10 Best Historic Pubs and Cafes in Cambridge

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As you wander through Cambridge's historic streets, you'll stumble upon centuries-old pubs and charming cafes, each with its own unique story to tell. From The Eagle, Cambridge's oldest pub, to the quaint, hidden gems of the Kite area, every spot is steeped in character and history. In the city centre, you'll find 17th-century pubs like The Champion of the Thames, while The Maypole and The Drapery Arms offer cosy atmospheres and impressive ale selections. And, just around the corner, Hills Road awaits, bursting with vibrant street art and quirky cafes serving artisanal brews. Keep exploring, and you'll uncover more.

Key Takeaways

• The Eagle, Cambridge's oldest pub, offers a unique blend of history and culture, serving patrons since 1667.

• The Pint Shop, Champion of the Thames, and Drapery are must-visit historic pubs in the city centre, each with its own charm.

• The Maypole, dating back to 1574, is a 16th-century pub with a unique atmosphere and excellent food menu in North Cambridge.

• Cosy cafes in the Kite Area, such as The Elm Tree and The Cricketers, offer a range of hot and cold drinks and intimate settings.

• Hidden gems like The Cambridge Brew House, La Raza, and The Earl of Beaconsfield offer unique experiences, from microbrewery to live music and Mediterranean flair.

The Eagle: Cambridge's Oldest Pub

You can step into Cambridge's rich history by visiting The Eagle, a pub that has been serving patrons since 1667, making it the oldest pub in Cambridge.

As you push open the door, you're transported back in time, surrounded by the whispers of the past. The Eagle has seen it all, from Tudor history to modern-day revelry. Take a seat by the fire, and imagine the countless generations that have gathered here, sharing tales and toasts over a pint of Oldest Ale.

The pub's Tudor history is palpable in its wooden beams, stone floors, and roaring fires. You can almost hear the laughter of Cambridge's scholars, who've been frequenting The Eagle for centuries.

The pub's walls have witnessed countless debates, romantic trysts, and joyful celebrations. As you raise a glass, you're part of a long line of patrons who've come to The Eagle seeking camaraderie, comfort, and a taste of the past. So, sit back, take a sip, and let the history soak in.

Historic Pubs in the City Centre

Beyond The Eagle, Cambridge's city centre is home to a cluster of historic pubs that have been pouring pints for centuries. As you wander through the charming streets, you'll stumble upon Medieval Taverns that have been serving locals and visitors alike for hundreds of years. These City Landmarks are a must-visit for anyone looking to soak up the rich history and culture of Cambridge.

The Champion of the Thames is a 17th-century pub that is a favourite among locals and boasts a cosy atmosphere and an impressive selection of real ales.

The Maypole, dating back to 1685, is said to be haunted by the ghost of a former landlord.

The Pint Shop is a charming pub located in a beautiful 16th-century building and serves up delicious food and drinks in a warm and welcoming atmosphere.

The Drapery's Arms has been serving pints since 1845 and is a popular spot for live music and events.

Take a stroll through the city centre and discover these historic gems for yourself. Who knows, you might just stumble upon your new favourite pub!

Cosy Cafes in the Kite Area

quaint eateries in kite

Tucked away in the charming Kite area, a cluster of cosy cafes awaits discovery, offering a tranquil refuge from the bustling city centre. As you wander through the quaint streets, you'll stumble upon quaint hideaways that invite you to linger over a warm cup of coffee or a rejuvenating tea. The Elm Tree and The Cricketers are two such gems, offering a cozy atmosphere and a range of hot and cold drinks to revive your senses.

The Elm TreeCozy corners, rustic charmArtisanal coffee, homemade cakes
The CricketersIntimate, vintage vibeSpecialty teas, freshly baked scones
The Free PressHistoric, eclectic decorLocal artwork, live music nights

As you settle into one of these cozy cafes, you'll feel the stresses of the day melt away. Take a moment to appreciate the charming decor, the aroma of freshly brewed coffee, and the warmth of the Cambridge community. Whether you're looking for a quiet retreat or a lively hub to meet friends, the Kite area's cosy cafes have got you covered. So why not take a break from the hustle and bustle, and indulge in a little relaxation in one of these charming hideaways?

The Back Street Pubs of Cambridge

Cambridge's historic pubs, hidden away on narrow back streets, beckon you to explore their rich history and warm atmosphere, a world away from the bustling city centre.

You'll discover hidden alleys and quiet corners, where local legends are born and stories are shared over a pint of real ale. These pubs are a haven for those seeking a genuine Cambridge experience, far from the tourist trail.

The Pint Shop: Tucked away on Peas Hill, this 17th-century pub serves up craft beers and delicious pub grub.

The Champion of the Thames: This charming pub on King Street is famous for its historic architecture and lively atmosphere.

The Drapery: Located on St Edwards Passage, this hidden gem boasts an impressive selection of real ales and a cozy atmosphere.

The Maypole: This quaint pub on Portugal Place is a favourite among locals, with its intimate setting and excellent food menu.

As you wander through Cambridge's back streets, you'll uncover a world of character and charm, where the city's rich history comes alive in its historic pubs. So, take a stroll, grab a pint, and soak up the atmosphere in these unique and unforgettable back street pubs.

Hills Road's Hidden Gems

discovering local cambridge secrets

As you make your way down Hills Road, you'll stumble upon a string of hidden gems, each one bursting with character and waiting to be discovered.

Tucked away between bustling streets, these treasures offer a tranquil escape from the crowds.

Take a closer look, and you'll uncover vibrant Street Art adorning the walls, adding a splash of color to the urban landscape.

Local Legends whisper tales of the area's rich history, weaving a narrative that's as fascinating as it's authentic.

As you explore, you'll find quirky cafes serving artisanal brews, their cozy nooks beckoning you to linger.

In the midst of this charming scene, you might stumble upon a live music session or an impromptu art exhibit, further enriching the area's eclectic vibe.

Hills Road's hidden gems are a reflection of Cambridge's creative spirit, inviting you to slow down, soak up the atmosphere, and savor the unique charm that lies just beneath the surface.

The Man in the Moon Experience

You'll find a unique blend of history and innovation at The Man in the Moon, a cherished pub that's been a Cambridge staple since the mid-19th century. Despite being rebuilt in 1964, this pub still maintains its traditional charm, making it a must-visit destination for anyone looking to experience the city's rich heritage.

As you step inside, you'll be greeted by a space-themed interior that's out of this world!

Cosmic Connection: The pub's space-themed decor is a nod to Cambridge's rich history of scientific innovation, making it a unique spot to grab a pint.

Cozy Atmosphere: The Man in the Moon still retains its traditional charm, offering a warm and welcoming atmosphere perfect for catching up with friends or making new ones.

Historic Significance: As one of the oldest pubs in Cambridge, The Man in the Moon has seen generations of locals and students come and go, making it a true Cambridge institution.

Prime Location: Situated in the heart of the city, this pub is the perfect spot to people-watch and take in the sights and sounds of Cambridge.

With its unique blend of history and innovation, The Man in the Moon is an experience you won't want to miss!

Inns of Cambridge Through Time

historic pubs of cambridge

From medieval taverns to modern gastropubs, Cambridge's inns have evolved substantially over the centuries, reflecting the city's transformation into a hub of learning and innovation.

As you wander through the historic streets, you'll notice the unique character of each inn, shaped by the era in which it was built.

Take, for example, the Eagle Pub, whose Tudor Architecture still whispers stories of the past.

Or, step into the iconic Maypole Pub, boasting stunning Victorian Revival features that transport you back in time.

You'll discover that each inn has its own distinct charm, a reflection of the city's rich history.

As you explore these inns, you'll uncover the fascinating tales of Cambridge's past, from ancient taverns to modern-day gathering spots.

With every pint poured and every plate served, you'll feel the weight of history, the evolution of a city that has welcomed scholars, travelers, and locals alike for centuries.

Samuel Pepys' Favourite Haunts

Among the historic pubs and cafes of Cambridge, one name stands out in Samuel Pepys' diary: The Eagle, a 17th-century favourite haunt where he'd gather with friends and colleagues to discuss matters of state and naval administration. As you step into this iconic pub, you'll be following in the footsteps of one of England's most famous naval administrators and Members of Parliament.

Pepys frequently mentioned The Eagle in his diary, highlighting its importance as a social hub for Cambridge's elite during the 17th century.

The Eagle has undergone significant changes since Pepys' time, but its rich history remains intact.

Pepys' influence on the naval administration is still felt today, and The Eagle remains a monument to his legacy.

The Eagle's significance extends beyond its historic walls, reflecting Pepys' impact on Cambridge's social and cultural landscape.

As you explore The Eagle, you'll uncover the fascinating story of Pepys' favourite haunt, a place where history, politics, and naval connections intertwined.

The Historic Pubs of North Cambridge

pubs of north cambridge

Beyond the colleges and chapels of central Cambridge, a cluster of historic pubs in North Cambridge await discovery.

As you venture north, you'll find a treasure trove of pubs that offer a unique blend of history, charm, and delicious ale.

One of the most iconic is the Maypole, a 16th-century pub that's been serving up pints since 1574. Take a seat by the fire, and you'll feel like you're sipping alongside the locals who've been frequenting this spot for centuries.

For a taste of the region's best brews, head to the Milton Brewery, where you can take a tour and sample some of their award-winning ales.

Afterward, grab a pint at the brewery's on-site pub, which boasts stunning riverfront views of the Cam. As you sip, imagine the countless generations who've raised a glass in this very spot.

With its rich history, charming atmosphere, and exceptional ale, North Cambridge's historic pubs are a must-visit for anyone looking to experience the authentic Cambridge.

Cambridge's Best Kept Secret Cafes

You'll stumble upon a hidden gem in Cambridge's Best Kept Secret Cafes, where charming eateries and quaint coffeehouses await your discovery. Tucked away in unexpected corners, these secret garden cafes, hidden coffee spots, underground tea rooms, and covert bakery finds will transport you to a world of culinary delights.

The Cambridge Brew House: A stylish venue with its own microbrewery, offering a quirky atmosphere and delicious pub fare.

La Raza: A subterranean bar boasting Mediterranean flair, live music, and DJs after sunset.

The Earl of Beaconsfield: A charming pub turned music venue, featuring live sessions, stone-baked pizza, and a great selection of ales and wines.

The Free Press: A century-old landmark with a cozy snug, roaring fire, and historic charm.

Each of these hidden gems offers a unique experience, waiting to be uncovered by you. So, take a stroll through Cambridge's lesser-known streets and uncover the secrets that lie within. Who knows what new favorite haunt you might discover?

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Most Historic Pub in Cambridge?

You're looking for the most historic pub in Cambridge, and the answer is The Eagle, a 16th-century gem famous for its Pub Architecture, where Cambridge Legends like Crick and Watson shared groundbreaking discoveries, surrounded by rich history and cultural significance.

What Is the Oldest Bar in Cambridge?

You're searching for the oldest bar in Cambridge, right? Well, you'll be thrilled to know that the city boasts Medieval roots, with Ancient alehouses dating back centuries!

What Is the History of the Green Dragon Pub in Cambridge?

You'll uncover the rich history of the Green Dragon Pub, a 1740 gem boasting stunning River Cam views, where literary greats like E.M. Forster and Virginia Woolf once gathered, surrounded by preserved 18th-century Medieval Architecture.

What Is the History of the Eagle Pub in Cambridge?

You step into the Eagle Pub, surrounded by University students, and marvel at the 16th-century Architecture. This Local landmark has a rich Legacy, dating back to 1574, and has hosted famous writers, like Charles Darwin and Alan Turing, within its historic walls.


As you wander through Cambridge's charming streets, you've uncovered the city's best-kept secrets – its historic pubs and cosy cafes.

From The Eagle's storied past to hidden gems on Hills Road, each spot has its own tale to tell.

You've sipped, savoured, and soaked up the atmosphere, weaving your own story into the fabric of this historic city.

Now, go ahead, grab a pint or a cuppa, and make some more unforgettable memories in Cambridge!

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