I’ve already posted about the foods I miss from America, but I’ve been thinking… that’s not really fair on Oxford. There are some great local and independent establishments that I absolutely love eating at. Some I frequent far too often, and some I don’t frequent enough! So, without further ado, here are the top places I recommend. Because, as the old saying goes… When in Oxford…
Pieminister was originally a Bristol based business. The founders’ vision was to give the British public quality pies different from the “usual” fare. And boy have they succeeded! While they’re still a family run business, they have pie shops in Bristol, London, Amsterdam, Trentham and, yes, Oxford. The Oxford one is situated in the historic Covered Market and provides me with the very best Minty Lamb pies for my lunch break.
Favourite pies include (but aren’t limited to, as I haven’t tried them all yet):
- Minty Lamb
- Moo Pie
- PM Pie
My least favourite (not really saying much) is the Wildshroom & Asparagus pie.
Students get pie, mash and gravy for only 4.95 GBP, and they just happen to be the perfect hangover cure as well.
2. Cafe Coco, on Cowley Road
There are two Coco’s in Oxford, the one I usually frequent is on Cowley Road, opposite Kazbar and near Cafe Tarifa, which are all owned by the same people and all boast unique, lively atmospheres.
Tarifa is great, but the music sometimes gets a bit loud, and finding a seat can be a struggle. For a quiet drink and, possibly a meal, I prefer Coco’s to any of the others. The menu consists of delicious starters and mains, namely their pizzas. I’ve had the Chorizo pizza, which was absolutely delicious and filling.
But, as delicious as the food is, I have to say I love Coco best for its Happy Hour! The Cowley Road establishment offers 4 pound cocktails from 9pm til close. They’re not watered down and made with cheap drink, as a lot of bars on Cowley are. They’re proper cocktails that will sneak up on you if you don’t watch out.
I’d recommend the Passion Fruit Mule or the Orange Blossom Martini. Both are favourites amongst myself and friends.
3. Port Mahon, St. Clement’s
Port Mahon is a great local pub with some amazing, homemade food. It’s also got a really nice, relaxed atmosphere… though when there’s a big football match on, I’d probably avoid unless you’re up for a bit of a crowd! Port Mahon fills up quickly, so get there a bit early if you want a seat.
They do, however, do a mean burger and chips. One of the best I’ve had… rival to Gourmet Burger Kitchen as one of the best and beefiest burgers I’ve eaten in the UK. And the chips are to die for!
I’m a bit of an addict when it comes to chips. I’ve had them anywhere and everywhere. These hand-cut chips are probably my favourite.
A bit of warning though, sometimes they don’t do side orders of chips. I’m not really sure what the reasoning is behind this, but you may just be forced to get a whole meal to try them!
Okay, I’ll admit, I’ve only been here once but it’s made that much of an impression on me! I just have to go back. Pizza Artisan is an awesome pizzeria, serving up scrumptious vegetarian and non-veggie wood-fired pizzas, all inside of a Citroen H van.
Yes, that’s right. A van.
But don’t worry, they don’t serve slightly-dodgy kebabs like other vans peppered around the streets of Oxford.
I had the Madonna mini-pizza, which was 3.50, and came wrapped up and ready to eat on the move. Mozzarella, red onions, fresh cherry tomatoes and what I remember to be baby spinach, fresh and hot and one of the best pizzas I’ve eaten in the UK.
They also do regular sized pizzas, assuming the haven’t run out due to popularity.
Pizza Artisan park themselves right outside the ever-so-touristy Christ Church from about 6:30pm til late, just in time for the day-trippers to have gone home. Leaving more pizza for the rest of us.
Personally I’m waiting for an excuse to go to town in the evening, just to get my hand on one of these bad boys.
Any other Oxford locals out there with great restaurants I haven’t heard of yet? Please share! I’m always interested in going somewhere new and exciting.