Pub Guide

The infamous Pontypridd pub guide as devised by that bloke who can’t get served in half the town’s pubs anymore (we wonder why?). Tip for the top – never tell the truth!

Tell the world when you get served a crap pint or just tell us where your favourite place to drink is. Remember if you don’t complain when you get treated badly no-one else will do it for you! You pay good money for a pint so expect to be served a decent one.

P.S. – If sarcasm and honesty aren’t your thing best you don’t read on…

Town centre

The ‘middle to bottom’ of town seems to be the place to head for at the moment if you fancy an armchair and some drinkable beer with the ‘top’ of town still mostly, but not exclusively, catering for the underage, ‘valley heads’, slappers and ‘roiders’ – shit! Who said that!? A shame we don’t attract many students from Treforest but with the swirling vortex buffer zone at the top and Cardiff a short train ride away south who can blame them. There’s good live music at Club Y Bont & the District Club, great real ale at the ‘Wonky‘ bar and the ‘Llan‘.

Bunch of Grapes – 01443 402934

bunch3_200_150Tucked away just out of town down the far end of Ynysangharad Rd. Beautiful old pub with lovely fireplace & stone walls. A Freehouse that serves a few decent real ales at vastly over-inflated prices. They also sell vastly over-priced bottle lagers from as far away as Macro. Used to be an excellent eatery, not the usual plastic rubbish most pubs do but a proper menu with real food on it, but often let themselves down by trying to cram more people in than the room will allow – it’s not the bloody Tardis in there is it! They also serve the award winning ‘Gwynt Y Ddraig’ – wicked strength cider made locally. Don’t drive after one of these, and we do mean one! Hang out of teachers, councillors, businessmen, journalists and drunks – so a pretty mixed bag –

Llanover Arms – 01443 403215

llanover_200The best pub in town surely? At least that’s what Hal Griffiths says. Always good beer, a few guest real ales every week or so and loads more choices as it’s another Freehouse. The ‘Llan’ still retains that old run-down charm, just visit the toilets and you’ll soon be using the word ‘quaint’ in conversations, although having said that probably the cleanest toilets of any pub in town. Recent additions include a wood burning stove and cushions on the old church pews – luxury, pure bloody luxury! Big TV screen too if you fancy the rugby. Just need to mend the broken benches in the back room and we’ll be quids in. The beer garden with matching A470 view has had some restoration work, probably sparked off by the visit of old layabout Tom Jones a few years back. Alcoholics, actors, millionaires, property moguls, playwrights, builders, poets, rock stars and rugby teams drink here – usually all at once. Tom Jones, Anthony Hopkins, Mark Davies… they’ve all had a few pints at the Llanover. Also the meeting place for various community groups that do sterling work in the community – the recently formed K.W.S. (Pontypridd branch), Ponty Curry Club (as featured on the BBC’s ‘I Love Wales’ with Iolo Williams, but don’t worry we won’t mention all those girls from Corwen you know). Also assorted Fat Boys, Vikings, Chisum, BBC Wales TV shows and company. A legendary place!

Globetrotters – 01443 407744

globes_200Upstairs at the back of the Llanover – easily the most trendy, laid back bar in town and suitable for all ages. Wooden floors and old brickwork, a couple of big screens for films & sports, comfy settees and a small cosy little bar area, although the bogs are minging late on. Great music, such as Santana, Gypsy Kings, Bob Dylan and Cat Stevens (hint, hint). It’s a veritable Buena Vista Social Club. Great venue for poetry nights (Voices on the Bridge), acoustic sets, Climbing Trees and many others… Various beers, and sometimes even the occasional real ale. Open until 1am ish on weekends. Hang-out of such famous faces as Darth Vader (Star Wars), Jamie Baulsh (Olympic athlete) and Andrew Davies (The Gallowbirds) to name just a few of the celebrities that frequent this late night bar. Downstairs is an Italian restaurant.

Chain House – 01443 856442

New cafe bar with excellent food. Next to the lights opposite the Park this cosy little eatery also serve beer, Prosecco, Bloody Marys etc. With ‘quality food’ being its top priority, the cafe is aiming to bring a touch of class to the town serving breakfast, lunch and dinner to the locals. It’s been set up by local boys Dewi Gray and chef Lewis Dwyer who have wanted to create the business for years. Dewi, 33, has worked in pubs for years – he used to get all the great bands into CYB and also run a pub for the Otley Brewery for five years. Lewis used to work at the Bunch of Grapes.

Visit their Facebook page to see the latest menus / offers.

Maltsters – 01443 403550

maltsters_200Recently been done out but you wouldn’t notice it. Used to be famous for not having any drinkable beer and recently been changing hands like a parcel in Iraq. If they could start selling some decent beers and if you ignore the riverside rats this place could be fantastic, like in the glory days of yesteryear. Sky Sports make it popular with the football supporters although rugby matches are also shown on the big pull-down screen. Lost its way a bit recently but nice cosy cellar bar for the youngsters and beer garden at back in summer (watch out for Roland!), plus a karaoke night may be starting to pull people back. Do meals but haven’t sampled recently.  Assume things will pick up a bit after the new precinct development is finished.

Muni Arts Centre – 01443 485934

muni_200Events venue that was owned and run by RCT council until they sold it off recently. Ponty’s only cinema has a nice quiet little bar. Many people would not even think of going here, and many do not even know it exists. But they do serve beer and has a great little cafe on the right. Good if there’s a film on, often get council do’s here like Christmas ‘joiner’ parties… Good bands like ‘Skin‘, ‘Big Mac’s Wholly Soul Band‘ etc. still play here. Nice food and also an over 50’s club (discounts). Not sure what’s happening with the nice art gallery upstairs?

Gatto Lounge – 0117 930 9971

Gimicky and expensive new eatery in the precinct development, underneath the Transport for Wales offices. Some people will love it and say the £5+ for an average ale is OK in one of the most deprived areas of the UK, others will prefer the quality beer of the ‘Llan’ or the ‘Wonky’. As for the decor, mmm? If you thought Blueberry’s was mental wait until you see this. If you like battered old chairs under tassely lampshades, impressionist style paintings and offbeat table designs on a lovely wooden floor then it might be your kind of place. It’s certainly nice to have a new bar in town, although as the choice of ale is very limited and prices extortionate I imagine you’d only go here for the food, which looks nice, albeit expensive again. The website of this pub chain says, “sympathetic design and murals that celebrate the history and spirit of each local community.” They obviously didn’t visit Ponty (or even Wales) before coming up with this then. Going to be popular with girls. Btw, if you do pop in do scratch Tom Jones’ crotch on the way to the toilets, we have to make him more realistic.

Website – click here.

The Patriot – 01443 407915

wonky_200The ‘Wonky Bar’ is the place to be if you like wicked hangovers. Opposite Iceland in Taff St. Great place for a pub, much needed and true beer fans are most welcome! Small bar area which has just had a makeover. Great place to catch up on local gossip, especially as it’s open 10am in the morning. Beer is so fantastic it has won several national awards. Friendly barmaids, great landlord and a superb Internet jukebox which tells you what was No 1 the week (day) you were born. Mine was ‘Paperback Writer‘ – The Beatles, so let’s hope that’s an omen! 🙂 The Rhymney Dark 4% and Export 5% don’t half hit the spot – nice relaxed atmosphere and plenty of good banter. Best prices in town. Former drinkers (now sadly passed away) include Eric the Relic, Dorian Thomas (Twin Town fame), ‘Chicken George’ and many others. Currently home to a host of colourful local characters but unfortunately Johnny Wride is now banned from going here thanks to the very potent ale and the subsequent problem getting the key in the front door. Sky TV too. If you fancy a party on Tuesday morning this is the place for you, but watch out the moose doesn’t get you.

No 12 – 07553 490454

Quirky, retro-style, new bar in Market Square. Exactly what Ponty needs! Barrels for tables – reminds us of Ferandos, back in the day! Hip atmosphere, live music, friendly staff, cocktails. A fridge full of various real ales and plenty of wine. No beer on tap… yet. But at the end of the day what can you say about a bar that sticks a multicoloured tent up outside their front door – you have to be super cool or Tracey Emin to do that. The sort of place ‘Huey’ from Fun Loving Criminals would hang out in.

Blueberry – 01443 485331

blueberry_200… or should that be ‘Muffin’s’ or ‘Raspberries’. Whilst not wanting to sound negative the ‘feng shui’ which spoiled the old Market Tavern is still all wrong! Very expensive looking bricks, tiles, slates, copper, stone, wood etc. etc. and there lies the problem – too much of everything! Looks a bit Harry Potter but not really gothic enough, not really anything at all. It certainly wouldn’t win any awards on Grand Designs! Maybe Grand cock-ups? And wait until you see the gold frame around the telly – lol. Food place looks very nice, although basically pub grub with expensive restaurant prices. Owned by the Market Company who own Alfreds and the old town hall fire hazard. Upstairs is a sort of Roman orgy / French chic type thing – an interesting concept in Ponty – not sure it works? Downstairs is a trendy hangout for WWF / Save the Polar Bear types with not bad Amstel lager. Usually a paying nightclub. Pretty awful beer elsewhere. Hotel upstairs too –

Alfreds – 01443 404060

alfreds1_200_150Grab a granny bar at night but nice laid back coffee place in day. Looks like the set from ‘Friends’ or ‘Coupling’. Nice city feel to the place, beer is pretty rubbish and a bit expensive although the food upstairs is very good, although also quite expensive. Run by the Market Company who own half the run-down properties in town and seems to cater for the older generation (think that’s us nowadays), which is nice. Used to be plenty of life in there on a Saturday although gone downhill recently with many people opting for the ‘Dog’ and ‘Soul Suite’ instead –

Clwb-Y-Bont – 01443 491424 / 408438

clwb2_200_150Welsh club and live music venue down by the river. Siarad Cymraeg used to ensure free entry but now open to all and very friendly place with great staff. Good pub, good pint (Atlantic ale) and pool table. Don’t be put off by the cans of 4 Star outside, they’re just for show (joke mun!). Home to various Ponty characters: Stinky, Barney, El Presidente and Lil Rich to name but a few. You can also learn Welsh here and they have excellent bands most weekends. You can hire the back room for events at very reasonable rates. They often host the prize night for the world famous, international Welsh Poetry Competition, which was founded in the bar, and also have a family room for 6 Nations as well as a host of other functions. They quite often have a couple of guitars and a sing-song on Friday nights which is well worth a visit if you’re passing through. Sometimes involved in the Full Ponty fringe events too. The biggest big screen in the whole world, if not in RCT – ideal for rugby matches. Not as many students as you’d expect but this is changing as the more adventurous ones do eventually find their way here. Personally I’d like to see the place market itself as an African theme pub but I’m kinda weird like that. Seems to alternate between being completely empty and rammed full. Choose wisely and visit for a few pints… otherwise some scumbag local businessmen may buy the place and ruin it! You have been warned. Find out if world renowned computer hacker ‘Warlock‘ ever drank here…

Mo’s Tandoori – 01443 491557

Ponty’s one and only Indian restaurant with a great new chef. Excellent food, huge menu, really first class! Owned by ‘Mo’ of Everest & Quality fame. Good takeaways and sit-downs – click here

Celtic Club – 01443 402001

celtic1_200_150Down the end of Mill Street. Members only and men only, the Celtic has a long waiting list for members. What a relief it is to find a club that isn’t afraid to stand up for men in this age of political correctness and inequality. Great club and very good cheap beer. The perfect hiding place from ‘er indoors. Sky Sports of course, loads of quality full size snooker tables and great service. The toilets overlook the River Rhondda and main road so if you’re walking past ladies you can check he’s in there by looking across the river at the gents. Haunt of the ‘Fat Boys’ on a Saturday before and after the rugby at Sardis Road.

Tratoria’s – 01443 404443

Good Italian eatery & bar – need to visit soon to update this hopeless review. Maybe they could give us a free meal to do so? Wife has been there lots (ah, that’s where my wages go) and says it’s lovely…

Platform 11

morgan1_200_150Just re-opened as an Ibiza-style sound system bar with champagne and vodka packages.

The club consists of two floors, with a DJ booth, dance floor and bar downstairs and a more casual seating area upstairs. Based in a listed building, Platform 11 has retained many of its original features – including pillars, windows and ceiling, but has a number of added, modern extras.

Used to be ‘The Criterion’ gay bar but don’t think it is now.

Lack of people on early days has meant that they now offer a ‘Happy Hour’ from 7pm to 9pm, where drinks are £1.50 a pint!  No real ale though.

Soul Suite – 01443 400059

soulsuite1_200_150The old ‘White Hart’ hotel and ‘Flix’ has had a makeover and certainly plenty of room in here now. They sometimes have a happy hour with 3 or 4 drinks for about £1.30 so well worth it if you can manage to keep it down! The old bar area has been knocked through to provide a dance floor and a disco. Nice comfy leather settees too. Live bands on a Saturday and hear it’s the new place to be. Get in before 9pm to avoid paying. Lots of pictures of James Brown and other ex-Ponty residents on the walls. Big Macs played here FREE the other night in the upstairs room which was awesome.

The Skinny Dog

skinnydog2_200_150The old Greyhound has been re-branded, not that you’d notice and still serves undrinkable beer in plastic glasses. Long gone are the pickled eggs and old men, dead or singing in the corner. Quite trendy now, in a valleys sort of way. Could take over as the ‘rugby’ pub on a Saturday as it’s near the ground. Have taken out the annoying stairs in the middle of the pub which makes a huge difference. We do miss the bar snacks and sweaty, old, toothless men crooning mind you. Come back Mark Davies! Always rammed full on the weekend and can be a bit rough sometimes so be warned.

Sports Bar

A new sports bar has just opened up on the site of the old Chinese / John & Maria’s. From what we’ve heard it has TVs for sports downstairs, a gin bar on the first floor and something else up top. Popped in and discovered they don’t serve real ale but did have bottles of ‘Newky Brown’. Won’t be back, unfortunately. Maybe it’s a tax thing? 😉

The Tumble – 01443 486274

tumble3_200_150The JD Wetherspoons/Lloyds pub where the old post office was. Like stepping into the Tardis. When it opened it was like being transported to a first world country, leaving third world Ponty behind, but now as with all Wetherspoons pubs it’s starting to look a bit worn and rough around the edges. Limited selection of real ales, e.g. Abbott etc. are never stored/served properly. Could be the beer is near its sell-by date or just lack of turnover means it’s lying around in pipes when it should be being drunk… either way it’s disgusting and totally undrinkable. Not as cheap as it could be especially if you want to drink ale as you need to buy bottled Becks, Stella, Polish stuff, cider etc. instead. Two meals for £5.75 menu is so bad if you want to end a relationship – take her here. After initial excitement, huge crowds, fights, police presence, headline news we’ve noticed that it’s settled down a bit again. Still a great place to spot the ‘steroid abusers’ with their bald heads, suntans, tattoos and skimpy tops – and that’s just the women! Always full on weekends though as they now have a dance floor and music screens. Open ’till 1am. OK to spot valley talent before it heads to Soul Suite or alleyway.

Bar Ice – 01443 408290

Would love to turn this into an arts venue, coffee shop and radical hippie hangout but don’t have the cash…

Late night club/drinking hole. Free entry before 9pm ish? and Guinness Extra Cold was quite cheap when we ventured in on Friday, 2009. Supposed to cater for over 21’s which is nice, but we saw mostly kids in there, probably due to the funky house music. Bit of a studenty feel with idiots dancing with their parka’s still on. A long place with an 80’s nightclub look and wine bar type bar. OK and quite smart we suppose, although a lot of trouble from youngsters fighting and seems to have gone downhill since opening.

Ponty RFC – 01443 405006

rugbyclub2_200The ‘House of Pain‘ used to be exactly that when it came to getting served but that has all changed now. Most estimates have 10 people walking past the clubhouse for every one that pops in. Pretty awful pint, whatever you have. Used to be cheap beer here but the club is now one of the most expensive places in town. Yet another reason to skip the beer. Shame the crowds at home games have dropped from 5000 to 2000 after the Muppet era but at least we still get more fans than the Blues, Ospreys or Turks get at away games (who said regional rugby would be a success?). The problem has been the same for years. Bar staff don’t seem to have a clue, no-one pours a shedload of pints five minutes before final whistle for the mad rush, rarely can you get tinnies outside and the regulars at the small bar still think they own the place. Every week we watch literally hundreds (maybe thousands) of thirsty people walk straight past the club and into town to get a pint after weekend games as the service is so slow. Rolls and pasties, crisps available sometimes, but don’t depend on it. The clubhouse has been recently done up. The banter and sporting knowledge is first class, as long as you agree with who you’re talking to of course, and whilst having one-eye ensures entry into the middle of the terrace it still doesn’t make you a peg salesman!

Stop Press: Don’t mention the new 3G pitch!

Pontypridd Ex-Servicemens Club

‘Duffys’ or the ex-servicemens club above Sardis Rd in Maesycoed is a fab club with cheap beer and great shows. Well worth a visit before or after the game.

Graigwen Club – 01443 402550

The District club is the premier music venue in Pontypridd. Good beer and could well be the cheapest on the planet outside Zimbabwe or Burkina Faso. In fact the beer is so cheap that visitors from England think they’ve just paid for a pint when in fact they’ve just got a huge round in. Big hall upstairs where they have excellent bands on the weekends and a few other places to hide downstairs too. Anyone with a taste in real music should come here. Anyone who likes reality TV, X-Factor or soaps can stay away. Much under-used drinking hole and should be visited more often, just a shame it’s not on the flat. Haunt of all the old rockers in town – great stuff! All they need to do now is book Chuck Prophet (hint, hint) and we can all die happy.


Trallwng and Coedpenmaen don’t have many pubs to write home about which is just as well judging by the standard but here goes anyway… Trallwng has absolutely tremendous pubs, every one a veritable feast of brewers fair! My god I’m fluent! OK, I’m being silly, there are a few nice enough boozers, although less than there used to be like all areas slightly out of town centres these days.

The Royal Oak

royaloak_200The pub itself gets more custom these days because the ‘Bassett’ is shut and there’s nothing until Clifynydd or Central Square. Quiz on Thursday’s. Good night out and of course the Chinese is next door! Sit down or take away available. Haven’t been in for a while but that could change now that Cilfynydd are in the ‘mid-district’ type league again and a few sessions in the village are called for.

The Newbridge

The oldest pub in Pontypridd and from outside looks wonderful, should have been listed but asking Cadw to get off their arses is like asking the owners of once great historic buildings not to sell things off to make a profit. Alas closed now.

Trallwn Club

Don’t go there so hard to say but everyone you talk to says its very good, especially half time entertainment on match days (say no more). Quiet in the week but great venue for kiddies parties if anyone is considering it. Also used for local Karate club which is great.

The Central Hotel

Part of the ‘Specks’ growing empire of property, been done out with a new Indian restaurant – must pay a visit soon. The pool room used to be where the real men like John Chisum and Thor hung out, but now been knocked through to create a small stage and a long bar area – much better actually and often rammed on weekends which is great for this end of town. Have great bands there sometimes, like ‘Bad Attitude‘, where you’d swear you were listening to Dave Gilmour play Comfortably Numb, but this is better! Beer is usual brewery rubbish though.

Cafe opened at back of old lounge.  Food OK we hear.


The centre of the known Universe has very little to offer in the way of pubs unfortunately, but fortunately in Cilfynydd international opening hours do still apply. If you fancy a pint at 7:30am on a Sunday or at half past tomorrow then don’t panic there’s always Cilfynydd. Rivals Hopkinstown and Hawthorn as the Ronnie Barker of the pub world… and if any police ‘type’ men are reading, we are of course joking! Horray!

The Cil Inn

Sold off rather than listed by useless Cadw or taken to St Fagans. What a crime against humanity! What would the old miners say? This pub used to be the best! Why it wasn’t protected amazes us!?

The Albion Cafe

If you need a plasterer then you’ll find one in here. A place of the utmost quality for discerning gentlemen, black-tie only. Full breakfast every morning, open 26 hours a day (sometimes), Sunday dinners, drunken kebabs and burgers on the weekend – you name it – the Albion’s got it!

‘The Spite’

Recently reopened. Then closed again. They should rename it the Yo-Yo. Old review: The Commercial Hotel is a huge pub with function room upstairs that needs a wedding party or a roofers and builders Christmas do to fill it! Full size snooker tables here! Wednesday night used to be ‘kiddies’ disco but I think its shut now? If you fancy a beer with Noggin or Trigger this is the place for you.

The Con Club

Beer fairly cheap but not compared to other clubs in the area. Visited the other day and it was just the same as it always was. Good rugby or mining chat. Pool table and big screen TV. Did make a profit when Terry was in charge but not sure whose running it now! Bingo on weekends.

Cilfynydd Rugby Club

Doing well at the moment. The boys are coming back slowly, the rugby team is improving year or year and always plenty of action at Nutters Corner. Great location, over by the Cwm. Good on international days. Fantastic 125 year history. Beer is very good and very cheap. Lovely lounge, but pool room needs a bit of work … and Ian Johnson said thanks for his cap although it was a bit late, while Mark Davies said that he wasn’t offside that much, just misunderstood.


Students have taken over and changed the old Treforest but have also added a new lease of life. It could be worse though, at least Tom Jones doesn’t sing here anymore. Fresh vomit, stringy kebab lettuce and carrots can be found on the pavements every night now, not just like in the old days when it was only there on the weekends. A good alternative from Ponty for a night out although thanks to the University of South Wales and the Students Union the opposite isn’t true. Also scene of the most gruesome murder ever to take place in the valleys when Adam Roberts got… well, just read here to find out.

The Otley Arms

By the station. Good real ales although a bit hit or miss. The Otley own brew is OK though if you are stuck for choice. Mixed crowd with plenty of locals but can also be quite studenty (you decide if that’s good or bad). Monday night it’s the meeting place for the Ghost Society. Honest! We have e-mailed them to add a link but they haven’t replied – probably scared we were zombies or they’re too busy floating in ether somewhere and can’t get an internet connection to grace us with a reply. Great place to see Steve the pirate dance a Scottish jig to the bagpipes (yes, has to be seen to be believed!). Fishing Club also meet here as well. Often have beer festivals too plus the odd bit of live music.

The Tavern Purple (yep sounds wrong)

Used to be Flagstones, still shut.  See old review: Often called the ‘Tapas Bar’ with Spanish music, TV, guitars, red wine and trendy beers for people who wouldn’t know anything about proper beer, which they sell at extortionate prices. Cushions for floor sitters. OK food, nice mix of ages and very reasonable apart from the weird beers and wines which you’ll need a second mortgage for. Also a good idea to count your change ‘cos students work here and as we all know most of today’s undergraduates can’t do sums. Used to be one of the best places in Treforest but losing out to the Otley empire we fear. Often full of loud students talking bollocks in fancy dress with bargy shoulders asking to have their faces smashed in.

Haven’t been in since it reopened with a weird backwards name, looks boarded up and shut.

The Rickards

Good pub. Good beers. Much better real ales than the Otley in fact, although the same owners. Nice little cavern/barrel effect that the Beatles would be proud of with a pool table. Not quite up to Oporto’s wine lodge standards but nevertheless a great pub this one! Lots of little nooks and crannies, very cute. We also hear the Sunday lunch is pretty good. They also do a curry night and breakfasts. The breakfasts are in the morning in case you were wondering.

Empire Lounge

Bit of an enigma this one. Seems to change from an Indian to a Chinese and then back again before closing again… All you can eat for £12.99 which seems a bit steep for studentland. Tax loss maybe?

Mr Snooker

Kindly reminded that you can get beer in here but haven’t been in for about 100 years so not sure what else to write…

The Pick and Shovel

pickshovel2_200The old ‘Crown’ is quite good, nice mix of locals and students, but a little bit expensive. Good on St Paddy’s Day but not sure about St David’s Day – why is this? Is Wales ashamed of its heritage or something? Recently been done up on the back of all that student money no doubt! Quite lively most days with a mixed crowd of students and locals.



Newish bar, next door to student Tesco, behind KFC. Large open plan area, nice decor, could do with some of Dave’s great photos on the wall maybe? Always struggle to find beer when I venture in and end up on cider or something. Food upstairs and popular with students being way too loud, especially when most of them have nothing to say of any value.

The Social Club

On the broadway there’s the excellent social club with good cheap beer as you’d expect.

The Railway

No real change in decor from old place, bit studenty, but in a nice way. That is the students were pierced, tattooed, wore heavy metal tees and seemed nice enough, like old students used to be, and very unlike the tarted up, Facebook brand you sometimes get these days. Rev James was disgusting, yeast infection, dirty pipes maybe? Tomos Watkin on pull was quite nice though. Will go again.

The 5th Welch

This place should be on someone’s ‘Things To Do Before You Die’ list. I blame Cheryl Cole (who?) for the lack of bars like this. Not quite as wide as our front room, but then most of us only live in a small, mid terrace. Bloody great! More people outside than in since the smoking ban. If you’re passing by then why not pop in for a pint. It might cost you nearly £2 but hey! you can afford it. If it closes then its your fault for not going in for a beer. Please give them your trade – it can make a difference! In fact it could even double their takings. Think cute puppies, starving children in Africa and other cringe-worthy adverts with slow music about being driven home. Oh, and bingo on a weekend.

Treforest AFC

Community club with a host of teams from 6yrs up to seniors. Two bars and great facilities. Also popular with students.

Rhydyfelin & Hawthorn

What can you say about this quaint little hamlet that hasn’t appeared in the South Wales police gazette? Only kidding, ‘top site’ is tidy now and the helicopters are just chasing sheep these days. Used to be twinned with Soweto but not anymore. Now it’s Tehran. I’m kidding mun!

Rhydyfelin Rugby Club

Excellent venue now, thanks to ‘BIG’ Rich. Have spent a lot of money upgrading the club in the past couple of years and not only run senior rugby sides but also a near full junior/mini section as well as darts and pool teams (for women as well as men). The club has refurbished the bar, lounge and upstairs kitchen. CCTV cameras throughout the club and also one of few venues with SKY TV. Open from 12pm.

Non-Political Club

Ken goes here in the week for a couple. Good club, great place to top up the Viagra supply (says Ken) or hear what the DSS panel has to say about how to squeeze as much benefit out of the system as possible.

The Griffin

Used to be a bit rough. OK locals pub at the bottom of the hill.


The old Jubilee (older Duffryn) Rhydyfelin’s cosmopolitan bistro bar is now an Indian which is very brave (or silly) of the owners as it’s across from the rugby club. Time will tell but the food and service is excellent! Often frequented by the rugby boys and Britannia 5 a side football team.

Labour Club

After Iraq, Kosovo, Rwanda, Afghanistan, New York and Sierra Leone we’re still waiting for our intrepid reporter to emerge from this one with a report… in other words we’re still waiting for Geraint to do this bit… and we’re waiting for Don McCuillin for the photo’s 🙂 We do hear it’s a good place to be interviewed by the panel on the pros and cons of benefit fraud but recently noticed the roof had fallen in… not sure if the drinkers inside did?

The Hawthorn

hawthorn_200Used to be international drinking hours and the place to be at all hours of the day and night but changed owners a few times recently. Now open-plan which is marginally better. Good meeting place on rugby days with a magic taxi outside. Sunday dinners good if you like tons of gravy drowning your food. Nice place for Bod’s 50th.


Hawthorn Leisure Centre

Big hall often has wedding do’s and Richard & Ceri’s parties with busty exotic dancers. Nice quiet bar with never enough bar staff serving and big dance hall. Cheap beer and a good night out. Always reminds us of school or your cousins’ weddings. Expensive gym and sauna downstairs unless you have a dole card.

The Upper Boat

Just off the roundabout by the Estate, a decent enough pub with ‘Harvester’ type food. Good place to take her for an illicit rendezvous ‘cos no-one much goes here. They do a reasonable Sunday lunch which is OK if you can’t be bothered with the dishes one weekend. Huge queues though!

The Pottery

Used to be called the ‘Estate Restaurant’ and always full of workers on Friday afternoons from all the factories. Then the Tories closed all the factories down and they turned it into a ‘kiddies playground’ type pub with no atmosphere. Haven’t been for a while but seeing as there’s less factories now and Nantgarw has a plastic pub too (Frankie & Johnny’s?) I doubt it’s doing booming trade. Will have to pop down one night.

The Green Rooms

Small very friendly live band venue down Trefforest Industrial Estate. Very cheap beer, £1.70 a bottle and great bands. Worth a taxi. Bring some friends and the place will be rammed!  Is this still open?


Just out of town heading towards Porth.

The Merlin

merlin_200Beautiful old and still lovely looking pub with a statue of a woman on the front. Cracking pub to visit before the rugby and the nearest one to the north end of the ground, as opposed to Duffys at the south end. Typical valley brewery pub inside with pool tables etc. and nice big open plan areas. Few regulars there and some fairly good real ale. Good pub on match days.

Hopkinstown Cricket Club

24 hour drinking den (so we’re told). OK, if you like cricket or beer and it’s not full of alcoholic Indians.

Ty Mawr

Lovely pub just up the hill on Pantygraigwen Road. Regular with Porth boys from the ’70’s.

The Graig

Up the hill under the station bridge is a million miles away to some people but that’s a shame because there is a hidden gem just a short walk up the hill…

Rose and Crown

An excellent pub and one of the best in Ponty! Free pool on a Wednesday, great photos of Nepal and Himalayas all over the walls, great beer, been extended lately and now has large areas for big crowds as well as loads of huge big screens for the rugby and all other sports. Hear it’s going to be extended again, which should make it the same size as Dewi Sant hospital. Lots of rugby, football, cricket etc. memorabilia on the walls too. Sky Sports. Best pub up the Graig by a mile!

Vic Club

Tidy club with settees and beer.  Not much else to say really.

30 Responses

  1. Karen says:

    Cracking site this, please keep up the good work.

  2. Pearl says:

    Very honest guide! Love it.

  3. Jemma says:

    Brilliant pub guide. Love the humour.

  4. Harry says:

    Great pub guide – very funny!

  5. Scott Andrew Witchell says:

    Really Enjoyed reading your guide. Absolutely brilliant. Didn’t know Tom drank at the Llan.

  6. Welshg4l says:

    Awesome, a definite permanent bookmark for me!! *****

  7. Fletch says:

    Great guide mate, laughed my head off at a few of the comments!

  8. Allan Brown says:

    Hello All.

    My Dad Jack Brown had the Treforest Inn in the 80’s he renamed it “Treforest Inn” . It was the old Estate Restaurant. Pity you should have omitted that from your guide.( although in fairness to you they knocked it down and built “The Pottery” in the late 80’s early 90’s.)
    Would be great to hear from anyone who remembers how GREAT a venue it was for the area. Any photos of the many weddings and the Famous Welsh Live Aid gig held there July 1985.

    Contact info.

  9. Desmond says:

    Great pub guide! Very funny!

  10. William says:

    Very funny guide, had me laughing out loud.

  11. DAVE LARNER says:


  12. Chanee says:

    What happened to the basset arms pub in Pontshonnorton Rd,
    CF37 4NA
    Why was it closed down ? And also what has it been turned into ?
    I would be extremely great full if someone could let me know it’s so close to my heart as my mother died in that pub, I wanted to revisit to see I I could feel her presents there

  13. Alice Elliott says:

    Wowsers! What a lot of pubs in the area! I’m moving to Pontypridd in a few weeks and hopefully will get the chance to try a few out (if I can pluck up the courage to go in alone that is!)

    Fab reviews! 🙂

  14. HAZEL M WINTER says:

    I was looking for the name of the Pub which used to be on Berw Road Pontypridd.Anyone remember it?

  15. Gee says:

    Very funny and so very true, we are in ponty to watch the football, stayed in the blueberry nice but our favourite pub was the llanover arms. Everything a pub should be.

  16. Keith Lewis says:

    Hazel M Winter, it was called the Ruperra Arms, demolished many years ago, and replaced with houses. I remember it in the early sixties.

  17. Daniel Pitt says:

    Spot-on analysis of local pubs in the Ponty area. Please do one for Cynon Valley towns too! 😀

  18. Sid says:

    Very funny guide mate 🙂

  19. JCK30 says:

    Great pub guide, very honest. Needs a quick update though 🙂

  20. Tony says:

    Tell me about the historic pub the horse and groom in Pontypridd closed in the late sixty’.

  21. Laurence says:

    Brilliant rundown. 10/10.

  22. Phil Smith says:

    What happened to the GREYHOUND remember it as a boy, well 17 year old perhaps

  23. Helen Swambo nee Plummer says:

    Can anyone tell me about a pub called the Ricketts Arms? My great great grandfather run it back in around 1860s. I can’t find anything under that name. Could it have been the Rickards Arms and there was a mistake? Thanks

  24. Stinky says:

    Should have an annual real ale Ponty Town award.

    I’d be happy to help you in the judging, in fact why not make it a quarterly award

    • admin says:

      Please organise one Mr S 🙂
      I’ll do the drinking bit

      • StinkyBolthole says:

        I keep starting the mission but soon forget what I’m doing. However…..

        Most dependable pint Wonky – export
        Best pint Llanover when Citra or HPA is on

        Can’t think of anywhere else worth a mention although the Best Idiot award goes to any pub that only has one real ale pump that pits a Christmas thing on – That’s just wrong.

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