The ultimate Cambridge lunch guide

From the girls (basic bitches) that brought you coffee and brunch


You got out of bed this morning (go you!), went to some lectures (possibly), and now you’re hungry and can’t face cooking food or another shoddy buttery meal.

Luckily for you, we have ample time on our hands (just don’t tell our supervisors) and have sampled all the best lunches that Cambridge has to offer so that we can impart our wisdom onto you. Alternatively, lunch is a really delicious form of procrastination and we needed to have an article out this week. You pick.

UL Tea Room

Don’t instantly reject this along with all the other college canteens: my mum said 30 years ago this was “the place to be”. It’s cheap, their menu changes daily – a friend still remembers the smoked coffee rub barbecue pork longingly – and it’s obviously conducive to work. And, you never know, you might even be sitting next to a Nobel prize winner.

Bould Brothers 

The new “It” place it town. Now we all know the main attraction here isn’t the food (it’s the view of the Round Church, right?), but we can attest to it being very good. They have sandwiches which are perfect for a light lunch – obviously get a coffee too – and the fillings range from chicken, crispy pork and chive to the vegetarian goats cheese, grape, beetroot and carrot.

The Granta 

If you’re looking for an escape from Cambridge (and let’s face it, who isn’t) and are willing to endure the physical effort of a two minute walk across Coe Fen, the Granta is the place to be. Perfect for sunny weather (yes, we’re aware it’s February and 2 degrees outside, but wishful thinking), the Granta serves a wide range of classic pub food all day, with lots of seating outside looking onto the river, the fens, and all the people who don’t have an essay due tomorrow. Bliss.

Because who doesn’t like looking at avocados?


Another Cambridge pub, but the similarities to The Granta end there. The Brewhouse is noted for its roasts and for its excellent beer selection – trust us on the former, and as for the latter we have it on good authority. Quirky decorations and a slightly hipster feel make this place feel relaxed and relaxing.

Urban Shed

From slightly hipster, we move to the full-blown expression of all that is hip this side of Shoreditch. They made it into the brunch guide already, but really Urban Shed is all about lunch. Whether your thing is a bloomer, panini or a salad, there are so many options to choose from that you’ll need to remove your wide-brimmed, lensless glasses to get a better look at their menu. Eclectic table and chair arrangements only add to the charm, as long as you’re shorter than six foot.


Think white tabletops, deliciously healthy salads and the legacy of the #cleaneating movement. It might be favoured by hipster couples, yummy mummies, and their (sometimes crying) children, but the food is worth it. Think Ottolenghi-style sweet potato and goats cheese salads, and gluten free chocolate cake. Their sausage butties with sweet chilli and tomato relish are a great midday pick-me-up.

Good for salads too

Taste of Cambridge 

Have you ever spotted a mint green van across from Itsu? If so, that would be Taste of Cambridge. It’s cheap, cheerful and a quick lunch on the go. You have places to be after all, as a Cambridge student. The menu is limited but very strong, and the prices range from £4.45 to £4.95. And falafel is always a good idea.

If you need us, we’ll be at lunch.