Best quick Cambridge bites to eat between lectures

Because I don’t want to keep going to Caffé Nero…

Those awkward hour-long breaks between lectures can be so frustrating. You don’t know whether to rush to the nearest library and start that essay (that definitely wasn’t due yesterday) or to just mill about, trying to find anything to occupy your time for a short while.

Stopping off at a coffee shop and grabbing a quick bite to eat gives you the perfect opportunity to check over any last-minute work and give you a break from the cold- even if it’s only for 20 minutes.

Here are the best places to catch a bite to eat when you are faced with those awkward blocks of time that don’t seem quite long enough for anything else. And don’t worry, they have all been carefully surveyed to ensure you’ll still get a connection to eduroam- definitely a crucial factor in café choice.


1. Fitzbillies

(Image Credit: Emily Hewett).

If you haven’t been to Fitzbillies yet then you cannot truly call yourself a Cambridge student. This picturesque café can be seen on both Bridge Street and Trumpington Street, making it a great place to stop between lecture theatres like the New Museum Site, Downing Site or even Mill Lane!

Its menu has been carefully selected for all your brunching desires and has a range of vegetarian/vegan options alongside classics like their full English breakfast. They also have amazing cakes and pastries for when you really need to get that sugar intake ready for back-to-back supervisions.

With a strong Wi-Fi connection and a pretty quiet atmosphere, it is easy to get a bit of work done here and actually focus, though I wouldn’t recommend spilling hollandaise sauce all over your work as I might have…


2. Cambridge Crepes

(Image Credit: Emily Hewett)

If you want a more portable dish then Cambridge Crepes might be for you. Located just off of Sidney Street, this van is a lifesaver (not to be confused with the van of life) for when you need a quick bite on the move, and the staff are always super friendly and welcoming.

Maybe I just didn’t get out much (unsurprising really, we weren’t accepted into Cambridge for our social skills), but I don’t think I had ever tried a SAVOURY crepe before moving to Cam, and it is a game-changer. As well as making you feel a little less guilty for spending £5 on a pancake, their savoury menu is amazing and allows you to add anything from feta cheese and onions to tuna and pesto! Or of course, you can have the classics such as Nutella or lemon and sugar.

And who doesn’t love a good discount! With just a wave of your college CRSID card, you can get a great discount on any crepe, with the closest colleges getting a larger discount (all the more proof of why Sidney is the best college).


3. The Indigo Café

(Image Credit: Emily Hewett)

To the right of market square on St Edmund’s Street, you will find my final café recommendation in central Cambridge. The Indigo Café is an independent coffee house that is easily missed if you don’t know where to look but is definitely worth the search.

Often found with a comical sign out front like “Our current heroes: Emma Raducanu, Lyse Doucet, the guy who bakes our cakes,”the Indigo Café has a fun and relaxed atmosphere that will make you smile even in the depths of your week 5 blues. Boasting freshly made cakes to go with their range of sandwiches, bagels and soups, the indigo café has a beautiful interior to suit all your Instagramming needs.

And whilst you’re there, why not try sharing a table with someone new! It is a sure-fire way to get to know new people and might push you even slightly further out of that Cambridge student bubble we all seem to have found ourselves in.

 4. Stuck in Sidgwick? Try out the ARC

Situated in the Alison Richard Building, the ARC Café is filled with colourful displays and gives off a really relaxed and friendly vibe- a great contrast to how you are likely feeling after running in the rain to catch a 9 AM lecture.

They cater for all students whether vegan, gluten-free or (gasp!) studying a STEM subject, and grabbing a quick bite to eat here is a great way to get some downtime before going into your next lecture. Additionally, since it is within the Sidgwick site, you’re likely to run into others on your course, giving you a way to chat to your coursemates and find someone to complain to about whatever technical issues the lecturer was having this time.


There are so many unique and independent cafés and coffee shops in Cambridge, and yet it is easy to go through all three years here sticking to the same chains you already know and love.

So, instead of rushing to the library or back to college accommodation, why not find some time in that never-ending to-do list of yours to really enjoy all the unique cafes and coffee shops that Cambridge has to offer. 

Feature image credits: Jonah Miller.

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