Exploring Mill Road’s food and drink favourites
We asked guest blogger Pina from Cambridge-based food blog One Two Culinary Stew to tell us about a few of her favourite Mill Road food and drink spots. Look out for Pina’s Eat Cambridge Instagram takeover for even more local gems and some snaps to whet your appetite for eating local and indie… @eatcambridge
Mill Road is a thriving part of Cambridge’s food and drink scene. There is so much to discover, you can easily spend days exploring the independent shops, cafés, delis, grocery stores, butcher, restaurants, pubs, bars… the list of all the fantastic food and drink goes on! That’s precisely what’s so great about Mill Road. I visit the area quite often and, although I have my preferred hangs, there’s always a new foodie find just around the corner. So my list of favourite food and drink spots is by no means exhaustive. It will, however, provide some insight into some of the delectable offerings in the vibrant Mill Road area. Here are some of the delights you can sip and savour…
Coffee – Hot Numbers on Gwydir Street, just off Mill Road, prides itself on ethically sourced, seasonal coffee. The result is an exceptional cuppa enjoyed in the chilled out café or at home, if you buy a pack of their own-roasted coffee beans. Check out the scrumptious cakes and Portuguese custard tarts too.
Tea – The High Tea Club offers an incredible selection of loose leaf teas, including rare and unusual varieties from China. The Mountain Dream flowering tea, served in a clear teapot, opens into a flower right before your eyes. Stop by in the evening for their stunning tea-based cocktails.
Breakfast – Relevant Record Cafe has breakfast down pat with their Eggs Relevant: poached eggs on toast or muffins, topped with fresh herbs and seeds with a side of baked beans. Tip: there are tables in the record shop downstairs but you can also sink into the retro leather sofas, admire the psychedelic wallpaper and listen to what’s spinning on the turntable. It’s like sitting in your nan’s living room. Old school in a good way!
Lunch on the Go – The Garden Kitchen may be small but it’s packed with one culinary discovery after another. Pop in for a parade of delicious bakes, casseroles, stews, soups, savoury pies, sweet treats and so much more. The salad bar alone is impressive. Jacket potatoes filled with fresh ingredients are featured on Fridays.
Pizza and Pasta – The pizzas at Tradizioni come with a choice of fresh toppings. Pastas are matched with succulent sauces such as slow cooked ragú, freshly prepared pesto and carbonara. Truffle season sees this ingredient incorporated into their dishes.
Steamed Buns – Don’t miss the Shanghai Xiao Long Bao at Noodles Plus+. These steamed buns are served in a traditional steaming basket made of bamboo. Half the fun is in the eating: pick up a bun, dip in ginger vinegar sauce, take a small bite and carefully suck out the piping hot broth.
Local Products – Urban Larder strikes the perfect balance between café and shop. Their clear focus on local products is reflected in their food and drink. It’s an Aladdin’s cave of Cambridgeshire producers, such as Gourmet Brownie, Jack’s Gelato, Bread on a Bike, Inder’s Kitchen, Alison Reed Chocolates and Canesmith & Co.
Gourmet Delights – If you can get past the staggering display of decadent chocolates at Culinaris, you’ll find a wonderful selection of cheeses. Bonus: you are free to sample to your heart’s content! Limoncello is a treasure trove of Italian products. Look for all six flavours of Le Opere e i Giorni organic infused extra virgin olive oils.
Beer, Wine, Cocktails – There are little hideaways where a variety of tipples can be enjoyed. Cambridge Wine Merchants has a subterranean speakeasy, their secret pop up bar downstairs. The understated presence of 196 hasn’t deterred fans of proper cocktails. Getting a table is like winning the lottery. The brothers of Calverley’s Brewery at the end of Hooper Street brew some amazing craft beer. You can drop in on Saturdays (for now) to sample and buy, either to enjoy in their cosy seating area or take away in reusable carry kegs.
Pina Broccoli Anaia – One Two Culinary Stew (http://onetwoculinarystew.com)
Want to know more about Mill Road’s food heritage? Look out for the Eat Mill Road Tour fringe event coming up during this year’s Eat Cambridge festival in May 2016. Full programme coming very soon!