Hardens Guide to the Best Restaurants in Cambridge
Hardens guides have spent 30 years compiling reviews of the best Cambridge restaurants. On Hardens.com you'll find details and reviews of 88 restaurants in Cambridge and our unique survey based approach to rating and reviewing Cambridge restaurants gives you the best insight into the top restaurants in every area and of every type of cuisine.
Featured Cambridge Restaurants
1. Restaurant Twenty Two British, Modern restaurant in Cambridge 22 Chesterton Road - CB4
A “top foodie spot in Cambridge” that’s going places – in early 2018, Gordon Ramsay protégé Sam Carter and his wife Alexandra (FOH) took over this long-established Victorian townhouse restaurant on the fringes of the town centre, and the “new chef has revitalised the site” to the extent one or two local foodies prefer it to nearby Midsummer House. Even those who poke fun at its “modish rough, scratchy, plates” say its “fabulous and imaginative, local and seasonal set menu” (from three to seven courses as well as the à la carte) is “excellent and comes at a good price”.
2. Navadhanya Cambridge Indian restaurant in Cambridge 73 Newmarket Rd - CB5
“Wonderfully subtle-tasting Indian food” (“go for their tasting menu…so good”) is now the order of the day at this former pub turned dining room; it’s “not the cheapest but the menu is always interesting”.
3. Amelie Restaurants British, Modern restaurant in Cambridge Grafton Centre - CB1
Look out for the bright yellow Citroën van, if you want to try veteran restaurateur Regis Crépy’s latest venture, selling Alsatian pizza-type Flammekueche in a Cambridge food court. For a tasty, cheap ’n’ cheerful snack that’s a little out of the ordinary, these “light”, “fresh-tasting” and “reasonably priced” wafers of bread dough complete with toppings are just the job.
4. Pint Shop British, Modern restaurant in Cambridge 10 Peas Hill - CB2
“Tasty, simple, British bistro fare” washed down by a “great selection of craft beers” plus a “brilliant range of gins” is the formula at this “great traditional pub with a twist”, launched five years ago. There’s a second branch in Birmingham, but a spinoff in Oxford closed down.
5. Vanderlyle restaurant in Cambridge 38 Mill Road - CB1
In April 2019, former MasterChef finalist Alex Rushmer, who closed his Cambridge restaurant Hole in the Wall in 2017, took over a former Subway shop a little outside the city centre, with his former sous chef, Lawrence Butler. Focusing on local, ethical food, it offers a fixed five-course vegetarian menu which changes daily and features a chef’s table where diners sit at a countertop pass for four with views over the open kitchen. Its fanclub is still small as things stand but couldn’t rate it more highly, saying its “very inventive non-meat cuisine” is “well-sourced and just perfect”. Don’t plan on dropping in though: bookings are released on the first Thursday of the month, two months in advance!
6. Midsummer House British, Modern restaurant in Cambridge Midsummer Common - CB4
“Amazing… every time” is still the most typical assessment of this acclaimed Victorian villa – one of the UK’s most renowned eateries – which is very picturesquely situated across the Cam from the Varsity’s boat houses and bordering Midsummer Common. Daniel Clifford and his team deliver “a superb overall dining experience: the number and quality of amuse-bouches, the sourdough bread, each individual course… the service… all of the highest order”. Even many fans feel that the “exuberant bill is hard to justify”, however, and to its critics the “staggering costs” are plain OTT, with toppish wine prices a particular gripe (“some more reasonable ‘house’ options would be welcome”).
7. Trinity British, Modern restaurant in Cambridge 15 Trinity Street - CB2
“Definitely above average for a touristy part of Cambridge” – it’s set opposite the Great Gate of the namesake college – this “lovely little” establishment has worked up a loyal following since opening a few years back, and is a top tip for a “good-value early dinner”.
8. The St John’s Chop House British, Traditional restaurant in Cambridge 21-24 Northampton St - CB3
Solid marks again for this sibling to the Cambridge Chop House, in a cute, two-floor seventeenth-century house behind St John’s College, and similarly majoring in meaty mains with ales and wines to wash a meal down. Top Tip – worth heading here for their set lunch menu.
9. Oak Bistro British, Modern restaurant in Cambridge 6 Lensfield Road - CB2
A “good local bistro” that’s “always very busy” owing to its solid, reasonably priced Anglo/European food and a “very visible” owner who “obviously cares very much about the business”; “lovely courtyard in summer” too.
10. Parker's Tavern British, Modern restaurant in Cambridge 1 Park Terrace - CB1
The formerly creaky old University Arms Hotel has been expensively transformed, and this – it’s new ‘pub’ – is a “wonderful room in Parisian brasserie style with high ceilings and mirrors”, and “with a brilliant view over Parker’s Piece”. Tristan Welch (once of Launceston Place) is at the stoves and has won some stellar newspaper reviews for his “high-end brasserie food”. But while survey feedback on it is mostly OK, it’s also pretty middling: “nice but not 100% perfect…”; “pleasantly consistent but a bit underachieving…”; “nowhere near as good as initial reviews suggested – shame as the setting’s great”. Still, it’s “well-placed to up its game in a city short of options”.
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