Auntie’s Tea Shop Just off Market Square, famous for their all-day fried breakfast and waiting staff attired in traditional maids’ outfits.
Cafe de Paris Charming cafe on Mill Road selling a wide range of pastries and sandwiches.
Clowns Coffee Bar This unpretentious Cambridge institution has friendly staff and a large assortment of delectable pasta dishes.
Indigo Coffee House Very cosy and very central, with a breakfast bagel special. We love bagels. And this place.
Rainbow Cafe Priding itself on its friendly atmosphere, this Cambridge favourite was the winner of the UK Vegetarian Society’s “Best Vegetarian Cafe”. It also specialises in vegan and gluten-free dishes.
The usual suspects Pret, Caffè Nero, Starbucks, and Costa Coffee can all be found along or near Market Street (and in some cases elsewhere too). A newly-opened branch of Patisserie Valerie is located in the town centre to satisfy all your gâteau-cravings. The UL also has a tea room, open during working hours on weekdays and in the morning on Saturdays.
Eating out in Cambridge doesn’t have to be an expensive experience. Search online for “Cambridge restaurant vouchers” to find some pretty good deals (e.g. two meals for the price of one). This is applicable especially to the chain restaurants (Pizza Express, La Tasca, Caffe Uno, Giraffe, Strada, Bella Italia, Cafe Rouge…) whose food usually ranges from quite tasty to delicious, even if it is generally rather unadventurous. Many town centre pubs do decent food for reasonable prices.
The Cow Worth a visit for its early-evening cheap cocktails and its two-for-one pizza special on a Tuesday. The pizzas are made in a stone oven.
La Margherita This delightful Italian offers some great lunchtime deals and compensates for their mildly drab mains with some exquisite desserts (their home-made gelato is especially worth a try).
Mahal One of a multitude of curry houses across the city, this is the Indian restaurant of choice for a number of sporting societies. The food here is correspondingly bad but at least you can bring your own wine.
Gourmet Burger Kitchen You can almost always obtain a two-for-one voucher for this chain online. It offers exotically-christened burgers and chips with a view over Parker’s Piece.
Dojo’s Provides absolutely enormous portions of noodle-based dishes for not too much money—brilliant if you’re hungry!
Teri-Aki Boasting lots of space and a convenient location, this Japanese restaurant offers everything from sushi to bento meals. You may also bring your own wine, although given the extortionate corkage charges you may as well buy theirs.
Thanh Binh This Vietnamese restaurant offers polite, friendly service and mouth-watering food at a very reasonable price. Free corkage for wine. A must-visit.
Every so often, students are confronted with the difficult question of where to take their visiting relatives for dinner. Assuming this involves said relatives footing the bill, we recommend any of the following five fine dining establishments:
Alimentum Award-winning food, and recommended by the Sunday Times.
D’Arry’s Pub-style gourmet delicacies with an excellent wine list.
Jamie’s Italian Jamie Oliver has starred in over sixteen TV shows in the past ten years. He also founded this “affordable Italian” restaurant chain. Expect queues; reservations are only taken for large parties on the day of.
Midsummer House Two Michelin stars and a gorgeous setting.
Restaurant 22 Awarded the Michelin Red M (Bib Gourmande) 2009 and a 2 in the Good Food Guide, with a wine list to please a discerning palate.
Not so posh nosh
Trailer of Life (aka Van of Life) A Cambridge institution. Frequented by such notables as the Missionaries, the Magpies and David Mitchell.
Uncle Frank’s (aka Van of Death) Despite the name, the fodder really isn’t that bad. It’s also cheaper than the Van of Life.
McDonald’s If you don’t know what this is yet, then we envy you.
La Gardenia (aka Gardies) Have your photo taken whilst gobbling chicken souvlakia and forever (or at least, for a couple of weeks) have you and your amazing Buzz Lightyear costume adorn the walls of this Cambridge institution.
Most pubs in the town centre serve good food at a reasonable price, and these are often the student dining locations of choice. There are very many pubs in the town centre; the Eagle, the Bath House, the Mitre and the Baron of Beef are just a few of those that serve decent food. The Castle has excellent burgers. If your bank balance is suffering after one too many May Balls, the Tivoli and the Regal (both members of the J. D. Wetherspoon chain) offer burgers at exceptionally low prices.
A selection of local restaurants offering delivery services in Cambridge can be found on www.just-eat.co.uk (just enter in your postcode to see the list). Orders may be placed online through this website. The surfeit of curry restaurants is usually fairly reliable, whilst China Express and Ocean Dragon (recently revealed to be one and the same dubious establishment) might be best avoided. You can also order from Domino’s (conveniently open 24 hours) and Pizza Hut online at their own websites or by telephone.