Best late night food places in Cambridge

Grub’s up

Cambridge

It’s 2am and after spending £30 on Jaegerbombs in Cindies (AGAIN), you think, well, my student loan’s getting blown anyway, I’m already going to be shattered for my 9am tomorrow, my serotonin levels are at rock bottom because the guy I sent a Crushbridge to went home with someone else, my supervisors wish I were dead AND I’m really hungry now, so let’s get CHIPS.

Just any chips, please.

But if only you could decide where to go…

Gardies

To be honest, I’m a bit of a Gardies girl. I do love me the conveyer belt feeling of standing out in the cold, looking at everyone else feeling shattered, finally stepping into the warmth, panicking when asked to order because you realised you never considered what your order would be because you were too busy thinking about what you’d said after you’d had that shot. And then that other shot. Wait, what did you say then? Was it bad? Oops, sorry, could I have some regular chips please? Thank you. Wait. Wait. Look at the photos. Wait. Oh, thank you for the chips. You love chips. Wait for your friends. No, seriously, what did you say to that person after that shot? You’re outside now. But you have chips. Lovely chips. And mayonnaise. A lot of mayonnaise. Mayonnaise solves sadness. You’re happier now.

This process recurs every time.

The downside may be the prices, but the upside of Gardies is the fact they give lollipops if you’re nice and funny to them, and the taste of a sugary reward for being a decent human being for five minutes seems to solve anything bad you’d accidentally done in the club. And also, for those of us craving the BNOC feeling (totally not myself included), a picture on the wall is always the ultimate goal; the highest honour a student at this university can attain.

Van of Life

Colder because you have to stand outside, but cheaper and weirdly more sociable. It seems acceptable to go up to people you vaguely know and chat to them – although you mainly do this to gather numbers and huddle like penguins for warmth. Yeah mate, we get on. Best friends, aren’t we? Please protect my chips from the cold now.

Another problem is the queue; where is the queue? It’s sort of there, sort of isn’t. Not very good if you’re in a bad mood because you dragged your friends to Lola’s and only 10 other people were there, six of which were bar staff.

The main issue is, however, wondering why everyone calls it Van of Life when it’s really The Trailer of Life. And then you find yourself asking that question to everyone for half an hour, even on the way home.

“Why does everyone get the name wrong? When did it start?”

“Nobody cares.”

“Yes, but WHY????”

This process, again, recurs every single time.

McDonald's

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That post-chicken nuggets smile

Only really a viable option on Fridays and Saturdays, but the bright lights and the assurance of it being a reliable product of capitalist society means you are lulled into a strange sense of safety and reminded of all the McDonald’s you visited at home. Maybe you’ll get a Happy Meal with a cute little toy to play with, wouldn’t that make life so much happier? So much BETTER?

A good alternative to late-night McDonald’s, as I found out, is midday McDonald’s after you showed up to an 11am lecture, quite impressively still pissed from the night before. Eating a McFlurry knowing full well your lecturer may report you to your DoS for giggling through a lecture for no apparent reason is a remarkably brilliant chaotic feeling as you wonder whether you really have taken uni drinking culture too far. (Honestly, if there’s a McFlurry involved, it doesn’t even matter).

All images the author's own.