Autumn fruit salad with blackberry sorbet

the cosy club

The most adorable little food place in Cardiff’s heart, serving tapas, burgers, and phenomenal breakfasts daily.

OUR FAVOURITES:

- Vegan breakfast (tomato, mushroom, falafel, peppers, spinach, potatoes, baked beans and toast)
- Falafel, houmous and avocado sandwich
- Houmous and red pepper panini
- Houmous with carrot tapenade
- Thai veggie burger
- Marshfield Farm sorbet

the grazing shed

One of the most beautiful burger joints ever, it’s rare than as much effort is put into food as there is here - even if it’s relatively fast food with a simple menu.

OUR FAVOURITES:

- Kale fritter breakfast bap
- Cashew cream and avocado roll
- Vegan ‘wah wah’ burger
- Skin on fries
- Garlic and chilli fries

BILL’S

A lovely place to visit if you’d like a classy lunch or a quick dinner, Bill’s is very family friendly so you might want to find food to cater for yourself!

OUR FAVOURITES:

- Potato and rosemary bread with olive oil
- Piadina bread and tomato houmous
- Wild mushroom soup
- Roasted aubergine and chickpea dhal with chilli
- Mango sorbet

Yo! Sushi

It’s important to know that vegans don’t suffer at sushi restaurants, which is good for those with family who love a bit of fish. This chain is actually commended by the vegan community, and participated in Veganuary as well.

OUR FAVOURITES:

- Tofu katsu curry
- Kakiage vegetable tempura
- Vegetable rice
- Cucumber maki: suitable for vegans with any soy or gluten allergies
- Kaiso sushi
- Harusame aubergine 

The stable

The Stable don’t publicise their vegan menu often but, from personal experience, I can say the staff are the loveliest people around and the manager has even enquired with me about expanding vegan options further. A delightful, well-lit place for family dinners for lovers of pizza, pies and booze.

OUR FAVOURITES:

- Vegan Blue Pearl pizza
- Vegan Fresh Hawaiian pizza
- Vegan Fiery Dragon pizza
- Vegan Billy the Kid pizza
- Vegan garlic bread (with vegan cheese on request)

On selected nights they’ve also been known to have a dark chocolate brownie with raspberry coulis - this has only been available once when I’ve been there but it’s worth asking as it’s beautiful.

the plan

The Plan is a lovely lunch if you’re looking for something alternative and is right in the middle of one of Cardiff Central’s beautiful arcades. They do all sorts of food here and have a beautiful interior with cute tables and a winding staircase. Some of the staff are vegan so you won’t go without here!

OUR FAVOURITES:

- Multi seeded baguette with tomatoes, olives, pine nuts, spinach and houmous.
- Pitta bread with marinated aubergines and mushrooms
- Houmous and spinach leaves with salad and aubergine
- Mushroom and chickpea curry with rice, poppadums and mango chutney

Remember that it’s never an issue to ask in a restaurant if you’re unsure - most staff are trying to generate more sales so it’s in their best interest to be more accommodating too!

Hopefully, dining with people who understand that you can still eat beautifully in general restaurants will inspire them as well - good luck!

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Written by Hannah Newberry, 9 months ago
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