The top 10 best pubs in central Cambridge

I’m a third year, take this list as gospel

After three long years at Cambridge, I have had ample time to drink away my sorrows. Some pubs are good, and some are great. Allow me to present the best of the best…

10. The Maypole

The sign outside the Maypole

On the corner of Jesus Green, the Maypole is a traditional little pub with a cute outdoor seating area (and heaters for the winter months!) It’s a firm student-favourite pub that you should check out if you haven’t already. 

9. The Granta

Enjoying a casual drink at The Granta

The Granta also boasts a beautiful outdoor seating area, this one quite literally ON the river. A really nice visit in the summer months, the Granta is one of the most aesthetically-pleasing pubs in central Cambridge, and has a fun pub quiz every Monday night!

8. Fort St George

Being real in the Fort St George beer garden

With perhaps THE beer garden to end all beer gardens, Fort St George is located on Midsummer Common, very near Jesus Green. Its outside seating area is a thing of legend in Easter term, and its location right by the river creates the perfect, picturesque outdoor scene. 

7. The Elm Tree

Capturing the decor at The Elm Tree, and my friend mid-blink

The Elm Tree should definitely be on every beer-drinkers radar. This small, independent pub has one of the best selections of ales, beers, and kegs that you can find in central Cambridge. Its quirky, candlelit atmosphere gives The Elm Tree a unique charm, and it is worth venturing up Grafton way to give it a visit. 

6. The Eagle

The plaque which holds The Eagle’s claim to fame

The second oldest pub in Cambridge has always been one of the most popular amongst students and locals alike. Potentially as central as a pub can get, The Eagle is a lot of people’s go-to for a pint in town. Why not head down for a drink at the same place where Watson and Crick announced they has discovered “the secret of life”? 

5. Pickerel Inn

The Pickerel Inn

I have only ever been to its beer garden, but my friends assure me that this pub is one of the best that central Cambridge has to offer. It is the oldest pub in Cambridge, established around 1608, and has maintained its old charm as it continues to serve traditional pub fare to the local Cambridge population. 

4. The Mitre

The Mitre

If you are a gin-lover, you cannot go wrong with the Mitre. This cosy pub has one of the best gin selections in central Cambridge, nice food, and a good selection of other drinks to top it off. Its convenient location (right next to John’s) means that it’s a great shout if you want a quick drink somewhere central. 

3. Champion Of The Thames

Champion of the Thames

Champion Of The Thames might be the most charming pub on this list: very small and very cosy, this cute King Street pub serves as a traditional watering hole for locals, and it is worth going just to sit and soak in the atmosphere (and have a drink of course!)

2. The Free Press

The Free Press’  beer garden in all its glory

Perfect in almost every way. A very, very close second, it is only just edged out of first place. For me, this pub has the best vibes of all the central Cambridge pubs, and the food here is AMAZING, and not super expensive. It has great outside seating for the warmer months, and it’s far enough away from the hustle and bustle of the very centre to have a more relaxed vibe. Would highly, highly recommend. 

1. The King Street Run

A grainy film photo to capture the King Street Run’s vibe

Without a doubt, the best and most underrated pub in Cambridge. Located on King Street, the King Street Run potentially has the best happy hour you’ll find anywhere in central Cambridge (pints for £3, a TRIPLE (!!!) spirit + mixer for £5.20), so make sure you visit between 5-7 pm on Mon-Thurs, and 7-9 pm on a Sunday. It has a cool sort of dive-bar vibe, darts, pool, plenty of seating, and a jukebox.

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All images are the author’s own.