Best for all-day dining
Cambridge’s historic city centre is awash with world-class museums and galleries, and world-famous university colleges. Exploring them can leave even the most dedicated sightseer ravenous so it’s good to know that all-day dining is available at the nearby Côte Brasserie, a stylish French bistro that’s open for breakfast, lunch and evening meals. The three-course set menu for £13.50, available weekdays until 7pm, is particularly good value.
Address: 21-24 Bridge Street, Cambridge CB2 1UF
For sample menu and reservations: www.cote.co.uk/restaurant/cambridge/
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Best for afternoon tea
Something of a Cambridge institution, there are two branches of Fitzbillies in the city. The original on Trumpington Street has been around since 1920 and still serves its famous Chelsea buns, much to the delight of everyone who samples them. Afternoon teas, brought to your table by attentive waiters, are incredibly popular — but as you can’t book ahead, give yourself plenty of time to enjoy the whole indulgent experience. A second smaller brand is on Bridge Street.
Address: 51-52 Trumpington Street, Cambridge CB2 1RG
For sample menu: www.fitzbillies.com/
Best for Italian favourites
It’s not only students who are tempted by the delicious Italian classics at Bella Italia. If you’ve been wandering along the River Cam or visiting St John’s College Chapel, it’s an inviting wallet-friendly option too. With pasta and pizza deals regularly available, as well as set Italian Feast menus and exceptionally good-value kids’ meals, no wonder this restaurant is so popular. Another branch is located at the Cambridge Grafton Centre.
Address: 14-16 Bridge Street, Cambridge CB2 1UF
For sample menu and reservations: www.bellaitalia.co.uk/italian-restaurant/cambridge/bridge-street
Best for virtuous vegans
Stem + Glory
Not too far from both Christ’s Pieces and Jesus Green, two of Cambridge’s famous parks, you’ll find Stem + Glory, a 100 per cent plant-based restaurant chain that serves up top-notch inspiring food that’s mouth-wateringly tasty. Appealing to vegans, as well as curious carnivores, the Sunday lunch of hazelnut and mushroom nut roast is much rated by regulars, as is the chef’s legendary take on the BLT lunchtime sandwich.
Address: 13 King Street, Cambridge CB1 1LH
For sample menu and reservations: https://www.stemandglory.uk/
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Best for fish and fizz
No prizes for guessing the college near this elegant Cambridge restaurant, a popular haunt with foodies seeking superior seafood. Moreish Jersey oysters are on the menu, either served raw, Rockefeller-style or grilled with garlic and lovage butter, and a traditional glass of Black Velvet is usually offered as an accompaniment. Check out the restaurant’s Champagne Card if you prefer your fizz to be pure. There’s also an impressive wine list.
Address: 15 Trinity Street, Cambridge CB2 1TB
For sample menu and reservations: www.trinitycambridge.co.uk
Best for modern British dishes
Outstanding, superb, incredible — just some of the words satisfied dinners continuously use to describe their experience of Restaurant Twenty-Two. Located in a quaint Victorian townhouse, complete with stained-glass windows, the modern British menu changes with the seasons and what’s available locally. However, regardless of the time of year, the restaurant is the perfect place for a leisurely lunch after a punt along the river, or a romantic candlelit dinner.
Address: 22 Chesterton Road, Cambridge CB4 3AX
For sample menu and reservations: www.restaurant22.co.uk/
Best for the Fitzwilliam Museum
Located opposite Cambridge’s impressive Fitzwilliam Museum, this upmarket chain restaurant is an ideal choice if you’re after sustainably sourced British fish and seafood. And the eatery’s stylish surroundings, in a 500-year-old former pub with exposed beams, adds to the overall welcoming ambience. Arrive early for the Loch Fyne breakfast, with eggs cooked any way you like. Or dine later in the day and devour oysters, salmon, mussels or smoked haddock from the à la carte menu.
Address: 37 Trumpington Street, Cambridge CB2 1QY
For sample menu and reservations: www.lochfyneseafoodandgrill.co.uk/locations/cambridge
Best for good pub grub
Just a short walk away from two of the city’s finest theatre venues, as well as the market square and popular shopping areas, Bath House is a friendly city-centre pub, part of the Greene King chain. Whether you’re seeing a show or participating in a little retail therapy, you’ll find appetising pub grub on the menu throughout the day. Soup, sandwiches and traditional British classics are all available — look out for good-value daily deals too.
Address: 3 Bene’t Street, Cambridge CB2 3QN
For sample menu and reservations: www.greeneking-pubs.co.uk/pubs/cambridgeshire/bath-house/
Best for a special occasion
Planning a celebratory meal? Then it would be hard to beat the dining experience at Midsummer House, a spectacular Victorian villa on Midsummer Common on the banks of the River Cam. The eight-course tasting menu is perhaps a somewhat extravagant treat at £135, however the lunch menu is more affordable, and equally as opulent at less than half the price. Note that all reservations require a deposit.
Address: Midsummer Common, Cambridge CB4 1HA
For sample menu and reservations: www.midsummerhouse.co.uk/
Best for delicious dumplings
The Dumpling Tree
Fresh, honest, earthy and hearty food can be found on the menu at The Dumpling Tree, a highly recommended Cambridge restaurant that serves — unsurprisingly — homemade dumplings and other delicacies from the Yunnan area of China. Dishes are simple yet satisfying, with set menus and specialties of the province providing a healthy, refreshing alternative to what is sometimes perceived as traditional Chinese food. Once tasted, you’ll be sure to return.
Address: 8 Homerton Street, Cambridge CB2 8NX
For sample menu and reservations: http://www.thedumplingtree.com/
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