There was once a time when it was hard to find any restaurants in Oxford other than cheap student eateries and overpriced stuffy restaurants. These days, you’re spoilt for choice, whatever your taste or budget!
At this Edwardian boathouse, students and tourists rent punts for picnics on the river Cherwell – a very conventional scene, yes, but the Cherwell boathouse is also one of the city’s most idiosyncratic restaurants, secluded down a lane in Victorian North Oxford. In summer you can eat on the deck, listen to the splash of punts on the river (and the occasional larger splash of a student falling in) and enjoy the finest cuisine. In winter you can eat inside the cosy boathouse itself.
Turl Street Kitchen
Advertising fresh, seasonal, local food, the Turl Street Kitchen is as much a favourite with professionals popping out for a bite at lunchtime as it is as a student bar in the evenings. We would recommend reservations at weekend lunchtimes, especially during the University’s term time.
Quod Brasserie & Bar
Taking up the ground floor of an old bank, Quod quickly became Oxford’s best-loved restaurant – not only for the student and young professional crowd that the contemporary styling suggests, but for dons and other venerable Oxford folk. The location is perfect, half way along the High Street, among the colleges, and the food – pizzas, salads, fish and meat dishes and daily specials – are briskly served by young waiting staff.
Ashmolean Dining Room
Britain’s oldest museum recently underwent a highly acclaimed refit, including the addition of a roof-top restaurant. A glass wall opens out onto a terrace filled with tables, and a grass “lawn”, where you can lounge on deck chairs amid Oxford’s rooftops with views to the green hills beyond. The menu isn’t bad, either: imaginative, well-cooked and beautifully presented dishes are served with charm and an eye for detail.