Who Fancies Some Culinary Delights?

Published: 07/03/2024

Welcome to Cambridge, a city known for its world-class university and stunning architecture. But beyond the historic colleges and cobblestone streets, Cambridge boasts a vibrant food scene that caters to all tastes and budgets. From quirky coffee shops to traditional eateries, there's something for everyone in this charming city. In this blog post, we'll explore some of the best independent cafes and restaurants Cambridge has to offer because supporting local businesses is something that we are passionate about. But first, a quick note on what makes an independent eatery special. Independent cafes and restaurants are typically locally owned and operated, giving them a unique character that you won't find in chain establishments. They often source their ingredients locally, supporting the surrounding community and showcasing the best of what Cambridge has to offer. So, without further ado, let's discuss some of our favourites…

Fitzbillies - Fitzbillies is known for many things, one of them being its legendary Chelsea buns. These sticky, sweet treats are a must-try for anyone visiting the city. But Fitzbillies is more than just a bakery; it also offers a full menu of delicious brunch and lunch options. The cosy atmosphere and friendly staff make Fitzbillies a popular choice for anyone looking for a taste of Cambridge's history. In 2020, Fitzbillies celebrated its 100th birthday…here’s to 100 more!

The Old Bicycle Shop - Located in a converted 19th-century bicycle shop, this quirky café is a firm favourite. Rumour has it that Charles Darwin, famed for his ‘Theory of Evolution’, bought a bike from this shop in the 1800s. The menu features a mix of classic British dishes and international flavours, with options ranging from a full English breakfast to Korean beef bibimbap. It’s undoubtedly diverse! The Old Bicycle Shop also hosts regular events, including live music nights and pop-up markets, making it a lively spot to spend an evening with friends.

Hot Numbers Coffee - Hot Numbers Coffee is an independent coffee shop that roasts its beans on-site, ensuring that each cup is fresh and full of flavour. The menu features a range of speciality coffees, including pour-over and espresso-based drinks. If you're feeling peckish, there are also sandwiches, salads, and pastries to choose from. This coffee shop is a popular choice with students due to its laid-back atmosphere and modern vibe, and we can see why they use the tagline coffee; music, conversation.

The Cambridge Chop House - For a taste of traditional British cuisine, you need to visit The Cambridge Chop House. This family-owned restaurant has been serving up hearty dishes like steak and kidney pie and fish and chips for over 30 years. Specialising in steak and interesting cuts, it is a haven for the meat lover and is arguably in one of the most scenic spots in Cambridge…the views are breathtaking. If you are a true carnivore, you need to book yourself in.

The Pint Shop - If you're a fan of craft beer, you'll love The Pint Shop. This popular pub and restaurant offers a rotating selection of beers from independent breweries, as well as a range of creative cocktails and an impressive wine list. The menu features British classics with a modern twist, including their famous scotch eggs and salt beef sandwiches. Everything on the menu really does taste even better than it sounds. Craft Beer has made a massive comeback over the last few years, and The Pint Shop is a prime example of how trendy this tipple has become.

The Galleria - For a taste of Italy in the heart of Cambridge, head to The Galleria. This perfectly located restaurant overlooking the river serves up authentic Italian dishes made with the freshest ingredients. The range of pasta dishes, wood-fired pizzas, and homemade desserts are all made with love and care, and the charming interior creates a welcoming atmosphere that you will want to return to again and again. It's something a little bit special with its stunning views of Cambridge University Colleges and the famous punts on the River Cam.

The Copper Kettle - Located just off Cambridge's bustling Market Square, The Copper Kettle is a charming tearoom that's been serving up traditional British afternoon tea for over 100 years. If you're looking for a casual spot to grab a bite to eat, look no further than here. The outdoor seating area is a lovely addition to an already popular eatery, offering views of the world-famous Kings College Chapel…which can even be seen from inside the tearoom!

The Ivy Cambridge Brasserie - For a taste of luxury in the heart of Cambridge, head to The Ivy Cambridge Brasserie. This elegant restaurant offers a range of modern British dishes, as well as a selection of international flavours, all made with the finest ingredients. The stylish interior and attentive service make The Ivy Cambridge Brasserie a great spot for a special meal or celebration; if you want a touch of sophistication, then you have found the right place. During your visit, definitely try one of the cocktails; we can highly recommend them. 

The Orchard Tea Garden – Ok, this isn’t strictly in Cambridge, but we had to include it. This charming tearoom in the orchard in Grantchester is a place to relax and soak up the atmosphere of a bygone age - a time when things were simpler and stress-free. Whether you choose a homemade cake, fruit scone, or a sandwich, it will come served on vintage china. The beautiful garden creates a relaxed atmosphere that's perfect for catching up with friends or enjoying a solo treat. This is our favourite on the list.
Where are you going first?

Cambridge's food scene is impressive; what more can we say! From quaint tearooms serving traditional British afternoon tea to stylish brasseries offering modern twists on classic dishes, Cambridge has something to suit every palate and occasion. Many of these independent eateries pride themselves on their commitment to sustainability, with menus that focus on seasonal, locally sourced ingredients – something that we love! So, next time you are in Cambridge, be sure to explore the hidden gems that make up its vibrant food scene. But where will you start?
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