Hardens Guide to the Best Restaurants in Oxfordshire
Hardens guides have spent 30 years compiling reviews of the best Oxfordshire restaurants. On Hardens.com you'll find details and reviews of 227 restaurants in Oxfordshire and our unique survey based approach to rating and reviewing Oxfordshire restaurants gives you the best insight into the top restaurants in every area and of every type of cuisine.
Featured Oxfordshire Restaurants
1. Orwells British, Traditional restaurant in Shiplake Shiplake Row - RG9
“Love it, love it, love it!” is the universal theme in all feedback on Ryan & Liam Simpson-Trotman’s gentrified pub, a short drive out of Henley, where, in summer, you can “eat the beautiful garden with views of the countryside”. Service is “professional” and the well-judged cooking – “innovative” without being unduly ‘cheffy’ – is “exceptional”. Michelin continue to miss a trick here.
2. The Sir Charles Napier British, Modern restaurant in Chinnor Spriggs Alley - OX39
“Always worth the slightly tortuous drive to the ‘back of beyond’”, Julie Griffith’s Chilterns gastropub “hasn’t really changed much (other than the sofa cushions) in over 25 years”, but when that means “beautiful food in beautiful surroundings” (“lovely cosy log fires in winter, wonderful garden for outdoor dining in the summer”) no one seems to mind.
3. The Mason Arms British, Modern restaurant in South Leigh Station Road - OX29
It’s the picture of a traditional thatched pub, but the “cosy” interior and “heartwarming” menu have been funked up at this rural inn, which was consistently highly rated last year.
4. Cherwell Boathouse British, Modern restaurant in Oxford Bardwell Road - OX2
The “gorgeous setting by the river” is one perfect ingredient for a “romantic lunch” in the heart of north Oxford at this veteran fixture – a working boathouse, with punts gliding past on the Cherwell – and its “super wine list” is another. The “mainly good” food and “friendly service” also make a contribution, if sometimes in a supporting role.
5. The Chequers British, Traditional restaurant in Burcot Abingdon Road - OX14
Steven Sanderson’s “welcoming” modernised thatched pub in a Thames-side village majors in grass-fed British steak from Sussex, alongside a variety of pub classics.
6. Magnolia Brasserie British, Modern restaurant in Faringdon Sudbury House Hotel, 56 London Street - SN7
2018 Review: Limited but all-round upbeat feedback on the cheaper of the two dining options at Sudbury House Hotel, which features an open kitchen which majors in wood-fired pizza and char-grilled steaks.
7. Restaurant 56 Afternoon tea restaurant in Faringdon Sudbury House, 56 London Street - SN7
2019 Review: “A real culinary treat” is in store for diners at this elegant Georgian venue on the edge of the Cotswolds. “Chef Andrew Scott and his team have a great understanding of combining flavours; the taster menus are a genuine experience and the wine list has some excellent options”.
8. Minster Mill British, Modern restaurant in Minster Lovell Old Minster - OX29
2018 Review: Very attractive, beamed and cosy country hotel (part of the Brownsword group) “in a quaint Cotswold village”. “The food is well presented and of the gastro’ variety – no common pub grub here!”
9. The Perch British, Traditional restaurant in Oxford Binsey Ln - OX2
This famous thatched pub by Port Meadow, where the countryside encroaches into Oxford, is “lovely on a summer’s day for a meal outdoors” – and “highly recommended after a walk along the Thames if you’re staying in Oxford”. There has been a pub here for 800 years and the current building has hosted real and imaginary drinkers including Inspector Morse, C.S.Lewis and William Morris. Landlord Jon Ellse is from Oxford pub royalty – his father ran the Turf Tavern.
10. The Vaults and Garden Cafe British, Modern restaurant in Oxford University Church of St Mary the Virgin, Radcliffe Sq - OX1
“A great Oxford institution” set in the “fifteenth-century vaults of the university church” – this ethical and organic café makes an “excellent stop-off point during a busy day in Oxford” – whether you’re shopping or studying texts next door in the Bodleian Library. “Superb coffee, decent food and a very civilised atmosphere, despite sometimes being crowded”.
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