Simon’s uninspiring burger joints of Cambridgeshire (updated frequently)

I recently did a top ‘Top 5 burger joints in Cambridgeshire’ post which jogged my memory of some very unfortunate places I visited during my research.

This is part of our opinion page and it is exactly that…opinions. If you feel that any of the businesses on my list do not deserve to be here then remember that this is a community blog and anyone can contribute, so by all means make your own list with us and I’ll happily publish it. I have always taken the position of ‘consumers first’ and I don’t believe in blindly protecting a business when they are offering a substandard service. With that said, I actually quite like some of the restaurants on this list, I just don’t recommend their burgers.

6. Herbie’s – A14

I am rooting for Herbie’s, I really am! My son loves coming here for the milkshakes and the quirky retro American interior but they try so hard to be American they forget about physics.

Every burger is a sight to behold, loaded to the absolute brim with everything they can possibly fit inside, which makes it collapse and implode. The bun is the very foundation of the burger and holds it all together. If you scrimp on this then it’s like building a house on sand. After eating this, I was basically eating chilli by hand as the bun dissolved into nothing. This is burger 101.

5. Smokeworks – Station Road

What pisses me off about Smokeworks is that I actually love the place. Check out this review I did a while back.

There is so much to love about the venue, with some of the best (locally sourced) beers on tap, a very cool rock/metal interior decorating, a marvellous team who are incredibly hard working and attentive, and a lively Saturday night atmosphere which is seriously lacking in Cambridge…but that’s where it hits you!

This is a place which prides itself on doing top notch BBQ food and pours is heart and soul into everything but the food, which leads to a very ordinary and flavourless result. The food is slightly better than the other food on the list but what annoys me is that it is pretending to be high end so you end up even more disappointed.


4. Honest Burger – Cambridge

I mean…it’s ok. It shouldn’t cost £30+ for a burger, chips, and a few drinks though. C’mon, guys! It’s just a bun, mince, and a few potatoes. Aren’t chains supposed to offer better value or something?

3. Hartford Mill – Huntingdon/St Ives

For the record, Hartford Mill does a mean roast dinner and offers a wonderful value dining experience for families. With that said, don’t order the burger. You can expect the same price as a Hungry Horse but with less quality. The bun pretty much disintegrates in your hands and the meat is flavourless and full of gristle. It’s a shame too, as it looks the part.

2. The Robin Hood – Cherry Hinton

Fancy paying £12-15 for something you could do better at home? Come to The Robin Hood!

1. Grab A Burger – Ely

Do you want to be charged for a high end burger comparable to Steak & Honour but end up getting something you could have lazily made at Tesco? Grab A Burger is your best bet! This example was particularly depressing but even with a bit of tomato and greenery it is just an overly bland experience. Characterless.

Simon’s top Cambridgeshire burger joints (updated frequently)

Honourable mention: Steak & Honour

I have put Steak & Honour in my list as a show of respect to the Cambridge Foodies. Our poll back in 2021 had them as the clear favourites out of our 6000 members. I’ve only visited once back in 2018 and found them decent enough. I tried to visit them again in 2022 at the Haddenham Cherry Tree pub but they were in such high demand that there was a two hour wait, so I had to miss out. That said, it’s only a good sign if demand is so high!

Cambridge Foodie co-owner and admin, Sean, makes a visit in 2021. Check out his review here.

My Sid Vicious 2018
Sean’s burger

5. Holy Burger – St Ives

I was thoroughly impressed with my visit to Holy Burger last year. So many burger joints focus on quality ingredients that they forget we also want a BIG BURGER too.

Their Black Garlic Ketchup is absolutely killer and their hilarious biblical names really give their food some extra charger.

Cambridge is the undisputed king of Cambridgeshire when it comes to burgers, so it’s great to see a place with such quality and quantity outside the Cambridge bubble.

4. The Alex

The Alexander Pub is a place you would not expect to find a top quality burger but I was blown away by their Canadian style Celine Dion last month. Everything was done to a great quality and you could have an IPA while you’re at it!

I’m not the only one who is a fan of The Alexander Burgers, with other Cambridge Foodies also claiming this to be the best burgers in the city.

3. Grill Plug – Cambridge

Grill Plug is very new to the scene. Located in Cambridge, this delivery only burger joint will deliver to Cambridge and some of the immediate surrounding villages. It has made a real impression on me during my recent visit with their unique style of smash burgers, incredibly moorish chicken wings, and painfully messy (and incredibly fun) waffles.

The team at Grill Plug really pay attention to the details, especially with their ingredients. Ordering beef which has been locally sourced from a small farm. If you love burgers and haven’t given them a go yet, then you are doing yourself a real disservice!

2. Pigcasso

What makes Pigcasso so special for me is that it’s a little different from other burger joints in all the right ways. I have always had a problem with the cost of burgers in restaurants, as they come out to roughly the same cost as a Thai or Chinese, yet they are just a bun and mince with a few potatoes. Pigcasso however manages to give you superb quality pork with a very generous portion. This is possible due to food vans having no significant mark ups to worry about. Better still, they come to you, saving you the painful slog into Cambridge.

It’s the succulent texture of the pulled pork which wins it for me with Picasso. It’s the sort of thing I sit there and think about while I am supposed to be working or laying in bed….I really need to visit again!

1. The Taj Tandoori – Cherry Hinton Road

The Taj Tandoori is not only one of my favourite Indian restaurants but also one of my favourite burger joints too. Their infamous Shamee Burger fuses together the very best of what makes a burger and Indian/Bangladeshi food great.

A spiced lamb patty, with grilled paneer, an onion bhaji, with tamarind sauce in a brioche bun. This is perfected by being excellently presented alongside some crispy masala chips.

Better yet, the Taj Tandoori is BYOB so not only can you have a beer alongside it but you aren’t looking at £4-6 a pint either, making it very competitively priced.

Simon’s top 5 Indian restaurants in St Ives.

I finally tickled my last box in St Ives after dining in at Dhaba last night, so thought it would be fun to do a top 5 Indian restaurant list.

Now, I know what it’s like when you do a top 5. People get bent out of shape because their favourite did not get rated as high as they wanted but this is just a little bit of fun and not to be taken too seriously. I have not visited some of these restaurants in years and I am having to go by old reviews, memories, and from what I’ve heard from other people in the Cambridge Curry Community. Generally speaking, St Ives does very well for Indian restaurants and most of them are very good, so it is really just a list of winners.

So, without further ado, here are my personal top 5 Indian restaurants in the town of St Ives!

5. The Sultan – London Road

The Sultan has been a family favourite for decades and we’ve had some great memories here over the years. Unfortunately, due to a very basic interior and slightly below average food, it falls short when compared to the very stiff competition in the town.

Full review here.

4. Montaz – Merryland

Montaz is quite popular in St Ives but my visits have been inconsistent. One night it will blow you away, the next will disappoint. Maybe I need to visit more frequently but I can only call it like I see it. Hopefully if I visit again it might drag itself further up the table but until then it’s 4th.

Full review here

3. PR Masala – Chapel Lane

PR Masala has a cult following and I completely understand why. It is consistent with its food and has marvelous customer service. It’s a beautiful restaurant too, which is very large when you get in, which means it can host large parties. Best of all, it’s competitively priced. It’s great to see both Cobra beer and a Kingfisher on tap also! The food is always good but it just never seems to stand out when compared to some of the others, like it’s missing that x factor.

Full review here

2. Dhaba – Bridge Street

I recently declared Dhaba my favourite Indian restaurant in St Ives in a previous review but after reading through my previous visits to other Indiana in St Ives, I decided to put it second to Zzohanna. Dhaba gets so much right. It’s modern, atmospheric, has some of the best lime pickle and yogurt, and does a mean vindaloo. It just missed a few very trivial things which made it lose out on 1st place (by the skin of its teeth). I still highly recommend it to anyone!

Full review here

1. Zzohanna – Bridge Street

It’s been a while since my last visit but Zzohanna made quite an big impression on me. I am not alone in thinking this too, with dozens of people also telling me that it is their stand out favourite in the town. The food is simply excellent. Portions are a little small but otherwise you get all the bells and whistles you have come to expect from an Indian restaurant which you might not get anywhere else, such as chocolates, a hot towel, and Kingfisher beer on tap.

Full review here

Here are my top five. What do you think? I’d love to hear your feedback below.