Fitzbillies … historical sweetness in Cambridge

When I visited: July 2015, February 2016

Location: Cambridge, near Pembroke College

Rating in the Michelin Guide: Not rated in the Guide (used to be recommended)

Dining Owl Hoot rating: 3/5

What to wear: Could go casual

Ambience: Bustling, fun

Course of the meal: Chelsea bun

If I could change one thing: Allow bookings for breakfast, lunch and tea (as well as dinner)


Fitzbillies has long been a staple of the Cambridge cake shop / cafe scene, but recently was rescued and put under new management. You can take away cakes and merchandise as well as sitting in, and it opens 7 days a week and serves breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner.

All the food is of a good standard, and often Fitzbillies’ biggest issue is that you might not be able to get a table at weekends, when people queue out of the door. You can’t book tables for breakfast, lunch or tea (only for dinner), so you have to turn up and take your chances.

The breakfast menu is particularly good, especially the smoked salmon and scrambled eggs, and when it comes to cake there is an amazing selection. However, the prize has to be Fitzbillies’ famous Chelsea bun. It looks like it will be too sweet … but it’s NOT. They also serve a “Duke of Cambridge” cake (a chocolate fridge cake), but my partner Owl informs me that the Chelsea bun still reigns supreme so if it’s your first visit and you aren’t sure what to order, going for the Chelsea bun is the safest bet.

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