It's a sausage and mash restaurant, believe it or not, right in the heart of Oxford's Castle Quarter, and it's just 'right' - a celebration of all that's great about great British food. It's not a chain, but a single place, run by a single guy and his enthusiastic team. He's bound to be there, telling you which creation of sausages goes best with which creation of mash. Local beers, local staff and a good feel. Best place I can recommend
Tasty tapas selections - with window seats enabling great people-watching. The lunchtime platters are great value at £7.50 for a varied and filling selection (the veggie one comes highly recommended), or pick from the menu if you want more control.
Little Clarendon St, Jericho
A self-service café set in the vaults of University Church of St Mary the Virgin. Inside is all long shared tables and dimly lit café wonderfulness. A leisurely coffee and a good book are perfectly matched to its unpretentious welcome. Its Catte St garden faces the Radcliffe Camera so summer lunching is particularly pleasant. The restaurant itself serves consistently tasty and adventurous locally sourced organic food and cakes and fairly traded teas coffees - we have only ever been for lunch after the storytime session at the central library - needless to say it is kid-friendly and affordable too. One thing to bear in mind is lunch is served from 12pm and is very popular so arrive early to avoid queues and shortages.
Tel. 01865 279112
Radcliffe Square, off High St, Oxford.
It is astonishing to come across acharming and friendly inn off a highway between Lechlade and Burford and have the most memorable pub lunch of chicken liver and brandy pate and a yellowfin tuna nicoise that didn't taste of dishwater, and all on a Monday after visiting William Morris's house at Kelmscott (which was closed, so we needed cheering up, and got it). The most beautiful village of old houses made of sublime Cotswold Stone - walks, woollen mills, beautiful things to buy, heaven - we will stay here next time- Tadeus Pfeifer, Basel
Filkins, Oxfordshire - website
A beautifully imposing converted church on Walton Street, this is a student treat which somehow makes you feel as if you are in on a secret.
It's not too done up, has a lovely long zinc bar, and serves strong cocktails and proper pizzas.
Plus there is seating out the front to people watch.
119 Walton St
Oxford, OX2 6AH
The Gardener's Arms is a vegetarian pub in Oxford. It is situated in the Jericho, a picturesque part of the city, and has a large beer garden which is great in the summer. The food is good pub fare and all veggie.
The Trout is so well known around Oxford that it hardly needs any recommendation. This cavernous pub can be found in Wolvercote, north of Oxford.
The Trout serves great food (minted lamb shanks are my recommendation), though it gets very full at the beginning and end of Oxford terms. Most of all it's the atmosphere that people come for - cosy inside in Autumn and Winter, and a large outdoor terrace in Spring and Summer.
It has a history which encompasses Henry II, Alice in Wonderland and Colin Dexter of Inspector Morse fame! It can be reached by car (a large free car park indicates how popular it can get), but far better to walk all the way up Port Meadow to the very top, by which point you will deserve your lunch thoroughly.
195 Godstow Road, Lower Wolvercote, Oxford
A cocktail bar and Slovakian restaurant located in the St Clements area of Oxford. Moya is smooth and sophisticated, yet the food is homely, warming and seems authentically Slovakian. Enjoy the venison in a red wine sauce, the sausages, and the goulash, and also the bellinis, manhattans and mojitos.
St Clements is at the far end of the High Street, but Moya is worth the expedition.
97 St. Clement's Street, Oxford, OX4 1AR
Tel: 01865 200111
Maison Blanc is part of Raymond Blanc's culinary empire but this Oxford cafe is the original. A small patisserie, boulangerie and cafe at the top of St Giles, it is perfect for Saturday morning breakfasts or cake and coffee. Everything is beautiful and scrumptious, from the almond croissant to the tarte au citron and the pain rustique. It is also surprisingly family friendly and we always see toddlers in here.
3 Woodstock Road, at the corner of Little Clarendon Street.
Tel: 01865 510 974
George and Davis' is situated on Little Clarendon Street in Jericho. It is something of an Oxford institution with quirky cow-themed pictures on the walls and a studenty appeal. It serves great ice cream in an array of wonderful (and sometimes weird) flavours and customers can start a petition for a flavour of their own design
to be made. If 30 signatures are collected the management will consider making it.
The cafe also serves great pizza bagels for those who need a savoury snack. It is open until midnight and, although there are plenty of students in term-time, it's worth making a visit.
G&Ds Ice Cream Cafe, Little Clarendon Street.
Oxford has had a market for hundreds of years, and it is still thriving. Now there are more and more coffee-shops and upmarket retailers, but still just about enough butchers and fresh produce stalls to keep it interesting. Don't miss Brown's Cafe, where they make tea in proper teapots, with leaves, not bags. The rock cakes are good, too.
Accessible from High Street, Cornmarket Street and Market Street Map and virtual tour at: www.chem.ox.ac.uk/oxfordtour/coveredmarket/
Another charming old boozer tucked away off the main drag, The Bear is celebrated for its curious collection of old school ties. Mind your head - in this historic building the ceiling is rather low.
6 Alfred Street, off the corner of St Aldates and High Street
The all-year-round beer garden is warmed by the sun in summer and by scented braziers in winter. Some great ales too, all in a creaking, cellar-like building straight from the middle ages.
4 Bath Place just off Holywell Road Tel: 01865 243235
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