Whether you fancy a punt on the river or a tour of the historic university, there’s plenty to keep you occupied in Oxford. It’s a haven for foodies too, with a host of cosy pubs and award-winning eateries to choose from. Here are nine of the best.
Gee’s – This light-filled Victorian conservatory is a great choice for brunch or a low-key dinner. It specialises in Mediterranean dishes cooked in the wood oven or charcoal grill, so expect pizzettas, sea bass with green sauce, and fettucine with wild boar ragu. We hear Raymond Blanc is a fan.
No 1 Ship Street – A top spot for date night, the ground floor brasserie serves modern British dishes like pheasant with toasted pumpkin and flat iron steak with anchovy butter. If you fancy something lighter, head upstairs to the cosy cocktail bar for drinks and small plates. Their blood orange Margarita is a winner.
The Parsonage Grill – At the heart of the Old Parsonage Hotel is a stylish but relaxed all-day restaurant. It serves traditional dishes like haddock fishcakes and rabbit and leek pie, as well as excellent breakfasts and afternoon tea.
Oli’s Thai – You’ll need to book in advance to secure a table at this hugely popular Thai restaurant. The short menu is all killer, no filler – try the confit duck panang curry and the zingy papaya salad.
Ashmolean Rooftop Restaurant – For dinner with a view of the city’s dreaming spires, book a table at Oxford’s only rooftop restaurant. Perched atop the Ashmolean Museum, it’s a top spot for lunch, afternoon tea, or – in warm weather – al fresco drinks on the terrace.
Turl Street Kitchen – This café-restaurant serves good food for a good cause, with profits donated to the Oxford Hub (a student volunteer network). The menu changes every day but expect flavour-packed, seasonal dishes like grilled spiced aubergine and plaice with samphire and lemon butter.
Branca – With their passion for quality ingredients and big flavours, it’s easy to see why this Italian brasserie is such a hit with the locals. The all-day menu offers something for everyone, from pasta and stone-baked pizza to steaks and salads.
The Oxford Kitchen – At this relaxed fine dining restaurant, chef John Footman and his team serve modern British dishes like guinea fowl with cep risotto, roast hake with brown shrimps, and gin cured trout. The weekday lunch menu is a bargain at £20 for two courses or £25 for three.
Cherwell Boathouse – This relaxed riverside restaurant is a top choice for special occasions. On sunny days, you can dine al fresco and watch the punts float by – or even have a go yourself.
We’ve only scratched the surface here – there’s lots more to try, from tapas at Arbequina to Sri Lankan flavours at The Coconut Tree. Visit OpenTable to discover more restaurants in Oxford and let us know your favourites.