Cambridge may be known best for its educational establishments and cultural sites, but it also has a burgeoning food scene with an increasing number of culinary options that students enjoy.
In terms of the best places to eat, it will of course depend on your tastes, but we thought we’d put together a short list of some of the eateries in Cambridge that are gaining attention for the quality of their food.
We’ve included a cross-section of restaurants and cafes, meat heavy and vegan offerings, as well as influences from a range of different parts of the world. Enjoy!
The first option on our list is Smokeworks, a smokehouse that is a haven of meat, offering a mouthwatering variety of dishes including enough burgers, chicken, hot dogs and ribs you can come back throughout your university tenure and never exhaust their menu.
They offer two locations in Cambridge, as well as delivery options, and with a lunch deal that offers a main, fries and drink for under £10, there are good value options.
In terms of the non-meat selections, they offer a couple of vegan dishes, as well as some sumptuous dessert options and one of the best milkshake selections anywhere in the city. They also offer a great selection of cocktails, spirits, wines and beers, including their own in-house brew. Whether you’re going in for a quick drink, full meal, or want to hire the place for a private party, they can cater to your dining needs.
2. The Tiffin Truck
Next up we have The Tiffin Truck, a vibrant and colourful restaurant with cuisine inspired by the Indian street food scene. Offering snacks, main meals, cocktails and even an afternoon tea option, there are plenty of different eating options on display, with the added option to takeaway if you’re in a rush or the place is particularly busy. You simply leave a small deposit and take away the meal in a small metal tiffin box.
In terms of the dishes on the menu, you have all the familiar favourites delivered in creative contemporary style. You can pick your preference between madras, biryani, jalfrezi and many more, with their chicken tikka dish amusingly titled British National Dish on the menu! There are a variety of smaller bites and also many vegetarian options, as well as a selection of kathi rolls available between 11am and 5pm; a perfect lunch dish.
3. Steak & Honour
Steak & Honour may keep it simple, but simple is just fine when you do it this well. Their tag line is “Proper Burgers” and while their menu is minimal in terms of options, it offers maximum quality in bringing what might just be the best burger anywhere in Cambridge.
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You can’t go wrong with a burger and some perfectly seasoned fries, and in addition to their restaurant location, you can also look out for their vans which pop up at a few settings around Cambridge at various lunch and dinner time slots through the week.
If you’re thinking of coming to study here check out our student houses in Cambridge.
4. DoppleGanger Burger
We’re going back-to-back with our burger house recommendations, but this one does things a little differently. The quality and variety of vegan dishes has undoubtedly soared in recent years, with DoppleGanger burger, as the name would suggest, focused on providing plant-based burgers that match any beef burger for taste.
They do their own alternatives to burger patties, bacon, pepperjack cheese, duck and more, while a look at their shake menu is equally impressive, with their own takes on salted caramel chocolate brownie and vanilla cheesecake, both in the form of fully vegan shakes. It’s great to see the city’s vegetarian and vegan populations catered to with such quality, so if that’s to your taste, you should absolutely DoppleGanger out.
5. Zhongua Traditional Snacks
This little cafe is a bit of a hidden gem, but increasingly popular with those who know the Cambridge food landscape well. Zhongua Traditional Snacks are building a reputation for offering tasty and handmade Chinese dishes, with their specialities including a mouth watering selection of sweet steamed buns.
We can’t recommend this eatery enough for those who want a taste of authentic and high-quality Chinese cuisine in an unassuming setting and always provided with a smile.
6. Bread & Meat
This independent Cambridge cafe is making waves, with a selection of gourmet sandwiches filled with high-quality roast meats, most commonly accompanied by one of their excellent cups of coffee.
Quality is definitely the order of the day here, with their dishes available in three versions; ciabatta, poutine or full bowl. With options including porchetta, honey soy chicken, topside of beef and roast vegetables, there’s definitely something for everyone, and there’s also an extensive drinks selection in addition to their ethically sourced organic coffee, with plenty of soft drinks, milkshakes, beers and wines.
Next on our list is a gorgeous artisan bakery that describes itself as bringing “a slice of Sicilian life” to Cambridge with its pizzas, focaccia, cakes, cannoli, gelato and – of course – coffee. In a truly authentic touch, you even get to see their skilled pizza makers producing the pizzas right there in front of you!
8. Stem & Glory
As we mentioned previously in our list, vegan eateries are definitely on the rise, both in terms of quantity and quality, and nowhere is this clearer than at vegan restaurant Stem & Glory, which has been awarded “Best Restaurant in Cambridge” on at least one occasion. Offering breakfast, lunch and dinner menus, both in restaurant and available via Deliveroo, their options include a Harvest Vegetable Bowl, Luxury Lasagne and Pulled Jackfruit Burger. All the taste accompanied by a guilt-free eating experience given its nutritional value!
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🎉 1st Birthday Giveaway! 🎉 It’s been one whole year since we opened our doors to you in London – doesn’t time fly? What an incredible first year! We are so grateful for all the love and support you gave us in 2019 that we want to give some back. If you fancy celebrating our 1st birthday with a three course meal for two, like this picture and tag the friend you’ll be sharing it with. Here’s to 2020. We’ve got some big plans! 🌿 Love from Team Herbivore at @stemandglory