Oxford might be known as the ‘city of dreaming spires’, but as many visitors will attest, what lies in the streets beneath is equally as inspiring. Home to a world-class university and some of the planet’s most incredible libraries, you’re never short of things to do in this beautiful little city.
One lesser-known way that Oxford really excels, though, is in its dining scene. From quirky independent cafes to vast restaurants serving up exiting international flavours, the streets of Oxford host something for everyone. To help you uncover the best of the best, we spoke to some local experts, who gave us their top picks!ROBYN KATYA, BLOGGER AT LITTLE BOB LOVES, SAYS….
For Oxford charm in an undeniably beautiful setting, I simply love The Perch. Perched next to the river and Port Meadow, it feels like you’ve escaped to the country, yet you’re still so close to the heart of the city. The Sunday roast entices us back time and time again and is perhaps the best in Oxford. I don’t think I’ve ever left feeling hungry; the portions are sizeable but don’t ever stop me from still choosing a dessert! You simply cannot fault in the food or the service, which is always attentive and helpful but in a relaxed un-hassled way, making every visit a fun and welcoming one. It’s set up to cater to a variety of occasions; be it a beer festival in the marquee come summer, or a winter warming hot chocolate next to the garden log burners. This is a venue for all seasons.
ABBEY LOUISA ROSE, BLOGGER AT ABBEYLOUISAROSE.CO.UK, SAYS…
While it can be tempting not to stray from the city centre and the popular chains on George Street, one of Oxford’s best dining experiences can be found by taking the short trip towards Cowley. One such gem this area has to offer is Moya
, a cosy restaurant specialising in authentic Slovakian cuisine. The friendly venue isn’t the flashiest in the city, but its menu certainly delivers on taste. The confit of duck leg, served with creamy dauphinois potatoes, comes highly recommended. Another of Moya’s dishes I can’t get enough of is Halušky, an authentic Slovak national delicacy comprising of thick, soft dumplings cooked with mushrooms, vegetables, and smoked cheese. I’ve visited Moya on several occasions and always find plenty on offer for vegetarians as well as meat-eaters. The cocktail menu is also second to none and there is a happy hour every single day – so what’s not to love?!LAURA, BLOGGER AT DEAR BEAR AND BEANY, SAYS…
When it comes to eating out in Oxford, our favourite place to go is undoubtedly Thaikhun
. This restaurant serves up a range of Thai street food that’s absolutely delicious. The venue is vibrant and akin to stepping into a little part of Thailand, right at the heart of Oxford! With tons of different food options, there really is something for everyone. Even my fussy eater loved it and my eldest daughter asks to return all the time. My favourite dish would have to be Guay Tiew Phad Sie Eiew – it’s cooked to perfection and makes my mouth water just thinking about it.LAUREN ELLEN, BLOGGER AT LAUREN-ELLEN.COM, SAYS…
The Jolly Postboys
in Cowley has been transformed in recent years. What used to be a low-key local, is now a modern, family-friendly pub, serving a selection of refined pub fare. I can honestly say that they serve up the best pub roasts – whether that’s chicken, beef, pork or a vegetarian option. Also, on every other Sunday they have a DJ on the decks, spinning some chilled reggae tones, whilst you munch on your Yorkshire puddings!JESSICA FRIEND, BLOGGER AT WEEKEND TOURIST, SAYS…
For exciting new dishes in Oxford, you can’t beat Kupp
. Kupp is all about sharing the best of the Nordics, and it translates that chic Scandi vibe well in Oxford. The restaurant is on the Westgate’s roof terrace, which means that come summer it’s an excellent al fresco dining spot. But it’s still charming by winter, as pale light floods the restaurant through the floor-to-ceiling glass windows, overlooking the spires of Oxford. It’s got a good casual vibe, encouraging everyone to sit and chill with friends. Fika, directly translated means ‘to have coffee’ but really, it’s more about slowing down, taking a break and appreciating the good things in life. Take your time viewing the menu. Last time I was there I shared a smörgåsbord which included signature smoked pork meatballs, chorizo sausage rolls, carpaccio of smoked beef, Västerbotten cheese, potato salad and Leksands Knäckebröd – a crispbread. It’s just delicious.
If you can’t wait to delve into Oxford’s dining scene, getting planning your trip to the city of dreaming spires, with the help of Jurys Inn Oxford