After a day in the beautiful sunshine yesterday, the last thing we wanted to do was come back to the house and cook. And so we decided to be spontaneous and head to Street Food Cardiff in Sophia Gardens.
One of the highlights of the Cardiff foodie calendar, the event is now in its third year, bringing together more than 20 independent food vendors, each serving up from quirky trucks. Formally called Street Food Circus, there’s a big top in the centre full of chairs and tables (and open sides so people don’t swelter in the heat), a bar with bales of hay to sit on, bunting galore, and a tuk tuk, which all the kids loved.
We got there around 4pm and left around 6.30pm. Entry is £2 for adults and free for children, plus at the weekends it’s free before 12. There is a pay and display car park just outside, although luckily we found a space on Cathedral Road. Although it was mostly full of young and cool people drinking in the sunshine, we were pleased to see plenty of other families too and the friendly vibe soon saw our kids making friends with other youngsters and playing together.
I was slightly worried as to whether my children would actually eat anything… but thankfully they loved their chicken shish kebabs from Murray Mays’ Charcoal Grill, and the chefs were even happy to make smaller children’s portions for a cheaper price and without some of the fancier ingredients. Cardiff Daddy also opted for a chicken shish with a side order of grilled halloumi.
There was plenty of choice for vegetarians and I eventually decided on ‘Let’s Avo Cwtch’ from The Bearded Taco – Californian gin and tonic tampura avocado with honey, lemon slaw and chipotle aioli. It was amazing… and luckily my kids were so baffled by the idea of battered avocado that I got to eat it all to myself without having to share.
We had wanted to get ice creams from Science Cream, which frozen before your eyes with liquid nitrogen, but the queues were so big (not surprising given the gorgeous weather) so we opted for a bag of doughnuts from The Early Bird. Warm, light and fluffy, Cardiff Daddy and the kids devoured them. You can get different toppings but we went for the plain ones topped just with sugar.
The food vendors at the festival vary from week to week so do check ahead. This year the rota includes Bearded Taco, Brother Thai, Buena Vista Social Grub, Cue Point, Early Bird Bakery, Elle’s Little Kitchen, Flavors of Africa, Feed Hot Dog Co, Fritti, Got Beef, Grub Shed, Ice Green Vegan Ice Cream, Lola’s Wings, Meat and Greek, Mighty Soft Shell Crab, Milgi, Murray Mays, Pickled Briskett, Pork Society, Pregos, Puckin Poutine, Queen Pepiada, Science Cream, Siri Licious, and Tukka Tuk.
The specialist drinks on offer will also vary, with the rota including from Frontier Container Bar, Singha Street, Fentimans Botanical Bar, Cocktail Caravan, Tipple Truck and the Handlebar Barista.
Undoubtedly the weather yesterday helped, but there was such a lovely vibe, sitting around in the sunshine eating and drinking. It’d be great to go back with friends in the evening; the photos I’ve seen on social media look so atmospheric, all lit up in the dark.
Street Food Cardiff is open every weekend from now until the 25th September (5pm-11pm on Fridays, 10am-11pm on Saturdays, 10am-late on Sundays, and 12pm-11pm on Bank Holiday Monday.) Entry costs £2 for adults; accompanying children under 18 are free. Entry is free on weekends before 12pm. Visit the website here.
* We paid for our entry and food ourselves and Street Food Cardiff did not know we would be writing this review