I have been living in this beautiful city for 6 years (OMG!!) and despite being a huge foodie, which my recently regained love handles can attest to, the efforts I’ve made to include Cambrige’s food scene in the blog have been quite… well, lacking.
And so I told myself one day this had to be remediated as a matter of urgency. You guys cannot live without knowing what the best places to visit in town are! So here comes She talks Glam to the rescue with a list of the best affordable restaurants in Cambridge. Because let’s face it: food is awesome, but getting your money’s worth while apeasing the inssatiable monster that lives in your stomach is even more so!
A disclaimer to be made: the condition of highly-instagrammable restaurant was not a requirement to make it into the list, but serving delish food at decent prices accompanied by a great atmosphere were, so if that is something that speaks to your gut, keep on reading…
The place to go for Thai food and a relaxed atmosphere
What looks like a traditional pub on the outside reveals a coconutty and buzzing Thai kitchen on the inside. The Wrestlers is the kind of restaurant that is not really advertised anywhere: locals just know how good it is and that’s why they keep on coming back 😉
Their menu offers traditional dishes loaded with fresh veggies and exotic spices. Their curries come in a big soup plate with rice on the side and their signature Pud Thai can feed two weak stomachs –don’t count me in, I don’t share my Pud Thai! To appease that curry fire in your mouth, you can ask the kitchen for extra coconut milk or better yet, try one of their iconic IPAs.
Tips and extra info: this restaurant is not located in the city centre, but a short car ride from it. There is plenty of parking space at the big Tesco’s carpark just behind the restaurant. Also, be aware that the place tends to get quite busy, particularly around lunchtime and weekends, so be ready to wait for your food or book a table in advance!
Pud Thai from Heaven
Where quirky meets hipster meets Mediterranean deliciousness
Everyone knows that Cambridge is so flat and full of cars that a bicycle is your personal magic carpet to move around town Aladdin-style. Hence I will always associate Cambridge with bikes, which brings me to this old bike shop recently renovated and converted into a quirky and beautiful restaurant serving equally delicious Mediterranean fusion dishes and signature cocktails & beers. I love how they have decorated this place with old bicycle parts and nostalgic photos.
In the heart of the city, The Old Bicycle Shop is a homey space open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. What are you waiting for?
Tips and extra info: their sharing platters are to die for and I swear the barman once guessed the type of beer I was going to fancy before I even knew myself! They also have special rooms for business or family events.
One can never have too many dumplings
Don’t let the unassuming restaurant front put you off, for once you are inside, you will feel like stepping into your grandma’s kitchen (if she was a Chinese old lady with the most agile hands, that is).
Their specialty are dumplings with all the fillings you can think of, but they also have noodle and wonton soups, steamed buns and the odd tofu salad. I have seen the ladies who run the place preparing hundreds of dumplings at a time, so that they can be ready for you when you most crave them. My personal favourites are the pork and celery steamed dumplings and the lamb & coriander pan-fried ones. Mmmm… my mouth is salivating from only thinking about them!
Tips and extra info: The place has room for only a few tables, so sometimes you have to share with friendly strangers who love their dumplings as much as you do. They are closed on Tuesdays.
Wonton soup and dumplings, best cold cure ever
A slice of Sicily in your mouth
If you follow me on Instagram, you must have seen more than once the scrumptious sourdough pizzas served at this Sicilian café which has managed to steal a piece of Cambridge’s collective heart. I mean… natural and colourful ingredients over the perfect crispy dough, pistachio & almond pastries that melt in your mouth while sipping a strong Italian coffee are some of the things that make you want to book a one-way ticket to Sicily. Not to mention Aromi’s artisanal ice-creams, in their own words “worth queuing for”, and that’s no lie my friend!
Tips and extra info: they have two shops by market square but the least busy one is their third restaurant by the Grafton centre. Go there if you are hoping to find a table to sit down, otherwise order to take away and eat your pizza in front of King’s College. Unbeatable!
Caramelized pepper, pancetta and mozarella. Yes, please!
Your go-to local café offering colourful healthy food
Another regular of mine, perhaps because it’s the coolest brunch place of the ‘hood –and quite literally the only one in my ‘hood, hahahaha!
This is where you come for avo on toast, stacked halloumi and mushroom brioche buns and detox smoothies without the risk of sounding too hipster. Mind you, I do think the people who come in their athleisure-wear from the yoga class in adjacent studio are a bit too hipster, but I do also come here for their latte art so who am I to judge?
The thing with Stir is that everything in their menu is yumm, with plenty of vegetarian/vegan options, and they are a family friendly spot with a minimalist but playful aesthetic that yes, looks great on Instagram (I didn’t say it was a requirement, but this one scores on both lists!) Come and enjoy a cappuccino on their outdoor area while overlooking Chesterton’s Victorian houses. You can thank me later 🙂
Tips and extra info: The service is somewhat slow, but I promise the wait is worth it. Also, their bakery next door sells all kinds of homemade bread and pastries and they also do home delivery. Those sourdough loaves make goo-goo eyes at me every time I set my foot in there. Outrageous…
So here’s my top 5 affordable (and cool) restaurants in Cambridge, gamistas!
Do you know all of them? What is your favourite place in town? Let me know so I can go and appease that monster in my belly, will you?
Peace & Love