If you're visiting England, Cambridge is a must-see. Under an hour from London on the train, it's full of historical sights and cobbled streets.
It plays host to one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in the world, is the home of the unique (and somewhat bizarre) past-time of punting, and is a welcome break from the frenetic buzz of London. And if you're taking the time to visit, it can't hurt to try out some of the best restaurants the pint-sized city has to offer!
Though you could opt for one of many big chains that do have Cambridge branches, there are so many smaller-scale eateries that do more than just compete; they far surpass the standard. Though Cambridge is a fairly small city, its restaurants span a whole world of cultures and countries, so in this list an attempt has been made to provide a cross section of its best.
Tucked around the corner from the market square, Pho (pronounced ‘fuh’) specialises in Vietnamese street food-style cuisine, and popped up in Cambridge only this year. The staff are really helpful to first-timers, explaining how the dishes work (you add the herbs and garnish to the soup yourself) and doing a great job of picking out recommendations.
Try the summer and spring rolls to start, and don’t leave without at least one person trying out the title signature dish! Though the prices of course don’t resemble what they would in Vietnam, it’s fairly inexpensive and definitely worth it.
Market Square Dim Sum
Though perhaps it is a stretch to describe this stall as a ‘restaurant’, it’s a regular enough feature of Cambridge market to qualify it for this list. Always crowded with Chinese regulars (and many tourists), it provides perhaps the best Dim Sum in the city. Try all of the dumplings: they are all delicious. Though it may burn a small hole in your pocket if you do actually try them all. It will be worth it.
The home of the ‘big ass burrito’, Nanna Mexico now has a few strings to their bow: from humble beginnings as a sought-after mobile food van, they have expanded to fill two restaurants, and both are consistently busy. Its success is surely down to the ingenuity of its simplicity: pick a wrap, a filling and a spice level, and you’re good to go; it is the Subway of Mexican food, but better.
Still trundling round the business districts of Cambridge in their trusty van, while also easily capturing the hapless tourist population wandering the streets in search of a cheap bite to eat with its salivatory smell, this will be a hit if you are after easy, cheap, unique fast food.
A little known Keralan Indian restaurant located a way out of the city centre, Cocum is the kind of place where locals bring visiting friends and family; it’s a well-kept secret rarely frequented by tourists. Its distance from the centre is more than made up for by the heady deliciousness of its dishes.
All the standard Indian curries are on offer, but try to persuade yourself and your fellows to branch out and try a dosa if you haven’t had one before; a filled pancake-like South Indian staple which cannot fail to impress. Though the service here is slow (does this perhaps make it more authentic?), the staff are friendly, and the size of the bill will make you more than willing to forgive.
Hidden in the recessed of King Street, Yippee Noodle is a great hub for a casual meet-up with friends for a steaming plate of noodles. Set out with long benches in rows across the restaurant, the place has a friendly, inclusive vibe, and tends to be filled with groups of chattering students – always a good sign: students have a very good radar for cheap eats. Try the signature Yippee Noodle dish if you can’t make up your mind; it’s a real winner.
So there’s my roundup of the local’s food tour of Cambridge. Happy scoffing!
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Travel tip shared by Bohemiance