Shelley and Sarah’s, located in market square, feels like a location which exists outside of the madness of Cambridge, even though its located right in the centre of Cambridge and all around you are streams of tourists! Even with all of this you don’t feel like you are in Cambridge, instead Shelley and Sarah’s has a relaxed vibe of a local café which could be anywhere in the country. This is part of what I love about Shelley and Sarah, going there gives you a brief respite where you don’t feel like you are a student in Cambridge, but have instead re-entered the real world. Obviously this would all be largely ephemeral if the food did not stand up as well, and it does.

 The stand out option at Shelley and Sarah’s is the bacon sandwich. I have dedicated a considerable amount of time to searching for the quintessential bacon sandwich, from trucker’s stops on the A12 to train station cafes in Bodmin Parkway. None compare to Shelley and Sarah’s rendition, it hits all the notes one would expect from a great bacon sandwich. The roll is an exercise in simplicity, whilst the bacon is divine, the perfect greasy style bacon – it is British style back bacon at its apotheosis.  That is it, it’s a bacon sandwich which is bacon, butter and bread, and yet that is all it needs to be. It should also be noted that the sandwich is huge, a liberal portion which will certainly suffice for breakfast or lunch.

 I also tried their cheeseburger. In particular, the cheese has a really strong flavour and a satisfying oozy consistency. The other star of the show is the grilled onions, which provide a nice sweetness for the burger. Personally I found their beef patties to be a bit on the small side, which means that they become a bit on the dry side. The burger reminded me a lot of going to football and getting a burger outside the stadium, it had a nice nostalgic quality – but at the same time you can find better burgers in Cambridge.

 The final dish I tried was their spicy chicken baguette and I was honestly shocked by how good it was. Every component of the dish combined well. The chicken had a satisfying outer char whilst maintaining a juicy interior – the spice was subtle but did grow as you continued with the sandwich. I couldn’t exactly put my finger on what it reminded me of flavour wise, although I felt there were influences from Thai cuisine in particular. Contrasting to the spiciness of the chicken was the cucumber which provided a cool fresh counter point. Demonstrative of how good the sandwich was is the fact that normally when I do these reviews I don’t finish everything as I’m eating multiple dishes, but I happily wolfed down the entire sandwich and would have happily had a second.

The burger reminded me a lot of going to football and getting a burger outside the stadium, it had a nice nostalgic quality – but at the same time you can find better burgers in Cambridge.

 Overall I really can’t recommend Shelley and Sarah’s highly enough. Looking at it from a holistic standpoint which considers more than just the food, but also the ambience and the atmosphere, Shelley and Sarah’s is probably my favourite place in Cambridge – there is just something magic about it which I really recommend you go out and try.

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