independent cafe Hot Numbers

Independent cafes in Cambridge

Great places to hang out

Over recent years, the growing number of independent cafes in Cambridge has given me lots of pleasure and fun (and no end of excellent coffee, teas and smoothies, and cake!) amidst the more general and depressing expansion of international chains.  The variety of eating and drinking options always tempt with mouth-watering menus, often locally sourced and wherever possible, seasonal.

Through scuseme, I meet with all our suppliers before inviting them to join, and having a wide selection of great independent cafés means I always find a perfect place to meet, with a guarantee of good refreshments, wifi, and of course cake.  After lots of tea, delicious smoothies, and mellow coffees with numerous builders, subject tutors, plumbers, etc. I feel well placed to pass on my experience of some of the places I have visited over the past year.

These are my top 10 independent cafes in Cambridge because…..

  • they deliver fantastic service with lovely, polite and friendly staff.
  • they serve inspired and innovative food where presentation, as well as taste, are important (I can’t resist beautiful china and crockery).
  • they bring exciting events to pull communities together, with many offering gigs and events through art, music, and comedy, and of course food.
  • and if that wasn’t enough most are available for hire.

All great places to hang out, you won’t be disappointed, so check out my recommendations and support our local independent cafes.

Getting together with friends, family and colleagues will always be a treat in Cambridge.


Chelsea buns …… and so much more including exceptional catering for events.


The espresso is as good as it gets, lovely buzz and the selection of dolci is mouth-wateringly good.

Hot Numbers

Coffee, gigs, barista classes  – they have everything covered

Espresso Library

Their menu will have you drooling, and their smoothies are superb. Great space whether you’re working or relaxing.


Something for everyone who lives, works & plays in the area ….. and beyond, so worthy of the No 1 brunch spot in Cambridge (as voted by Cambridge News, August 2016).

independent cafe in cambridge - stir

Urban Larder

A friendly little café and deli located in the heart of Cambridge’s eclectic Mill Road.

Black Cat Café

Artisan-style of food with New Zealand and Australian origins, a rendezvous for Mill Rd locals a properly made flat white.

Norfolk Street Bakery

Artisan bread, Portuguese custard tarts are only a couple of the reason to pop in…. there are so many more.  So worth a visit.

Trockel, Ulmann & Freunde  (13 Pembroke St, Cambridge CB2 3QY)

Eclectically appealing within quaint and cozy surroundings, and offering generous, hearty, well cooked food.


An homage to all foods Italian. Wonderful shop with a brilliant selection of Italian groceries, excellent wines and an authentic Italian café.

Tom’s Cakes

Spoilt for choice are the residents who live around Mill Road, with the wonderful recent addition of this cafe. The famous cakes are wonderful of course, but the savouries are equally delicious.


independent cafe in cambridge - with Charles at Espresso Library

About the author: Dawn Giesler, is the founder of Scuseme Cambridge, an online recommendation website developed to provide an essential resource to help your family run smoothly.


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