The historic university city of Cambridge has earned itself a reputation for being an expensive place to live and go out. But foodies can take comfort in the fact that among the pricier restaurants and bland chains, there are great local eateries offering delicious dishes for a reasonable price. A great meal need not necessarily break the bank! Whatever your budget, you’ll be able to treat yourself to a fabulous night out!
Dojo, 1-2 Millers Yard, Cambridge
Tucked along an alleyway near the famous Mill Pond is a delightful, unpretentious restaurant serving a great variety of tasty food from Southeast Asia. Whether you love a spicy Pad Thai, Malaysian curry or Japanese dumplings, you’ll be in food heaven at Dojo! This is probably one of the best value meals you can get in Cambridge – and you certainly won’t be feeling hungry by the end of it! The service is incredibly fast and the quality of the food is consistently good. It does get very busy at weekends and more likely than not, you’ll be sharing a long table with strangers – but that’s all part of the fun!
Clowns, 54 King St, Cambridge
Ciao! Delicious coffee, cheap, hearty food and service with a smile. There’s a good reason why this Italian, family owned cafe has been a firm favorite with university students and locals alike. Open till 11pm, Clowns is a great place to catch up with friends over desserts or sip a cappuccino while getting lost in a great book. This cafe specializes in different types of pastas, salads and toasties. Just a word of warning – if you suffer from coulrophobia (a fear of clowns), beware! Those pesky creatives are everywhere! The clue is in the name, after all. Otherwise, enjoy!
Wok N Grill, 18 High Street, Trumpington
Strictly speaking, this is a chain (it also has branches in Leicester, Lincoln and Southend-on-Sea) but only just! Whether you’re a noodle junkie, sushi lover or crave a Chinese stir fry, you’ll find it at the Wok N Grill. For a set price (which varies during the week – check before booking), you can help yourself to an all-you-can-eat buffet. Just choose your ingredients, hand your concoction over to a chef, pick a sauce – and watch your food being cooked in a flaming wok! The starters are equally tantalizing, especially the crispy seaweed. But leave a bit of space for dessert – there’s plenty to choose from!
The Bridge, Clayhithe Road, Waterbeach
A beautiful riverside pub that offers a relaxed setting to enjoy gourmet food year-round. In the summer, sit in the beer garden and watch the boats go by on the River Cam. In the winter, warm up by a cosy fire and soak up the Ye Olde English interior. The prices here aren’t the cheapest but by Cambridge standards they’re fairly reasonable – especially for gastropub fodder. The vegetarian fish ‘n’ chips (deep fried halloumi with chips and mushy peas) are particularly delightful! It does get very busy on Sunday lunchtimes and you can’t book in advance – so be prepared to wait if you turn up at peak times – especially on a glorious summer’s day!
The Plough, 2 High Street, Coton, Cambridge
Eating at The Plough can be a reasonable or pricey experience depending on what you order. For less than £8.50, you can feast on a delicious, stone baked pizza or a tasty salad. Pay twice as much and you can devour a ribeye steak. The choice is yours! The picturesque setting and gourmet menu make for a very pleasant evening.
The Old Spring, Ferry Path, Cambridge
This is not a pub for party animals. But if you don’t fancy having to shout over your pint to have a conversation and like a laidback place to relax, this family-friendly pub could be just the ticket! In the summer you can soak up some sunshine at one of the picnic tables. In the winter, try to bag one of the open fires. There’s a decent selection of normal pub grub, such as burgers and salads, and more experimental dishes. The portions are big and the prices are reasonable for Cambridge. Cheers!