Travel: Gluten-Free in Cambridge
Cambridge is such a beautiful city, and when you’re here for the day, you’ll definitely want to visit at least one of the lovely cafés here. If like me, you’re a coeliac, finding gluten-free food in a new city can often be a stress. I’ve lived in Cambridge for two years now, and have tried out almost all the cafés this city has to offer, so here are a few of my faves for you to try!
Possibly my favourite cafe in Cambridge, Urban Shed is a vintage shop and café combined. The retro decor is not just for show, and most of the items and furniture which decorate the place are up for sale, if you just ask a member of staff. In my opinion however, the star attraction is their amazing sandwiches - any of which can be made on gluten free bread - with a great choice of fillings, including lots of vegetarian and vegan options. Honestly the tastiest sandwiches in the city, for a very reasonable price. If you're still hungry after (which, given the enormous portions, is unlikely), they have a great range of gluten free and vegan cakes. All of their food can be bought to take away, which makes it the perfect picnic food, especially with the great variety of picnic spots nearby (Christ's Pieces, Jesus Green and Midsummer Common to name but a few). They also have a deal going with the pub next door, so you're able to take your sandwich into the pub to have with a pint!
The best way to describe this cafe is probably as an Instagram-able hipster brunch spot, which caters to coeliacs and vegans alike. Close to the city centre, its very popular, so you may have to be prepared to queue, but it's definitely worth the wait. They have a great salad selection, all freshly made, as well as a great GF frittata, and loads of great vegan options (including cakes!).
A super popular vegetarian, vegan and gluten free café which has won awards for its food -if you've got complex dietary requirements, or are even just a picky eater, then you'll still have an amazing amount of menu choices! Although the decor leaves a little to be desired (not sure teddies as ornaments are a good idea), it's still one of the best places to get a meal in Cambridge! My top recommendation would be their gluten free spinach and ricotta lasagne, and definitely don't hold back on the desserts - they have a specials menu featuring gluten free cakes and vegan cheesecakes, all freshly made daily.
A little out of the centre of town, but a suitably hipster café nonetheless. It has a great menu of vegan and gluten free options, including the cliché millennial brunch of avocado toast. As the name suggests, they love coffee and books, and the two are regularly combined with their "Bookbar" event, an opportunity to take in some cool fiction and poetry whilst enjoying their delicious menu. The café also has a great selection of art, hosting temporary exhibitions of local artists work.
Situated just between Urban Shed and Stickybeaks, this area of Cambridge has a high concentration of excellent cafés. Although they have a small menu of sandwiches and soup, Afternoon Tease is still a great spot to get lunch, as they have gluten free bread so can adapt most dishes. Another tiny café with a vintage style interior, their gluten free cakes are not to be missed.
Perhaps not the most Gluten free friendly for lunch, as you're limited to salad, this traditional family owned Italian coffee bar is too good to miss off the list. We all know that Italians do it best when it comes to coffee, and they're renowned for doing the best cappuccino in Cambridge. If you're looking for a gluten free cake though, they sell an amazing almond based chocolate caprese cake, which although not advertised as being gluten free, is 100% coeliac friendly, and completely homemade. The café attracts a mixed clientèle of Italians and students alike, with them offering a discount to Emmanuel College students, due to its proximity to the college, meaning a large proportion of my student loan has probably been spent having a coffee study break there.
I could write a whole blog post about how much I love the Botanic Gardens here, as they’re so so beautiful, especially in the summer. If you visit, the café there is not to be missed - it’s fairly simple and has just a small selection of drinks and some gluten free cakes, but the surroundings could not be better. Sitting in the café with a raspberry lemonade and polenta cake is my favourite study spot, and a great escape when I’m in the middle of a stressful exam period
Other notable places to try include:
The Old Bicycle Shop
Fitzwilliam Museum Café