15 Best Cambridge Pubs in 2023 (Pints, Food and Music)
Cambridge is one of England’s most charming cities with a rich history and one of the most prestigious Universities in the world. There are lots of amazing things to do in the city, and visiting some of the many wonderful Cambridge pubs for a drink or a bite to eat is one of the pleasures of visiting.
I’ve been visiting Cambridge since childhood and it’s still one of my favorite places to get away to and explore the museums, restaurants, and pubs. There’s a huge selection to pick from including pubs with good food, pubs with cheap food, amazing riverside views, history, and cozy choices for winter.
Best Pubs in Cambridge
Quick Look: Best Pubs in Cambridge
After eating and drinking my way around Cambridge for over 15 years, I’ve compiled this list of my favorite pubs in the city based on the atmosphere, quality of the food and drinks, service, location, my personal opinion, and customer reviews (so that it’s not solely based on my opinion).
Over the years I’ve popped into more pubs than on this list, but I’ve narrowed this selection down to the best 15 based on those criteria.
1. The Salisbury Arms: Top Pub in Cambridge Overall
The Salisbury Arms is a gorgeous old pub that’s located close to the station. With a wide selection of ales on tap, guest beers, and bottles from around the world, as well as ciders, wines, and cocktails, you certainly won’t be left thirsty after a visit to this wonderful pub.
This is one of my favorite Cambridge pubs thanks to its great beers and lively atmosphere. There’s a beer garden for the warmer months and the pub is dog-friendly both inside and out, so your good boy (or girl) is welcome in the bar.
The food menu includes homemade pizzas, nachos, and other bar snacks. The Salisbury has lots of great deals on food and drinks from 2-4-1 pizzas on Mondays to happy hours with two cocktails for £12 from Mon-Fri.
The Salisbury Arms Information
Address: Tenison Road, Cambridge, CB1 2DW
Phone: +44 (0)1223 576363
Operating Hours: 12 pm-11 pm, Mon-Sat, 12 pm-10 pm, Sun
Must-Try Items: Passion fruit Martini, shroom pizza, Lotus Biscoff cheesecake
Average Cost: £4.50-£6 per pint, £8 per cocktail, £10.50-£12.50 per pizza
2. The Eagle
Not only is The Eagle one of the best pubs in Cambridge center thanks to its great selection of beers and fun atmosphere, but it’s also one of the most historic pubs in the city. The pub dates back to the 14th Century and it was here, in 1953, that Francis Crick announced the discovery of DNA.
The pub has a rustic interior that’s cozy in winter and a beer garden perfect for long, summer evenings. It offers a menu of pub classics such as beer-battered fish and chips and steak and ale pie to European dishes like king prawn and chorizo (yum), ciabatta sandwiches, and nachos.
This is definitely one of my favorite spots in the city as it serves up some of the best pub food in Cambridge. No trip to the city is complete without visiting this historic and homely pub, often labeled as one of the most famous pubs in Cambridge.
The Eagle Information
Address: Bene’t Street, Cambridge, CB2 3QN
Phone: +44 (0)1223 505020
Operating Hours: 11 am-11 pm, Mon-Wed, 11 am-12 am, Thu-Sat, 11 am-10:30 pm, Sun
Must-Try Items: King prawn and chorizo, fish and chips, Hampshire pork belly
Average Cost: £4-£5 per pint, £7 per cocktail, £12-£19 per main
3. BrewDog Cambridge
Scottish craft beer brewer BrewDog are the makers of Punk IPA, one of my favorite beers. Their Cambridge taproom is an excellent place for an evening out and offers a fantastic selection of their own brews and some excellent burgers (both meat and plant-based).
The pub has some great deals such as a bottomless brunch with unlimited prosecco or Punk IPA and a 2-4-1 offer on burgers from Monday to Wednesday.
You can also come here to watch the latest live sports from the Six Nations rugby to Championship football.
BrewDog Cambridge Information
Address: 15 Bene’t Street, Cambridge, CB2 3QN
Phone: +44 (0)1223 352545
Operating Hours: 12 pm-12 am, Mon-Sun
Must-Try Items: Punk IPA, Hazy Jane New England IPA
Average Cost: £5-£6 per pint, £8 per cocktail, £13.50-£15.95 per burger
4. Fort St George
The Fort St George is one of the best riverside pubs in Cambridge. This beautiful, traditional inn overlooks a large common with grazing cows and the River Cam so you can be forgiven for thinking you’re in the middle of the country rather than a short walk from the city center.
If you’re looking for nice pubs in Cambridge then you can’t go wrong with The Fort St George. The 16th Century building includes wooden beams, large windows, and an open fireplace for cold, winter evenings.
This is somewhere I like to spend sunny afternoons sitting outside with a pint (or three) and a good book. This is a family pub where all ages are welcome and the menu includes classic British dishes like sausage and mash, half-roast chicken, and my favorite – scampi and chips.
The Fort St George Information
Address: Midsummer Common 11, Cambridge, CB4 1HA
Phone: +44 (0)1223 354327
Operating Hours: 12 pm-11 pm, Mon-Sat, 12 pm-10:30 pm, Sun
Must-Try Items: Old Speckled Hen, Abbot Ale, scampi and chips
Average Cost: £4-£5 per pint, £7 per cocktail, £12-£19 per main
5. The Anchor
The Anchor is another of the great riverside pubs in Cambridge and is located in the heart of the city, just a stone’s throw from Queen’s College. This is another favorite spot of mine to while away an afternoon thanks to the awesome views of the city and river Cam.
The pub has a large dining room overlooking the banks and an outside terrace for sunny days where you can watch people punting down the river like something out of an Evelyn Waugh novel (every time I’m in Cambridge I can’t help thinking of Brideshead Revisited).
There’s no denying that The Anchor is one of the best pubs in Cambridge, UK, and is popular with tourists and locals alike thanks to its stunning views of the colleges and river. Pub food is served daily and is priced very reasonably given the location.
The Anchor Information
Address: Silver Street, Cambridge, CB3 9EL
Phone: +44 (0)1223 353554
Operating Hours: 12 pm-11 pm, Mon-Sat, 12pm-10-pm, Sun
Must-Try Items: Any guest ale, sea bass, asparagus caesar salad
Average Cost: £5-£6 per pint, £8 per cocktail, £15-£20 per main
6. Baron of Beef
The Baron of Beef is an excellent little pub a few short steps from the historic Round Church and is one of the top pubs in Cambridge with a good selection of beers, a reasonably-priced menu, live sports showings, and occasional live music. The Baron is just a few minutes walk from the river and city center.
There’s a pleasant patio to the rear of the pub and they have a decent menu of burgers, sharing platters, and other pub snacks. One of the best pubs in Cambridge for decent food at a good price.
Baron of Beef Information
Address: 19 Bridge Street, Cambridge, CB2 1UF
Phone: +44 (0)1223 505022
Operating Hours: 11 am-11 pm, Sun-Thu, 11 am-12 am, Fri-Sat
Must-Try Items: Abbot Ale, Old Speckled Hen, katsu chicken burger
Average Cost: £4-£5 per pint, £7 per cocktail, £10-£15 per main
7. The Regal
If you’re looking for the cheapest pint in Cambridge then head to the local Wetherspoons joint; The Regal. Wetherspoons is a chain of pubs across the UK famed for being open all day (from 8 am) and selling pints for as little as £1! This is somewhere I usually meet friends for a few beers and a meal before moving on into town.
With a huge selection of craft ales, cocktails, wines, and other drinks for knock-down prices you really can’t go wrong. The menu includes grills, burgers, curries, and all-day breakfasts (my go-to) and the prices cannot be beaten.
The pub is housed in an old cinema and is found in a central location within easy reach of the main tourist attractions.
The Regal Information
Address: 38-39 St Andrew’s Street, Cambridge, CB2 3AR
Phone: +44 (0)1223 366459
Operating Hours: 8 am-12 am, Sun-Thu, 8 am-2am, Fri-Sat
Must-Try Items: Growling Dog IPA, Fourpure Citrus IPA, all-day breakfast
Average Cost: £1.50-£4 per pint, £5 per cocktail, £6-£12 per main
8. The Mill
The gorgeous Mill is another of the riverside pubs around Cambridge and occupies an old 19th Century Mill on the banks of the Cam. This is one of the best real ale pubs in Cambridge and they have an excellent selection of hand-pulled beers. Don’t just take my word for it, they’ve also won many CAMRA awards over the years (CAMRA is the Campaign for Real Ale).
They have both indoor and outdoor seating, an excellent food menu, and the pub is dog-friendly. The Mill is a proper British pub so if you’re looking for that authentic experience in a stunning location, this is the place to go.
The Mill Information
Address: 14 Mill Lane, Cambridge, CB2 1RX
Phone: +44 (0)1223 311829
Operating Hours: 12 pm-11 pm, Mon-Sat, 12 pm-9 pm, Sun
Must-Try Items: Adnams Pale Ale, Strongbow cloudy cider, Cumberland sausage and mash
Average Cost: £4-£6 per pint, £8 per cocktail, $6-10 per appetizer
9. Town and Gown
The Town and Gown is housed in an old theater and is one of the more lively Cambridge pubs that’s popular with students. This is the place to come to eat, drink and be merry from early ’til late.
There’s still a working theater on the top floor of the venue so you can have a few drinks or a bite to eat downstairs before catching a performance. Expect excellent ales, exquisite hand-made cocktails, and some unique gins.
The gastropub-style food menu features the freshest ingredients with lots of healthy options from a Java curry wellness bowl and grilled salmon to the slightly less healthy but oh-so-good fish and chips.
Town and Gown Information
Address: 8 Market Passage, Cambridge, CB2 3PF
Phone: +44 (0)1223 309796
Operating Hours: 10 am-12 pm, Sun-Thu, 10 am-1am, Fri-Sat
Must-Try Items: Rivertown IPA, espresso Martini, wagyu burger
Average Cost: £5-£6 per pint, £9 per cocktail, £11-£18 per meal
10. The Old Ticket Office
The station-themed Old Ticket Office is definitely a good pub in Cambridge for brunch, lunch, or dinner as well as drinks thanks to its excellent menu. This place is popular with commuters, locals, and tourists alike and is known for its moreish, homemade bar snacks (try the sausage roll or scotch egg).
The Old Ticket Office Information
Address: Unit 1, Cambridge Railway Station, Cambridge, CB1 2JW
Phone: +44 (0)1223 859017
Operating Hours: 12 pm-10 pm, Mon-Thu, 12 pm-12 am, Fri-Sat, 12 pm-7 pm, Sun
Must-Try Items: Beer-battered fish and chips, spiced cauliflower wings, Korean chicken burger
Average Cost: £5-£6 per pint, £7 per cocktail, £8-£14 per appetizer
11. The Pickerel
The Pickerel is the oldest pub in Cambridge. The building dates back to the 15th Century and has been serving up beer since the 16th Century.
Although the pub has had several upgrades since then, it still retains much of its old-world charm which I think makes it one of the nicest pubs in Cambridge.
The Pickerel Information
Address: 30 Magdalene Street, Cambridge, CB3 0AF
Phone: +44 (0)1223 355068
Operating Hours: 12 pm-11 pm, Mon-Wed, 12 pm-12 am, Thu-Fri, 12 pm-1 am, Sat, 12 pm-10:30 pm, Sun
Must-Try Items: Abbot Ale, scampi and chips, Sunday roast
Average Cost: £4-£6 per pint, £7 per cocktail, £12-£15 per main
12. The Grain and Hop Store
This modern pub in the heart of the city center serves up a great selection of craft ales, ciders, cocktails, and wines. Their menu comprises contemporary British dishes and light snacks that you can enjoy in the adjoining beer garden.
The Grain Hop is a family-friendly pub that showcases the latest sports on large TVs throughout the venue. This is one of the best pubs in Cambridge for craft beer. Expect a youngish crowd and a lively atmosphere on weekends.
The Grain and Hop Store Information
Address: 69-76 Regent Street, Cambridge, CB2 1AB
Phone: +44 (0)1223 323405
Operating Hours: 12 pm-11 pm, Sun-Thu, 12 pm-12 am, Fri-Sat
Must-Try Items: Draught espresso Martini, blood orange spritz, southern-fried fish and chips
Average Cost: $2-$4 per pint, $7 per cocktail, $6-10 per appetizer
13. The Red Bull
The Red Bull is a family-friendly pub in the quiet Cambridge suburb of Newnham. As well as a good selection of beers from around the world, there are lots of deals on food such as the ‘two pizzas for £15’ deal every Monday.
Live sports are played throughout the year and there’s a pleasant outdoor patio that’s perfect for al-fresco dining.
The Red Bull Information
Address: 11 Barton Road, Cambridge, CB3 9JZ
Phone: +44 (0)1223 300943
Operating Hours: 4 pm-10 pm, Mon-Wed, 12 pm-11 pm, Thu-Sat, 12 pm-6 pm, Sun
Must-Try Items: Old Speckled Hen, passion fruit Martini, steak and ale pie
Average Cost: £4-£6 per pint, £7 per cocktail, £12-£17 per main
14. The Maypole
Craft beer lovers shouldn’t miss the beautiful 19th Century Maypole as it has 15 craft draught beers and 16 real ales on tap. The pub has been serving customers since 1892 and often holds beer and cider festivals which are well worth attending (check their website before your visit to see what’s on before you go).
The Maypole also has up to 50 different gins and an assortment of other specially crafted cocktails to try out.
The Maypole Information
Address: 20A Portugal Place, Cambridge, CB5 8AF
Phone: +44 (0)1223 352999
Operating Hours: 12 pm-2:30 pm and 5:30 pm-11 pm
Must-Try Items: Any of the craft beers and gin cocktails
Average Cost: £4-$6 per pint, $7 per cocktail, £8-£10 per main
15. The Elm Tree
This cozy pub in the heart of Cambridge is a great place for beer lovers and specializes in artisan craft beers, Belgian lagers, and ales from small breweries around the UK.
There’s an outside terrace, and although The Elm Tree doesn’t have a kitchen, it does serve a selection of bar snacks. Patrons to the pub can even bring in their own food!
The Elm Tree has live music on Sunday nights and a selection of board games available which makes this a fun pub to visit with friends or family. The candle-lit interior gives it a warm and homely feel – this is definitely one of the best pubs in Cambridge.
The Elm Tree Information
Address: 16A Orchard Street, Cambridge, CB1 1JT
Phone: +44 (0)1223 322553
Operating Hours: 11 am-11 pm, Mon-Sat, 12 pm-10:30 pm, Sun
Must-Try Items: Any of the craft beers or Belgian lagers
Average Cost: £4-£6 per pint, £8 per cocktail
Pub and Bar Tours in Cambridge
Below, you’ll find details of pub and bar tours in Cambridge:
Cambridge Heritage Pub Guided Walking Tour
This excellent walking tour of Cambridge takes in three of the city’s most famous pubs. You’ll get to learn about the history of the city and its inns from Cambridge graduates and alumni and the tour includes one drink in each venue.
Cambridge Pubs: FAQs
Here are answers to popular questions about the best pubs in Cambridge:
There are so many excellent pubs it’s difficult to choose just one. The historic Eagle is a fantastic pub with a lively atmosphere, The Fort St George offers stunning views of the River Cam, and The Elm Tree offers a great selection of beers.
As a rule, you don’t tip for drinks in Cambridge, or anywhere in the UK for that matter. However, if you have a meal and the food and service were above average then a tip of 10-15% is customary.
The best pubs in Cambridge can be found around the city center such as on the High Street and along the River Cam. There are also some nice country pubs to be found just outside of the city such as the White Horse.
The average cost of a pint in Cambridge is £4.65 ($5.60) which is a little on the expensive side, (as with most parts of London and the southeast of England). If you’re looking for a cheap pint then head to one of the pubs in Liverpool where the average cost is just £3.00 ($3.60).
The Eagle is the most famous pub in Cambridge as it is where Francis Crick and James Watson announced their discovery of the “secret of life” i.e DNA in 1953. It’s also one of the most popular pubs in the city and always has a great atmosphere.
The Pickerel Inn is thought to be the oldest pub in Cambridge and has been serving customers since at least the 16th Century. The Eagle is also another contender for the oldest pub in Cambridge as it dates back to 1667.
There isn’t a main bar street in Cambridge but many pubs and inns can be found in the city center and along the River Cam. Most of the pubs in Cambridge are within an easy walk of one another; making it easy to bar-hop around the city and try out a few different places.
Now you know about the best pubs and bars in Cambridge. From gorgeous riverside settings like The Fort St George and Anchor to cheap pints at The Regal and wonderful Cambridge pubs with beer gardens like the Salisbury and The Eagle, there’s somewhere to satisfy everyone.
I can’t wait to get back to Cambridge and pop into some (all) of these for a few pints and some of the best pub grub in the country. Cambridge will always be one of my favorite cities to visit, thanks in no small part to these excellent pubs and inns.