Restaurants in Oxford

The city’s best selection of independent restaurants can be found in East Oxford, especially the area on and around Cowley Road. For Italian food, try Mario’s and make sure that you arrive early, since it is often so bustling with actual Italians (surely the best authenticity indicator there is) that it is difficult to get a seat. Ten minutes’ walk away, on the corner of Cowley Road’s more sedate neighbour, Iffley Road, the Magdalen Arms serves delicious, upscale pub grub and an alluring Sunday lunch. 

Cowley Road is also the heart of Oxford’s south Asian community and accordingly home to the best Indian and Bangladeshi food in the city. Try longstanding institution Aziz – which celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2015 – or Qumins on St Clement’s. There has been a happy boomlet of Nepalese restaurants in recent years, so go along to Kadai & Naan or Everest – a converted ex-pub on Howard Street – for something a bit different. Best of all is Yeti, where the manically loquacious chef might give you some free popadoms.

Twenty years ago, you might have been hard pressed to find Asian cuisine in the city that did not consist entirely of curry. Thankfully, Oxford’s food scene has diversified and improved since then and Japanese, Chinese, Lebanese and Thai restaurants are all in good supply. Al Shami is an excellent Lebanese option, especially for large groups, since its long tables and mezze style menu make sharing a doddle. The consensus is that SoJo serves some of the spiciest, tastiest Chinese food around, although since chef Adam Tan left to establish his own, Chinese-Malaysian establishment Zheng, the competition has undoubtedly become fiercer. If you have never sampled aromatic Thai dishes below Elizabethan timber beams, we recommend that you go promptly to Chiang Mai Kitchen.

For Japanese food, try Taberu or Edamamé and be aware that the latter’s tiny size, strange hours and no-booking policy might mean it is difficult to get a seat at peak times. Edamamé will be a doddle, however, in comparison with much-hyped Oli’s Thai, which is often fully booked months in advance. They do leave some tables unreserved for walk-ins, so arrive early and in a small group for your best chance of sampling their daily-changing menu.

Oxford has a smallish number of delicious, upscale restaurants perfect for special occasions. Students: wait until your parents come to visit and make them take you for a meal at Gee’s, or in fancy riverside surroundings at The Folly or the Cherwell Boathouse.

New Dancing Dragon Bar&Restaurant

New Dancing Dragon Bar & Restaurant

New Dancing Dragon Bar & Restaurant is a New A La Carte Restaurant offers a friendly, relaxed atmosphere with a wide range of Asian cuisine
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Majliss – Abingdon

Majliss – Abingdon

Classic Indian dishes, as well as over 30 special dishes, many of which you will not find in other restaurants. All made from the finest, fresh ingredients.
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Turnpike – Yarnton

Turnpike – Yarnton

Turnpike – Yarnton

The Turnpike is a country pub oozing rural charm and rustic character. Our picturesque surroundings provide the perfect backdrop for savouring the hearty, seasonal pub-food on our menu.
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The Nag’s Head – Abingdon

The Nag’s Head – Abingdon

Whether you pop in for a quick drink, or a meal with friends, you can be sure of a warm welcome from owner Mark Brock and his friendly team of bar and restaurant staff..
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Edamame

Edamame

Edamame is an authentic Japanese eatery in Oxford. We serve our own style of home cooked food, offering various Japanese dishes, and sushi, at low prices. It is not a sushi bar or a formal Japanese restaurant. It is a very casual and friendly setting that might not appeal to people in search of more formal dining!
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The Jam Factory

The Jam Factory

Restaurant, bar and gallery, the Jam Factory has become a safe haven for the fresh food lovers and art enthusiasts of Oxford. Whilst lending its walls to a diverse range of artists and building its reputation as a gallery space in its own right, we also run a variety of art classes and play host to various artistic groups
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The Swan Inn – Swinbrook

The Swan Inn – Swinbrook

Situated alongside the attractive Windrush River and very much at the heart of the local village community in Swinbrook, The Swan has a rich history associated with it.
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The Oxford Kitchen

The Oxford Kitchen

Now recognized as one of the most exciting dining outlets in the city, The Oxford Kitchen’s reputation for fine modern British cuisine is built around the inspired creations of Executive Chef John Footman, whose food has the critics talking.
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Quod

Quod

Accessed from the High Street and through a glass lobby, Quod restaurant with its terrace and bar, forms the hub of the Old Bank Hotel. Formerly a banking hall it was transformed by owner Jeremy Mogford to become Oxfords largest and most successful restaurant. Stylish, contemporary design describes the space which houses an amazing collection of young British art.
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Kazbar

Kazbar

Despite its Moroccan name and souk-like ambience – waxed ochre walls, old lanterns and brightly coloured cushions – Kazbar is essentially a tapas bar, and a very good one at that. Just beyond the medieval city centre, it’s a cosily romantic venue to spend an evening with friends or lovers.
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