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Cardiff Coffee Shops Guide: A Shot in the Dark

A Shot in the Dark Cafe, Cardiff

Another installment of our reviews of Cardiff cafes, especially around Roath and Cathays. This time we turn our attention to A Shot in the Dark, or "Shot" as it's commonly know, on City Road! A well-established independent cafe bar, Shot has been serving coffee to the people of Cardiff for 11 years.

At time of writing, Shot’s website address, seems to have been taken over by spammers, though they seem to have taken to updating its Facebook page slightly more often.


A Shot in the Dark is at 12 City Road, Roath, Cardiff. It offers something distinctly more up-market than the endless procession of takeaways further up the road!

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It’s close to Cardiff city centre, around 5 minutes walk from Cardiff Queen’s Street station. For students, it’s just a short hop over the railway bridge from Senghennydd Court halls of residence


During the day, the place has a predominantly coffee-shop feel, with great coffee to easily match that of other local favourites such as Coffee #1. It’s also got a great selection of different teas.

What sets Shot apart is it’s open until late, morphing effortlessly into a bar with live jazz and other events. The fully licensed bar sells beer and wines and cocktails.


There are various cakes and pastries to go with your coffee. Also, there’s a selection of jacket potatoes, toasted sandwiches, wraps, tapas, mains and sharing platters. The food is very tasty and good sized portions, with vegan and vegetarian options too.

A Shot in the Dark, CardiffPrice and opening hours

Coffee prices are fairly standard compared to nearby coffee chains, though slightly more than some of the cheaper student-orientated cafes in Roath and Cathays, such as Kappuccinos. Food isn’t particularly cheap.

Normal opening hours:
Mon-Thu 8:00 - 0:00
Fri 8:00 - 1:00
Sat 9:00 - 1:00
Sun 10:00 - 0:00


Visiting Shot can feel a bit like stepping into an Instagram photo… if you’re not sharing a photo of your chai latte and vegan carrot cake while reading a great work of literature, then you’re Doing It Wrong. Ok, I exaggerated – you’ll feel particularly at home here if you’re an arty type, but it’s still laid back enough for anyone to enjoy the atmosphere.

Head upstairs for a quieter spot, and plenty of board games to get out and play while sitting on the sofas. It’s got free wifi and you can usually work here without being bothered. In November, you can often find groups of writers attempting novel-in-a-month challenge Nanowrimo huddled upstairs over netbooks and coffee supplies.


From live music and open mic to film nights, there’s plenty going on in the evenings. Check out the posters to see what’s happening each month.

The upstairs area can be booked for events and parties.


Great coffee and atmosphere, Shot has long been a favourite for the discerning Cardiff coffee fan. Upstairs is great for a spot of studying as a student, and it’s a good place to bring someone for a relaxed but cool venue.

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