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The 8 Best Restaurants in Cambridge

By Neharika Padala

Galleria, CambridgeA picturesque university city on the banks of the river Cam, Cambridge is home to not only some of the UK’s best pubs, but some true culinary gems too.

Despite a plethora of unsightly chain restaurants cropping up in recent years, this idyllic location plays host to some of the best fine dining in the south-east of England.

From the Michelin-starred Midsummer House to the cosy confines of upmarket gastropubs like the Tickell Arms, its dining scene runs the gamut from the ultra-modern to the more traditional and charmingly quaint.

This city has an eclectic bunch of eateries to cater for its high influx of sightseers, eager to learn about its rich history, dating right back to the Bronze Age, Roman and Viking times.

Compiled especially for our globetrotting readers, here is Elite Traveler’s guide to ten of the best restaurants in Cambridge.

Cotto 725COTTO

Run by distinguished German chef Hans Schweitzer, first-floor Cambridge restaurant Cotto is a true find.

A relaxed and informal environment belies Cotto’s culinary prowess, with classical dishes prepared with panache and expertise. There is plenty of choice here, with a three course set menu consisting of six individual choices apiece.

With a chef-owner who is a trained chocolatier and confiseur, handmade petit fours and exquisitely prepared desserts are a highlight – in particular the famous chocolate ‘Piano’.

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Midsummer House, CambridgeMIDSUMMER HOUSE

Midsummer House is not only one of Cambridge’s best restaurants, but one of the finest throughout the UK, boasting two Michelin stars among its accolades.

With celebrated chef Daniel Clifford at the helm, this stunning restaurant is housed in a Victorian villa beside the tranquil banks of the river Cam.

Ingredients are dictated by the seasons to emphasize natural flavors, with elaborate tasting menus on offer featuring everything from sautéed scallop with truffle to beetroot baked on open coals.

Restaurant 22, Cambridge


Based in a converted Victorian townhouse, Restaurant 22 has been a star of the Cambridge dining scene for over three decades now.

A menu of classically prepared dishes, using only fresh seasonal produce, changes monthly and the restaurant is a closely guarded secret of the locals. Until now, that is.

With an intimate atmosphere and charmingly traditional decor, the wine selection is another impressive facet of this impeccable restaurant, lovingly selected by its well informed Italian owner.

Alimentum, Photo Credit: Paul Winch-Furness /

One of just two Michelin-starred restaurants in Cambridge, Alimentum is home to the dynamic cuisine of Chef Patron Mark Poynton.

The focus here is on ethical fine dining, with the majority of ingredients sourced locally and a modern European menu which is kept strictly seasonal.

Slow cooking techniques are used to maximize the flavor of sub prime cuts, with the surprise seven-course tasting menu – comprised of Poynton’s favorite dishes – a definite high point of what is an exceptional dining experience.

(Image Credit: Paul Winch-Furness)

Fitzbillies, CambridgeFITZBILLIES

Saved from closure in 2011, Fitzbillies is a Cambridge institution.

Famed for its delectable Chelsea buns, the bakery and cake shop – first opened in 1922 – also plays host to an excellent restaurant on weekends.

Talented head chef Rosie Sykes serves up traditional British dishes with panache, with a menu of based on seasonal ingredients that changes weekly.

Renovated over a period of six months, the building has retained its endearing art deco facade with an interior that is stylish, simple and modern.

(Image Credit: Wikipedia Commons)

Galleria, CambridgeGALLERIA

Located at the foot of the Magdalene Bridge, Galleria is perfectly situated to take in a tranquil view of Cambridge city.

The restaurant is a favorite of locals and out-of-towners alike, with a classical that incorporates both classical French fare and Italian pasta dishes.

Due care has also been paid to providing a short but enigmatic wine list, featuring labels from Europe, South Africa, Australia and South America.

Graffiti, CambridgeGRAFFITI

One of Cambridge’s most upmarket restaurants, Graffiti offers fine dining within the stylish, modern surrounds of Hotel Felix.

Food is well presented with Mediterranean flair, running the gamut from plum tomato and goats curd galette to roasted hake with lemon gnocchi and shrimp dressing.

A south-facing terrace lends itself to idyllic al fresco dining in summer, while an open fire indoors creates a cosy atmosphere in the colder, winter months.

Tickell Arms, CambridgeTICKELL ARMS

A traditional rural pub, The Tickell Arms is based in the idyllic village of Whittlesford, five miles south of Cambridge.

Catering to those looking for a more low-key dining affair, its boasts an impressive history dating back to the seventeenth century.

Visitors can choose one of two excellent spots for their meal: an inviting rustic dining room or a beautiful, light-filled conservatory. Food is Modern European and British in style, with a wine offering that is unique and carefully considered.

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