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Restaurants in Oxford

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Restaurants in Oxford: things to know before you go

Hundreds of years of students and dons have created a food and drink scene in Oxford that’s replete with deliciously quirky old pubs and cafes. But beyond that there’s a healthy restaurant culture, too. Here are the answers to all your questions about restaurants in Oxford near you.

Which are the top-rated restaurants in Oxford?

Plenty of great restaurants cater to locals, students and visiting tourists alike. Here are a few of the top restaurants in Oxford based on customer reviews:

  • The Handle Bar Cafe and Kitchen is tucked away above a bicycle shop, has a laid back, woody interior that’s vaguely reminiscent of a well-lit dive bar. However, its diverse, affordable menu belies its appearance.
  • Mirabai Restaurant is an Indian restaurant serving all the classics in pleasant, laid-back surroundings. Perfect for a curry and a naan.
  • Edamame is a tiny diner serving Japanese food. It doesn’t take bookings and you should be prepared to wait, but it will reward you for your patience.
  • The Oxford Kitchen wears its Michelin star lightly. The food is always interesting and the service and decor come mercifully absent of pomp. This Michelin starred restaurant in Oxford will definitely reward your visit.

Which are the best cafés in Oxford?

Oxford’s best cafés – like their restaurants, pubs and bars – serve hundreds of students every day. Sure, these students may be studying at one of the world’s most prestigious universities, but they still have budgets to stick to. As a result, the local cafés and coffee shops generally keep their menus down to earth and affordable. Here are two of the best:

  • Café Coco is cheerful and affordable, serving up everything from healthy breakfasts to delicious pizza. The cocktails are pretty tasty, too. With plenty of outdoor seating, it’s great for a sunny day.
  • The Natural Bread Company has its charming Woodstock café on the suburb’s high street. The coffee’s good, but it’s the freshly baked artisan bread and delicious pastries that you’ll travel there for.

What are the best pubs for food in Oxford?

It’ll come as no surprise that Oxford’s traditional pubs serve great British cuisine, but you really don’t want to take how good they are for granted. This is a city with some of the best proper pubs in the country.

  • The Magdalen Arms has won national awards – but awards don’t fill bellies. Here, it’s the sharing size steak and kidney pies that do – also the delicious vegetarian specials.
  • The Rusty Bicycle is entirely its own place. With live music and modern pub grub, it’s a fun spot for a beer and a burger.

Are any traditional Oxford foods still served in restaurants?

Oxford might be known for its writers and scholars, but its cooks have turned out a few notable dishes in their time too.

New College Pudding, Banbury Cake, Oxfordshire Sausages (Oxfordshire Skate), Oxford Bishop and Frank Cooper's Oxford Marmalade number among the dishes and foods that originated in Oxfordshire. You’ll still find them at the occasional restaurant in Oxford and beyond, so get scouring those menus.