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Where to Eat in Oxford – a food and dining guide

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Oxford may be small, but it's certainly cosmopolitan – that's partly down to the students, who come from all corners of the world to study at the renowned universities in this grand old city. The result is a diverse and tempting dining scene, with restaurants serving everything from hearty traditional English pub fare to chic Mediterranean fusion cuisine. Whether you're eating on a student budget or splashing the cash, there’s something to suit every preference.
Typical dishes

 

 

Oxford sausages area distinctive species of sausage made from a mixture of pork and veal, made famous by their inclusion in the classic Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management. See if you can seek some out, and keep an eye out for Oxford Blue – an award-winning cheese from the region.

High Street

 

Cutting straight through the historic heart of the city, High Street is where you’ll find some of Oxford’s finest upscale dining establishments. Quod is a sleek brasserie and bar, located within the renowned Old Bank Hotel building. Its menu features a mouth-watering selection of aged British steaks, plus elegantly simple dishes like duck confit with pancetta and potatoes. The Rose is one of the most popular spots in town for a decadent afternoon tea – whet your appetite with a selection of dainty finger sandwiches, before indulging in freshly baked scones with lashings of clotted cream and homemade jam.

 

• Quod, 92-94 High Street, Oxford OX1 4BN; Tel: +44 (0) 1865 202505

The Rose, 51 High Street, Oxford OX1 4AS; Tel: +44 (0) 1865 244429

 

Oxford Covered Market

 

Just off High Street, the Covered Market should be a first port of call for any serious food lover. In addition to an abundance of stalls selling tempting fresh produce, there’s also a charming selection of restaurants to explore. Sasi’s Thai is a cosy little café offering delicious home-cooked Thai dishes like spicy papaya salad and aromatic steamed fish curry. Alpha Bar is a perennially popular gourmet sandwich and salad bar, which is a cut above the usual hole-in-the-wall with ingredients like smoked mackerel and local goat's cheese. The salad boxes alone will fill even the most ravenous visitor.

 

• Sasi’s Thai, 32-37 The Covered Market, Oxford OX1 3DU; Tel: +44 (0)1865 742434

Alpha Bar, The Covered Market, Oxford OX1 3DX; Tel: +44 (0) 1865 250499

 

Jericho

 

Jericho is one of Oxford’s coolest enclaves, renowned for its hip bars and live music venues, and its long-established arthouse cinema. The dining scene here caters to a crowd of young professionals and students, so you’ll find plenty of reasonably-priced and irresistibly lively restaurants. Mamma Mia is perhaps the city’s favourite pizzeria, serving thin-crust pizzas made with imported Neapolitan flour, and loaded with fresh gourmet toppings like artichokes, Parma ham, and Portobello mushrooms. Al-Shami is another long-established favourite, offering authentic Lebanese cuisine including houmus with diced lamb and pine nuts, juicy stuffed vine leaves, and spicy sausage.

 

• Mamma Mia Jericho, 102 Walton Street, OX2 6EB; Tel: +44 (0) 1865 311211

Al-Shami, 25 Walton Crescent, OX1 2JG; Tel: +44 (0) 1865 31006

 

Cowley Road

 

Cowley Road is arguably Oxford’s most vibrant thoroughfare, home to an eclectic population of students, academics, and long standing South Asian and Afro-Caribbean communities. This is the city’s go-to destination for hearty Indian cuisine. Malikas is a stand-out - a family-run establishment serving an extensive menu of decadent fried appetisers and fiery curries, with extensive options for vegetarians. If you’re after something a little more adventurous, Yeti Nepalese Restaurant boasts a fascinating menu of Himalayan staples like Masu Gedagudi – lamb cooked with beans, ginger, garlic and coriander.

 

• Malikas, 218 Cowley Road, Oxford OX4 1UQ; Tel: +44 (0) 1865 723029

Yeti Nepalese Restaurant, 237 Cowley Road, Oxford OX4 1XG; Tel: +44 (0) 1865 295959