A City of Arcades

Cardiff City Centre is home to numerous historical arcades scattered throughout the main high streets. It’s easy to get lost (in more than one way!) in the beauty and quirkiness of the arcades, with its cobbled streets bearing some of the most interesting, creative and delicious places to visit in all of Cardiff.

Most of the arcades were built and designed in the early 19th century and have undergone minimal alterations, so a day well spent walking through them really does feel like you’ve stumbled into the previous century. A letter published in the Cardiff Times exhibits how the arcades have little changed since their inception, describing how girls and boys in the 1800s were often seen ‘hugging and racing, and further similar disgraceful proceedings’. There’s no doubt that the arcades are still enjoyed by many, but perhaps the only disgraceful proceedings happening nowadays is the sheer amount of money you can spend on all that the arcade shops and eateries have to offer.

The arcades are truly unique – not only are they a well-loved symbol of welsh culture and arts, they also fly the flag rather expertly for independent businesses and we are exceptionally lucky to be able to call this gold mine of historical beauty our home! Our head office is located in the aptly named Creative Quarter, situated in the Morgan Arcade.

This weekend is a particularly special one for those who live and work in Cardiff as this Saturday will see the first ever City of Arcades Day, which is designed to increase awareness of the historical importance and independent shopping offered in the run up to the festive period.

With all that being said, we couldn’t support our arcades without weighing in on our favourite aspect – Food and Drink! So here are our top places we regularly enjoy within Cardiff’s incredible arcades:

Fresh (Royal Arcade)

A firm office lunch go-to. There are constant queues outside for a very good reason: they offer some of the best baguettes and paninis in the city centre. This is no exaggeration; Fresh combine high quality ingredients to provide you with the tastiest combinations you’ve probably never thought of trying, or possibly could try from a sandwich shop. (Don’t worry, the queue moves quickly!)

Coffee Barker (Castle Quarter Arcade)

Slightly on the more expensive side, but you get back tenfold what you paid for in quality. It’s a quiet, beautifully decorated space, ideal to unwind, catch up on work or just chat with friends.

Wally’s Delicatessen & Kaffeehaus (Morgan Quarter)

Established in 1981, Wally’s is a long-standing favourite of many, including our director Paul! It’s easy to see why: they serve a huge range of cheese, olives, sweet treats and Baked goods from around the world.

Gin & Juice (Castle Arcade)

Our office staff have been known to visit this bar after a Friday finish once or twice (or several times). Gin and Juice prepare their own freshly made juices to pair with their collection of unique gins, whilst serving some truly mouth-watering food.

New York Deli (High Street Arcade)

Can’t afford to hop across the pond to try the big apple’s infamous food? No worries, you can get a true taste of America right on your own doorstep with this place, portion sizes don’t exist here so value for money is incredibly high.  

Uncommon Ground – Coffee Roastery (Royal Arcade)

Often quoted as the home of the best coffee in Cardiff, for those of you who are caffeine addicts it’s well worth a visit to try their coffee (derived from A-Grade green coffee beans!).

There are many, many more inspiring independent places to try in Cardiff’s arcades, so why not check out City of Arcades Day this Saturday? It promises to be one for the calendar with live music, food and drink discounts, a fashion show and discounted parking amongst other events!

For more info click here: http://thecityofarcades.com/city-of-arcades-day/

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