Freshers’ Info: Make A Meal Of It

SOPHIE DAUD offers her pick of the best restaurants for multiple occasions this Freshers’ Week (and beyond).

Baron of Beef Cambridge Cote Fitzwilliam Museum Freshers Week Newnham Rainbow Cafe Restaurant Sophie Daud The Cow

Food is a warm, comforting friend often forgotten during the frivolities of Freshers’ Week. Instead, nights are spent enjoying torrid affairs with alcohol and fast food midnight munchies, who silently slip out the door before we wake and leave our beds chilly with the cold emptiness of hunger the next morning. Thankfully, Cambridge is full of the welcoming arms of a variety of restaurants and cafes, which can help prevent bare bellies and snuggle next to any lonely stomachs.

The Last Supper

Whilst you may be feeling teary at leaving your parents for eight weeks, don’t forget to look on the bright side – as a farewell gift, they’ll probably buy you lunch. If you’re looking for a fancy place which leaves your parents with a magical view of Cambridge life and you with an equally magical full stomach, try The Varsity Restaurant. Serving authentic Greek cuisine with Mezzes to share with siblings or parents, they also have a range of sophisticated and delicious meals to set you on your way for the joys of Freshers’ week. If you’d rather some of the traditional favourites, Browns, situated on Trumpington Street opposite the Fitzwilliam, can offer plenty of dishes bound to set you full of optimism.

The Varsity Restaurant, 35 St Andrews Street, Cambridge,CB2 3AR; 01223 356 060

Mange tout

Eating out is not only a great way to bid farewell, but it’s also a perfect way to get to say hello to your new friends. If you’re looking for a good quality curry without the mayhem of Mahal, try the Cambridge Curry Centre up Castle Street, which has something to suit every palate, picky or not, as well as a 10% student discount. For an informal atmosphere to bond over Buds or gossip over Gin and Tonics, The Cow on Corn Exchange Street, just off Market Square, provides amazing stone baked pizzas and a relaxed environment in which to unwind in good company.

The Cambridge Curry Centre, 45-47 Castle Street; 01223 363 666

The Cow, Corn Exchange Street, Cambridge, CB2 3QF; 01223 308 871

Caution: Nutrient Depletion

If you’re feeling severely vitamin deprived, there are plenty of quick, hearty pick-me-ups around. For a vegetarian one night stand, Rainbow Café, nestled unobtrusively on King’s Parade, serves absolutely beautiful meals which are so filling and colourful you barely notice the lack of meat, in an enchantingly homely atmosphere. To show your stomach you really care, take a stroll down to Tatties – either the Sussex Street or Trinity Street branch – where the huge portions and buzzing ambience are bound to re-energise a weary student. In particular, the jacket potatoes are a real treat!

Keep your eyes peeled for the Rainbow Cafe

Hidden gems

With great reluctance, I relinquish my greatest alliance – the alluring, evasive mistress of stunning food and slim costs, which goes by the name of lunch. Yes, lunch is the greatest hidden treasure of them all. There’s 20% off all lunchtime dining at the India House on Newnham Road (01223 461 661), Cote offers 2 courses for £9.95 (21-24 Bridge Street; 01223 311 053) , and pubs like the Baron of Beef or the Mitre offer fantastic value for money provided you eat during the day.

Always useful are websites like and, on which you can usually find a 2for1 deal at chain restaurants like Pizza Express and Strada. Alternatively, just Google “voucher Pizza Express” and you’ll probably be directed to one. Of course, been to one Pizza Express/Strada, been to them all, but they’re a good bet if you are craving a generous portion of something recognisable, which is rare if you eat in hall every evening.

– Pizza Express, Jesus Lane, 01223 324 033; St Andrews Street (en route to Downing College), 01223 361 320

– Strada, Trinity Street; 01223 352 166

India House on Newnham Road; next to another stalwart restaurant, Bella Italia

A last note: if you want something more exotic, make sure to try the Market on a Sunday – whilst there is an eye watering array of breads and fruit, the ostrich burgers are out of this world and can equally satisfy your cravings for tasty meat and healthy protein! Cambridge is full of plenty of surprises- make sure you explore and try and find some temptresses of your own.