Rainbow Vegetarian Cafe

Overall rating: 4.5 stars 27 Reviews
Veggie cafe and restaurant specializing in vegan and gluten free food. Last order 30 minutes before closing. Price: Moderate more-less
Vegan-friendly, Ovo, Lacto, Organic, English, British, Beer/Wine
9a King's Parade (opposite main gate to King's College)
Cambridge, England
01223-321551

Tue-Sat 10:00am-10:00pm, Sun 10:00am-4:00pm

more-less
reviews

Reviews

First Review by Sernicki
ilinca
ilinca
  • vegan
Contributions
+57

Nice place & deserts but otherw unimpressive food

3 Posted on 08 / 07 / 2014

Living in Cambridge I have been to the Rainbow cafe several times. The portions are big but usually not particularly flavourful. We find taste varies a lot from one time to the other and stopped ordering proper meals there.

Cakes were usually good if not very good. The garlic bread was always really good.

Pros: big portions, menu changes, good deserts and garlic brean
Cons: pricy for the food quality, taste varies from one visit to the next
emmakgj
emmakgj
  • vegan
Contributions
+32

Cosy place, good food

4 Posted on 07 / 22 / 2014

I had the artichoke filo parcel which was very tasty but bizarrely came with a side of fairly bog standard overcooked pasta in tomato sauce.

However, the portions were of a good size & my vegetarian and meat eating friends both found something tasty on the menu.

Cosy basement restaurant and I would go back.

Pros: portion size, cool place
Greysocialist
Greysocialist
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+119

Rather unexceptional

3 Posted on 03 / 07 / 2014

Big portions with a rather dull salad - apart from slices of orange and pineapple garnish. Some of the ingredients on the menu were not in the dish; one of the day's specials said it included mangetouts and baby spinach, and they were nowhere to be seen. Disappointing. Not awful, just not as good as we would have liked.

Pros: Location in centre of Cambridge, Lots of choice, Good portions
Cons: Can be crowded, No disability access

unwesen
unwesen
  • vegan
Contributions
+59

Very nice cafe

4 Posted on 03 / 06 / 2014

Rainbow cafe was my favourite place to eat out in Cambridge. It's got a very friendly staff, and great food at good prices. Vegan options are plentiful, too!

One thing to be aware of is that it's impossible to reserve seats, and it's usually quite full. Have a backup plan ready, just in case!

Pros: Food, Location, Vegan options
Icahlua
Icahlua
  • vegan
Contributions
+44

A lovely and unique veggie cafe

5 Posted on 02 / 21 / 2014

I came here once for my birthday a couple of years ago with my non-veggie mum and we both loved it. The food was fresh, well-presented, and the portion size was great. The highlight was trying their marmite chocolate cake.. I did not know what to expect but it was absolutely amazing. Would love to steal their recipe! Highly recommended!

Pros: Creative & delicious food, Friendly staff, Good location
Cons: Quite small, Can be noisy on a busy day
saramarshall
saramarshall
  • vegan
Contributions
+134

Very tasty and interesting food

5 Posted on 12 / 10 / 2013

As a Cambridge local I feel lucky to have Rainbow Cafe on my doorstep. The food really is full of flavour, with great ingredients and interesting world food I haven't seen elsewhere. Last time I visited I had the Jamaican Roti Cup, really delicious, and my friend had the Gado Gado, which I will definitely be having next time. It's the kind of food you wonder how they made it taste so good. Also great is the garlic bread with sun-dried tomatoes and the cheesecake. They have lots of options on the menu and although it hasn't changed since I can remember, they do daily specials which always sound great. Fully recommended.

Pros: Tasty food, Varied menu, Good portions
Cons: Can be busy on weekends, Not able to book
AgaTrzak
AgaTrzak
  • vegan
Contributions
+42

Amazing!

5 Posted on 06 / 05 / 2013

I love this place. The only decent restaurant for vegans in Cambridge, but one of the best ones I've been to anywhere. The place is cosy, the staff is amazing, the atmosphere great and the food is the best. I especially love their deserts! The vegan cheesecake is delicious! It's really my favorite restaurant.
Updated from previous review on Tuesday May 28, 2013

Pros: Staff, Delicious food, prices
Cons: location is a little hidden
tararenaemcgee
tararenaemcgee
  • vegan
Contributions
+38

YUM!

5 Posted on 05 / 05 / 2013

I have been here 3 times in the last two weeks. The food is great and the servers are friendly. I have not had to wait for a table but it is quite popular and always fills up. I can recommend the vegan artichoke parcel. There is also a board with daily specials of desserts. Their vegan cheesecake is very good. I have had chocolate; chocolate and coconut; and passionfruit and strawberry. All very good.

Pros: good food, lots of choice
Cons: can be a little noisy when busy
Jayneisastarr
Jayneisastarr
  • vegan
Contributions
+67

Disappointing

2 Posted on 11 / 06 / 2012

I am a big fan of Rainbow cafe having visited many years ago when I had a lovely 3 course vegan meal. My recent visit however had lacklustre food with my main, the Shepherdess Pie, being not more than a lot of rice with about 10 lentils and some heated up beans and carrots. I would like to hope however that I was just unlucky and ordered the wrong thing, as with such a great choice for vegetarians and vegans alike, this place has great potential and I would encourage others to visit and prove this was a one-off!

Pros: Great choice for vegans, Cosy setting, Long established cafe
Cons: Shepherdess pie!
NickPiper
NickPiper
  • vegan
Contributions
+33

Will keep going, but probably skip desert

3 Posted on 05 / 20 / 2012

A useful place to know about - but food can be a touch variable in quality and speed, although pretty good more often than not. It can get very crowded! Quite a few vegan deserts (cakes, crumbles, cheesecakes), but they can be a little plain. Most of the deserts are reheated so (for example) crumble is not crunchy (very disappointing!)

Pros: range, friendly staff
Cons: noisy
TravellingPud
TravellingPud
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+50

Cracking meal!

5 Posted on 04 / 22 / 2012

Had a cracking meal during a weekend in Cambridge. Will definitely be going back next time I'm in Cambridge.

Pros: Great food, Varied menu
Dansu
Dansu
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+13

Rainbow Cafe

5 Posted on 02 / 28 / 2012

A lovely veggie haven- an impressive menu, delicious food, great service and a good ambiance. We shall return!


CLRtraveller
CLRtraveller
  • vegan
Contributions
+543

really good food

5 Posted on 01 / 27 / 2012

Hole-in-the-wall basement location in city centre. Large menu and daily specials. Three soup choices were vegan. I had a starter-size lentil and organic fennel soup (3.25), which was delicious, lovely flavour. Menu has many vegan items and desserts. Curries, fajitas, "shepherdess pie," Jamaican patties, gado gado (Indonesian dish), Cuban, Ethiopian, Mexican/Spanish, salads, tofu, vegan cheesecake, an organic, vegan beer and cider, organic wine. Cutlery is presented on an attractive serving dish, which I appreciated. My main meal was a vegan artichoke parcel (9.95) in filo pastry. Another time I had a good lentil-cavallo nero (leafy greens) soup and house salad. All excellent. Seating at front and in rear rooms.

Pros: tasty food, good selection, vegan items
Nostoc
Nostoc
  • vegan
Contributions
+23

Excellent

5 Posted on 10 / 06 / 2011

I won't waffle. Rainbow cafe is great. Really tasty food, good value & nice people. Top marks.

Pros: Food, Service, Value
VegJo-Jo
VegJo-Jo
  • vegan
Contributions
+23

Brilliant!

5 Posted on 09 / 01 / 2011

I went to Rainbow a few years ago when I was vegetarian, before turning vegan and it was great! My sister is also veggie but lactose intolerant. We were celebrating her birthday and certainly not disappointed with Rainbow!

Looking back at their menu to jog my memory...
We both had soup of the day (would be great on it's own for lunch)
Mains - I had "Ethiopian Mesir-Wat (Lentil Bowl)" and sister had a Quorn thing from the daily specials.
Deserts - I predictably had choc brownie and sis had vegan cheescake.
Total cost including drinks approx £37 (for 3 courses, and drinks, we felt it was on a par with many other places)

We both absolutely loved our meals and were truly stuffed after! We'd never normally eat this amount of food, but it was our first time in a vegetarian eatery and we wanted to make the most of the experience!

Rainbow calls itself a cafe, but is definately restaurant quality food and service, hence restaurant prices (£9 for a main meal is pretty normal).

As it was sisters birthday, and nearing the end of evening, they gave her the last small slice of cheesecake to take home!
Definately going to visit again now I'm vegan and sample more of their fare!!

Pros: Friendly, Excellent menu, happy atmosphere
Cons: Not able to pre-book
soyacat
soyacat
  • vegan
Contributions
+61

Sublime :)

5 Posted on 08 / 07 / 2011

Although this is a cafe, it is without doubt restaurant quality food. Interesting and wide menu, with lots of Vegan options! I opted for a starter of homemade (Vegan!) garlic bread, followed by Vegan Pastry Parcels, which was absolutely scrummy and served with lovely salad, rice and ragu. Stunning presentation and really fresh too! Already stuffed, somehow found room for pudding of vegan Blueberry and Pecan cheesecake...again, delicious! This place is pretty busy, but the staff are helpful, the setting nice and the food a veggie paradise!

Pros: Super central, Lots of Vegan stuff, Vegan cakes!!!
Cons: Not open Monday. , Busy. , Little pricey for a cafe, but worth it!
totyzja
totyzja
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+14

Yummy :-)

5 Posted on 01 / 12 / 2011

I go there every time I'm in Cambridge, the food is really tasty, really big portions (even too big for me), nice atmosphere. The location is great but it's quite hard to find this.

Pros: food, service
Cons: hard to find it, too crowded
corinal
corinal
  • vegan
Contributions
+134

Mmmmm... :)

4 Posted on 10 / 24 / 2010

Yummy food! Gado gado is my absolute favorite. And they have a WIDE range of vegan desserts which are always scrumptious (particularly the chocolate and violet cheesecake and apple pie with ice cream).

Pros: Excellent food, Friendly staff, All vegetarian
Cons: Noisy, Small space with no windows
novackofo
novackofo
  • raw
Contributions
+74

I felt very welcome.

5 Posted on 07 / 24 / 2010

My son went to school in Cambridge for a year and i visited him several times. I ate at the Rainbow everyday and each time was a great experience. The food was delicious and the integrity of each dish was amazing. The staff always made me feel at home and were very accommodating.....I'll be back for sure.

Pros: delicious, fresh, creative
wildfang
wildfang
  • vegan
Contributions
+1204

Veeeery good food and veeery good service

5 Posted on 04 / 26 / 2010

Rainbow cafe really made me feel like I was in vegan heaven. I went there twice during my stay in Cambridge (2 days) and fell in love with the vegan artichoke parcel with filo pastry and vegan cream cheese, veggies, salad, rice (or noodles), tomato sauce and olives - not bad for 11 Pounds!
There were a lot of vegan options, also for dessert - even ice cream (which was a bit expensive, though; we found it for a bargain price in a health food shop the next day). We found the cakes a bit pricey as well but everything tasted absolutely delicious and the staff was SO friendly!
I definitely recommend the place!

Pros: delicious food, excellent service
Cons: good food has its price I suppose : )
chloecupcakes
chloecupcakes
  • vegan
Contributions
+38

Great vegan food with friendly staff

5 Posted on 10 / 27 / 2009

I eat at this restaurant very often, and I love it! The waiting staff are friendly (if a little busy) and always greet you instantly when you walk in. It can get somewhat crowded at lunchtimes and particularly on weekend evenings. Cosy atmosphere with big portion sizes (I often have a starter size soup with garlic bread and then I'm ready for dessert!). Lots of varied specials and particularly good vegan desserts. I especially recommend the vegan cheesecakes! I think it's reasonably priced but some might think it's expensive. You can get an idea of prices on their website. They also mark which items are gluten-free and which contain nuts on their menu.

Definitely worth a visit if you're in Cambridge! :)

Pros: Amazing vegan food (esp. desserts!), Giant portions, Friendly staff
Cons: Often crowded
natz
natz
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+90

Great for lunches and puddings!!

4 Posted on 07 / 14 / 2009

Great location (opposite Kings College) and great service. We had lunch here twice on a visit to Cambridge in July 09. Get there before 1pm or there are no tables left as it gets really full. Good range of specials each day and really good cakes - many vegan options and gluten free options. Always a vegan cheesecake on the menu. Good choice of drinks, teas, juices and some alcohol (wines beers). Good atmosphere. Only downside is the Gillian McKeith recommendation as you walk in!! Did also think it's a shame that a dish of Swedish Glaze costs £4.95 though (and you can only have one flavour - why?)
Check out their website for the full menu. There are other restaurants with vegan options in Cambridge not yet added to Happy cow - we ate in Asia, Mai Tai and Nanna Mexico and all were brilliant. Asia particularly good for high-end dining and a few tofu choices. Check out their websites for menus

Pros: lots of vegan options, great cakes, friendly staff
Cons: difficult to get a table, fairly expensive
khb
khb
  • vegan
Contributions
+94

Hole-in-the-wall place with fine-dining food...

4 Posted on 04 / 13 / 2009

...and fine-dining prices. But if you're looking for a splurge rather than a quick bite, this is a great place to go. The Lybian couscous was decent enough - the couscous itself was a bit bland, but the vegetable mix that topped it was pretty good, although it would have been improved by the addition of tomato. The Guadeloupe aubergine curry was rich and coconutty and delicious, and came topped with an enormous slice of super-sweet pineapple. At 9 pounds each, the meals didn't come cheap, but at least they are large enough to fill you up, so you don't need to order starters. We didn't really need to order pudding, either, but we were intrigued by the spiced plum vegan cheesecake and wanted to try it. We were not disappointed, although if it had had more plums and less spice, that would have been even better.

We went for a late lunch on a day when they were not open for dinner, and they were starting to run out of things (indeed, we got the last piece of spiced plum cheesecake), so be aware of that.

Pros: aubergine coconut curry, pineapple, cheesecake
Cons: not cheap, (but worth it)
raphalla
raphalla
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+284

Quite Good

3 Posted on 01 / 17 / 2009

We went there on a Saturday in January at around 2pm. We had to wait for half an hour for a seat. After 2.30pm, the place got less crowded. At least people don't have to wait for a table.
We had garlic bread with sun-dried tomato and cheese as starter. The tomatoes were very very very salty.
We took champignon en croute (wild mushroom wrapped in puff) and vegan artichoke parcel. Both courses came with basic brown rice or pasta and vegetable salad. Nothing inspiring. The pastry parcel was good, but the mushroom puff was so so. These two are "super special" which takes 20 minutes to cook.
(My partner suggested not to take anything from the super special, instead just choose from the main courses.)
The portion of every dish is just right. But after the starter and maincourse, we thought a dessert would be making us too full. (We shared the starter.)
The elderflower juice with spring water (bottle) tastes very good.
The starters are around 3-4 pounds, maincourses around 9 pounds and juices are around 2 pound.
The cafe closes on Sunday and Monday.

Pros: Vegetarian/ Vegan Food
Cons: Ambient
Diane
Diane
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+20

Wonderful Food!

5 Posted on 12 / 15 / 2008

I visited this restaurant recently on a trip to Cambridge, it's only small but very pleasant inside and the staff are very helpful and friendly. The food was fantastic, really tasty with a very varied choice, not cheap but not overpriced either, and worth every penny. The Beetroot Chocolate Cake was to die for!! (and I don't particularly like beetroot) If I didn't live 5 hours' drive away I'd certainly go again just for that. Well worthy of a recommendation.

Pros: Friendly staff, Excellent food, Cosy place
Cons: none
niallmc
niallmc
  • vegan
Contributions
+69

a veggie oasis

4 Posted on 11 / 30 / 2008

excelle nt veggie restaurant. 3 soups, all vegan tons of salads and main courses, many vegan and quite literally the bst vegan ch**se cak i've tasted. Beautiful food. It's a small cosy setting in a basement. The staff were vey friendly and the food was prepared fresh. I'd be tempted to visit cambridge just to dine here.

Pros: vegan desert, great atmosphere, decent porion
Cons: too much dairy, a bi pricey
Guest
Guest

Nice place

4 Posted on 08 / 15 / 2006

A nice veggie/vegan place with plenty of choice. The service was good and the food of good fresh quality. A must place to visit for all vegans and veggies in the area to support a worth while eating establishment.

Pros: Friendly, Clean, Vegan options

 

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Last updated: 2014/01/21

 

Added: 2007/08/01

 

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