Whether you’re there to study or visiting as a tourist, there are plenty of vegan options available in the famous University city of Cambridge. Rebecca Brown dons her mortarboard and gives us a tour of the best places to go…
Published on 12 Sep 2018
Where to eat
Relevant Records, 260 Mill Road, Cambridge CB1 3NF
Price range: Mains from around £5, snacks from around £3
If you’re looking for great food, a diverse playlist and a somewhat hipster vibe, be sure to check out Relevant Records on Mill Road. Dualing as a café and vinyl record store, it’s the perfect place to enjoy a meal while reminiscing over your favourite old-school albums. The menu, which is updated regularly, offers a generous selection of vegan options from brunch until dinner, not to mention a list of fresh homemade cakes including vegan chocolate torte and vegan cupcakes. One last tip… if you are planning a weekday trip, the Thursday night music quiz is not to be missed.
NOVI, 12 Regent Street, Cambridge
Price range: Breakfast from £2, brunch from £7, dinner from £7, sides from £2.50
With a stylish minimalistic interior and a generous selection of plant-based food, NOVI is high on our list of vegan-friendly restaurants to visit in Cambridge. If you’re an early starter, you will be happy to hear that the breakfast menu is almost entirely vegan, with a choice of stewed apple and almond milk porridge, chia and blueberry pudding or the highly recommended chia and coconut flour pancakes. However, if you’re unable to make it before 12, the daytime menu is equally as appealing. A more filling option is the crunchy bean and walnut burger, or if you’re in the mood for something lighter, try the flavoursome tofu scramble or the sweet potato salad. A selection of fresh homemade cakes are also available, with vegan carrot cake and chocolate cake making a regular appearance.
The Old Bicycle Shop, 104 Regent Street, Cambridge CB2 1DP
Price range: Brunch from £3, lunch from £6, dinner from £6, sides from £3
True to its name, this popular Cambridge restaurant was once a bicycle shop. Offering a friendly and inviting atmosphere, the decor is quintessentially Cambridge, with a map of the city painted on one wall and University banners displayed proudly around the room. With a range of vegan options across the brunch, lunch and dinner menu, The Old Bicycle Shop is the perfect place to enjoy a main meal and a bottle of wine (or a soft drink for ‘designated cyclists’!) From the brunch menu we would recommend the deliciously indulgent French toast and maple syrup, while the posh butternut squash kebab is an evening favourite. It’s also worth checking out the dessert menu, where you will find the raw pistachio and meringue vegan cheesecake. You can thank us later!
Hot Numbers, 5/6 Dales Brewery, Gwydir Street, Cambridge CB1 2LJ and 4 Trumpington Street, CB2 1QA
Price guide: Breakfast from £5.50
Named after the Hot Numbers Record Store that once traded on the street adjacent to its first café, Hot Numbers is a well-loved Cambridge coffee shop and live music venue. With two cafés in the city, one in central and one just off Mill Road, it’s an easy place to visit whichever part of Cambridge you’re in. Both venues have a busy and vibrant atmosphere with two outstanding vegan options being served on the breakfast menu. Be sure to arrive between 7.30am and 12pm for a choice between the raspberry and coconut panna cotta and the banana chia porridge. Or, if you’re arriving later, enjoy smashed avocado and sourdough for lunch. Don’t forget to check out their live music calendar as well for the chance to see some local bands in action!
Stem & Glory, Mitcham’s Corner, Chesterton Road, Cambridge, CB4 3AT
Price guide: Starters from £3.50, small plates from £6, mains from £11.95
For vegans visiting Cambridge, Stem & Glory is a must! Serving an entirely vegan menu, this restaurant offers creative plant-based dishes and a friendly, vibrant ambience for you to relax and enjoy. From their selection of small plates, the kimchi pancakes are particularly appetising, while the cauliflower and coconut curry is the perfect main meal option. They also have a mouth-watering dessert list, including raw blueberry and banana cheesecake, and an irresistibly rich chocolate marquise. All in all, the relaxed atmosphere and delicious vegan cuisine make it the perfect place to enjoy a three-course meal.
The Rainbow Café, 9A King’s Parade, Cambridge CB2 1SJ
Price guide: Starters from £3.45, mains from £10.95
Tucked away down a side street opposite Kings College, The Rainbow Café is one of Cambridge’s hidden gems. The restaurant itself has a cosy, intimate feel and the food is wholesome, hearty and delicious. Offering an entirely vegan/vegetarian menu, there are plenty of plant-based options to choose from, including a chilli non carne, several pasta dishes and a selection of vegan lasagnes. Delicious and affordable, these generous portions never disappoint!
Doppleganger Burgers, 14A Trinity Street, Cambridge, CB2 1TB
Price guide: Burgers from £8.50, sides from £3
If you’re in the mood for vegan junk food, this is the place to visit! This vegan pop-up restaurant serves evening meals between 5pm and 11pm at the 2648 bar. Each burger contains a ‘dopplepatti’ with a combination of flavoursome ingredients. Choose from the ‘classic’ vegan cheeze and bacon burger, the ‘chow me in’ Asian-style lemongrass and coriander burger or the ‘cali’ onion and Portobello mushroom burger. Load up with fries and enjoy this indulgent feast with a cocktail at one of Cambridge’s trendiest bars.
Urban Larder, 9 The Broadway, Cambridge, CB1 3AH
Price guide: Meals from around £5
The ideal place to grab lunch and a coffee, Urban Larder is a trendy little café located on Mill Road. Offering a vegan friendly menu, it serves sandwiches, soups and make-your-own salad bowls. There is also a range of different nut milks for coffees and hot beverages, as well as a selection of homemade cakes, of which there is always a vegan option.
Top 5 places to visit
Take a walk down King’s Parade and enjoy the impressive views of Kings College. Founded by King Henry VI in 1441, this university college is deep rooted in Cambridge’s history with its world famous choir and chapel. When you’ve had a look around, head to the back of the building where you’ll find the River Cam busy with boats punting up and down the water.
Spend some time wandering around the Cambridge University college gardens. In the centre of Cambridge you will find several colleges including Sidney Sussex College, Christ’s College and St John’s College. Ideal for escaping the bustle of the busy high street, find tranquillity in each of these beautiful Cambridge landscapes.
Located on the edge of central Cambridge, Mill Road is a must when visiting the city. Offering a selection of quirky cafés, bars and shops, it’s the perfect place to find hidden treasure and enjoy some great food.
Diverse and eclectic, Cambridge market is host to a number of clothing, jewellery, flower and food stalls. Busiest on the weekends, enjoy a spot of shopping and some delicious street food whilst taking in the sights and mingling with the locals.
Famously the oldest building in Cambridge, St Bene’t’s church is located in the centre of the city. Estimated to have been built in about 1020, this Anglican church is a blissfully peaceful corner of Cambridge. Featuring impressive stained glass windows, high ceilings and historic pieces of art, it’s definitely worth a visit!