Le Guide Chipelin: Who makes the best chips in Cambridge?

Have you ever wondered what the best chips in Cambridge are? Night-food connoisseur, native to the land of the deep-fried Snickers, found out for you.

Chips Cindies Gardies McDonalds review Student Van of Death Van of Life

Get your chips out for the lads.  

Real Talk: I’m not about swaps.

Got a lot of time for Curry King Naan breads, but not a lot of time for fines. So when I’ve set my hard earned tenner aside and it’s called off last minute; I’m not even mad. Actually I’m cheesing. Cheesing my chips (Well, only sometimes. I’m more on that gravy hype but whatever). I now don’t have to sit through some goon destroying their wine bottle and wrecking my dinner through unnecessarily over-zealous chinking.

Chip-2 D2 scraping in lol

NO, I’m free to do what I do best: spending bare sheet on a chip based feed. Doesn’t even need that kind of elaborate excuse really – two hours of “work” in the library is easily enough to warrant a chip break. So here it is: a vague guide to answer those burning questions that you probably don’t care about when you stumble out of Cindies (for all the generic-Tab-article-bingo players, that’s a Cindies reference there in case you missed it).

Van of Life

VoL: the favourite of many

What to go for?

Chips: £1.70


A large is £2.00 – the cheapest large of the lot but “is it a scam and you don’t actually get any more?”, you ask. Well, my budget didn’t extend to that extra 30p. I’m not made of money. Gravy or Curry Sauce is 90p and cheesy chips are £2.50.

They Good?

A little underdone but still a quality chip and with plenty of good patter from the van man it’s a solid 8/10.

Anything else?

If I was creative enough to make this a hackneyed “what van of life food is your college?” article, then the 1 lb mega mouthful (4 quarter pounders in a bun for £8) would probably by John’s like John’s, it’s big and expensive but actually looks like quite tasty. Beyond that Bankseyesque level of insight my knowledge of college stereotypes extends to: Girton is far away lol.

Van of Death (actually called something else)

The alternative

What to go for?

I’d probably say chips: £1:70


A large is £2.70 – a whole pound extra for large is cruel really, cheesy chips are an extra pound as well.

They good?

They lacked a satisfying crunch despite being a little overdone. Still a solid chip setup: 6 stars.

Anything else?

Their crucial error of having a slightly higher counter means it’s significantly harder to lean casually and pretend like you’re best pals with the guy there. This I find deeply unsettling as people may start to see through the facade and might (God forbid) no longer think I’m safe.


Totally me.

What to go for? 

For me, it would have to be chips: £1.70


A large is £2.50 – gravy is 70p and curry sauce is £1.20. Couldn’t see cheese on the menu but someone did have it and it looked quality. Like it always does.

They good? 

Properly class chips. Like goldilocks zone in terms of crunch, size and batter:potato ratio. And they’ve got garlic mayo just sitting there. I would have to give it a rating of three times as good as the first time taking heroin/10.

Anything else?

I don’t do philosophy, but I imagine if you do it for long enough, it all comes back to the 99p “scoop of chips”. Yes, this is the perfect universal conceptual framework for the end of a night. But this is more something to occupy your hands after you realised awkwardly pointing or doing a strange clenched fist running motion to the fourth rendition of “I gotta feelin'” was just not hacking it for anymore. However, if you’ve made the lonely pilgrimage to Gardies in search of a better life then don’t fool yourself with 99p worth of chips. Invest in something from their ‘large’ range, probably with gravy to be safe and restore your faith in life (or Kuda. Sorry).


They have seats.

What to go for?

I would go for chips: £1.39

More ?

Technically that is a large but it’s definitely smaller than the other offerings. Also, they don’t do gravy, curry sauce of cheese which really is heart-breaking.

They good?

Not really, don’t believe the hype. I’d probably only give it 2 gold stars.

Anything else?

If you want to get the most from McDonald’s just buy as many Mayo Chickens as you can afford and stack them up: that’s the real chips. This also doubles as a fool-proof excuse for being late that you literally can’t argue with.


VoL – Nice chips, staff have custom hoodies.

VoD – Nice chips, somehow inherently grim.

Gardies – Quality chips, has class baps

McDonald’s – A bit pish, has chicken nuggets.