Hardens Guide to the Best Restaurants in Oxford
Hardens guides have spent 29 years compiling reviews of the best Oxford restaurants. On Hardens.com you'll find details and reviews of 98 restaurants in Oxford and our unique survey based approach to rating and reviewing Oxford restaurants gives you the best insight into the top restaurants in every area and of every type of cuisine.
Featured Oxford Restaurants
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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”.
4. The Folly British, Modern restaurant in Oxford 1 Folly Bridge - OX1
2016 Review: A “beautifully located” spot by the eponymous bridge “looking out at boaters on the river” whose food, while sometimes “very good”, tends to play second fiddle to the setting.
7. Oli's Thai Thai restaurant in Oxford 38 Magdalen Rd - OX4
“Still the best restaurant in Oxford” – especially if you’re into Thai food – this cult café delivers grub that’s “packed with flavour, in simple surroundings at immensely reasonable prices”; accordingly, it’s “disappointingly impossible to get a table” (unless you book ages in advance).
8. The Fishes British, Modern restaurant in Oxford North Hinksey Village - OX2
2017 Review: “Well-sourced, thoughtful cooking, careful service and a great choice of puds” are three reasons why “you always leave The Fishes feeling cheerful” – others being the attractive waterside setting and pleasant garden.
9. Edamame Japanese restaurant in Oxford 15 Holywell St - OX1
2016 Review: “A welcome break from the chain-dominated Oxford food scene” – this “tiny but much-loved independent” offers “quick, tasty and authentic” Japanese food, “served at communal tables”. “It’s definitely worth queueing for”.
10. Zheng Chinese restaurant in Oxford 82 Walton St - OX2
“Small space, big food!” – the winning formula behind this “great Far Eastern” venue, whose menu dexterously hops from Malaysia to Singapore and China (in a good way). It’s “very noisy and appeals to the younger crowd because of the pricing and fairly large portions”.
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