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12 Independent Restaurants You Have To Try In Oxford

12 tasty independent eateries to try out in the city of Oxford

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1. Olis Thai

Oli's Thai / Via

Located on Magdalen Street this Thai is unlikely to disappoint. Although there is a relatively small menu and only a few tables within the restaurant they must bare definitely doing something right as there tends to be at least a month’s waiting list for the dinner menu. Oli’s Thai is popular for a reason, the wonderful food and friendly atmosphere make for a great meal out.

2. The One

The One / Via

Have a relaxing, contemporary dining experience whilst enjoying delicious food from a menu mixing traditional British and Asian meals. The mix can sometimes seem odd but you’re sure to find something to enjoy. Situated on the Botley Road about 2 minutes from the train station The One is easy to get to and is suitable for both small and large groups. The prompt and friendly service will make your visit enjoyable and worthwhile.

3. Turl Street Kitchen

Graham Read / Via

In the heart of the city’s centre on the corner of Turl Street and Ship Street you’ll leave this social enterprise feeling great. The menu changes daily depending on what’s in season, the weather and other factors but the food is always enjoyable. Also, all of the profit made goes straight to supporting the work of the Oxford Hub, their sister charity. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner the Turl Street Kitchen is a must see.

4. Boswells 1738 Tea Room & Cafe

Boswells of Oxford / Via

This quintessentially English 1738 tea room & café is named after the year the store opened. This tea room is very popular with the people of Oxford and is located on the 1st floor of the store. Located on Broad Street it is the perfect place to take a break from shopping and enjoy some of the delicious tea, coffee, sandwiches, cakes, quiche and afternoon tea on offer. The friendly members of staff are always happy to help their customers.

5. La Cucina

Combining family recipes and Italian spices La Cucina is the place to go to for traditional Italian dishes in Oxford. It has a well-priced, varied menu and a relaxed atmosphere. The open plan kitchen really adds to the Italian vibe as you can watch your pizza's being rolled and pasta being tossed. It's advised to book for evenings as they do tend to get very busy.

6. Vaults & Garden Cafe

Vaults & Garden / Via

Located in the grounds of Oxford University this café is surrounded by idyllic gardens and grand buildings. They source local, organic and ethically produced goods and ingredients to create superb food including breakfast and lunch meals, pastries and afternoon tea. The Vaults & Garden café is often full with a busy and vibrant atmosphere. With its beautiful surroundings and friendly staff you are sure to have a peaceful and enjoyable time at the cafe.

7. Atomic Burger

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Love Sci-Fi? You'll love the out of this world food at Atomic Burger located on the Cowley Road. Friendly waiters and crazy interiors will help to make this a unique dining experience with a huge range of burgers on offer as well as other American style dishes. Choose from a selection of burgers and hot dogs with a choice of sides. This good quality fast food is one of its kind in the Oxford area and is the perfect place to go for an exciting meal out.

8. SoJo

SoJo / Via

This authentic Chinese restaurant is located in Oxford’s mini China town. They serve a huge range of traditional Chinese dishes and encourage you to stray away from the typical run of the mill food. With the range of rice, noodle, soup and dim sum dishes it can be difficult to find something you won’t enjoy. The restaurant is often busy and the relaxed interior design makes SoJo a very pleasant place to eat.

9. Big Society

Big Society / Via

Located on Cowley road and describing themselves as ‘Oxford’s Freshest Hangout’ you may have guessed this Oxford pub is popular with the students. The have a variety of pub food on the menu but many people rave about their burgers being some of the best in the city. They have ping pong and table football available to play every day and have a busy schedule of live music from DJ’s and bands throughout the week.

10. Al-Andalus

Duncan Curtis / Via

As Oxford's most genuine tapas restaurant this is a great way to enjoy the true taste of Spain and be immersed in the Spanish culture. Although it is situated a little way out of the centre of town on Little Clarendon Street the great food, atmosphere and environment make this restaurant worth a visit. Enjoy wines from the hand-picked wine list or a jug of Sangria and dance out the door at the end of the day.

11. Mamma Mia

Mamma MIa / Via

With 2 restaurants in Oxford, one in Summertown and the other in Jericho this restaurant is great for an informal meal out. Suitable for all ages and with great food at affordable prices this Italian is a popular choice of restaurant in Oxford. They offer a fixed price lunch and a varied menu with a choice traditional Italian starters, pizzas, pastas and salads it can be hard to choose what to have. The great food, lively atmosphere and friendly staff are an ideal combination so it’s advised you book in advance to avoid disappointment.

12. Pierre Victoire

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Located in Jericho, just off St Giles this traditionally French restaurant changes their menu in time with the seasons and uses fresh ingredients sourced as locally as possible. Since opening in 1996 they now have a long list of signature dishes and customer favourites which are usually on the menu. This independent restaurant is worth a visit, especially if you're looking to add a little more class to your evening.

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