Every time I go back home to Cambridge I love to visit my old favourites, obviously, but I also really enjoy trying new places and dishes too.
I always make a list of places that have opened that have tempted me to try, or recommendations from friends, or even places that are others’ tried and tested favourites that I haven’t had the chance to visit yet.
2018 was a good year of new food for me and although there was more than there is on this list, I’ve rounded it out to 12 of them. Plus, I’ve also added one of my boyfriend’s new favourites that he genuinely couldn’t get enough of while we were there. I’d like to say that a couple of these places are not new discoveries, but the dishes are and they just had to be shared.
Most of these you’ll find centrally in Cambridge, but a couple you’ll have to head out of the city centre for, if you really want it!
It’s as good as it looks folks. It’s super fudgy, super chocolatey, and super hazelnutty (spell check tried to tell me this was not a word, but I didn’t listen). They do not skimp on a single flavour. Plus, I’m almost certain that the top was swirled with Nutella. It was such a highlight for me, even if I did have to drive around 25 minutes to get there! Linton Kitchen is located in Linton, a village to the south-east of Cambridge, is a gorgeous spot to meet friends for a coffee and some cake. They’re super family friendly, have extra outdoor seating for the warmer months, and they even have a little foodie shop too. A big 5 stars from me!
Linton Kitchen / 30 High Street, Linton, Cambridgeshire, CB21 4HS
So, for my pre-birthday celebrations I knew I wanted a curry. Indian food is so hard to get here in Lima and it’s not even easy to make it for yourself, so I had to have some before I headed back. Prana does some of the best Korma and Tikka Masala I have ever had in my whole life. They even did their Korma with paneer cheese. My god it was good. They also do some cracking duck dishes and naan bread. Couldn’t recommend this place more; their food is excellent.
Prana / 97 Mill Road, Cambridge, CB1 2AW
Jack’s Gelato is one of my favourite spots for gelato and sorbet (so much so I recommended them for a family wedding), and normally I always go for the elderflower sorbet during its season (and I did). However, I discovered, or re-discovered (I can’t quite remember if I had this a few years back), damson sorbet, and it was magnificent. It has such a deep and fruity flavour and I could have eaten cone after cone after cone of it. I highly suggest you try it when it comes around next time! Also, adding to my new discoveries, you can purchase Jack’s Gelato gift vouchers if you know someone that would love some double scoops. I received one as a very kind gift from my aunt & uncle and I couldn’t have been happier!
Jack’s Gelato / 6 Bene’t Street, Cambridge, CB2 3QN (plus, the gelato is available at other locations listed on the website)
THE WANDERING YAK
MIX AND MATCH MEZZE
I have to say, I think these people might just run one of the best food trucks in Cambridge. The food at The Wandering Yak is so damn good. You have your mezze box, which comes filled with wonderful salads, sauces (smokey aubergine….need I say more), sauté potatoes and pitta bread. But then, you get to choose 2 extra additions from their list to fill your box, for example, falafel, lime halloumi, or even squash fritters. There are a few more options but I’m sure I’ve sold it to you already! Their service is quick and every item in that mezze box is so flavourful and delicious. Find them at FoodPark sessions, events, or hire them for your own special celebration!
LUNCH SET MENU
I’m sure every meal at Trinity is fabulous, but the set lunch is just such excellent value for money (£15 for 2 courses, £20 for 3 courses – menu here). The food is scrumptious, the service is exemplary and if you’re going to eat three courses, your body will thank you for doing it at lunch time! You have a wide range of choices for the starter and main, and then just a few for dessert, and I loved everything I ate. I went a bit pig heavy, with breaded ham hock and black pudding to start, and then pork belly for main, but I regret nothing. It was excellent, and even though I was pretty full, I finished off with a raspberry and basil creme brûlée with a lemon shortbread on the side. Honestly, if you’re looking for somewhere to have a fantastic lunch, or even a celebratory dinner, in the centre of Cambridge, then Trinity should be on your list.
Trinity / 15 Trinity Street, Cambridge, CB2 1TB
Sitting in the centre of Cambridge market, Caffé Mobile (a little 3 wheeler Piaggio Ape) serve up some delicious looking home-made cakes. Stupidly, I’d always assumed that they just served coffee/hot drinks and had never really ventured over to them, but boy was I wrong. I stood there for literally a full 10 minutes deciding what cake I wanted, as they all looked so appetising! I finally chose one of their loaf cakes and it was so ridiculously moist. It was packed with flavour and perfectly sweet. Go check them out on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday right in the middle of the market; you can’t miss them.
THE TIN KITCHEN
Once you’ve had a ciabatta sandwich from The Tin Kitchen, you’ll never look the same way at a ciabatta again. I don’t know what Amy does to them, but it’s some kind of magic. They’re chewy and fluffy but still with a bit of crunch on the outside and definitely not hard like some ciabatta I’ve eaten in my lifetime. She fills them with a delicious combination of fillings and I’ve seen her sell out before due to her popularity. The last time I went I had the porchetta with lemon mayo (divine) and my brother had the grilled halloumi with aubergine and pesto mayo (also divine). I definitely didn’t want to share mine, but I absolutely wanted all of his, so I had to compromise and share a bite. Now I know that I need to get two next time and then I won’t have to share….
The Ivy has not long been open in Cambridge and it’s an absolute stunner inside. We had a fantastic breakfast/ brunch here for my brother’s birthday and our waiter definitely made it a memorable experience! The drinks were delicious and the food plentiful, with the staff being open to ingredient changes and additions. Our table was practically heaving with all the little extra plates we had! I ordered the Eggs Benedict, which is often my brunch go-to (who has time to make a hollandaise at home..?), and it was such a great choice. The hollandaise was delicious and the eggs perfectly poached. The Full English breakfasts looked amazing, both the regular and the vegetarian, and we were highly encouraged to finish off our breakfast with prosecco. I love celebratory meals, I love breakfast tipples and I love Cambridge. The perfect match.
The Ivy Brasserie / 16 Trinity Street, Cambridge, CB2 1TB
We visited Parker’s Tavern during their soft opening (50% off all food), and while I wasn’t blown away with the service or the starters (there was still a lot of kinks to be ironed out – some of which I’ve seen improved already), the dessert course was a whole other story. This tart is like some kind of dark caramelised sugar wonder. It was delicious and although I savoured the taste of it, I did finish it pretty fast, because I really didn’t want to have to share it! I’m not good at sharing delicious things, unless I’m getting them from someone else, then I’ll share. My dad had the raspberry rice pudding soufflé – you’ll have to wait 20 minutes for it – which was like a cloud of dessert joy, and my brother had the mix and match ice cream sundae which he thought was amazing. You tick off your preferred flavours and toppings on a card and wait with baited breath for your creation to arrive. I would highly recommend sitting in the lounge area with some desserts and coffees. It’s a gorgeous setting, stunning decor and a relaxed ambiance. I’ve also recently heard that the breakfast buffet is a treat, so I might have to go and check it out…
Parker’s Tavern / University Arms, Regent Street, Cambridge, CB2 1AD
GIANT PORTIONS OF CHIPS
Barracuda is a fish and chip shop on the boundary between the City of Cambridge and the village of Fen Ditton. It has the biggest ‘large’ portion of chips I have ever seen. It was like a chip mountain landed on my plate from the take away container. However, it’s not quantity over quality, oh no. These are the kind of thick cut chips you expect from an English chip shop. They’re perfectly cooked and fluffy on the inside and just wonderful, wonderful comfort food. Take away from here and I promise you won’t regret it.
Barracuda / 39 Ditton Lane, Cambridge CB5 8SR
I’d seen a photo of this toasted sandwich in a magazine and I determined right then and there that I had to have it. So I did. Hot toasted bread – crisp on the outside but soft on the inside – melty cheese, warm pastrami and then sauerkraut to balance everything out. This is the kind of sandwich that you want on your plate on a cold day (even though it was over 30C when I had mine) to warm you up. Cafe Foy has a great location on Quayside by the river, however it’s punting central so this little place gets packed at peak times. Get there early if you want a table!
Cafe Foy / 2 Quayside, Cambridge, CB5 8AB
BONUS: BUFFALO JOE’S
I can’t say much about these Korean wings other than that my boyfriend was low key obsessed with them. He had them once and then immediately wanted to go back to Buffalo Joe’s another day for them. They’re sweet and sticky, but spicy (that’s why I can’t eat them), and topped with chilli, sesame seeds and green onion, plus I think crushed wasabi peas and wasabi mayo. If this is your kind of thing, hunt them down immediately by following their locations on Twitter (often at FoodPark).
I hope this has given you enough food for thought (I laughed at my own joke there) and you have some new places or dishes to put on your list to try. My list of places to try is always huge so I’ll have to work hard on it on my next trip… it’s a hard life eh?!