Where to find the best coffee in Cambridge
You’re going to need it
Got a LATTE on your mind? Why not get out of the UL and give a new café a SHOT?
But, it’s hard to walk more than 20 metres without being greeted by the smell of roasting coffee beans and the horror of overpriced pastries, we’ll CHAI and help you choose.
It’s a classic, you know the prices and where you won’t be overwhelmingly impressed, you probably won’t be disappointed. Plus there’s enough room to sit down and avoid any awkward café eye contact. Yet, I challenge anyone to spend over an hour there without being driven to distraction by a large group of noisy European foreign exchange students taking selfies of their frappucchino cups with their names printed on them. It’s a safe bet, but there are definitely better haunts in the café capital that is Cambridge.
6. Michaelhouse café
Walking in may make you feel about 50 years older, partially because of the age of the church and partially due to the age of the clientele, but one might say that this gives you a calm approach to any work. There’s a lot of space to stretch out and you can sit there admiring the architecture for hours. Plus, it seems there’s something in the religious atmosphere that inspires deep concentration, so it’s a good one for last minute deadlines.
5. Ta Bouche
You go for coffee, but then you get hungry and are too lazy to relocate to a restaurant and so you stay a bit longer. Then, before you know it, you’re on your third cocktail and show no signs of slowing down. Goodbye student loan, hello day drinking.
4. Sticky Beaks
It’s an adorable place, but perhaps borderline being a bit ‘mumsy’ with a lunch selection to rival Waitrose’s deli aisle and a pastel interior with exposed wood tables that ideal home magazine would go weak at the knees for. It has the benefit of being slightly tucked away from the high street, so no bumping into hordes of tourists. Be warned, your studying could be disturbed by a screaming infant, but it’s worth the risk for the incredible salads and variety of cakes.
3. Hot Numbers
Like an independent café in Shoreditch, only the people here actually read their philosophy books rather than just using them as fashion accessories. What initially seems like a secret place to work only you know, gradually will become cramped. It’s the perfect place to sit in and stare into the distance since the indie/techno music will gradually bring you into a trance. You probably aren’t edgy enough to be there, but at least you can enjoy the freshly ground coffee.
You probably won’t be able to find any seats in here. Not even if you managed to get here at opening time. But, it’s a classic. Partially this is because it is quite literally ‘off the beaten track’- you feel as though you’ve found something special because you had to turn off King’s Parade. Despite this, there is something in the use of normal mugs that is particularly homely and the lack of personal space only adds to the feeling that you’re at a family gathering. Here’s one for de-stressing, cuddles and a catch up with friends you’ve lost in the libraries over exam term.
1. MacDonald’s on a Friday or Saturday after midnight
Nothing beats that joy of stumbling out of a club on a Friday or Saturday and seeing that glowing yellow sign in the distance just as you were about to approach the trailer of life. You braved the townie nights, of course you have earned the right to divert your route and get a Big Mac and fries. Ok, the coffee is awful and no one ever leaves MacDonald’s feeling proud of themselves, but I think that, like spotting an endangered species, the rarity of seeing this fast food great open in the early hours needs all the praise it truly deserves.
So go on, free yourself from the daily GRIND and ESPRESSO yourself, you know you need a little break.