Cardiff’s coffee shop culture is central throughout the city. Alliteration aside, whether you’re looking for a quick caffeine fix before uni, or the chance to sink into a sofa to savour the whole thing, Cardiff delivers. Yes, the city centre is peppered with recognisable chains, but the suburbs also house some of the sweetest (literally) independent cafes you could find. So when uni life gets a bit too stressful, you know it’s time to grab a good book, mentally preen your go-to-tea order to perfection, and try to decide which one of these to visit first…  

Cocorico Patisserie

Yes, Cardiff city centre is a foodie’s heaven, but if you actually manage to drag yourself away, you may well end up in the northern district of Heath. Which is no bad thing, because this unassuming area is home to one of the best European cafe Cardiff has ever seen. Cocorico Patisserie, we’re talking about you! This charming cafe specialises in all things French, which translates to a charming array of coffees, cakes and pastries, all in a lovely environment.

35 Whitchurch Road, Cardiff, CF143JN 

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Image credit: diwa_lt

Sorrento’s

Most Cardiff students flock to Cathays, so it only makes sense that one of the UK’s most student-saturated suburbs has somewhere to get caffeinated before 9am; spend a Sunday recovering from the hangover in the most civilised (ish) way possible; or just push your impending deadlines to one side via the medium of good grub. Sorrento’s is the answer to our prayers! Situated in the core of student-ville on Salisbury Road, the family-run little eatery has everything from Vietnamese coffee to decadent-looking burgers; milkshakes to the slightly healthier vegetable stackers. Friendly service, quirky design, handy location and affordable eats make Sorrento’s a winner in our book.

90 Salisbury Road, Cathays, Cardiff CF24 4AE

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Penylan Pantry

The suburb of Penylan is noted for its Edwardian-era houses and tree-lined avenues which wouldn’t look out of place in Paris. Oh, and Penylan Pantry. They describe themselves as ‘good food and good service, from good people’, and it seems these are only some of the reasons behind their glittering reputation that stretches far beyond Penylan. Their innovative Veg Box scheme, with personalised and organic local produce; range of events hosted; and deli/cafe combination, never scrimping on lovely decor, also contribute…

72 Kimberley Road, Cardiff, CF23 5DN

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Image credit: diwa_lt

Milk & Sugar

We’re spoilt for choice in Cardiff. Not only do we have a number of coffee shops to navigate, but we also have three of Milk & Sugar. The main branch is on the city centre’s Windsor Place, but they’re also frequently visited in Capital Tower and One Central Square. No matter which one you’re at, though, you’re bound to be rewarded with fantastic food and speedy service. Whether you’re after a hearty Welsh Breakfast, a simpler salad or a sneaky pick-me-up that masquerades as cake, you’ll soon find that although their coffee is pretty unbeatable, Milk & Sugar’s menu is far more than just actual milk and sugar… And we’re not the only ones singing Milk & Sugar’s praises – they were finalists in the Cardiff Lifestyle Awards 2016, as well as being named this year’s Good Food Award winners.

10 Windsor Place, Cardiff, CF103BX, Capital Tower, CF103AZ, One Central Square, CF10 1FS

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Tea & Cake

Back to the ‘burbs now, and although the amount of foodie establishments that call Roath home could make it challenging for just one to stand out, Tea & Cake have succeeded. Their specialities aren’t hard to guess, making them the prime spot to whittle away a few hours in a cosy, welcoming and warming environment. Let’s face it – Wales and wet are synonymous, so we all need somewhere to hibernate from the rain. Tea & Cake’s colourfulness, charm, cuppas, and, well, cake, do just that.

36 Wellfield Road, Cardiff, CF24 3PB

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Written by Ellie Philpotts, 11 months ago