In the southwest of Wales is Carmarthenshire, a county known for being ‘The Garden of Wales’, with lots of sweeping valleys, vibrant fields, the River Towy and some fantastic Dark Sky Discovery Sites. Carmarthenshire also has an ancient agricultural heritage that champions sustainability and authentic Welsh produce, with eco-friendly eateries and experiences founded on the county’s foraging and farming traditions. Here you can dine on the beach after foraging for your own ingredients or dine in a Welsh vineyard with links to THE Whitehouse in Washington and President John Adams. Whatever you like, I’ve got a list of the eight best restaurants in Carmarthenshire for you right here!
WHERE IS CARMARTHENSHIRE?
Carmarthenshire is ideally situated for travellers looking to explore all of South Wales. It spans from Carmarthen Bay in the south, the Cambrian Mountains in the north and the Brecon Beacons in the west. There are three main towns; Carmarthen, Llanelli and Ammanford, and all are great for shopping, theatre and nights out on the town.
There are several transport options to reach Carmarthenshire. If you’re driving, come along the M5, M6, M42 or M50. You can also reach the major towns by bus or rail.
The Best Restaurants in Carmarthenshire
1. Jabajak’s Restaurant and Vineyard
A little over twenty minutes from Carmarthen is Jabajak, an award-winning vineyard, restaurant and rooms (three of which are suites). The property is set within 7 acres of tranquil countryside, and as our host proudly declared, the ethos of Jabajak’s is to ‘enter as strangers, leave as friends.’ As soon as you enter the building, you’ll find an intimate space and relaxed decor with wines lining the walls. The Landsker Bar is within reception, with several sofas to relax on, and behind its bar, there is an extensive selection of White House wines, along with ales, spirits, cocktails and soft drinks, all of which are sourced from Wales. The Smithy Restaurant likewise focuses on fresh and locally sourced ingredients, with a menu catering to all dietary needs. Their lamb dishes hail from the nearby Preseli Hills, while the fruits, vegetables, herbs, and leaves are plucked from the restaurant’s kitchen garden. My favourite meal is the pea, and asparagus risotto served with fried kale. Beyond the restaurant, you can take a vineyard tour which goes in-depth about the special kind of cool-climate grapes grown here, and the property’s connection with President John Adams and the Whitehouse.
2. The Warren
Undoubtedly, one of the best restaurants in Carmarthenshire is The Warren, located within the historic market town of Carmarthen. Much like the name suggests, The Warren has a higgledy-piggledy floorplan with a rustic interior and paintings of rabbits on the walls. It’s a multi-award-winning, crowd-funded, cafe-restaurant with an ultimate vegan and vegetarian menu centred on local and seasonal ingredients. The vegan burger has the finest vegetable patties, while the low-carbon, local beef burgers topped with fresh tomato, organic cheddar, pickled red onions and streaky bacon is just heavenly.
3. Daffies Bistro
Halfway between Carmarthen and Llandeilo is Daffies Bistro, whose unique name refers to its co-founders, while also being short for the national flower of Wales, the daffodil. It’s a family-run business with an interior design brimming with items that have been passed down through generations, such as pictures, board games, toy cars, lamps and more. The menu is extensive, and any vegans or vegetarians can rest assured that there’s plenty on the menu for you! I had a chicken, bacon and avocado club sandwich and a vegan brownie made with banana and coconut for dessert. Almost all the food is homegrown or homemade, so, if you’re looking to try the best of Carmarthenshire’s produce, head to Daffies!
4. Wright’s Food Emporium
Perched on the edge of a B road running through the village of Llanarthne, is a 19th-century coaching inn called Wright’s Food Emporium. Wright’s is an award-winning, family-run informal cafe and deli with a shop, rustic decor and a relaxed atmosphere. With its crackling fires, there’s nowhere better to enjoy a hot beverage on a cold rainy day. The shop sells fresh produce from local suppliers, like fruits and vegetables, along with shelves of homemade bread, natural wines, and unique condiments like tomato catsup. The owners, Simon and Maryann Wright, champion local and seasonal ingredients, which is reflected in their revolving menu. But, the popular pork belly Cubano, served with local Myrddin Heritage ham and Hafod cheddar makes a regular appearance. It’s little wonder then that Wright’s Food Emporium is constantly ranking as one of the top restaurants in Carmarthenshire.
5. Brown’s Hotel
Situated in the estuary village of Laugharne, is Brown’s Hotel. Laugharne is an ancient market town best known for its famous resident, Dylan Thomas. He is probably Wales’s most beloved poet, and after living here for several years, Dylan dubbed Laugharne as the “strangest town in Wales”. Brown’s Hotel was Dylan’s favourite watering hole. In fact, he spent so much time here that he started giving the pub’s number to strangers as his own phone number. There are photographs of the poet throughout Brown’s, and its farm-to-fork restaurant, Dexters, serves a supreme beef burger. Dexter’s is named after a special breed of cattle which are reared not far from the hotel.
6. Cwmcerrig Farm Shop
The Cwmcerrig Farm Shop is for anyone who likes to purchase fresh vegetables and fruits and who loves a Sunday roast. The Watkins family own the award-winning farm shop and has farmed in this area since the 1950s. The store sells homemade sausages, Hereford beef and Texel lamb which are reared and cut onsite, while the deli stocks cooked meats, local cheeses, and homemade pies. On the other hand, the restaurant serves homemade meals, including a scrumptious Sunday lunch which offers a choice of four meats, along with a generous helping of homemade Yorkshire puddings, stuffing, vegetables and gravy!
7. Y Sied Goffi
Situated in the heart of Carmarthen is Y Sied Goffi – it’s literally next door to the Vue Cinema and clothing shops. This is the perfect place to start your morning as they serve a fantastic Welsh Breakfast tea and a Beetroot Latte packed with antioxidants and vitamins. They also have pancakes served with Y Sied honey and seasonal fruits, as well as, organic milk and smoothies. Just down the road is their sister property, Y Sied, which hosts cooking classes in a stylishly converted cowshed.
8. Coastal Foraging with Craig Evans
One of the best restaurants in Carmarthenshire isn’t a restaurant at all, but rather a dining experience. If you book one of Craig Evan’s foraging experiences along Carmarthen Bay, you’ll explore the beach, and learn how to find sustainable ingredients like crabs, cockles, razor clams and lava seaweed. Once you’ve spent the day gathering your ingredients, Craig Evans, who is a forager with a passion for marine conservation, will teach you how to cook your finds over a handmade Solva stove. Then, you can enjoy your meal with the sand and sea as your dining table.
Final Thoughts on the Best Restaurants in Carmarthenshire
And there you have it, my favourite restaurants in Carmarthenshire. Did any stand out to you, and if so, which ones?
If you’re looking to visit Carmarthenshire, then you should definitely check out my article on the 12 best things to do in Carmarthenshire.
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