Review: Savino’s Caffé

SARAH MOSS thoroughly enjoyed her luxuriant lunch at Savino’s

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Savino’s, a little Italian Caffé on Emmanuel Street, is run by Peter Savino, who creates food inspired by Southern Italy where his family originates, and has been doing at this location since 1997. ‘I was a young man then,’ he told us, ‘I had hair!’ All produce used in his establishment is either sourced locally or, in the case of the traditional Italian meats and cheeses, imported from Italy.

The location of Savino’s means that Emma students have been able to get a 10% discount there for years, although Peter is thinking about extending that to all students in the near future.

Parma ham, salami, mortadella ham, mozzarella, provolone cheese…mouth watering yet?

Despite being squeezed between a Subway and a dry cleaners, Savino’s is by no means lacking in charm. The walls are hung with posters depicting Sofia Loren and classic Italian movies, as well as a large collage of photos of past guests including Tom Hiddleston (Peter told us he used to be a regular- whilst pointing outside at a conveniently timed bus advertising his latest film). The staff are very friendly. Newspapers on every table and little pot plants on glass shelves near the ceiling further augment the atmosphere, as do the massive chalk board menus and tiny tables to match.

Savino’s – a great place for a Loki lunch

We were recommended Savino’s piatto misto – which comprises a LOT of cold meat and cheese as well as roasted vegetables, olives and home-made pesto – and the soup, which that day was leek and potato, though we were assured the flavours are usually more exciting.

Needless to say, our little table was soon heaving with food. Despite its apparent relative boringness, the soup (£4.45) was refreshing and smooth whilst also being hearty and suitably filling for a rainy Cambridge afternoon, and was well complemented by the accompanying warm ciabatta. Soup flavours are imagined up each day by Peter’s wife Sara, depending on what vegetables she has got from Cambridge market that week.

My friend Becky – ‘so far, I don’t think I’ve tried anything I don’t like!’

Savino’s also serve a selection of homemade cakes (between £1-3), and coffees, milkshakes and smoothies as well as hot and cold sandwiches. Becky was tempted by a thick Italian hot chocolate but was informed that they were like a meal in themselves and unfortunately we had already put away too much food (guess we’ll be going back for that).

We did somehow manage to find room for Caprese chocolate cake – a rich, quite dense cake and made with almonds instead of wheat flour – and homemade amaretti biscuits. We were also informed that in the next few weeks they would start serving pannetonne imported from a small company in Verona (yum).

Ameretti biscuits = marzipanny wonderfulness.

All in all, worth a trip if you need some proper nice food to beat the week 3 blues.

Savino’s Caffé bar italiano

3 Emmanuel street


Opening hours: Mon-Sat 7:00-20:00, Sundays and bank holidays 9:00-18:00