The 2000s was the boom and bust decade. When the decade kicked off, it seemed the main priority for lots of people was partying. In Cardiff, bars were packed in ways you rarely see today. The city skyline also began to dramatically change, Wales won a couple of Grand Slams and Doctor Who was being filmed everywhere across the city.

Nights out in the capital were especially memorable and seemed packed out no matter what day of the week it was. And the new bars springing up everywhere all quickly became the new place to go.

Since then, Cardiff has continued to change a huge amount, but many of the bars and restaurants which were difficult to get into in the 2000s long gone. Here are the Cardiff bars and restaurants where everyone wanted to be seen in the 2000s, but aren't there now.

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1. Mimosa

Mimosa in Mermaid Quay, Cardiff Bay

Mimosa was one of Cardiff Bay's hippest hangouts, when triple-cooked chips were all the rage. Originally opened in May 2006, Mimosa Kitchen & Bar in Mermaid Quay was part-owned by Hollywood actor Ioan Gruffudd and two of his school friends, Andrew Hepworth and Rhodri Bowen.

2. Salt

Salt bar was the perfect place for a date

Like Mimosa, this was also a very popular venue down by the bay, with minimalist decor across its two floors and a balcony overlooking the bay. It was the perfect place for a date with a partner, or a liquid lunch with a group of friends.

3. Terra Nova

Terra Nova was a popular venue in Mermaid Quay, Cardiff Bay

Across the walkway from Salt, Terra Nova became a hugely successful business for Brains over the years. Unlike its minimalist neighbour, Terra Nova was luxuriously decorated, with high-backed chairs, curtains, the works. It was also deceptively huge. It closed, but after a major revamp, the venue opened up again with a new name, The Dock, in April 2016.

4. Le Gallois

Co-Owner, Francis Dupuy, at Le Gallois resturant in the Canton area of Cardiff

This restaurant was located in the capital's most trendy district, Pontcanna, and was hailed by many as the best restaurant in the city. The fine-dining French restaurant was awarded three AA Rosettes for 2011, but soon closed after almost 13 years of trading.

5. Charleston's

Charleston's was a late-night steakhouse on Caroline Street

If it wasn't a kebab at the end of the night, it was Charleston's. The famed late-night steak house located on Caroline Street, or Chippy Lane, had been a city centre institution for 30 years before it sadly closed in October 2021.

6. Hard Rock Café

Hard Rock Cafe was once on St. Mary Street

It felt like Cardiff had joined the ranks of the big boys when Hard Rock Café opened here. But the day before it was due to celebrate seven years in the city, Hard Rock Café stunned staff by suddenly closing in 2010. It had been part of the whole Brewery Quarter revolution but despite the chain's worldwide fame, it didn't last.

7. Ba Orient

Ba Orient had fantastic Cantonese, Pekinese, Malaysian and Sichuan cuisine to enjoy

Dim sum and amazing cocktails were Ba Orient's hallmarks. This was the place to go to enjoy Cantonese, Pekinese, Malaysian and Sichuan cuisine. It looked so plush inside. It's now Las Iguanas.

8. Bosphorus

Bosphorus Turkisj restaurant in Mermaid Quay, Cardiff Bay

This Turkish restaurant commanded a spectacular position in Mermaid Quay. On the first Thursday of every month, the restaurant also offered Turkish Night, which included exotic belly dancers. It's now Coffi Co.

9. The Wharf

The Wharf was a much loved pub in Atlantic Wharf

The Wharf had a great weekly quiz and AC/DC tribute acts on weekends in a lovely big building that looked much older than it actually was. Drinking Magners with ice next to the water on a hot day was a perfect way to spend a day in the 2000s. In March 2016, this much loved pub in Atlantic Wharf closed its doors for good. Brains described its planned sale of the pub as its "last resort".

10. Cwtch

Below Jolyon's hotel, you could find a quaint and cosy little place called Cwtch. Although it got very busy at times, which made it hard to find a seat, it had a good selection of beers and cocktails.

11. Scalini's

If you were in the know, Scalini's near Roath Park was a fantastic Italian restaurant. The steaks were fabulous, as were the meatballs and all the pasta dishes.

13. 10 Feet Tall

10 Feet Tall was a fantastic venue for cocktails

The much-loved venue opened its doors back in 2008 and quickly became hugely popular. It had a bar on one floor and space for live music on another. Over the years, 10 Feet Tall established itself as a popular spot for music, giving local bands as well as up-and-coming tour acts the chance to hone their skills.

14. Cibo

Cibo was home of classic Italian dishes

The Italian restaurant Cibo on Pontcanna Street was home to classic Italian dishes such as gamberoni saltati as well as a wide range of pizzas, pasta and calzone. In 2017, however, it closed for good after having served customers for nearly 20 years.

15. Rococo

Rococo was a fantastic venue for live performances. The independent bar on St Mary's Street was also known for its amazing cocktails and for being awashed in 70s decor.

16. Barocco

Barocco was right at the heart of Cardiff's city centre

Right at the hear of the city centre, Barocco's great location made it the ideal venue to visit on a night out. Ornate and spread over different floors (you'd hire out the second floor then pull across the massive curtain to keep non-guests out), it was often heaving.

17. The Armless Dragon

The former Armless Dragon restaurant in Cathays

In Cathays, this restaurant offered Welsh cuisine and had a good reputation.

18. Koko Gorilaz

Koko Gorilaz was a fantastic student hub back in the day

Also in Cathays, Koko Gorilaz was a tatty student bar with sticky floors, dingy lights and fridges stocked with Brazilian WKDs. It also served curries, all day breakfasts and pub classics such as scampi and chips.

19. Café Calcio

Cafe Calcio on Crwys Road in the Cathays area

Cafe Calcio on Crwys Road was a fantastic little place. With its breakfast menu, it catered very well for the many hungover students who lived nearby.

20. Positano

Positano was on Church Street

Who can remember Positano? This place was great, with friendly staff and massive portions of food.

21. Topo Gigio

Tony Venditto, the owner of Topo Gigio

Topo Gigio on Church Street in The Hayes was the place to be at one point. But in 2007, this Italian restaurant shut its doors for good. Tony Venditto, a former waiter, moved to south Wales from Milan in 1973 and set up a string of companies. Celebrity guests at his restaurants included David and Victoria Beckham, Ioan Gruffudd, Joe Calzaghe, Cerys Matthews, Gareth Edwards and Lennox Lewis.

22. Inncognito

This venue has seen many makeovers and name changes over the years

What you call this place depends on when you used to drink there - it has seen many makeovers and name changes over the years. For the twenty-somethings that loved their nights-out in the 2000s, it will always be Inncognito.

23. Champers

Champers on St Mary's Street

One of the best-known restaurants in Cardiff for a time, it had been serving customers for 20 years before its closure.

24. Cameo

Cameo Club in Pontcanna, Cardiff

This popular bar in Pontcanna included a bar, bistro and lounge and you had to be a member to get through the door. They opened their second branch on Roath's popular Wellfield Road in 2015. Unfortunately, the Pontcanna closed for good in 2019, while its Roath branch closed in 2023. Luckily, both venues have reopened as successful restaurants by now - Thomas by Tom Simmons and Silures.

25. Ha! Ha!

Ha! Ha! Bar and Canteen in 1999

Ha! Ha! was no laughing matter. Done out in that classic 2000s style of cold chrome colours, its great big windows not only meant you got good sunlight coming through, but also a fantastic spot to people watch. It was also one of the most expensive pints in the city.