You can't leave Cardiff without trying "Clarksie" No, not the shoe!
But "THE PIE" that locals brags about. It has been around 1909, and is part of the Cardiff heritage.
The thick crusted, plain looking pie. So succulent! You can't go wrong with meat and potatoes. Opposite of the pie shop, there is a park. Ideal for picnic, and lunch time. I like to eat my pie on a plate with fork. For this, I was told to eat with with my hand. And to suck out the gravy. The crust was thick, therefore the pie didn't crumble down.
It's still run by the Clark's family. I believe it's now the 4th generation.
Opening times: Mon-Sat: 10am-1:30pm
I am not a big fan of pies or pasties, but I feel this shop deserves a review because it's a bit of Cardiff history.
The now-famous Clark's Pies originate in Cardiff, and can also be found widely in Bristol where one of the sons moved to branch out in the late 1920s.
This shop in Canton isn't the earliest Clark's outlet - the very first one opened in Llanmaes Street in the Grangetown area, closing for a while during World War II due to wartime meat rationing. This Canton branch opened in the 1930s, however, so it's been going for a long, long time.
The pastry is so thick on a Clark's pie that it doesn't even need a foil tray - which gives you some idea how substantial they are! The precise recipe used for the pie filling remains a closely guarded secret but it's mainly made up of beef, potatoes and other vegetables, and gravy. Pie lovers should definitely seek out this shop if they're in Cardiff!
Cardiff is well known for many things - but you ask the locals and you ask a tourist what these things are and you will get completely different answers.
You ask any local and they will tell you there is nothing more imbedded in local folklore than the legend of the CLARKSIES PIE.
To visit Cardiff and not try a Clark pie is like going to Rome and not eating Pizza.
This is how their website describe their large pie, "Oval shape vegetable and beef filling in a gravy base contained within a substantial shortcrust pastry". Unfortunately mere text cannot convey the carnival of savory extravagance that kicks off in your mouth as soon as you bite into the substantial shortcrust pastry - so all I can say is try one!
There are friends of mine who will not eat any other type of pie from a Cardiff chip shop and frankly they are offended if you try to palm them off with anything other than a CLARKSIES!
I stayed with a friend recently and we were deciding what to have for lunch when her boyfriend piped up with "How about a Clarksie's?"
What??!! I thought to myself. When I think of Clarks I automatically think of the shoe shop.
Before I could blink and question what he meant they both had their shoes on and were waiting by the door. Off I went like a little sheep following them down the stairs and we were on our way to taste what I now know to be the future.
I wont go into the history behind Clark's pies as there are enough reviews on here already telling you where and when it was first discovered.
I will get straight to the pie itself......
After the first bite of my Clarks pie i thought OMG, (Oh my god for those of an older generation) hand on heart this was the best tasting pie that I have ever had the pleasure to put past my lips.
The shortcrust gravy melted as i began to chew accompanied by the beef filling that was piping hot and full of flavour. Mmmmmmmmm!
My friends now take the mick out of me when I tell people about Clarks Pies as I have only been there once but I talk about it like I am married to the owner!LoL.
A legendary food in Cardiff, everyone loves Clark's pies and the quality keeps people coming back from miles around to ponder over the secret recipe that makes them so succulent and tasty.
Definitely worth trying if you're visitng Cardiff - they're also available to buy in the city centre in the indoor Market on the High Street.
as an expat, there are two things that I crave about Cardiff - Brains beer and Clarks pies (there are a host of other things but these culinary delights are IT). The Clarksie is a delicacy that is so simple its mind blowing. A meat pie to some, a perfect combination of meat, gravy, pastry to others. Pure ambrosia. A side of mushy peas. Some bread and butter (you're not going to leave any of that goodness are you?) Back home in a couple of months and pints of Brains and more than a couple of Clarks pies will be consumed.
Although I have already praised the shop in Grangetown, This one in Canton is exactly the same BRILL. Opened in 1955, the pies recipe is closely guarded secret. They are owned by the same people who have kept the great pie's tradition going . There is a park near the shop and I have often gone for a pie in the park. Best picnic food ever. Buy one for the park and cold one to take home perfectly safe to heat (not in microwave tho it spoils em) . Type in Clarks Pie on your comp, and read all about this Welsh wonder. Yummy
All expats like me eventually make it back to a Clarks Pie. Best eaten at Dirty Dots on Caroline Street with a carton of chips and curry after a few too many SA's. Oh fond memories of a misspent youth. How I miss my clarkies in the US.
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