The Oak Bistro

4.5
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361 reviews
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£25 and under
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British
A firm favourite and iconic Cambridge bistro that's passionate about quality food and impeccable but unfussy service. The menu offers classic British and European dishes, home-made using traditional recipes and quality ingredients, matched with an extensive, hand-curated wine list. Set in a Grade II listed building, the Bistro offers an elegant dining experience in the heart of Cambridge city. Inside, there is comfortable banquette seating, dark wood and exposed brickwork, with original paintings by Cambridge artist Nicholas Juett. Hidden from view is further seating in a delightful garden courtyard – perfect for dining in fair weather – with covers, blankets, lighting and heating just in case. In the daytime, it’s ideal for business lunches, meeting friends or even lunching on your own with a newspaper; in the evenings, customers flock for a romantic meals, dinner parties with friends and special occasions.
What 361 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.4
service
4.4
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
89% of people would recommend it to a friend
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l
Hertfordshire
259 reviews
Dined on 16 November 2019
Overall3food3service4ambience4

Unfortunately we chose from the set menu, the bread & mushroom soup was fine however the tiny fish cakes were luke warm and lacked fish content. The waitress was apologetic & returned the dish to the kitchen. Replaced with prawn linguine, the prawns were good but the linguine with tomato sauce was reminiscent of Heinz tinned spaghetti! The a la carte meals looked far superior!

OT
Cambridge
1 review
Dined on 12 November 2019
Overall2food3service1ambience3

Slow service - a mistake? Served after later arrivals.

LS
Portland
6 reviews
Dined on 11 October 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Good, not great. A bit overpriced for what it was. Impossible to find parking anywhere close.

RB
New England
2 reviews
Dined on 5 September 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Very good food and service. We enjoyed the goat cheese salad, confit of duck and salmon. All was well prepared and delicious. We were there on a Thursday evening and wanted to return the next evening but it was already booked except for very early or late.

BW
Cambridge
7 reviews
Dined on 3 September 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Very pleasant outdoor seating in the garden. They turn on the heating lamps later in the evening and provide blankets so you will still feel warm and cozy dining outdoors in the English autumn. Very generous portions of food. Ordered rib eye steak median rare and it was very well executed! (not overcooked, which is not to be taken for granted in the UK!) Decent wine list as well. Service is attentive. Would definitely recommend.

SH
Buckinghamshire
1 review
Dined on 29 August 2019
Overall4food5service3ambience5

Great food communication re delay poor but overall v good

G
Hampshire
6 reviews
Dined on 29 August 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Excellent food and lovely place. Bit pricey but food was excellent.

C
London
2 reviews
Dined on 28 August 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience5

It was a lovley dinner and we really enjoyed it. The only thing that wasn’t as good as the rest was the prawns to start (a bit over cooked) and the lack of vegetables served with the lamb. Good portion of meat on the lamb though.
Would recommend!

OT
London
5 reviews
Dined on 28 August 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Super impressed with this place. From the moment we walked in we were greeted with a warm welcome. Service was excellent, the food was excellent and the ambience was perfect. I’ll certainly be going back.

SN
1 review
Dined on 16 August 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We were in Cambridge for a family get together & went to the Oak Bistro for a meal on our first evening.
I chose this restaurant as both the food & drink menus had something to suit everyone. There were 5 of us & we had a round table which made it so easy for everyone to be part of the conversation.
The service was impeccable & the choice of dishes was very varied. All the meals were of a very high standard & we all agreed that there were several options that we would have liked.
The spotless white linen table cloths & elegant glasses added to the ambience.
There was nothing that was less than perfect.
We will certainly go again on our next visit to Cambridge

TL
Glasgow
2 reviews
Dined on 12 August 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Tasty food, nice welcoming, very good sense of humour: I recommend ++

h
Kent
60 reviews
Dined on 1 August 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience4

The Oak Bistro, booked purely on the basis of Opentable recommendations - and very good it was, too! Reasonably priced wine and food - excellent lamb with delicious dauphin potatoes and spinach; delicately cooked salmon en croute, home made and tasty; good atmosphere and not too noisy. A very good experience - if we’re ever in Cambridge again, we’ll return!

FH
1 review
Dined on 29 July 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We went to celebrate a 30th wedding anniversary and it did not disappoint ! Gorgeous halibut and fantastic lamb. Would highly recommend

SM
Cambridge
1 review
Dined on 26 July 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A fabulous venue, a treat to be able to sit in their quaint courtyard and enjoy the extensive menu and lovely weather. Very attentive staff.

US
Cambridge
1 review
Dined on 26 July 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great Lunch menu for a quick business lunch; Consistant and friendly.

MM
Cambridge
1 review
Dined on 15 July 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food with out being too complicated.
Very attentive staff without being over bearing.
Good courtyard area under cover with heaters.

OT
1 review
Dined on 4 July 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Always a treat to eat here

OT
Memphis
103 reviews
Dined on 2 July 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a wonderful dinner at the Oak Bistro. The goat cheese starter was flavorful and colorful. The beef Wellington was perfectly prepared as was my dining partner’s halibut.

L
Cambridge
1 review
Dined on 24 June 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My partner and I had our anniversary dinner in The Oak Bistro's atmospheric and intimate garden. The staff were attentive with our table and made solid recommendations from their comprehensive wine list. The confit duck leg was a standout, as was the orange and saffron poached pear with cinnamon mascarpone⁠—one of the best desserts I've had in ages! This is a great place to take your time with a loved one over an intimate meal. A bottle of wine, a split appetizer, two entrees, two desserts, coffee, and a 20% gratuity came to just over ⁠£100⁠—a reasonable price for such a memorable evening!

s
Derbyshire
1 review
Dined on 17 June 2019
Overall3food3service1ambience3

Booked a table for two at 7.30pm. Initially the service was good. We were brought table water, bottle of wine and a plate of 4 small pieces of bread with a dip fairly quickly. The starter arrived just over an hour later with one visit from the waiter to say that it would be two minutes when in fact it was 15 minutes.

There was another wait of some 20 minutes for the main course and when my partner ordered a dessert. the waiter brought two complimentary glasses of wine. I would have preferred to be given the option of a reduction on the bill which totalled £102.

There was a group of 8 at the next table in a small room so inevitably the noise level was high.

T
Cambridge
1 review
Dined on 31 May 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Amazing service and excellent food! Definetly recommend!

PD
1 review
Dined on 29 May 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Booked online following excellent reviews, we were not disappointed, we both choose the Beef Wellington which was cooked to perfection, the service was excellent, although we only had a glass of wine my wife was advised to try a English white wine which was a really pleasant surprise. To summarise a really pleasant experience with friendly knowledgeable staff.

K
London
18 reviews
Dined on 28 May 2019
Overall4food4service3ambience4

Nice foods but service can be improve. The toffee cake was really delicious.

RM
Bedfordshire
3 reviews
Dined on 16 May 2019
Overall3food5service1ambience3

Food and drink were amazing let down tremendously by the staff who great you fine but then ignore you all evening. No offer of a second drink, long waits in between courses. Long wait for the bill then again to pay. If they treat people like that I’m surprised they have repeat business or maybe it’s because we weren’t regulars that we got treated so poorly, a lot to learn in the tentative area here. Credit given to the barman for his amazing cocktails and kitchen for there amazing food = absolute perfection.... such a shame I won’t go back because of the front of house staff...

TA
Cambridge
1 review
Dined on 16 May 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience4

It has several years since we last visited the Oak ( have been living abroad ) but it still is , in our opinion , the best place to eat in Cambridge . Our first time in the lovely courtyard , great food, interesting menu and wine list. Just all round excellent.

CA
Cambridge
7 reviews
Dined on 13 May 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent restaurant excellent food brilliant staff, no rushing but prompt efficient service of fresh food to the table. Nice that they got fresh GF bread for my wife and the nice little touch with the candle on her dessert rounded off an superlative evening

g
Toronto
9 reviews
Dined on 4 May 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

excellent food and service I shall certainly recommend to colleagues coming to Cambridge.

CL
London
4 reviews
Dined on 18 April 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The Oak Bistro is one of the best restaurants we’ve been to for years! From the moment we walked in we couldn’t have been treated better - the service is second to none!!

When making the booking I informed them that one of the diners was Gluten Free and their attentiveness to this was incredible - did not have to worry about a thing.

The food is absolutely delicious with the perfect sized portions and a perfect wine list to suit!

The ambiance was super and the restaurant came across as a very very place to work which made it a very happy place to eat!

OT
London
8 reviews
Dined on 14 March 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Faultless meal. Excellent seabass, halibut and sweets.highly recommended

A
Cambridge
2 reviews
Dined on 12 March 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We went for a birthday lunch on a weekday . Pleasantly surprised the restaurant was nearly full. Beef Wellington cooked to perfection. Steak cooked to perfection. Plenty of wines to choose from, with the option of choosing half bottle. We loved our puddings, poached pear and sticky toffee pud. Service was efficient. Definitely will return.

DC
Cambridge
1 review
Dined on 11 March 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing restaurant, the service is incredible, the best we have had for ages! Food was absolutely yummy, definitely worth going to. We shall be returning again!

C
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on 6 March 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great restaurant!!!!food very good

OT
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on 4 March 2019
Overall3food2service4ambience3

This place had a lot of good reviews, so I was expecting great food. The plates themselves looked good, but sadly, they were underwhelming. I had a halloumi and vegetable starter, which was tasty. The halibut was quite boring and dry. The chocolate fondant dessert was also dry and boring. Wine was good (cabernet sauvignon and a dessert wine), and no problem with the service, though it did get busy and pretty noisy.

SL
London
1 review
Dined on 8 February 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Great food and welcoming staff. Always delivers and never disappoints.

KS
Cambridge
4 reviews
Dined on 22 January 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Outstanding
Never fails to impress
Would definitely recommended to food lovers

JA
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on 15 January 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I have enjoyed meals at this restaurants on several occasions and have never been disappointed. The quality of the food is always good with just the right-sized portions and delivered by a courteous and attentive staff. Whether meeting with business colleagues, celebrating an occasion or having a romantic evening, the Oak Bistro is a great choice.

CC
London
1 review
Dined on 30 November 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I had lunch at the Oak Bistro with a group of friends, for our friend’s birthday. The set menu was excellent value, and the food was good quality. The atmosphere was lively and the service was very good. I will return again.

DA
London
1 review
Dined on 15 September 2018
Overall1food3service1ambience1

1 hour and a half to bring the food !!! We arrived 15 minutes late and ot was the revenge...

DD
Norfolk
2 reviews
Dined on 14 September 2018
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Great cosy restaurant with excellent service. Blah Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah.

LH
Cambridge
2 reviews
Dined on 4 September 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great service with knowledgeable staff who were helpful and attentive. Great wine list, delicious food on varied menu where everything appealed and amazing puddings.