If you’re having a busy day touring Oxford’s famous museums, browsing bookshops or just taking in the sights, you’re bound to need some scran along the way. We’re here to guide you through the best lunch spots in Oxford for a midday bite to eat, with plenty of helpful suggestions from locals themselves.
17 Top Lunch Spots in Oxford, recommended by locals
A recent addition to the High Street, Salsas de Sol is a perfect lunch pit-stop if you love rotisserie chicken. Add it to a ‘sol bowl’, taco, broth or artisan sandwich. The cafe also boasts several veggie and vegan options, and it’s that little bit healthier than your bog standard meal deal. For sides, we recommend the pico de gallo and slaw!
Found in the Covered Market, Brown’s Cafe may look like your bog standard English ‘caff’ but they’re something much more special. Putting a Portuguese twist on big breakfasts, butties and bakes, you can’t go wrong. There’s a nice family atmosphere, and it’s good value for money too – definitely one of our favourite lunch spots in Oxford.
Everyone knows about G&D’s famous ice creams and sweet treats, but their bagels and savoury waffles can be a great option for lunch on the go. From the classic salmon and cream cheese to a New Yorker special and more. We’re also big fans of their coffee, and with branches across the city, you’ll never be far from a G&D’s!
You’ll have to go onto the Cowley Road for this one, but trust us – it’s well worth it. Sushi Corner is available on Deliveroo, where it boasts an incredible array of sushi, from nigiri to hosomaki and sashimi. But our favourite has to be the bento boxes, which come with miso soup, a few sushi rolls, and a host of other sides too. We recommend the salmon teriyaki, which is served with a generous portion of fish. Open from 12-2:30pm for lunch.
Cowley Road by Hawknose Harlequin on Flickr
This was one of our reader’s suggestions! A Greek deli and cafe, Manos arrived in Jericho in 2006. Stuffed peppers, kebabs, soups, falafel, souvlaki, dips and more are available at this popular student spot.
Manos deli by Jim Forest on Flickr
Just over Magdalen Bridge at the ‘cape’ of Oxford’s Cowley Road is this popular pub, which serves up more than just pints. Cape is open from midday everyday and offers roasts on a Sunday. The menu might be burger-heavy, but we suggest you try their nachos. Piled high with homemade tortilla chips, guac, cheese, salsa and some spicy stuff, they make the perfect accompaniment with something fizzy.
Cape of Good Hope by Ben Abel on Flickr
This isn’t a super budget-friendly option for lunch in Oxford, but it’s certainly a haven of calm away from the hustle and bustle of Westgate. Renowned for their Scandi bread and pastries, Ole & Steen rustle up a good sandwich too, and their drinks menu rivals Starbucks.
Family-run, Sri Lankan small plates! Located on St Clements, The Coconut Tree offers an ‘express lunch’, promising to fill you up with curry, rice and more for just £15 per person! Available weekdays, 12-4pm. With a large selection of non-spicy, gluten free, veggie and vegan options, there’s something to satisfy everyone’s lunch cravings.
Found on Little Clarendon Street (a hub for great eats!) The Oxford Wine Cafe provides perfect nibbles in the form of toasts, sharing boards, tapas and pizzas. The prawns in a tarragon and lime butter sauce have caught our eye, and they even offer wine pairings to go with your food.
If you’re on the Botley Road, then look no further than Currydor. Biryanis and curries are on the menu here, and all are authentic, freshly prepared, and home-style. All the sides – including samosas, chaat and pakoras – are available too, with lots of veggie options. We love all of their king prawn dishes, be it for lunch or dinner!
With 2 Oxford locations, Dosa Park has brought their ‘bucket biryanis’ to Park End Street and Botley. Perfect for parties and celebrations, this place offers your favourite foods in carb form – be it dosas, parathas, fried rice, noodles, naan or vada!
A tiny joint upstairs in the Covered Market, Georgina’s is cosy and welcoming. Whether you’re after a Greek-style lunch or just a coffee and something sweet, Georginas is a great choice. Wraps, spanakopitta, meatballs and an array of colourful salads are on offer.
This French restaurant has been open for over 27 years and is still bringing seasonal cuisine and locally sourced ingredients to the table. Based at 9 Little Clarendon Street, you can get two courses for less than £20 a head!
Open everyday from 8:30am, Vaults & Garden offer incredible breakfast options, cakes, pastries and cream teas. But their lunches truly are something to behold – the menu changes daily, with the Oxford cheese rarebit a firm favourite. We love their lemon drizzle cake and fruit scones, which are served in the beautiful surroundings of University Church and the Radcliffe Camera.
Vaults & Garden Cafe – one of our top lunch spots in Oxford by Francesco on Flickr
A Cowley Road staple, NEF’s Turkish cuisine and kebabs are well-loved. Dolma, borek, shish, steak, salads and burgers are on the (vast) menu. Launched in 2017, we recommend visiting NEF ASAP.
Brown’s Cafe by Richard Lilley on Flickr
Opera Cafe has been bringing flavours of the Med to Jericho since 2015, and their masala chai, lentil soup and chicken wraps come highly recommended!
Fancy a longer, Italian-esque lunch? You’ll find La Cucina open on St Clements from 11am most days, serving pizzas and pastas. There’s a kids menu, vegan and gluten free options, and if you fall in love with them, they’ll cater for parties too!
We hope that’s given you some inspiration for the best lunch spots in Oxford!