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Oxfork Cafe

Home > Oxford > Afternoon Tea | Brunch | Cafes | Day Trips | Delicatessens
by Cressida Ryan (subscribe)
Classicist and traveller
Published January 30th 2014
A creative name for an excellent cafe
Just out of the city centre is a small café which, if you can get in, is well worth visiting. They've only been open since September 2011, but Oxfork have already gained quite a reputation in Oxford. It may indeed offer the best brunch in Oxford, but you might have to queue to get it.

As you enter it looks more like a deli than a café. The shelves are stocked with interesting artisan produce, so you can buy some of the fabulous foods to prepare and cook yourself. They've got breads and sauces, preserves and chocolates - the range is eclectic but very tasty. The counter is covered in amazingly tempting cakes, which include things such as these fabulous meringues.

meringues, oxfork, oxford, cafe
Spotted meringues

The ingredients are often, if not mainly, sourced locally. The sausages are superb; you can definitely taste the difference between these and standard supermarket ones. They'll serve generous portions of eggs and smoked salmon on wonderful soda bread, for example. The breakfast bap, with thick bacon, those great sausages, and an egg, is a perfect smaller version of a full English breakfast, but they also do a very good plateful of that too.

The hot chocolate is one of the best I've ever drunk. Rich, intense, and generally as good as a meal in a cup, it's a must-drink for any fan. Other drinks are available, but aren't anywhere near as exceptional. They have a good coffee machine, but the end coffee is disappointing.

hot, chocolate, oxfork, oxford, drink, cafe
Hot Chocolate

There are bookshelves filled with tempting cookery books, inspiring the chefs and diners alike. The furniture is an eclectic mis-match of bits and pieces, and likewise the crockery is a bit random, but this supposedly adds to its charm. Unexpected items such as chairs are stuck to the walls and make impromptu decorations. This imaginative décor extends to the lampshade, which is made out of forks.

lampshade, forks, oxfork, oxford
Fork lampshade

Wifi is available, so if you can find a table, it's worth grabbing in and settling down to while away some time. It can get quite noisy given how small the place is, but you could try sitting outside on a nice day, for example.

Portions are generous, and ingredients are good quality. This is reflected in the price. You can easily pay £10 for a good breakfast, so it's not somewhere to go on a tight budget.

Service can be a little haphazard when they're busy, but you do end up with what you ordered, eventually. Everything seems to be cooked fresh, so it can take a while for your order to reach you, but it is worth it. This does mean that you can find yourself waiting upwards of half an hour to be seated. Going just before the lunchtime (or brunchtime) rush is worth the extra effort (e.g. 11am on Sunday rather than midday).

It's about a 25 minute walk from the city centre, or you can get on a bus (3, 106) to Iffley Road.

Sadly there's nothing on the website (and hasn't been for ages), but keep checking it, as they may put a menu up one day. They are on Facebook, and you can get some more up-to-date info there.
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Why? The best brunch in Oxford?
When: Mon-Thus 10:00-17:00, Friday 09:30-17:00, Sat-Sun 09:30-18:00
Phone: 01865 243280
Where: 39 Magdalen Road
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