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Places to eat in Oxford, any ideas?

JoshFinch Nov 20, 2009 10:27 AM

Hey Chow,

I'm heading to Oxford for the Steampunk Soiree for the 13th and 14th of December and I have been looking for places to eat on the 14th (On the 13th we have plans). I was looking at some nice traditional pub-fayre for lunch, with something a little more high-class for our evening meal, anything goes as far as international food is concerned.

So can any of my fellow food lovers reccomend somewhere?

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  1. h
    Harters RE: JoshFinch Nov 21, 2009 03:08 AM

    I asked a similar (dinner) question a few weeks back on another well known board and was pointed towards:

    Pierre Victoire
    Al Shami

    Can't actually speak for any as my need to visit the city disappeared.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Harters
      Peripatetic RE: Harters Nov 23, 2009 02:24 AM

      Pierre Victoire and Branca are pretty mediocre.

      Malmaison is pretty good and the setting (a converted Victorian Prison) is spectacular.

      I used to love Al Shami but there were changes in the kitchen a few years ago and it's not been the same, though I've not been back in two years.

      I've posted some prior CH threads below.

    2. c
      chocolatstiletto RE: JoshFinch Nov 22, 2009 10:39 AM

      You might consider the new restaurant on top of the Ashmolean, which seats for both lunch and dinner (http://ashmoleandiningroom.com/). I haven't been yet, but if nothing else the location is fantastic, and the menu sounds quite nice. (And the museum itself is wonderful!) I can't attest to the food, but the Turf Bar is delightfully hidden, with creaky benches and a decent selection on tap. Although it lacks a pub, the Covered Market is worth stopping by; you can find any number of restorative pies, cookies or other random culinary items. Should you end up at the Royal Oak, do not order the Mulled Wine or the Hot Toddy. Seriously. The Eagle and Child has decent, quite traditional food.

      (hopefully someone can chime in with better recommendations for pub food!)

      1 Reply
      1. re: chocolatstiletto
        PhilD RE: chocolatstiletto Dec 8, 2009 10:23 AM

        The Indy has a positive review: http://www.independent.co.uk/life-sty...

      2. Peripatetic RE: JoshFinch Nov 23, 2009 02:19 AM

        Here are some prior threads that may be of help:


        3 Replies
        1. re: Peripatetic
          paddyi RE: Peripatetic Nov 25, 2009 01:33 AM

          London's Anchor & Hope and Great Queen Street have just opened a new pub in Oxford called The Magdalen Arms. Very similar to the former from what I hear, even down to the logo on the menu. Haven't eaten there myself but a friend recommended it. If you like A&H/GQS it could be a good option.

          1. re: paddyi
            justmarried RE: paddyi Nov 29, 2009 03:58 AM

            I visited the Magdalen Arms a few weeks ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. We had a black cabbage and bean soup that was unbeleivably tasty! And a beautiful roast, very generous portions. It is a really nice space and alot of the staff have come down from GQS and the AH so all know what they're talking about when it comes to both the food and the wine.

            1. re: paddyi
              willp RE: paddyi Dec 8, 2009 08:19 AM

              i look forward to checking this place out, i have heard great things about it. Fishers is always pretty good. www.fishers-restaurant.com if you like seafood.

          2. k
            kschnepp RE: JoshFinch Dec 8, 2009 03:05 AM

            Shanghai 30's at 82 & 83 St. Aldates is wonderful! Really -- not to be missed.

            3 Replies
            1. re: kschnepp
              amrx RE: kschnepp Dec 8, 2009 08:10 AM

              We ( two Americans) ate at Shanghai 30's in April and found it dismal. Our favorite of prior years, Gee's changed chefs and had declined to a no return for us. We liked Quod.

              1. re: kschnepp
                willp RE: kschnepp Dec 8, 2009 08:18 AM

                i disagree. we ate their last sunday and it was pretty bad. shame cos it's a lovely setting..

                1. re: kschnepp
                  Peripatetic RE: kschnepp Dec 9, 2009 07:13 AM

                  Concur with the others -- we ate at Shanghai 30's after it opened a few years ago and were really disappointed. The most agreeable Chinese restaurants we found in Oxford were Liaison and Xian, and I can't really recommend them, either. When we first moved to Oxford there was a Chinese place called Munchy Munchy on Park End Street which was quite decent, but they are long gone.

                2. c
                  colonelcrunch RE: JoshFinch Dec 10, 2009 07:51 AM

                  I have lived in Oxford for almost 2 years and I am struggling to think of a recommendation for either of your two categories. Lately I have had good meals at The Big Bang, which serves only sausages and mash but lots of different kinds and very tasty. Unfortunately, it has little atmosphere. There's a little Japanese place near the museum you are going to called Edamame, it's across from New College. Check the website first for the hours, very popular and good food. Cash only. Someone else mentioned the Ashmolean restaurant for dinner, I had some tea and snacks, not a full meal, but it was good and the views are lovely. The Eagle and the Child is the only pub in the city where I've tried the food, it was pretty good. A little way outside the city (you'd need to drive or bus/walk) is the Perch, which has good French food and a very nice atmosphere. And although I am reluctant to mention it since it's a chain, I did have a good lunch at Jamie Oliver's yesterday. Hope you enjoy your weekend, I've visited the Steampunk exhibit a few times and enjoyed it.

                  1. m
                    Malik RE: JoshFinch Dec 11, 2009 04:50 PM

                    I spent a weekend in Oxford recently and was not overwhelmed with the restaurant options. Chiang Mai is often recommended on this board, but I found it mediocre. The one restaurant that I did like is Moya (http://www.chow.com/restaurants/41209...) which serves Slovak food. Very good food, in fact it was better than some of the Slovak restaurants I've been to in Bratislava.

                    For lunch, it's a chain (albeit a small one), but Pieminister in the covered market has good pies and mash.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Malik
                      Peripatetic RE: Malik Dec 13, 2009 02:18 AM

                      Totally agree. When I lived in Oxford, Moya was my favorite restaurant, and the only one I really miss. I miss some of the pubs, too, but not for their food.

                    2. zuriga1 RE: JoshFinch Dec 13, 2009 06:41 AM

                      You probably won't get to the Ashmoleon, but maybe so and should to see how beautiful the new renovations are. We had lunch there today at the rooftop restaurant. It's a nice spot but the view was very disappointing but after all, it's food we're talking about.

                      The lunch was very nice. I had an unusual onion tart, which was topped with very tiny pearl onions, and it was served with a lot of excellently cooked veg. My husband thought the coffee was very, very good. It's not inexpensive, but there were also quite a large number of tapas on the menu so it's nice for a light snack.

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