Best places to eat in Oxford: A food lover’s guide

This historic city is not only a great place to visit on a day trip or weekend trip from London, but your tastebuds will be tantalised by the culinary delights available.  

Whether its traditional pub grub, budget friendly cafés or international cuisine you’re looking for, Oxford has it all.  

Join us as we take a gastronomic tour of the best places to eat in Oxford. 

Best places to eat in Oxford 

Whether you’re looking to eat at a budget friendly location, or food from around the world, these are the best places to eat on a day trip or weekend trip to Oxford.  

International cuisine in Oxford 

If you have eaten enough British food, such as fish and chips, shepherd’s pie or Sunday roast, then try something a little different, such as Italian, Indian, Chinese, Thai or our favourite Sri Lankan.  

Yes, there is a delicious Sri Lankan restaurant that is the best place to eat in Oxford for international food.  

The Coconut Tree: Authentic Tapas style Sri Lankan food 

Dive into the authentic Sri Lankan food, at The Coconut Tree.  

The Coconut Tree is located about 10 minutes by bus from the city centre. While it might be a little out of town, it is a must on a day trip or weekend trip to Oxford from London.  

A very popular restaurant and one you must book in advance to guarantee a table. Alternatively, order a takeaway, to avoid disappointment.  

The décor reflects the spirit of Sri Lanka, with devil masks and the friendly staff add to the warm and welcoming ambiance.  

Select an array of dishes from the menu, from spicy curries, crispy hoppers or the delicious Kothu.  

We ordered a chicken kothu, not only did our tastebuds jump, but we were transported back to the streets of Sri Lanka. 

The tapas style dishes, makes it perfect for any traveller to experience different Sri Lankan dishes. We would highly recommend ordering a few dishes from the menu, such as hoppers and kothu. 

Chicken kothu from The Coconut Tree in Oxford. One of the best places to eat.
Chicken kothu from The Coconut Tree in Oxford. One of the best places to eat.

The Covered Market: A gastronomic haven 

Hungry budget friendly travellers must make a point of visiting the historic Covered Market. 

Nestled within the heart of the city centre and packed with international cuisine, it’s a treasure trove of culinary delight.  

Stroll around the bustling lanes of the Covered Market, follow the smell of different stalls serving dishes from around the world.  

Try authentic Chinese Noodles at A Taste of Chinese, fresh Greek and Mediterranean dishes at Brothers Café, sip on a hot cup of coffee or tea at Brown’s Café or enjoy a milkshake or smoothie at Moo Moo’s. 

We tried the busy Rozana take away. Homemade Lebanese food at its best. It was the ideal spot for us, as a budget friendly couple, looking for tasty food that was friendly on the wallet.  

The wraps are warm, fresh and yummy, which kept us going on our trip around Oxford.  

Budget friendly places to eat in Oxford 

Want to keep to a tight budget and maybe save some money while you travel. Then these best places to eat in Oxford is ideal for you budget friendly travellers.  

The Vault & Garden Café 

This was one of our favourite spots to eat in Oxford.  

Located in the middle of the city centre and backs onto the Radcliffe Camera, offering stunning views while you sip your hot drink and consume a delicious slice of cake.  

The menu features a variety of dishes made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients, including salads, sandwiches, and homemade cakes. All at an affordable price.  

We didn’t come here once, we came here multiple times, for their mouthwatering cake and pot of tea with a view.  

The slice of cake we ordered was a generous portion, which brought us back day on day.  

Both seating available inside and outside. During the warmer months, sit outside and enjoy the view of the Radcliffe Camera and Church of St Mary the Virgin.  

Delicious cake from The Vault & Garden Cafe
Delicious cake from The Vault & Garden Cafe

Afternoon Tea experience in Oxford 

Enjoy afternoon tea as much as we do, then you’ll have to head to the Grand Café for the experience.  

The Grand Café 

Step back into history, at The Grand Café. It is said to be the oldest coffee house in England dating back to 1650.  

A very popular spot for a good coffee or tea and the classic afternoon tea experience. But with its popularity, be prepared to queue for a while, before a table becomes available. Seating is only available inside and tables are compacted into a small space.  

Yet the wait is worth it, warm scones with jam and clotted cream, that goes so well with some finger sandwiches and sweet treats.  

As we had eaten more than we should in Oxford, we chose the simple creamed tea, served with a large pot of tea, 2 warm scones, clotted cream and jam. 

This is one of the best places to eat in Oxford, when you have a sweet tooth.  

This isn’t the cheapest place to visit, but if you have set a realistic budget for your trip to Oxford, then you can include this into your itinerary.  

The Grand Cafe, the first Coffee House in England
The Grand Cafe, the first Coffee House in England


Oxford is a true culinary haven that caters to all tastes and budgets. 

Whether you want to try traditional British dishes on your tour of Oxford, or looking for something a little different, with global flavours, this historic city has it all.  

With its rich history, charming surroundings and an array of exceptional dining options, it’s no wonder Oxford has etched its name as one of the must visit destinations for foodie lovers. 

As you find yourself wandering the picturesque streets, make a point of stopping at these best places to eat in Oxford.  

Trust us, your tastebuds will be tantalised.  

Continue your travel planning, with these useful posts:

Best places to eat in Oxford
Best places to eat in Oxford
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