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Ratings and reviews

Travellers' Choice2023
RATINGS
Food
Service
Value
Atmosphere

Details

PRICE RANGE
£9 - £20
CUISINES
American, Bar, Barbecue
Special Diets
Gluten Free Options
View all details
meals, features, about
Reviews (1,384)
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All reviews ribs pulled pork fries beans burger chicken salad great bbq fast food milkshakes sides platter slaw corn button meats bone
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Reviewed 12 April 2024

A fantastic evening with my bestest friend whom I love, two bearded gentlemen served us with charisma and charm beyond their job role. Upon asking for their names Harry and Mario were overjoyed that they were able to service my friend and I with such...remarkable standards! These two are fantastic men ❤️❤️More

Date of visit: April 2024
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 3 April 2024

I had a great experience on my first visit to Cambridge. Smokeworks on Free school lane was definitely a highlight and I really really enjoyed my St Louis belly rib. Lots of intense flavours, soft tender meat and the slaw was the perfect accompaniment due...to its crunch and freshness. Our sides were the Mac ‘n cheese and the Cajun spiced onion rings, both were probably the best I’ve ever had. My partner ordered the baby back ribs but this was the only item which unfortunately wasn’t on par with everything else. The ribs were tender but didn’t have much flavour. I also got the apple crumble handshake which was so good I had to grab one to go. You’re missing a trick by not offering a strawberry cheesecake version! Staff were brilliant from start to finish and if you’re reading this then know that I appreciate you.More

Date of visit: April 2024
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Reviewed 24 March 2024 via mobile

The food was rather good, unfortunately the music was so loud we could barely hear each other, despite asking for the music to be turned down, they seemed more interested in ignoring my request, really disappointed and spoilt a lovely day with our son.

Date of visit: March 2024
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 8 March 2024

We had our table cancelled on us elsewhere (who does that in 2024?!), so decided to look nearby, and chanced upon this place. We both enjoyed it massively. Our combo meals were both delicious, we couldn’t fault it, it’s quirky, stylish and just good southern...style hospitality in Cambridge. I’ve eaten at many places like this, and it really made me smile, as good food should. Just good ole fashioned eats. Killer soundtrack on the playlist too, although the warbling lady next to us was off key singing bless her.More

Date of visit: March 2024
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Smokeworks Station Road, Owner at Smokeworks - Free School Lane, responded to this reviewResponded 11 March 2024

Hi TruthMartini! Thanks for the killer review! You should check out our other venue for a game of darts next time!

Reviewed 1 March 2024

Fantastic service, excellent food and a whole separate menu for my gluten-free friend, which was brilliant. Definitely recommendMore

Date of visit: March 2024
Helpful?
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Ciaran Knight, General Manager at Smokeworks - Free School Lane, responded to this reviewResponded 4 March 2024

Hi Judy! Thanks for taking the time to leave us a positive review. We pride ourselves on taking allergies very seriously, to ensure that we can accommodate as many customers as possible and provide them the best possible experience! We look forward to welcoming you...More

Reviewed 24 February 2024 via mobile

I’d probably give this place a miss - there are too many other options worth a shot. We came here as a couple for dinner before some comedy at the corn exchange. Seated quickly - quite liked the switch on the wall to request service...- thought the serving untensils storage on the wall was very smart. Menu looked tasty if a little more expensive than we’d expected but still worth seeing how it comes. Server was attentive and adjusted our order so we could eat something sooner than the time it would take for our main order to arrive. Main food arrived promptly - probably faster than we’d have expected but certainly no complaints! St Louis pork belly was lovely - coleslaw a definite hit - fries serving too small mind. The issue came with the ‘half smoked chicken’ on the ‘double clucker’ platter. Everything else fine but this chicken was drier than the bloody desert. I’m really not fussy when it comes to chicken but I had to spit it out before it ended me via dehydration. Seriously I get that the USP is bbq food and perhaps we didn’t appreciate that the atmosphere is certainly not date night nor particularly comfortable - hey that’s on us for making the choice. Can’t say they mislead you there. But good lord - what did that poor chicken do to deserve that! That CANNOT be what you generally or aim to serve! We did tell the lovely server at the end how bad it was and she walked off shouting somebody’s name as if there was a protocol for this (or perhaps we’re not the first … I doubt very much that we are!) - but she did not return. Instead we requested the bill - paid and left. We couldn’t be bothered to kick up a fuss at having paid £24 for a twice murdered chicken - but we can safely say we did tell them - once was just fine! Let’s hope they forgot about it in the oven and it was a one off dud - otherwise the area surrounding it is going to be filled with people clawing for fluids all around the streets of Cambridge and perhaps vengeance for the injustice of their poultry friends masssacre.More

Date of visit: February 2024
Helpful?1  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 18 February 2024 via mobile

Came to Cambridge for our anniversary and had to try this place. By far, the best BBQ food we've had in the UK! Staff were incredible and there was an endless drink menu to choose from. We'll definitely be coming back to Cambridge just to...have another go at this place! Only advice would be, book a table! Enjoy!More

Date of visit: February 2024
Helpful?
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Ciaran Knight, General Manager at Smokeworks - Free School Lane, responded to this reviewResponded 4 March 2024

Hi Measha ! Thanks for taking the time to leave us such a positive review. We love to hear all kinds of feedback, but especially such a glowing recommendation! We’re very proud of our food and our lovingly crafted cocktails, so we’re excited to hear...More

Reviewed 11 February 2024

The food is consistently great so great chefs, and the people are all very good and vibey. The Assistant Manager there Mario is such a great guy and he helped out out instantly with such a smile, all of us were so happy with the...service, which was also mirrored by the waiters and waitress's Nick also a great guy super fun and always on it. My Family and Friends also agree so it wasn't just meMore

Date of visit: November 2023
Helpful?
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Ciaran Knight, General Manager at Smokeworks - Free School Lane, responded to this reviewResponded 4 March 2024

Hi Paul ! Thanks for taking the time to leave us such a positive review. We love to hear all kinds of feedback, but especially love to hear good things about our staff! We have a great team here at Smokeworks, and Nick and Mario...More

Reviewed 10 February 2024

A great little place. Friendly staff and easy ordering system. Only complaint they forgot my chips, but when I queried this they soon corrected this.

Date of visit: February 2024
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Ciaran Knight, General Manager at Smokeworks - Free School Lane, responded to this reviewResponded 4 March 2024

Hi Ian! Thanks for leaving us a positive review! Sorry we forgot your chips but glad to hear we sorted that out quickly for you. We look forward to welcoming you back to Smokeworks, and hopefully you won't have to remind us about your chips!

Reviewed 15 January 2024

I took a smoked half chicken with chips and rainbow slaw. Everything is extremely tasty, especially rainbow slaw (I took an extra potion). The stuff is very friendly, music is excellent. Highly recommend

Date of visit: January 2024
Helpful?
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 6 January 2024

We are regulars here. Fantastic staff, friendly and always go the extra mile to make your visit special. You would struggle to find a more genuine and consistent level of service, food and care and attention. You are made to feel like friends here. Thanks...so much, Jill & PhilMore

Date of visit: January 2024
Helpful?
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Ciaran Knight, General Manager at Smokeworks - Free School Lane, responded to this reviewResponded 4 March 2024

Hi Jill and Phil ! Thanks for taking the time to leave us such a positive review. We love to hear all kinds of feedback, but especially such kind words from our regulars! We’re very proud of our food and our lovingly crafted cocktails, as...More

Reviewed 5 January 2024

Saw this place online and decided to give it a try as we were spending the night in Cambridge. It's only a very small place, but we got a table as a walk in. The staff were brilliant, very friendly and efficient. Our drinks were...out within minutes, and the food not too far behind. Staff checked up on us, and we ordered a few more drinks when they did. Somewhere I'd gladly go back toMore

Date of visit: November 2023
Helpful?
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Ciaran Knight, General Manager at Smokeworks - Free School Lane, responded to this reviewResponded 4 March 2024

Hi fishfingerer! (interesting name by the way). Thanks for taking the time to leave us such a positive review. We love to hear all kinds of feedback, but especially such a glowing recommendation! We’re very proud of our food and our cocktails, so we’re excited...More

Reviewed 24 December 2023 via mobile

We used to love this place under the old management including the menu Unfortunately when it changed hands so did the menu to which we tried once before and was disappointed. Today we thought we’d give it another go, unfortunately it’ll be our last We...ordered some buns and some wings as they were free via the Embargo app. The buns were ok but the wings were horrible. Very cheap chicken with bones falling apart as you tried eating them. The Oreo milkshake is still one of the best in the city! The price of the food is rather high for what it is while also smaller than it used to be. The menu is two options, pay a high price for ribs or a high price for burgers The staff were great but unfortunately the food let’s it downMore

Date of visit: December 2023
Helpful?1  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 8 December 2023

Friendly staff, great food, quirky place. We all agreed (5 of us), that this was a great choice for our annual get together (we'd been to play shuffle board at The Tivoli for 2 hours before, so had worked up an appetite). The fact that...they don't serve dessert is not an issue - we were FULL and happy.More

Date of visit: December 2023
Helpful?
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 19 November 2023 via mobile

If a BBQ-style meal lures you this way, it’s an interesting - if basic - corner restaurant where a visitor is greeted by angsty alt rock (avril lavigne/ early foos/ linkin park/ blink 182 etc) on entrance. Fair enough. It was busy too. The staff...were hugely enthusiastic and attentive: the food disappointing. I ordered the wings and sides. The sides were good - particularly the slaw - but the wings: holey moley. Anyone who has ever eaten BBQ/spicy wings in the US (or even in the old TGI Fridays) wouldn’t recognise these things. Microwaved, grey, rubbery whole wings with “drizzled” sauce where the latter couldn’t disguise the soggy tasteless meat beneath. 10 minutes to the table should have been a warning. It’s a stretch I know, but KFC wings are more authentic. So it’s a pity: good atmosphere and keen staff but be careful what you order. Maybe the burgers are better.More

Date of visit: November 2023
Helpful?
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Questions & Answers
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sunnyhunny123
13 June 2019|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from Howchickachicka | Reviewed this property |
Grand Arcrade car park isn’t too far away, better off going Queen Anne as it’s much cheaper
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Parky-White
17 September 2016|
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Response from 337dg | Reviewed this property |
Yes they do do desserts. There is a somewhat limited selection. If you have room, though they are nice. I believe the vary from time to time but I had a chocolate tart with IIRC a coconut garnish - it was great. I could only... More
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1z2x
29 June 2016|
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Response from Dee11_66 | Reviewed this property |
Yes, believe so: give them a call - staff very accommodating.
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SMOKEWORKS - FREE SCHOOL LANE, Cambridge - Updated 2024 Restaurant Reviews, Menu & Prices - Tripadvisor

Frequently Asked Questions about Smokeworks - Free School Lane

Yes, SmokeWorks - Free School Lane offers takeaway services.

Yes, SmokeWorks - Free School Lane offers delivery services.

Yes, SmokeWorks - Free School Lane is taking precautions against COVID-19. A full list is available within the "safety precautions" section of this page.

SmokeWorks - Free School Lane is rated accordingly in the following categories by Tripadvisor travellers:
  • Food: 4.5
  • Service: 4.5
  • Value: 4
  • Atmosphere: 4