Alessandra and Eleanor at Stem and GloryAlessandra Rey for Varsity

As much as I try to refrain from making veganism one of my sole personality traits, I do really love it (hopefully not in the preachy tone that vegans often acquire). Quite a few of my closest friends who I have met at Cambridge are vegan, or at least fellow foodies, and we’ve had some beautiful memories amidst cosy rainy days, navy-night dinners, or breezy sun-lit brunch mornings.

My friends and I enjoy journeying around Cambridge to support plant-based cafés and restaurants. A vegan, vegetarian or plant-based diet is known for being beneficial for the environment, and an extremely kind and conscious decision to make, in consideration of animals. There is also much discussion and research into the astonishing health benefits of eating plant based. I know so many people who love vegan dishes, so I wanted to share some vegan finds for Cambridge students, to hopefully also share some wonderful memories with friends.

Steps up to ThriveAlessandra Rey for Varsity


On Norfolk Street, my favourite vegan café, Thrive, is planted. Up a few steps, there's a cosy sitting area with twinkling fairy lights, blankets over sofas, and riveting art hanging on the walls. Upstairs, there are many tables (and a sofa or two) amidst teal bookshelves with books and games. Again, cosy, inviting and studious: both floors make for the perfect study space.

They used to do extraordinary falafel waffles — with the falafels IN the waffles

The hot chocolates at Thrive are divine, ranging from gingerbread to orange, hazelnut and more. After a recent revamp of their already-delicious menu, I tried their ‘Big Breakfast’ which is their plant-based English Breakfast. For their brunch menu, they offer toasties, scrambled tofu, a plant-based BLT and potatoes. They used to do extraordinary falafel waffles — with the falafels IN the waffles — which I hope they bring back one day. Thrive also offers lunch: burgers, curries, etc. and an array of cakes and pastries to grab and go.

One of my favourite things about Thrive is that they also host a second-hand clothing store, The Serpentine Swap. Down a few more stairs, and there's a zero-waste store, selling beauty products and food. I’ve had so many fond and treasured moments at Thrive, for brunch mornings or study dates with the Cambridge people I love.

Stem and Glory

Elegant and dazzling, with a sparkle of earthy design, is plant-based restaurant Stem and Glory near the station. My ultimate favourite dish is their heavenly pumpkin ravioli: rich, creamy, and filling, and presented beautifully. They offer a wide range of delicious food, from Buddha bowls, tacos, salads, gnocchi, burgers, and some interesting desserts. Stem and Glory is the ultimate treat: classy yet relaxed, for a light lunch or sophisticated dinner. My friend showed me this wonderful place on my first night in Cambridge this term; the ultimate cosy evening treat to settle me in and prepare me for the stressful term. Yet another memory was journeying there from the Botanic Gardens on a lovely sunny and breezy autumnal day, and myself and my partner tucked into the ambrosia of Stem and Glory. It made for a sweet, charming and perfect October afternoon.

Alessandra and Jude at Stem and GloryAlessandra Rey for Varsity

Urban Butterfly

New to Regent Street is the lovely vegetarian/vegan café Urban Butterfly. With its cute little blue butterfly poking out and large windows overlooking the calm greenery of Parker’s Piece or bustling Regent Street, it’s a wonderful addition. I’ve popped in there twice, and it’s splendid. After a long, headachy day, I popped in there with my partner, as we munched on vegan mozzarella and tomato paninis overlooking Regent Street, updating each other on our days. It was a lovely memory. They, too, offer a range of Buddha bowls, paninis, dessert pieces and smoothies. Delicious and delightful and would thoroughly recommend!


Doppleganger is burgers galore. With its American diner-esque vibe, it offers a wide-ranging choice of rich, filling, and exquisite burgers. They also offer milkshakes, desserts and the classic loaded chips sides. It's a wonderfully stylish and splendid restaurant. Tucked away, again another plant-based restaurant gem, sitting on Regent Street. Perfect for a fun night out shared with friends.

The Tipsy Vegan

Quayside Pub’s The Tipsy Vegan is my next voyage. It looks villagey and quaint, and the menu looks interesting, bold and unique, hosting plant-based oyster mushroom calamari and sticky tempeh maki rolls. The restaurant adorns a range of different inspired cuisines, from South and East Asian, Hungarian, Italian and Korean — such as lecsó, arancini, masoor dahl, Korean bao buns, chorizo al vin tinto, and more! I most certainly will be strongly hinting for a night out with my friends soon, and I’m very much looking forward to venturing there.