If food and drink features highly on your holiday must haves then Wales will be sure to impress. The country has a whole variety of mouth-watering traditional dishes to be tried, with many including fresh produce either reared or grown in Wales itself. Add the extensive list of fantastic restaurants, cafes, markets and delis where you can enjoy these delicacies, which are all listed in our Wales food and drink guide, and you’ll have the makings of the perfect foodie break!
Many of the country’s traditional meals rely heavily on meat, with stews, Welsh rarebit, faggots and shepherd’s pie often featuring on many menus. This is thought to be because Welsh cooking often served the diet of a working man, from occupations such as farming, fishing and mining. Lamb is traditionally associated with Welsh dishes and roast lamb is a popular dish which is also regularly served in restaurants in Wales. Saltmarsh lamb is particularly tasty, as it grazes on seaweed along the coastline, and is most likely to be found on menus during June and July.
Seafood is another delicacy which you will most likely come across during a visit to Wales. Cockles are the country’s favourite, followed closely by monkfish, salmon, brown trout and white carp. A more unusual ingredient is laver bread, which is a puree made of seaweed collected from the Welsh coastline. Eggs, cockles and fried bacon served with laver bread is what the Welsh call a traditional breakfast.
The country’s national vegetable is leek and is used as an ingredient in many Welsh dishes, such as leek soup. It was once even featured on the British pound coin. Other products linked to the country include the Glamorgan sausage and Caerphilly Cheese, although this is no longer produced in Wales. However, Black Bomber and Collier’s Powerful Welsh Cheddar are still made here along and plenty of other delicious local produce from smaller independent retailers. Keep an eye out for fantastic local cafes and restaurants offering dishes that use locally grown and reared ingredients for an authentic Welsh foodie experience.
The Welsh are well-known for their love of teatime and puddings! Favourite sweet treats include Welsh cakes, turnovers and oatcakes, so be sure to stop off at a quaint café during your visit and enjoy a treat while you watch the world go by. Pancakes and pikelets are also a firm favourite, especially when smothered with rich Welsh butter.
Boasting three Michelin starred restaurants, you can definitely treat yourself even further if you wish to. The Walnut Tree in Abergavenny, Tyddyn LLan in Llandrillo and The Checkers in Montgomery all have one star and as you can expect to boast fantastic food that will delight the taste buds. Make sure to look out for the ‘Wales, the True Taste’ logos when seeking a restaurant, as these will endeavour to give you a dining experience in Wales that you won’t forget.
For those that enjoy a tipple, the country is home to more than 20 vineyards, producing some of the finest wines in the UK. The country’s national drink is beer and you will find many that have been brewed in Wales, in the many pubs and bars throughout the country.
To find the best place to dine during your holiday in Wales, take a look at our food and drink guide above.