117 restaurants in Cambridge
Restaurants in Cambridge:
Huntingdon Road, Girton, nr Cambridge, CB3 0DL [Map]
The Beefeater Grill range of restaurants, owned by the well established firm of Whitbread has transformed over time into what is now predominantly a cooking platform for chargrill. The restaurants are warm, modern and stylish, with low lighting and contemporary artwork. A comfortable, cosy, mainly booth layout offers guests their own space with no feeling of being hurried at any point. Staff are friendly and helpful if need be - what a difference that can make to a good evening out.
Be it the wide open spaces of Argentina, the intimate setting of a French restaurant, or a busy grill in London's West End, there's no denying the popularity of chargrill. As the production of quality beef, chicken, fish and lamb has grown, prices have come down by comparison, and the simple and traditional art of minimally cooking dishes by chargrill, sealing in the flavours and tastes by intense heat has caught the public imagination.
All the steaks at Beefeater Grill are matured for a minimum of 28 days before being seasoned. Whether it be juicy rib eye, the classic sirloin, that emblem of the Sunday lunch, a tender fillet, or a delicious 7oz rump, all grilled to your own specification, you're never far away from perfection. Even beefburgers have shaken off their dubious image and the highly popular Beefeater burgers are made from 100% beef.
The popular sirloin with giant prawns offers a treat to those for whom an alliance between sea and pasture is a natural attraction, whilst a 16oz steak platter links rump, fillet, sirloin and rib eye into one mouth-watering dish served with chips, battered onion rings, grilled tomato, a flat mushroom and peppercorn and brandy sauce.
Many of us love rib meat, and the rack of ribs at a Beefeater Grill has a meaty rack smoky flavour; maple ribs of pork with a choice of three sauces, mojito, smoked caramel and apple glaze, or Bourbon and black BBQ. And if all else fails and you are totally baffled by the wealth of choices, ask to have a word with the Steakmaster who will help find what is right for you, together with the best cooking method. These guys leave nothing to chance.
On a menu that is a delight to read, let alone choose a meal from, expect to find smaller dishes such as traditional prawn cocktail, whitebait, chicken liver pâté and baked Camembert, or juicy lamb koftas served with yoghurt and mint dip. There's something about a good steak meal that always leaves a gap for a little temptation to sweeten up the scene and from amongst twelve options look for Belgian chocolate cheesecake, treacle sponge pudding or a caramel apple crumble pie.
Throughout the day a wide range of more general dishes are yours for the ordering, sandwiches, jackets, classic favourites like fish and chips, pasta, salads, and sharing dishes of nachos, potato shells and a Beefeater Grill combo. Next door to many of the restaurants are Premier Inns, so staying the night whatever the circumstances need not be a problem.
And what about wine? Endorsed by Matthew Jukes, wine writer in the Daily Mail and bon viveur in his own right, a wine list that marches with the menu completes an impressive and compelling invitation to enjoy whatever takes your fancy at the nearest Beefeater Grill.
Click on their Website for menu updates and special offers.
1 Kings Parade, Cambridge, CB2 1SJ [Map]
With a name like Cambridge Chop House, one can assume that meat is not in short supply there. It's not just meat but the local ales served straight from the cask, attentive service, and classic British food that draw locals and tourists alike. Located in the corner of Kings Parade and Benet Street, with an entrance on the main street, this vast underground space has been meticulously transformed into a spacious restaurant.
Split over two levels, you could pick a table outside and sip a beer as you watch the world go by, or just head to the basement where the cavernous feel is accentuated by the white washed brick walls and ample lighting, brilliantly contrasted by the polished wooden tables. The cosy little nooks with leather banquettes could just be the place for a group of friends to meet for a good gossip, away from eavesdropping neighbours, and indulge in some delicious food.
The kitchen's philosophy is evident in their dishes, all British fare focusing on seasonality and loyalty to local suppliers. Starters range from cold sliced beef with green sauce, crayfish, prawn and crab cocktail and pressed ham hock terrine, to salads such as tripe and horseradish; herring, cucumber, new potato and dill, or seared wood pigeon, mushroom and tomato. Robust main courses of Grasmere Farm thick cut bacon comes with duck egg and chips, and a 16oz beef chop with roast vegetables and wild mushroom sauce, while a whole sea bass is accompanied by new potatoes and wholegrain mustard sauce.
Those keen on Sunday roasts will be happy to know that here they do them every day at lunchtime. The blackboard lists the available sausages with different varieties of mash and sauce, in addition to meat pudding of the day.
To finish there is Trinity burnt cream, fruit crumble with custard, and chocolate tart with ice cream. The wine list, which includes a Suffolk sparkler, is well thought out and achieves a primary Chop House aim - to provide quality at sensible prices.
If you thought Cambridge was only a favourite with scholars and academics think again, because this chop champion aspires to give everyone a reason to visit Cambridge. A quick click on their Website will tell you why.
15-19 Trumpington Street, Cambridge, CB2 1QA [Map]
We hear a great deal about recycling these days - du Vin recycles attractive but sometimes un-loved buildings to restore real gems in the best tradition of British understated style.
Complement that with all that is best in the French bistro ethos, bars that reach out to please, and you have a setting that provides an inspirational background for people to meet, do business, get married, provide a base for golf or fishing, somewhere you can call your own for a private celebration, a spa or - most engagingly - a wine school that breaks the mould.
In historic Cambridge, du Vin has taken on a beautiful old building in Trumpington Street and transformed it into a distinctive luxury boutique hotel, engaging its quirky architectural features in a manner that is wholly convincing. Inside the 41 bedrooms and boutique suites, some with private terraces, are fitted out with luxurious Egyptian linen and monsoon showers.
du Vin are renowned for their bistro style restaurants, and this one has more than a touch of La Français, making the right setting for a cuisine that looks to Europe for inspiration with a modern edge, as well as being serviced by the first du Vin open style kitchen.
Down in the labyrinthine cellars, vaulted ceilings look down on a splendid bar with, amongst other commendable attributes, a noble array of single malts and armagnacs. Add to this a specialist wine tasting room and private dining room, and the library overlooking the bijoux terrace where a mildly scholastic style reminds its occupants that they are sitting near the centre of one of the finest universities in the world.
In the snazzy bistro a choice of around ten starters could include devilled chicken livers, half a dozen Colchester oysters, or smoked duck breast with beetroot and pecan salad. Amongst the main courses expect to find that fast fading from the scene but delightful gastronomic extravagance, venison haunch with pickled red cabbage and artichoke puree and gilt head bream with sautéed potatoes and sauce vierge. Only in Cambridge? Well, perhaps in that other place beginning with 'O' where they used to make cars?
In amongst the classics there's braised ox cheeks with marrow bone dumplings and hot and sour cabbage, or crepes filled with mussels, cockles and crab.
Whilst one might argue that the whole point of being in a du Vin is to snuggle up to the wine list, this list is designed to match with the food and can only be described as superb. With a team of sommeliers, there is no room for anything but the best. Service is telepathic in the best possible sense.
Click on their Website for full information and rates. Hotel du Vin, with fourteen options throughout Britain, awaits your call.
Bistro, French, Modern European
21-24 Northampton Street, Cambridge, CB3 OAD [Map]
Housed in a historic 17th-century building, St John's Chop House brings classic British cooking and a fine selection of Cambridge real ales to the heart of this bustling university town. Set over two floors, the bright and airy restaurant features large windows and a trendy bar area, while three cosy, private dining rooms upstairs are perfect for larger groups.
The menu at St John's Chop House Cambridge changes every three months and classic British dishes are prepared using local ingredients. Favourites include hazelnut crusted pork, rabbit and orange terrine with baby figs, baked cod fillet with kedgeree, broccoli and parsley sauce, and Suffolk lamb Barnsley chop alongside sharing platters with mash, seasonal vegetables and gravy.
The St John's Chop House dessert menu reveals a tangy glazed lemon tart, Cambridge burnt cream and sticky toffee pudding and ice cream. With a strong focus on the Languedoc- Roussillon region of France, the wine list at the St John's Chop House offers an extensive range by the glass or bottle.
St John's Chop House restaurant is just a short walk from Magdalene Bridge and the rear entrance to St. John's College.
To gain further information, just visit their extremely comprehensive Website.
Hotel Felix, Whitehouse Lane, Cambridge, CB3 0LX [Map]
Cambridge - rather surprisingly - is not particularly well served for the aspiring gastronome, so the addition of Graffiti at the Felix Hotel to the available options has been universally welcomed by the locals. The Observer commented, 'A cool, modern oasis. . . .a marvellous restaurant and all the comforts you can expect from a smart boutique hotel'.
Awarded 2 Rosettes by the AA, the menu covers a generous interpretation of modern British with hints of the Mediterranean. Overlooking the terrace and garden, the candlelit Graffiti is open to both residents and a wider public, and encourages a relaxed ambience against a smart background well lined with contemporary art. In winter an open fire adds to the feeling of luxurious living.
Bedrooms are luxurious, as one might expect, perhaps best described as possessing an opulent simplicity, many with walk in Rainshower showers and a bath. King size Hypnos beds combines with the finest Egyptian cotton bed linen and duvets to ensure the best possible night's sleep. All the modern IT 'smells and bells' are supplied including a laptop safe, and wireless internal hotspots in both bedrooms and public rooms. Four bedrooms are located in the Victorian part of the hotel, the remainder in an adjoining wing. Rooms for the disabled are also available.
A set price lunch menu at £13.95 for two courses, £17.95 for 3 represents some of the best value in town, with a café bar offering lighter dishes for lunch and dinner.
The modern menu is an inspired assembly of dishes, and a meal could commence with confit free range chicken and chestnut mushroom terrine. Raspberry jelly, hazelnuts and wild rocket is served with cured breast of Gressingham duck, while the bread selection accompanied by marinated artichoke hearts, tomato pesto and chilli oil that make a refreshing change, though closer examination reveals wasabi pea crusted loin of yellow fin tuna, confit cucumber and spring onion salad, soy and mirin dressing.
Main courses yield a veritable harvest of enticing choices, not least of which is the rump of Suffolk lamb with green garlic and parsley purée, broad beans, roast aubergine and thyme rösti. A pan fried fillet of hake arrives at the table with roasted bell pepper, confit baby fennel, sautéed ratte potatoes and Cabernet Sauvignon syrup.
Desserts of peach and raspberry curd tart, or bitter chocolate and spearmint torte with white chocolate and mint sorbet are but two of the temptations that await.
A more than usually attractive wine list includes an excellent range of by-the-glass options guaranteed to meet the great majority of aspirations. This is followed by an impressive collection of house wines, including the house champagne at a reasonable £38.50. Prices in general hover between the £30/£40 mark, and there are more expensive but still reasonably priced offerings to cope with that special occasion.
Private rooms and the terrace are also available for occasions when only something rather special will do.
Little more than a mile from the centre of Cambridge, regarded by many as the most civilised of our University cities, Hotel Felix is well-placed for access to main link roads, business parks and the M11 and offers free parking - a rarity in the city. For more information, including further details on staying at the Hotel Felix, do visit their Website.
32 Bridge Street, Cambridge, CB2 1UJ [Map]
Prezzo has been delighting diners for over seven years, and this Italian restaurant chain has since been able to expand throughout large parts of England with well over a hundred outlets.
Interestingly, the company seeks to restore either impressive buildings or ones of local interest. The conversion of the Newbury library and other listed buildings, such as those in Salisbury, Romsey and Mayfair, are all examples of this. Their trendy and sophisticated décor usually consists of tiled or wooden floors with delicate lights and colourful paintings, along with wooden furniture and sparkling cutlery, creating a setting that is suitable for a relaxed lunch, a family meal or an evening out with friends.
The restaurants satisfy the needs of those who like genuine Italian cuisine, as they use only the best seasonal products, many of which are imported directly from Italy. The menu includes pizza, pasta, risotto, grilled meats, fresh salads and frequently changing specials.
The freshly baked breads, like the garlic pizza bread with a traditional tomato pizza base, are perfect for sharing and give you adequate breathing space to order starters to follow. Crocchetta di granchio, crab cakes served with a lime and dill dressing and salad garnish or formaggio di capra, grilled goats' cheese with beef, tomatoes and caramelised balsamic onions on freshly baked ciabatta bread set the tone for a hearty meal.
Find pastas such as the unusual ravioli di pollo, made with chopped chargrilled chicken ravioli with plenty of smoked diced bacon and petits pois in a parmesan cream sauce; amongst the special pastas, the crespolina porcini, rolled crepes filled with mushrooms and ricotta, cooked with parmesan and mushrooms in a cream sauce is interesting and different. Italian menus would be incomplete without risotto, like traditional al funghi, made of mushrooms, baby spinach and parmesan cheese, while the mediterraneo, with crayfish tails in a creamy saffron sauce, is enticingly different.
Classic pizzas embrace, among a wide selection, the popular napoletana, topped with tuna, tomato, anchovies, capers and marinated olives, and the much loved quattro stagioni - pepperoni sausage, seasoned chicken, artichoke, mushroom and mozzarella.
Specials could include the pollo Siciliana, chargrilled butterflied chicken breast, smoked bacon rashers and beef tomato slices, baked in the oven with melted cheese and served with gratinated potatoes, only one example from the many tempting offerings that come out from the Prezzo kitchens.
You can wash down the food with a variety of tipples - ranging from house wine like the Morellino di Scansano and Chardonnay to liqueurs and beer and there is espresso or fresh ground coffee to wind up an enjoyable meal.
Prezzo is a lively group and opportunities to improve and update are never left on the table for long. Keep up to date with a quick click on their Website.
24-26 Bridge Street, Cambridge, CB2 1UJ [Map]
Café Rouge has over one hundred branches throughout Britain all offering a wide range of dishes drawn from the French cuisine. Slightly less than half their branches are in or close to London. Almost inevitably the décor and design of each restaurant differs from the others, but there is a general curtsy towards La France.
Many restaurants do an excellent breakfast, or shall we say petit dejeuner, at which such delights as scrambled eggs and smoked salmon on toasted brioche, croque Madame, croissants and pain au chocolat make welcome appearances, and to their credit the English traditional gets top billing.
An array of small dishes takes in pulled pork pâté with French bread, and spicy beef and lamb sausage with harissa mayonnaise. Salads and pasta feature largely, as do baguettes and croques. Quick dishes, ideal for lunch, include slices of saucisson and cured pork loin with French bread.
Moving on to more serious stuff we find steaks, an 8oz bavette and thin cut rib eye, with a choice of béarnaise or peppercorn sauce. No French menu would be complete without the poulet jaune grille, pan-roasted breast of corn-fed chicken served on a warm taboulé of bulgar wheat and a medley of roasted vegetables with minted crème fraîche, or a steak frites before moving on to the crème brûlée, or the tart tatin. Almost invariably the coffee tastes like coffee should, something that sadly can all too often still not be said of our English restaurants, who depend too much upon technology and too little on the acquisition of a certain flair for this important conclusion to a meal.
By now we all know that the French, despite their distinctive habits when it comes to matters of satisfying the inner man, maintain a miraculous longevity of life. This is generally attributed to a number of causes, of which a measured consumption of decent wine is foremost. Café Rouge, you may be pleased to hear, encourages this with a well-chosen selection of French wines. Their prix fixe lunch and meals for children, both at a very reasonable figure, also offer excellent value.
Their Website will keep you updated on menu changes, news and other competitions and offers from the Café Society.
Christmas Party Menu - 3 courses £23.95 / Christmas Day Feast Menu £50 Book
20% off your total bill - Book our Christmas Party menu any time in November and get 20% off your total bill Book
20% off food – Book your Christmas Party menu on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday at the beginning of December Book
New Year's Eve Menu Book
17 Trinity Street, Cambridge, CB2 1TB [Map]
Strada describes itself as 'a group of stylish, contemporary Italian restaurants, serving good quality, simple and freshly prepared dishes'. The statement sums up what this group of around seventy restaurants offers to people looking for good Italian food. The first outlet opened in Battersea in 1999 and their clientele has been increasing steadily ever since.
Though Strada has grown into a fair sized group, each outlet retains the feel of being a local neighbourhood Italian restaurant. The menu includes pastas, risottos, salads, and fish dishes, but they are best known for their quality pizzas.
They present authentic Italian dishes in contemporary surroundings and aim to use only the freshest and finest ingredients, such as Luganica sausages, Parma ham and buffalo mozzarella, imported from Italy to provide exactly the kind of rustic, traditional dishes one would expect to find travelling around its regions.
A meal could kick off with zuppa vongole e fregola, a traditional clam soup with Sardinian fregola pasta grains, wine, chilli and parsley, served with bread, or the delicious sautéed king prawns with garlic, white wine, chilli, and lemon butter served with your choice of bread.
Move on to their creamy risotto verdure, freshly grilled asparagus, broad beans, peas, spring onions, zucchini, green beans, white wine and mint, finished with baby spinach leaves. Or you could opt for the healthier, tagliolini nero granchio, black cuttlefish ink pasta with crab, courgette, red and yellow peppers, spring onion, and a hint of chilli and parsley. A real treat for the taste buds comes in the form of the bistecca manzo, a 10oz rosemary-marinated char-grilled, rib-eye steak with fries and fresh rocket.
A range of pizzas, all spun by hand, is an integral feature of each restaurant. They include the rossa, with spicy southern Italian salami, roasted red peppers, chilli, caramelised onion, garlic, fresh oregano, tomato and mozzarella. Nor are vegetarians are overlooked, and can be found tucking into dishes such as fiorentina, made of spinach cooked with garlic, nutmeg and black pepper with mozzarella, parmesan, tomato and an egg.
For those wanting to satisfy their sweet tooth, there is torroncino affogato, an iced nougat semi freddo with a shot of espresso to pour over, or a classic Italian tiramisu and, as you might expect coffee to round off the meal.
A wine list consisting of purely regional Italian wines, beers and liqueurs, all carefully chosen to complement the menu comes as no surprise and in addition, every table receives a complimentary bottle of purified water.
For further details including their latest news, menus and deals, and to find a Strada nearest to you, their Website certainly warrants a visit.
33-34 St Andrew Street, Cambridge, CB2 3AR [Map]
With quality food, friendly staff, quick service and excellent value for money, Nando's is a great place to eat. Don't expect identikit, pre-fab restaurant interiors which are usually a staple of the larger chains; each restaurant is tailored to its local surroundings and customers, offering up a unique restaurant experience to go with the equally unique taste of legendary, Portuguese, Peri-Peri chicken.
Your peri-peri chicken, when the chips are down so to speak, is a fresh A grade chicken that has never seen the inside of a freezer, but having made the supreme sacrifice is butterfly-cut, marinated for 24 hours in a secret brew called - you've guessed - peri-peri, and is then cooked to your choice over an open flame.
There are, of course, many variations on this broad theme, numerous plays on words such as Nando's experi-perience, peri-peri good reasons why you should eat at a Nando's, and all one hopes is that for their sake chicken never goes out of fashion. New Nando's are opening all the time, peri-peri quickly in fact, the spicy bastes become hotter and more daring, and the full platter offers a whole chicken, large chips or spicy rice and Nando's salad or coleslaw.
Since chickens are vegetarian it seems logical you can order veggie or bean burgers and patties, and still feel the heat from the peppers. All in all, Nando's is hotly recommended for those occasions when you have a large following of permanently hungry children, or adults even, to keep happy - the only thing taken really seriously is the quality of those peri-peri good chickens.
Nando's is a place for bright people who love to laugh and love to eat, and is guaranteed to spice up your taste buds. Their fun approach to life means that when you visit Nando's you can fully relax without the airs and graces associated with more starchy dining out.
For the location of your nearest Nando's restaurant and a host of details about menus, parties and drinks, a click on their Website will reveal a Pandora's box of information.
Cambridge Leisure Park, Clifton Way, Cambridge, CB1 7DY [Map]
Bella Italia is a restaurant that pulsates with Italian style and fashion, where the day starts with breakfast, not least the Inglese, the familiar bacon, sausage, mushroom, tomato and fried or scrambled eggs and sauté potatoes with ciabatta toast so beloved of hearty eaters seeking a good start to the day, particularly when they don't have to prepare it. A vegetarian option is available, along with the bambini of sausages, tomato and scrambled egg, or a strapazzata, scrambled eggs on ciabatta toast. A cappuccino or hot chocolate offers a more gentle awakening and croissant or pastries are welcome at almost any time.
It is always worth remembering that eating Italian is a great opportunity to work away through something rather more liberating than the conventional 3 course English meal. Little and often seems to be the motto but move on to the antipasti and it's immediately obvious this is no easy task, confronted with well over a dozen dishes, not one of which you really have the heart to turn down. The selezione classica assembles a few of the favourite starters; oven baked lemon and rosemary chicken wings, spiced meatballs, calamari, mini garlic butter-filled calzoni and lightly battered courgettes served with flamed pepper and lemon herb dips.
A speck e rucola pizza, added to a traditional margherita brings together two traditions with Italian speck ham providing the second, but it is within the pasta and risotto dishes that you can adapt almost any main ingredient, as well enjoy some of Italy's most traditional treats. Who can deny a well formed spaghetti Bolognese or penne Marco Polo? And not for nothing is a nicely prepared spaghetti carbonara the preferred dish of many.
From a selection of five choices amongst the secondi many will head unerringly for controfiletto ai ferri, a 7oz sirloin steak char-grilled to preference and served with garlic butter, roast field mushrooms, fries and rocket, or the fritto misto, lightly battered prawns, cod fillet, calamari and courgette with fries and a herb lemon and caper dip.
Could anything be more appropriate than The Godfather, for 1 or 2 naturally, with nutty chocolate fudge brownies, vanilla and toffee ice cream with chocolate sauce, fresh cream and wafer curls, and rest assured the coffee will do justice to the meal.
With a wine list that makes few concessions to other countries - and why should it - good Italian food can receive an equally national baptism by wine. For further enlightenment, news about their on-line shop and special deals, a click on their lively Website will reveal all.
More restaurants in Cambridge:
Featured Group Restaurant
Café Rouge has over one hundred branches throughout Britain all offering a wide range of dishes drawn from the French cuisine. Slightly less than half their branches are in or close to London.
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20% off food – Book your Christmas Party menu on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday at the beginning of December
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The Beefeater Grill range of restaurants, owned by the well established firm of Whitbread has transformed over time into what is now predominantly a cooking platform for chargrill. The restaurants ...
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