We are a city of Arcades here in Cardiff. Although we sometimes wish that meant we’re just really good at those 90’s gaming machines – we actually have a flurry of indoor corridors filled with absolutely delightful offerings, all within walking distance of each other in our city centre. From afternoon teas to exquisite cheese, our beautiful city of arcades is your one stop shop for a perfect day out whilst visiting Sŵn Festival this year!
The oldest record shop in the world, Spillers truly is a marvel and a gem in our city. Opened in 1894 by a Mr Spiller (ah-ah, that makes total sense), Spillers have a treasure trove of vinyl and host the occasional signing. Pick up your next favourite record at 27 Morgan Arcade.
Buddug (pronounced bu-th-ig, meaning winning), is the delicate craftwork of Caernarfon artist Buddug Wyn Humphries. From jewellery to homeware, Buddug also runs workshops at her Cardiff studio! You can find Buddug at 12 Castle Arcade, The Balcony.
For all your vintage needs, Hobo’s stock 60’s, 70’s and 80’s get up that’ll make you want to get it. Someone captured a rainbow in a jar and accidentally let it loose in here, and its bloody great. To grab those plaid shirts, head to 26 High Street Arcade.
As the title suggests, Gin & Juice will supply all of your ginning and juicing needs from their spot in 2-6 Castle Arcade. With a chic sitting area at the front and a piano-bar-come-speakeasy vibe as you step through their doors, you’ll be taken aback by not just the splendour of decoration, but also their menu of over 400 gins!
Behind the glass frontage of Garlands Coffee is a hidden piece of Cardiff’s history and a nod to its theatrical traditions. Many of the prominent features, including a rather impressive chandelier, are former props from the theatre! No tickets required, take your seat at 4 Duke Street.
There is so much right with Wright’s Wines. They welcome you with truly personalised service, whether you’re looking for a bottle to take back after a night of music-loving, or if you prefer to sit in their homely wine bar. Some fella from The Financial Times said that they’re “possibly the cutest wine bar in the UK” and you can experience this for yourself at 7-9 The Balcony, Castle Arcade.
Independent roasters Uncommon Ground are a speciality coffee bar located at 10-12 Royal Arcade. To get your fix before a day of venue-hopping, you can pick up a freshly brewed cup of their own roasted beans. Or you could even pick up a bag to take home to mum, as they sell their blend ‘Original Uncommon Ground Espresso’ in store!
Our official feeders at Sŵn this year, The Grazing Shed is located at 37 St Mary’s Street and offers a delectable menu of burgers suitable for meat-eaters, vegetarians and vegans alike. You may also spot that dude you just watched play guitar 10 minutes ago tucking into a ‘Super Tidy Burger’ as well!
Described on their website as “like Fawlty Towers with food”, Madame Fromage offer an array of artisan and award winning cheeses right on our doorstep. We at Sŵn HQ gather around like mice when someone devilishly brings in a slither of Madame Fromage’s divine offerings to the office! You can get your feta fix at 21 Castle Arcade.
From Mumbai to a little bit near the Mumbles, Bwyta Bwyd Bombai brings Mrs Sakshi and Dr Adkar’s love of their city’s food to Cardiff in street-food style promising to “entice your senses”. Put those earth-polluting plastic cutlery away, BBB encourage you to use your hands here! Get a taste of Mumbai at 16 High Street Arcade.
Who said veganism is all avocado and oatly? Greazy Vegan is here to change up the fast-food game, so now you CAN eat that double stacked ‘cheesy’ bbq-y burger – guilt free! Tuck into your new fave burger at 47-49 Castle Arcade.
Tats and cuts, Keep The Faith Social Club is just that, a social space with a pool table on one side and a few chaps with razors (not in a scary way) perfecting the public’s hairdos on the other side. Follow the sound of the needle, or just head to 14-16 Royal Arcade and get your 50p on that table.
Before you get down to Kongs for the table-tennis tournament of the century, get those hands nimble with a spot of videogaming at The Arcade Vaults. A community of game-makers, game-players and a welcoming space for newbies looking to learn about games, The Arcade Vaults have it all at 27-31 High Street Arcade.
There are a ton of wonderful independents elsewhere in the city too! Don’t forget to check out the market, and all the nooks and cranny’s the city has to offer.
Explore the City of Arcades here.
FOR Cardiff: FOR Cardiff is Cardiff’s Business Improvement District (BID) – a business-led, not for profit organisation voted for and funded by the city’s businesses. Their ambitious business plan is transforming Cardiff making it more welcoming, vibrant and influential.