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The Gardenia, just a minute from the market square, is an outstanding restaurant and takeaway. The catering business has occupied the same premises since 1924, but The Gardenia name was established in 1949. It’s since become a Cambridge institution. This friendly, relaxed Greek diner offers something to suit everyone and all dietary requirements, with a host of Mediterranean fare and specialities that you won’t find anywhere else on the planet. The ancient recipes have been handed down through the generations, and owner Mr Anastasiou, who has had a passion for food from an early age, discovered many of them in old Greek books when studying at university in Athens. Today, he creatively mixes and matches over 300 ingredients in his inventive dishes.

More exotic herbs and spices are used here than anywhere else in Cambridge, and the menu will satisfy all tastes. The vegetarian and vegan selection is extensive, and all meat is halal, even though Vasilis himself is Greek Orthodox. From simple black olives, mezze dishes and plain burgers with mayo to freshly cooked falafel and succulent chicken souvlaki (a signature dish), the choice is virtually endless. Aphrodisiac pastourma, halloumi burgers, tzatziki, lamb souvlaki, calamari and Greek salad are other favourites, and the baklava and yoghurt with sweet honey will round off your meal a treat. Wash it down with a glass of retsina or even oozo if you fancy something stronger. British fish and chips are also available – the delicious baby cod fillet is divine.

Don’t be surprised if you see a queue out of the door at 3am – the food really is that good (and addictive) and the prices are reasonable too. You’re will leave feeling satisfied and very well looked after.

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