Eight cafés to try in Cambridge as a student before you graduate from university

Spoiler alert: Fitzbillies isn’t the only coffee shop in Cambridge


As an avid baker with a self-confessed sweet tooth, I will take a coffee and cake over a cocktail and pizza any day. So, it’s safe to say in the 18 months I’ve spent in Cambridge, I’ve tried and tested a fair few cafés and coffee shops. From brunch dishes to pastries and cakes, here are some of my recommendations when you need a break from Fitzbillies.

Hot Numbers

Starting off strong with Hot Numbers, a coffee roaster and café offering seasonal menus. After seeing their aesthetic buttermilk pancakes on Instagram, I made sure to tick this one off my list in my first term in Cambridge. Although the flavours change, the pancakes appear to be a staple across the seasonal menus and I have just seen that the latest flavour is cherry bakewell, so I think I will be making a swift return. Other current menu items include gochujang eggy bread and poached pear granola alongside your classics such as Turkish eggs and shakshuka. There really is something for everyone!

The pancakes are on the breakfast menu so, you’ve got to get yourself there before 12pm. It took me two attempts to get them because it was so busy the first time but they were certainly worth the wait!

Hot Numbers pancakes (Image credits: Lucy Barber)

Café Foy

Definitely more of a brunch spot than a coffee and cake destination, Café Foy is located along the river just off Bridge Street. It’s a great location in the summer to sit outside along the river bank whilst enjoying an iced latte and bagel. Or if you are visiting in the winter they serve the most amazing soups and toasties. The cheese pull on that toastie was to die for.

Image credits: Lucy Barber


I am sure Aromi is no stranger to anyone reading this and is probably just as well-trodden as Fitzbillies. However, I am addicted to anything pistachio-flavoured so I could not leave a Sicilian bakery off of my list. From pistachio cake to pistachio croissants to pistachio hot chocolates, this really is heaven for any pistachio lovers out there. They even sell pistachio cream to take home, which yes, I have bought. It also offers fantastic savoury options from sourdough pizza slices to focaccia sandwiches.

And that’s not all! They’ve even started doing pizza nights from 6pm so, you can now eat Aromi for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

(Also, in case you didn’t know they have a second location right outside the Grafton Centre).

Pistachio Heaven (Image credits: Lucy Barber)


Now, I am not the biggest fan of chains, especially when it comes to bakeries but as a Northern girlie I had never tried Gail’s until it opened up in Cambridge. I ordered the chocolate and almond croissant, the love child of a pain au chocolat and an almond croissant. Let’s just say I went back a few days later for another one.

Bonus points for the cute coffee art (Image credits: Lucy Barber)

Bould Brothers Coffee

Whilst it is more well known for its coffee, I discovered they sell a pistachio and chocolate croissant which meant I had to go. I thought the chocolate and almond croissant from Gail’s was good but Bould Brothers just went one step further and pistachio-ified it.

The Vogue recommended coffee shop has locations on both Regent Street and Round Church Street but if you want to sit in, I would recommend going to the Regent Street location because it has more seating.

If anyone knows what ‘The Magic’ coffee is, please let me know, I’ve never dared ask.

Image credits: Lucy Barber

Harvey’s Coffee House

Harvey’s coffee shop is no stranger to Sidge girlies. With its prime location next to Sidgwick site, it is the perfect post-lecture pick-me-up. Unlike many of the coffee shops in Cambridge, it has plenty of seating and is laptop-friendly so you can get some work done alongside your coffee. The staff are friendly and the prices are pretty reasonable so, you really can’t go wrong.

I got a raspberry and white chocolate blondie which was delicious but I’ve heard lots about their chocolate Guinness cake which is definitely one I’ll be trying next time.

Image credits: Lucy Barber


When I discovered a few weeks ago that there was another Italian bakery in Cambridge, I couldn’t visit quickly enough. The place is small with only a few tables but I was lucky enough to walk straight in and get one when I visited with my parents. The staff are lovely and really passionate about the high-quality ingredients they use and I can see why. I ordered the four-consistency pistachio cake (shock!) and it was heavenly.

With bakes such as quince, hazelnut and vanilla tarts I will definitely be heading back to try their other unique flavour combinations – who wants a plain cookie when you can get a salted caramel, raspberry gel and black sesame praline one from Modigliani?

If you need any more convincing it was also voted best café in Cambridge in 2023.

The bakes even look like works of art (Image credits: Lucy Barber)


I must admit I haven’t actually eaten here yet because with only three small tables inside I didn’t manage to get a seat. However, I noticed they have more seats outside so I am going to embark on attempt number 2 next term when the weather is better. I did get a good look at the cake cabinet before leaving and I can see why everyone raves about this place. From Banoffee cupcakes to deep-pan peanut butter cookies to the biggest scotch eggs I have ever seen, everything looked delicious.

The aesthetic gives pink farm shop vibes and it has a pink barber shop pole outside which can’t be missed. So, if you’re in the Chesterton area, it looks well worth a visit, just don’t go on the same day as me – I will fight you for a seat!

So, whether you’re in the mood for croissants, cakes, toasties or a cannoli, one of these eight cafés should be perfect. And with eight on the list, you can tick one off each week in Easter term.

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