It’s a fact of life that you’ll never find a university without cafes nearby. It’s also a fact that the only thing that gets us Oxford students to Week 8 is our daily cup of coffee. Anson here attempts to rank the cafes in central Oxford.
An independently owned and run café situated right next to Lincoln on Turl Street, this place is one busy bee that lives up to its hype. The coffee is simply rad (I recommend the café latte and hot chocolates) and their food is on par. Sadly, you’ll find this shop is almost always full, and queues tend to overflow onto the street come lunch time. Some people still manage to work through the buzz however, so there may be hope yet! Note however, this shop takes cash only. Hint: Those who live near the Bodleian Law Library will find that there is a Missing Bean pop-up with cheaper prices but equally good coffee in the common room.
Café Loco’s claim to fame is its atmosphere and its food. Large windows create a light-filled ambience, and enable you to stare into the ever-beguiling Christ Church meadows. A must-try is their Eggs Benedict – it is out of this world, and I am also a big fan of their hot chocolate (the luxury option includes whipped cream and marshmallows). Another draw is that this place never feels overly crowded, and plugs are scattered throughout the room, perfect for those who prefer working in cafes rather than libraries. On weekdays it opens at 7am, so if you’re a big fan of early breakfasts, this is the place to go.
This café makes the list not because I am a big fan of its coffee, but because of its sheer utility when your family and friends come visit you. Found on High Street opposite Queen’s Lane Coffee House, its gilded 1920s décor (I’m talking ceiling-to-floor mirrors, chandeliers, the lot) is sure to make any person feel like they’ve stepped through time. Its food and coffee may be on the pricey side but it is consistently good. It claims to be the oldest coffee house in England, which again scores points for those looking to be impressed. In a way, it perhaps solidifies the fact that you do, truly, belong at a centuries-old institution.
One shop is situated next to St. Aldates and the other up over in Cowley (rumour has it that the Aldates one is better). Regardless, expect some incredible homemade ice cream and pizza bagels. In case it didn’t hit you, let me say it again: Pizza. Bagels. Another fantastic thing about G&D’s is its opening hours extend to 12 midnight. If you’re desperate for some comfort food or coffee, this is definitely the place to go. Your waistline may not thank you but we all know a student’s late-night needs must be met.
Queen’s Lane Coffee House proves that “steady wins the race”. Everything about it is extremely consistent. Conveniently located on High Street next to Queen’s, the university’s Wifi, eduroam, is available throughout the shop as a result. It opens until 8pm, beating out most other cafes that close at 6pm. If you’re not picky about coffee or breakfast, you can rely on Queen’s Lane to give you a decent meal. It should be noted that their selection is pretty wide-ranging and their cakes are delish.
Amazing décor, good food and a great place to grab breakfast but not a place you stay and work at for extended periods