After attaining Silver Sustainable Food Place status in 2021, Cardiff is leading the way in holistic eating. Since becoming the first place in Wales with Silver status, the city is now working hard to achieve gold status and become one of the UK’s best places for sustainable dining.
So, with that in mind, let’s check out some of the best places to grab a great ethical meal in the city.
With four different locations in Cardiff and one in Penarth, Waterloo Tea is the place to go to get coffee, tea and food made from local ingredients. The vegetables, meat and bread are sorted from different local vendors. As for the tea, they source that themselves. The cafes offer an all-day brunch menu with a modern twist. If you’re obsessed with poached eggs or avocado toast, Waterloo tea is worth a visit.
The sustainability focus is not just applied to the ingredients they used, the cafe also prides themselves on treating their staff and paying them above minimum wage, which the cafe formalised during Covid.
Penylan Pantry and The Secret Garden Cafe
Penylan Pantry and The Secret Garden Cafe is run by Melissa Boothman, who has had a sustainable focus on the cafes from day one. Both Penylan Pantry and The Secret Garden Cafe were awarded a Green Key award in 2019. This prestigious award is seen as the most important recognition in the field of environmental responsibility.
Penylan Pantry is located near Roath Park on Kimberly Road. They opened in 2013 and have since then focused on locally sourced produce. Their furniture is also sustainable, all their tables and chairs are second-hand. The lampshades are even made out of old egg boxes! As well as locally sourced produce they also stock local goods, supporting farmers, bakers and dairies from the area. They also offer different hand-picked hampers for their customers to enjoy the Penylan Pantry experience from home. If cheese is your thing, this is definitely the deli for you as they offer a delicious selection of British and local cheese.
The Secret Garden Cafe is located in the heart of Bute Park and offers a range of homemade foods and speciality coffees. This is my favorite spot to get a coffee in the summer, surrounded by the beautiful park! Like Penyland Pantry, the produce is sourced locally. Melissa Boothman uses a five-point checklist for both cafes and anything she wants to use needs to check at least three of them. The checklist focuses on where the thing is produced, the packaging it comes in and if it’s made sustainably.
Crumbs Kitchen is one of Cardiff1s first vegetarian cafes. It’s located in the Morgen arcade and offers different homemade breakfast and lunch dishes. The focus is on organic ingredients, that are sourced locally and sustainably. They are known for their salad bowls, which they have been serving since the 1970s. The salad bar changes every day and locals have been known to queue for the famous brown rice and coleslaw salad. The small cafe has been serving healthy vegetarian and vegan food for more than 50 years. They use seasonal ingredients whenever they can and offer takeaway options for people in a rush.
Owned by married couple Phill and Deb Lewis Kindle is a fire food and natural wine restaurant in Sophie Gardens. The restaurant is located in the old warden’s house and offers small plates with locally sourced ingredients. Many of the dishes are also vegetarian or gluten-free. They use seasonal ingredients and focus on using the most out of their products, to reduce food waste. One of the most popular plates on the menu is their infamous smoked baked potato with garlic aioli.
The Restaurant has considered sustainability in every step from sourcing better quality meat, seeded business cards and not offering the customers napkins, as both reusable and disposable aren’t considered environmentally friendly. The restaurant was also built and designed by a regenerated design framework.