Bars in Cardiff – The Best Bars in Cardiff Guide
The capital of Cardiff is a fantastic destination for a staycation or day trip, with a rich heritage, friendly locals and plenty to do and see in the city.
US travel guide Frommers names Cardiff as one of its top 13 destinations to visit worldwide, and with the likes of the Senedd, Millennium Centre, Pierhead Building, Principality Stadium and the Welsh National Museum, there’s plenty of culture to take in while you’re there.
As a result, there’s a myriad of pubs and bars in Cardiff, catering for a wide variety of tastes. From chain sports bars and cocktail bars to distillery taps and luxe drinking spots, there’s truly something for everyone.
If you’re looking for suggestions on the best bars in Cardiff, look no further. We have all the info you need to find the perfect place for you!
Most Popular Cardiff Bars
As a capital city and a major tourist destination, Cardiff is home to lots of flagship chain bars.
If you’re looking for a consistently great customer experience to rely upon for your brunch, casual drinks or night out, you can be sure of one at any of these Cardiff bars.
Be At One Cardiff
One of the most popular cocktail bars in Cardiff is Be At One. A bar that delivers a menu with vast choice, staff dancing on the bar and singalongs all times of the day and night.
Open until 3am at weekends and 1am weekdays, Be At One Cardiff offers a cosy but classy aesthetic under a huge ‘Fancy A Cwtch?’ neon sign that’s a must for a quick social media snap.
There’s over 100 cocktails on the menu but staff are happy to knock up something bespoke, and the brand offers a different Happy Hour offer every day.
NHS staff receive extra discount and if you book ahead you may just find an unexpected treat waiting at your table. Cocktails on offer do vary seasonally and there are different menus and packages available for Valentine’s Day, Christmas, New Year’s Eve and other Bank Holidays.
Another favourite amongst cocktail bars in Cardiff is Dirty Martini, the chain that primarily operates in central London but has set up its Welsh home in the capital city.
Dirty Martini has a real luxe 1920s-inspired interior and there’s a different bespoke cocktail on offer daily.
Late night DJs party the night away until the early hours and their Happy Hour offers are hugely competitive, with half price martinis, £15 bottles of wine and £25 bottles of prosecco.
The Bottomless Martini Brunch event is fast growing a reputation as a ‘must-visit’ when in Cardiff and patrons can book a table, a whole area or an exclusive section in the VIP area.
On a weekend it’s best to book ahead as queues can get long, and it’s advisable check the dress code for each night before you leave.
Boom Battle Bar Cardiff
Boom Battle Bar considers itself the premier Cardiff sports bar, but this isn’t your typical bar with big screens to watch the action – you’ll be taking part in it!
Unlike most of the bars in Cardiff, Boom Battle Bar offers an immersive action experience for visitors to enjoy food, drink and varying activities including karaoke, shuffleboard, axe throwing, electric darts, American pool, crazy golf and ping pong.
Each game has its own qualifying criteria (especially the more risky ones such as axe throwing, of course) and it’s best to book ahead; particularly on weekends.
Boom Battle Bar can organise parties and occasions and will work with you to curate the perfect afternoon or evening; just get in touch with them to discuss your requirements.
The Bootlegger Cardiff
The Bootlegger is an independent cocktail and gin bar in Cardiff city centre, situated on the cobbled streets of Womanby Street which is very much considered the city’s cultural hub for musicians.
A family business run by two brothers and their best mate, the aesthetic of the bar is industrial chic meets 1920s glamour and the venue is split across 2 levels. Upstairs is a late-night cocktail lounge with an extensive menu of over 60 drinks all made with locally-sourced Welsh fresh fruit and herbs.
The lower floor is themed around music with live performances spanning soul, blues, jazz, rock ‘n’ roll, and funk. Local musicians and DJs play every night of the week and this is a real must-visit venue for those looking to immerse themselves in the local scene.
The Bootlegger gives a great impression of the city’s spirit and culture, and you’ll be frequenting a local, independent business when you visit – win-win!
Cardiff’s Best Sports Bars
Cardiff is undoubtedly the country’s capital of sport, with the likes of the Millennium Stadium attracting tens of thousands of visitors every week.
Cardiff sports bars include a number of great spots to watch the action if you can’t make it to the stadium in person, with a variety of food and drink options on offer.
Kongs Bar Cardiff
Kongs Bar Cardiff is the second bar in this chain, with the first being just over the border in nearby Bristol.
A laidback and friendly vibe invites guests in to enjoy ping pong, table football and a variety of retro computer games alongside food, drink or just a quiet chat. Local pizzeria West Pizza have residency at Kings offering up a number of seasonal dishes and there’s a large drinks menu on offer behind the bar.
Downstairs, the basement level is a 80s themed neon lit bar and dancefloor that opens late and serves cocktails.
Elevens Bar & Grill
Elevens Bar & Grill brands itself as the ‘ultimate Cardiff sports bar’.
With walls adorned in specialist sports memorabilia, you’ll find 20 large HD screens showing the latest from Sky Sports, BT Sport, BBC Sport, ITV Sport, Premier Sports, Amazon Prime Video and LaLiga TV.
The grill menu includes a la carte dishes, BBQs and buffet options, and drinks packages can be booked in advance. Elevens offers free WiFi for all guests and Playstations throughout, so if you’d like to get a bit more active than just spectating, you can take to some sport yourself!
Elevens is family friendly during the day.
Walkabout Bars are lauded across the country for their Aussie laidback vibes, vibrant beer list and exotic food menu, and that reputation here has cemented this city branch as one of the best bars in Cardiff.
All seating is situated strategically with views of one of the many HD screens positioned around the bar so you can watch the latest live sport, and there’s even a breakfast menu on offer for action early in the day.
Cold pints and juicy build-your-own burgers combine to make this a favourite amongst Cardiff sports bar fans.
You don’t need to book in advance for Walkabout Cardiff but for busier and more popular sports fixtures, it’s worth calling or messaging ahead of time to secure your favourite seats.
Gassy’s Cardiff is a student bar, but doubles up well as somewhere to watch live sport if you’re on a budget.
Food is served daily and there’s a different drinks offer each week. 13 HD screens are positioned around the bar showing live sport and there’s facilities to play pool and retro gaming consoles to play free of charge.
The dessert menu is experimental to say the least and everything comes in at a reasonable price, so you can enjoy a night out without the worry of checking your bank balance in the morning!
Some of Cardiff’s Finest Bars….
Cardiff is also home to several very upmarket bars which offer something a bit more luxe for those looking for a discerning drinking experience out.
When it comes to these bars, you may find fancy dress and hen and stag parties strictly off limits, but you can be sure of an unforgettable experience all ways round anyhow.
The Alchemist brands itself as Cardiff’s “dragon’s lair, cocktail bar and restaurant; home of myths, legends and dragons”. Set across two floors with a spacious cocktail bar upstairs and underground vaults available for private hire in the basement, you’re as likely to enjoy the experiences here as much as the drinks.
The décor is dark but decadent, the cocktail menu vast (although the expert mixologists on hand are always willing to concoct something bespoke!) and the food menu haute cuisine. You can book for food, drink or an experience including mixology masterclasses or at-table entertainment such as spooky story renditions and theatre acts.
The Alchemist’s strapline is ‘theatre, served’, and you’ll certainly find this here: whether you’re in for a few quiet cocktails on an afternoon or to catch one of the late night DJs spinning tracks. The Alchemist often hosts strict dress codes and it’s advisable to book in advance to avoid disappointment.
Bar 44 is a subterranean bar in the shadow of the Principality Stadium, set in a former canal warehouse.
Set into four separate rooms with arched brick ceilings and rustic décor, this bar-restaurant is Mediterranean themed and serves tapas alongside a varied cocktail menu and plenty of beers, ciders, spirits and softs.
Bar 44 is the only venue in the UK that pours three different sherries from full sized barrels behind the bar – and staff will be more than happy to talk you through the options.
Cardiff’s cocktail bar, The Botanist, is based on Church Street and comprises of a bar, restaurant and spacious outside terrace.
Serving a vast range of botanical cocktails including seasonal options and bespoke concoctions dreamt up by the mixologists behind the bar, The Botanist offers a superb choice for those looking to try something new.
If you’re looking for something to eat, the food menu here offers an a la carte menu, a special range of Sunday Roasts and their trademark Hanging Kebabs; certainly more luxe than your standard doner!
The Botanist hosts musical bingo every Wednesday, a DJ request night every Thursday, live music on Fridays and ‘botanical sessions’ brunches and cocktail offers on Saturdays. Sundays are a somewhat more relaxed affair, with brunch, roasts and bottomless offers available.
The bar and outside terrace areas of The Botanist are dog friendly and all areas are family friendly during the day, with a kids menu available upon request. If you’re looking to eat at The Botanist, it’s always worth booking in advance.
It's clear that bars in Cardiff are plentiful and that there’s a great deal to do, see, eat, drink and experience while visiting the city.
Sports bars, cocktail bars, cosy pubs and boujie restaurants all combine to create a varied and diverse bar and restaurant scene – now it’s time for you to decide and plan which you’re going to visit and just when you’re going to do it!