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15 Best Coffee Shops and Cafes in Cambridge, UK

15 Best Coffee Shops and Cafes in Cambridge, UK

I grew up and spent most of my life living just a few miles from this world-famous University city, and in this post, I’ll share with you the 15 best cafes in Cambridge. It’s such a wonderful place to visit and I highly recommend it for your next city break destination.

The University of Cambridge is the world’s third-oldest university in continuous operation and is the central cog of the city. Beautiful buildings that date back centuries and stunning churches and architecture are at almost every turn. It’s an incredibly enchanting city and I feel very lucky to have called it home, (well, close neighbor!) for many years.

Tourists and international students from around the world visit Cambridge every year, and this has created an excellent cafe culture scene. So, whether you like a specialist brew to start your day, something quick and easy, or a cozy place to while away a few hours you’ll find it here in my list of 15 of the best cafes in Cambridge, England.

Best Cafes and Coffee Shops in Cambridge

The competition is fierce when it comes to great coffee in Cambridge, so I’ve considered a number of factors when compiling this list. After all, my own coffee requirements can vary on a day-to-day basis. So, expect to see everything from quirky and unique coffee shops to the best cafes to work from remotely.

1. Bould Brothers Coffee(Best Cafe in Cambridge Overall)

Let’s kick things off with the best coffee in Cambridge. Bould Brothers Coffee actually has two Cambridge cafes and both are equally delightful places to visit. Owned and operated by two brothers (Max and Alex Bould), the emphasis is on serving the country’s most outstanding coffee in a charming and inviting space.

Both locations are full of character and have a warm and inviting ambiance. It’s a great environment to catch up with friends or to have a quiet coffee after a busy morning of sightseeing. The Bould Brothers location on Round Church Street has been a regular morning stop in Cambridge for me since it opened in 2017.

Don’t just take my word for it, Bould Brothers have been recommended by Vogue, Vanity Fair, and Trainline. On top of the excellent coffee they serve, you’ll also find a selection of fresh baked goods and some excellent sandwiches available every day too.

Bould Brothers Coffee Information

Address: 16 Round Church St, Cambridge CB5 8AD & 88 Regent St, Cambridge CB2 1DP Operating Hours: 8 am – 5 pm Mon-Sat. 9 am – 5pm Sun.Must-Try Items: If you’re feeling adventurous, try one of their specialty coffees like ‘The Potion’ or ‘The Magic’, both equally different and certainly not your average brew. Their best-selling chicken sandwich is highly rated too. Average Cost: $4 – $5 per coffee, $3 – $5 cakes, snacks and cookies. $7 – $9 sandwiches.Website: bouldbrotherscoffee.co.uk

Grilled spicy steak sandwiches wooden cutting boards on dark background

One of my favorite spots in Cambridge for lunch is Michaelhouse Cafe. Located inside the former St Michael’s Church, the stained glass windows, and much of the interior stonework, remain from its previous life. It makes for a truly spectacular setting whatever time of day you visit.

Don’t overlook the coffee or the breakfast and brunch menu, but I’ve highlighted this spot for lunch because of its spicy beef chili, which comes with a fresh sourdough roll and a sprinkling of cheddar cheese. It’s truly delicious. Their ciabatta sandwiches make for a hearty meal too.

Given its setting, Michaelhouse Cafe is one of the most unique cafes in Cambridge. It’s one not to be missed and is also a great spot for food.

Michaelhouse Cafe Information

Address: St Michael’s Church, Trinity St, Cambridge CB2 1SU, United KingdomPhone: +441223693216Operating Hours: 9 am – 5 pm Mon-Sat. 12 pm – 4 pm Sun.Must-Try Items: Stop in for lunch and try the spicy beef chili – their range of ciabatta sandwiches is good too. I’d go for the roasted Cumberland sausage and onion jam option if chili isn’t your thing.Average Cost: $3.50 – $4 per coffee, $5 – $9 breakfast options, $6 – $12 brunch and lunch dishes.Website: michaelhousecafe.com

3. Savino’s(Best Espresso)

best cafes in cambridge espresso

If you’re like me and love all things Italian, you must take a trip to Savino’s. This vibrant, authentic cafe has its roots deeply set in Italian coffee culture and it feels like stepping into a cafe in Rome when you enter.

With such proud Italian heritage comes some of the best coffee in Cambridge, most notably straight-up espresso. The Italians drink their coffee a little differently from us. If you order a coffee in Italy you’ll be served a short shot of strong espresso; the same goes at Savino’s.

Fear not though fans of the longer coffee, Savino’s knows it’s in location and caters to all varieties of coffee enthusiasts. This is a great place for Italian pastries too, having one with an espresso is quintessentially European.

Savino Information

Address: 3 Emmanuel St, Cambridge CB1 1NE, United Kingdom Phone: +441223566186Operating Hours: 7 am – 6 pm, Mon-Sat. Closed Sunday.Must-Try Items: Savino’s espresso is a true Italian experience and the best in the city. Sample the Italian pastries too!Average Cost: $3 – $4 coffees, $3 – $5 pastries and sweets, $7 – $10 sandwiches and salads.Website: savinos.co.uk

4. The Locker Cafe(Best Arts Cafe and Events)

Healthy breakfast toast with an avocado smash.

If you’re looking for a little extra from your cafe experience, look no further than The Locker Cafe. The welcoming and friendly coffee shop in Cambridge City Center is not only a great place for a quick coffee, but also hosts live music and pottery and art exhibitions.

The Locker Cafe is a father-and-son operation and has the feel of a family-run community hub. John and Adam (father and son respectively), opened the cafe in 2017 with a combined passion for pottery and coffee. Adam, an international barista, and John, the avid potter, have created something quite special and unique to Cambridge.

Here, you’ll find some excellent, well-sourced ethical coffee and a delicious menu of food that covers everything from light sweet bites to full lunches. What’s more, if you like the crockery, you can buy it! They were all made by John and are available for sale at the cafe.

The Locker Cafe Information

Address: 54 King St, Cambridge CB1 1LN, United Kingdom Phone: +447786 212120Operating Hours: 8.30 am – 5.30 pm Mon -Fri. 9.30 am – 5.30 pm Sat. 10 am – 4 pm Sun.Must-Try Items: The house coffee is always a great option to go for however you take your caffeine. This is an excellent cafe for smashed avocado on toast, which makes for the perfect breakfast, brunch, or even lunch.Average Cost: $4 – $5 coffees and teas, $5 – $10 breakfast and brunch options, $5 – $8 lunch dishes.Website: thelockercafe.co.uk

5. Hot Numbers – Trumpington St. Cafe(Best Coffee Roasters)

Roasting coffee beans with smoke wafting up on a black background.

If you like specialty coffee straight from the bean, you’ll find the best coffee roasters in Cambridge at Hot Numbers. Their Trumpington Street location is a wonderful cafe with a nice outdoor patio and warm and inviting decor inside. It’s a really great cafe to spend a while and savor the atmosphere, and offers comfortable outside seating on a nice day.

Hot Numbers has three locations within the Cambridge area and each is unique in its own right. The original cafe on Gywdir Street was a former brewery, has a cool cave-like feel to it, and also hosts live music and art events. The Roastery has more of a modern and sleek vibe and is home to a coffee training facility that aims to bring coffee knowledge to the general public.

It’s safe to say that these guys really know what they’re talking about when it comes to coffee. As well as a micro-roastery, Hot Numbers also has its own bakery and sells sourdough bread and baguettes from all its locations. The 3 cafes are great places to visit but if I’m forced to choose, I like the Trumpington Street branch the most.

Hot Numbers – (Trumpington St. Cafe) Information

Address: 4 Trumpington St, Cambridge CB2 1QA, United KingdomPhone: +441223612209Operating Hours: 7 am – 6 pm Mon-Sun.Must-Try Items: The outdoor garden at Trumpington Street is one of the nicest cafe patios in Cambridge, so be sure to plan some time here on a sunny day. It goes without saying that the coffee is excellent; choose your house-roasted bean and their SP9 brew method will bring it to life. Average Cost: $4 – $5 coffees and tea, $5 – $12 brunch and lunch options.Website: hotnumberscoffee.co.uk

6. Urban Larder(Best Takeaway Coffee)

take away coffee

Before I start this one let me just say Urban Larder is a cool coffee shop in Cambridge for drinking in as well as taking away. It’s a cute setup with just a few seats out front and a farm shop-style vibe inside. They sell locally sourced produce and serve some great coffee and indulgent toasties.

Urban Larder is located on the ‘other side’ of Cambridge train station, aka the side that doesn’t lead toward all of the major attractions. It’s my first point of call when I arrive in the city by train – especially on Mondays when customers receive £1 ($1.20) off their drink.

So, if you’re arriving by rail or find yourself around the Mill Road area during your trip, be sure to make a quick detour for a visit. It’s a very friendly and understated Cambridge cafe that makes good quality coffee and some really tasty food.

Urban Larder Information

Address: 9 The Broadway, Cambridge CB1 3AH, United Kingdom Operating Hours: 8 am – 5 pm Mon-Sun.Must-Try Items: Be sure to get the benefit of a discounted takeaway coffee if you’re nearby on a Monday. I’ve only had food here once but the toasty known as ‘The Big Cheesy’ was as good as it sounds.Average Cost: $3 – $4 per coffee, $7 – $10 toasties, $4 – $5 breakfast options.Website: urbanlarder.coffee

7. 5 Blends Coffee House (Best Remote Working Cafe)

remote work cafe

If you’re looking for a good spot to get through a few hours of work, 5 Blends Coffee House is one of the best coffee shops in Cambridge for this. With ample seating across two floors, plenty of power sockets, and decent free WiFi, it ticks all the boxes for digital nomads like myself.

It’s a comfortable cafe to spend time in too, with a warm and cozy decor and very friendly staff. They have 5 house blends of coffee available to choose from, ranging from a fruity light roast to an intense and bitter dark roast. I go for the bitter and dark coffee every time!

5 Blends Coffee House is located on Mill Road, a hip multicultural neighborhood away from the main hub of Cambridge City Center. It’s a great location for bars, restaurants, and of course cafes!

5 Blends Coffee House Information

Address: 42 Mill Rd, Petersfield, Cambridge CB1 2AD, United KingdomPhone: +441223355293Operating Hours: 8 am – 6 pm Mon-Fri. 9 am – 5 pm Sat & Sun.Must-Try Items: Load up on one of their 5 specialist house brews and smash through a few hours of remote working. It’s also a welcoming spot to settle in with a book, a drink, and some treats for a couple of hours. Average Cost: $3 – $4 coffees, $3 – $5 cakes, pastries and snacks, $8 – $11 paninis, salads, and sandwiches.Website: 5blends.com

8. Cafe Foy(Best River View)

Croque Monsieur toasted sandwich with cheese, ham, gruyere, and Bechamel sauce. Dark background top view.

The beautiful River Cam runs through Cambridge and is a major part of the city’s appeal. Whether it’s tourists taking boat trips, a spot of punting, or even swimming on warmer days, it’s a wonderful asset to the city. Many cafes, pubs, and restaurants utilize the wonderful views.

In my opinion, the best cafe in Cambridge with a view is Cafe Foy. Situated on the quayside with a boardwalk that runs along the river, it’s a great location for some stunning riverside views. On sunny days it’s a really popular spot as there’s a lovely outside patio space. Be sure to book ahead if you’re planning on dining here.

As well as an extensive hot and cold food menu, and great coffee (of course), Cafe Foy also has a full cocktail, beer, and wine menu available. As one of my favorite sayings goes, ‘Coffee is fine until it’s time for wine’, and Cafe Foy is a great place to live that reality.

Cafe Foy Information

Address: 2 Quayside, Cambridge CB5 8AB, United Kingdom Phone: +441223 366100Operating Hours: 10.30 am – 5 pm Thurs, Sun & Mon. 10.30 am – 8 pm Fri & Sat. Closed Mon & Tues.Must-Try Items: Enjoy a nice al fresco coffee overlooking the beautiful river. Foodwise, Cafe Foy is known to make some epic toasties. The Foy special is a signature three-cheese blend and bechamel; a cheese lover’s dream! Average Cost: $3.50 – $4.50 coffees, $6 – $8 beers, ciders, and glasses of wine, $8 – $10 brunch & lunch options. Website: cafefoy.com

9. Indigo Coffee House(Best Dog-Friendly Cafe)

grilled chicken panini.

If you’re out and about with a 4-legged friend and fancy a coffee, head to Indigo Coffee House, one of the best dog-friendly cafes in Cambridge. Several Cambridge cafes allow dogs, but equally quite a few don’t, so always check ahead if you’re heading out with your pooch for a caffeine fix.

Indigo is a tiny independent cafe that seats, I would guess, around 20 people comfortably inside, oh, and two outside. Dogs are very welcome and water is provided for your pets upon request. Everyone here seems to love dogs and no one had a problem with my friend’s labrador sprawling out across a good chunk of the floor on a previous visit.

There are nice views of the St Edwards Church and easy access to/from Kings College too. The staff are very happy to help tourists with guidance, directions, and information about the city should they require it.

Indigo Coffee House Information

Address: 8 St Edward’s Passage, Cambridge CB2 3PJ, United KingdomOperating Hours: 9.30 am – 3.30 pm Tues-Fri. 9.30 am – 4 pm Saturday. Closed Sun & Mon.Must-Try Items: The lunchtime paninis make for a very good, hearty meal. The homemade cakes are excellent, and the espresso caramel brownie is outstanding (if they have it in stock) – they usually sell out fast.Average Cost: $3.50 – $4.50 coffees and teas, $5 – $7 breakfast, brunch, and lunch options. $3 sweet treats.Website: Facebook – Indigo Coffee House Cambridge

10. Whale Cafe(Most Unique)

Cup of delicious coffee with froth on breakfast in cafeteria

Not too many cafes in the world have a 150-year-old whale skeleton for you to view. Whale Cafe is a part of the excellent Cambridge University Museum of Zoology and the skeletal remains of a 21 ft. Fin Whale are suspended from the lobby ceiling, forming part of the stunning entranceway to the museum and cafe.

It’s about as an impressive entrance to a cafe you will find. The whale has been owned by the museum since 1866, the year after it sadly washed up dead on the Sussex shoreline. It would have weighed a staggering 80 tonnes when alive – Fin whales are the second largest species of whales after the Blue whale.

The cafe itself is a simple and straightforward addition to the museum. The coffee is very affordable and the food, although basic, is done well. It’s a nice spot for coffee after a good few hours viewing the 2 million plus zoological specimens on display in the free museum.

Whale Cafe Information

Address: New Museum Site, Downing Pl, Cambridge CB2 3EJ, United Kingdom Operating Hours: 10 am – 3 pm Tues-Sat.Must-Try Items: Enjoy a cup of coffee whilst coming face to face with a 21ft, 80-tonne, 150-year-old Fin whale. The museum is also excellent and it’s free (please give a donation if you can). So as you’re heading to the cafe anyway, make it a part of your trip.Average Cost: $3 – $4 per coffee, $6 – $12 sandwiches and lunch options, $2 – $3 snacksWebsite: cam.ac.uk/visit-us/museum-shop-and-cafe

11. Pages Coffee House(Best Quiet Cafe Stop)

Cinnamon buns sit on a blue and white checked towel, straight from the oven. An icing glaze tops them.

I like pretty much everything about Pages Coffee House. It’s a small and friendly cafe that serves good coffee, some great teas, and even better cakes. From the outside, it looks as though it could be part of someone’s house, and that homely feel continues as you go inside.

This Cambridge cafe is ideally located for anyone out and about in the busy center who needs a quiet stop to rest their weary legs. The coffee here is always of great quality and reasonably priced, and the staff are always very inviting and welcoming. There’s even a charming little garden courtyard if the weather is right.

It’s a card-only cafe and ‘laptop friendly’ between 8 am and 12 pm. Despite being in a central location I’ve always found the atmosphere to be quiet and chilled. It’s a nice spot for a relaxed coffee and an hour or so with a good book.

Pages Coffee House Information

Address: 40 Trumpington St, Cambridge CB2 1QY, United KingdomOperating Hours: 8 am – 4 pm Mon-SunMust-Try Items: They always have some pretty epic cinnamon buns that are bigger than any I’ve ever had. I’ve also regularly seen some savory muffins for sale. The feta, cheddar cheese, and olive one sounds interesting. Average Cost: $3 – $4.50 coffees and teas, $4 cakes and muffins.Website: pagescambridge.com

12. The Regal(Cheapest Coffee)

Close-up image of a man and a woman clinking blue coffee mugs on a wooden table in a cafe.

For those not familiar with a J.D. Wetherspoons pub, you’ve been missing out. This huge British chain is best known for its often unbelievably low prices and an extensive menu of good pub grub, beers, and pitcher cocktails. But they shouldn’t be overlooked for their excellent coffee either.

Wetherspoons has over 850 locations in the UK and most are open from 8 am to serve breakfast. Free refill coffee is available all day via a help-yourself machine; simply pay for one cup (usually under $2) and knock yourself out. This includes lattes, cappuccinos, espresso, decaf, and a range of teas too.

The Regal in Cambridge is one of the nicer Wetherspoons pubs I’ve visited, and I’ve visited quite a few! The building was a former cinema and in keeping with the company’s ethos they’ve tried to maintain much of the original features. It’s a pretty cool place for a coffee or three, and the cheapest you will find anywhere around.

The Regal Information

Address: 38-39 St Andrew’s St, Cambridge CB2 3AR, United KingdomPhone: +441223366459Operating Hours: 8 am – 12 am Sun-Weds. 8 am – 1 am Thurs. 8 am – 3 am Fri & Sat.Must-Try Items: Load up on caffeine or your hot drink of choice for the cheapest prices in town. There are some excellent breakfast options too, ranging from small bites to huge, full traditional English breakfasts.Average Cost: $2 coffee and tea, $3 – $7 breakfast options, $7 – $16 lunch and dinner plates.Website: jdwetherspoon.com

13. Espresso Library(Best Specialty Coffee)

Aeropress coffee maker ready for brewing

Espresso Library is where specialty coffee in Cambridge meets community. It’s a sleek and modern cafe to enjoy some really great coffee, perhaps a game of chess, or even engage in a serious discussion about world cycling!

This isn’t just your run-of-the-mill coffee shop. They’ve crafted an open and welcoming environment where people from all walks of life gather to immerse themselves in what makes their hearts race. Once inside, you’ll discover a unique fusion of a cycling cafe, an art gallery, a specialty coffee haven, a restaurant, and even a bar.

So, whether you’re a cycling fanatic, an art lover, a coffee connoisseur, or just someone looking for a welcoming space to connect with others who share similar interests, Espresso Library is the place to be.

Espresso Library Information

Address: 210 East Rd, Petersfield, Cambridge CB1 1BG, United Kingdom Phone: +1223367333Operating Hours: 8 am – 4 pm, Mon-Sun.Must-Try Items: A great place for specialty filter coffee, the V60 or Aeropress are two great options to consider. The food is very good here too. The ‘porridge like no other’ with added peanut butter is a fantastic breakfast choice.Average Cost: $4 – $5 coffees, $5 – $16 breakfast and lunch options, $4 – $6 cakes and sweet treats.Website: espressolibrary.com

14. Mill Mediterranean Coffee Spot(Best Savory Crepes)

Savory Homemade Mushroom and Spinach Crepes. two forks and a napkin on the side.

Like most places in continental Europe, coffee is a huge deal in Greece. I love that Cambridge has an authentic Greek cafe that serves their traditional coffee alongside some delicious delicacies like baklava and loukoumades.

Mill Mediterranean Coffee Spot is a little gem of a cafe. The family-owned business has its roots deeply set in Greek tradition and this is evident when you walk through the door. There’s a lot of passion that goes into the coffee, and the food. It’s a vibrant place for a coffee stop.

As well as the traditional, finer ground Greek brew with a frothy head, you’ll find the usual mix of coffee options. I’ve stopped by this place a few times and enjoyed a savory crepe. You pay for the base crepe and then can go wild by adding whichever ingredients and toppings you want for around a dollar apiece. It’s a good idea to head here for a delicious brunch.

Mill Mediterannean Coffee Spot Information

Address: 32 Mill Rd, Petersfield, Cambridge CB1 2AD, United Kingdom Phone: +1223690282Operating Hours: 7 am – 6 pm Mon-SunMust-Try Items: A great place for savory crepes; have it your way by choosing any toppings for around a dollar each. ‘When in Rome ‘ or maybe I should say ‘When in Athens’ have a Greek coffee, you’ll certainly taste the difference compared to your standard daily dose.Average Cost: $3 – $4.50 coffees and teas, $5 – $6 cakes and sweet treats, $5+ crepesWebsite: Facebook – Mill Mediterannean Coffee Spot

15. Shelley & Sarah’s

(Best Coffee Stall)

english breakfast cambridge

Shelley, Sarah, and Jim have been the dedicated faces behind the refreshments kiosk at Cambridge Market since 2004, marking the third generation of traders on the historic Cambridge Market Square. Their commitment to offering a diverse menu has made them a beloved fixture in the market scene.

At Shelley & Sarah’s, you’ll always find an array of freshly prepared delights, both hot and cold. They serve up a large selection of rolls, baguettes, and sandwiches, and they’ve also got their customers covered with a variety of teas and great coffees. Their renowned English Breakfasts are nothing short of amazing

I love Shelley & Sarah’s for their commitment to using daily fresh, and locally sourced ingredients. Even as a small market stall operation, they only use free-range eggs and locally baked bread. Even their bacon, burgers, and sausages are from a nearby butcher which ensures top quality. This dedication is undoubtedly why they are such a popular spot.

Shelley & Sarah’s Information

Address: Cambridge CB2 3NR, United Kingdom Phone: +7515928042Operating Hours: 7 am – 3 pm Mon-Fri. 7 am – 4 pm Sat. 8 am – 3 pm Sun.Must-Try Items: You’ve not lived if you haven’t had a market stall English Breakfast before, especially on a cold morning! You’ll find some great breakfast choices here, large well-filled rolls, sizeable plates, and good coffee to boot. Average Cost: $3 – $4 coffees and teas, $4 – $8 breakfast rolls, sandwiches, and plates, $3 – $8 lunch options.Website: shelleyandsarahs.co.uk

Cambridge Cafes and Coffee Shops FAQs

Here are some answers to the most popular questions about the best cafes in Cambridge:

What are the best cafes in Cambridge?

There are many great cafes in Cambridge. A couple of the best ones are Bould Brothers Coffee and Michaelhouse Cafe. Bould Brothers has two locations in the city and is highly recommended. Michaelhouse Cafe is situated in a former church and is a stunning place for coffee and food.

Do you tip in Cambridge?

It would be a little unusual to tip at a coffee shop, bar, or cafe in Cambridge. Some places may have a jar close to the counter for loose change. However, tipping is considered respectful for good service after a meal and is occasionally added to the bill for larger groups in a restaurant. A figure of around 10-15% is considered the ‘done thing’.

What neighborhood has the best cafes in Cambridge?

Central Cambridge has the best and highest concentration of cafes for sure. Within a short walk, you will come across some excellent places such as The Locker Cafe, Cafe 24, and Bould Brothers Coffee to name but a few. These are all close to some of Cambridge’s most famous attractions too.

Does Cambridge have good coffee?

Cambridge has excellent coffee and some great coffee shops and cafes. Whether you like a quick and easy espresso to take away in the morning or a leisurely specialist coffee on a lazy afternoon, you’ll find it in one of Cambridge’s many top coffee spots.

How much is an average coffee in Cambridge?

The average coffee in Cambridge costs around $3.50 – $4. Prices for specialist coffees, alternative milk, and different coffee-making methods will increase the price slightly. But you expect to pay somewhere around this price for a good-sized cup of excellent coffee in Cambridge.

Is coffee popular in Cambridge?

Coffee is very popular in Cambridge. The sheer number of excellent coffee shops and Cambridge cafes would suggest that coffee forms an important part of many people’s daily routines. The city also benefits from many international tourists each year and this certainly helps with maintaining the quality of coffee in Cambridge.

To Summarize

There are so many great cafes and coffee shops in Cambridge that narrowing it down to my favorite 15 was a tough task. I hope this list has helped with some ideas for where the best places can be found.

The cafe culture in Cambridge really forms a core part of the city, and unless you try at least a few, you won’t have experienced Cambridge to its full extent. So I say embrace the caffeine and cakes and work your way through this list!

Whether you want a fantastic espresso to go, or wish to cozy up in a nook to nurse a long coffee for an hour or so, you’ll find what you’re looking for in Cambridge.

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