South Wales has grown to become one of the UK’s top food destinations with many interesting eating places for foodies to discover. Here’s our guide to the top ten pubs and restaurants South Wales has to offer, based on our experiences and feedback from guests who stay at our holiday cottages. All the places that make our list offer something special – not just great food but a great South Walian experience that will live long in the memory.
Top 10 Places to Eat in South Wales
1. The Grape and Olive, Swansea
Swansea Bay has been likened to the Bay of Naples in the past, with a beautiful curving coastline, with its mountains spilling into the ocean. Sitting in the restaurant on the top floor of the tallest building in Wales, you will realise why. The views across Swansea Bay, the City and Mumbles are truly spectacular. Owned by Welsh brewer Brains and Welsh products feature in most dishes.
2. Cwmcerrig Farmshop and Grill, Llanelli
Winners of several national farm shop awards, the Watkin family are so proud of the meat they produce at the farm that they run a restaurant at the farm too. Hugely popular – get your steak cooked and served by a local farmer. Even Prince Charles has popped in.
3. Neath Indoor Market
Built in 1837, the Victorian Market in the heart of the town is one of the very few of its kind left in Wales. Along the back wall are a number of tiny tea rooms serving the local speciality of Faggots and Peas – a unique experience for all visitors.
4. Pen Y Cae Inn, Abercrave
As winner of the British Pub of the Year and Best Family Pub in Wales awards, there is not a lot we can add! Spectacular location with dramatic scenery and all the ingredients are supplied by local farmers and fishermen – Carmarthenshire cheeses, Breconshire beef and Swansea shellfish.
5. The Butchers Arms, Alltwen
Our favourite gastro pub is conveniently just over a mile from our holiday cottages. Open fires, local pictures on the walls, wooden floors, excellent real ales, an easy atmosphere and great food (try the Pig in a Pond!). Consistently popular with our guests, this traditional Welsh pub is set in a hillside village with great views of the valley from the dining room. www.thebutchersarmsalltwen.co.uk
6. The Indian Cottage, Pontardawe
The village of Pontardawe has a superb collection of Indian restaurants who often compete for the Welsh Curry House of the Year. Our favourite is The Indian Cottage who pride themselves in offering innovative Indian cuisine. Their Tawa Tawa Tin Indian BBQ dishes are beautiful and well worth trying if you are a fan of Indian cooking.
7. Rossi’s Original Fish and Chip, Swansea
Rossi’s opposite Swansea’s Liberty Stadium is a Swansea institution. Big portions and a good selection of fish including poached salmon, cod and trout. If you’re feeling a adventurous, try the local South Wales speciality – rissole and chips. A rissole is a deep fried ball of seasoned mashed potato and meat, covered in a layer of breadcrumbs.
8. Blasus Training Restaurant, Neath
The training restaurant at Neath Port Talbot College is a unique experience. Hidden away at their Neath Campus, you can enjoy an award winning six course dinner for the cost of a single course in most places. The drawback? It’s only open during terms times! www.nptc.co.uk
9. Sosban, Llanelli
Owned by Welsh rugby stars Stephen Jones and Dwayne Peel, Sosban is a past winner of the Good Food Guide Restaurant of the Year for Wales.
10. The Clink Cymru, Her Majesty’s Prison Cardiff
Yes, you read that right, this restaurant is located in HMP Cardiff and offers category D prisoners full-time work as part of a unique project aimed at reducing reoffending rates throughout Wales. Operated by The Clink Charity, the restaurant offers a seasonal a la carte menu. Booking is advised.
We hope you get to try some of the places on this list. There really is something for everyone in South Wales – gastro pubs, child friendly pubs, boutique restaurants, pubs in beautiful settings, seafront restaurants, real ale pubs – all serving quality Welsh food. But remember, one of the great benefits of a self catering holiday is that you can always cook for yourself – our cottages have fully equipped kitchens and there is a 24-hour supermarket beginning with the letter ‘T’ within five minutes of the farm. Why not try doing some traditional Welsh dishes, using our online Welsh Cookery Guide?