THE BEST CAFES IN OXFORD 2023
Oxford is one of the most beautiful cities in England, a fusion of architecture, picturesque streets and wonderful green spaces. So whether you are heading into the city for sightseeing or to shop till you drop, a caffeine fix will help to fuel your day.
The Oxford cafe scene is now better than ever, so we’ve put together a list of our favourite Oxford independent cafes for you to check out, plus some awesome Oxfordshire indie cafes too.
CAFES IN OXFORD
Colombia Coffee Roasters – The Covered Market & Summertown
Colombia Coffee Roasters are speciality, single-origin coffee roasters born and based in Oxford. They are part of a generation of coffee growers in Colombia with a strong focus on delivering high-quality coffee and education, whilst supporting Fair Trade conditions to ensure their coffee is sustainable and ethical.
Enjoy the very best of Colombian coffee, expertly prepared by the highly skilled baristas, served alongside delicious homemade food.
Horsebox Coffee Co – The Museum of Natural History lawn & Harcourt Arboretum
Horsebox Coffee Co. is a small, independent coffee roastery based set up by Emily Stewart, on a quiet working farm in South Oxfordshire. Emily sources carefully and sustainably cultivated green coffee, through a transparent and ethical supply chain. Find the Horsebox outside the Natural History Museum, perfect for fueling up for a day at the museum or University Parks adventures!
Harcourt Arboretum is seasonal March to October and weekends only.
Coffeesmith’s little shop is in a beautiful 12th century building in the Golden Cross, slightly off the beaten track in the heart of Oxford, a perfect spot for coffee, cakes and pastries. They are passionate about serving quality speciality coffee and their house blend, Resolute by Origin. Coffeesmith Oxford is the second location in their family run business, with their first in Witney. Their friendly team always provide a warm welcome, alongside great coffee and great food.
Common Ground is a social enterprise, providing a shared workspace, café and community incubator hub on Little Clarendon Street. A facilitator for Jericho’s tight-knit community and a stone’s throw away from the city centre, the café supports the local arts community by holding regular exhibitions open to the public, along with a wide range of evening events such as writing circles, comedy clubs, poetry, live music gigs and more.
Gatineau offers the finest artisan produce in the French/European patisserie and boulangerie tradition: premium cakes, chocolates, pastries, savouries and breads – all made in house with the highest quality ingredients, creative flair, taste combinations and attention to detail. Grab a pastry and a coffee, and watch the world go by in Summertown.
A beautiful, friendly café in the heart of Oxford. Delicious locally-sourced cakes, G&Ds ice cream, coffee from Jericho Coffee Traders – and beautiful middle-eastern food from Damascus Rose Kitchen, a social enterprise supporting refugee women in the city. Come for the falafel and mezze, stay for the Pay It Forward scheme and the Old Fire Station’s commitment to working with people who face tough times.
The Handle Bar Cafe & Kitchen pride themselves on only using sustainably sourced ingredients to ensure the best tasting food and drinks that you can enjoy totally guilt-free. Whether you’re looking for an organic vegan breakfast, a locally sourced dinner, fancy grabbing a quick coffee, or want to try one of the finest cocktails in Oxford, The Handle Bar has something for you.
Society Café are an independent speciality coffee shop in the heart of Oxford City Centre. Their focus is on making great coffee sourced directly from the best coffee producing farms in the world and roasted by the best roasters in the world. They always have two espressos from different farms and roasters, as well as 3 choices of filter on any given day.
Kitchen Food Company is a foodies paradise! A fine food delicatessen, a daytime bistro, a pavement terrace plus a great place to order posh picnics and creative party platters. Nestled in the shopping area of Summertown, Oxford, its team of chefs create homemade dishes daily.
Fernando’s Café is a local business located in the heart of Oxford serving beautifully cooked, fresh and healthy homemade food for over a decade. They offer a wide range of British café cuisine, although their speciality and differential is their Brazilian food dishes.
Jericho Coffee Traders – High Street & Osney Mead
Conceived in 2012, Jericho Coffee Traders has evolved from the back of a Vespa tricycle into a roastery and a speciality espresso bar in the heart of Oxford. Run by New Zealander James and Devonian wife Lizzie, JCT is now also supplying a number of Oxfordshire’s best cafes and restaurants with their coffee and has an ever expanding list of home and office coffee subscribers. Check out their Espresso Bar on the High Street, or their roastery on Osney Mead.
The Missing Bean – Oxford, Abingdon & Banbury
The Missing Bean is an independently owned and run espresso bar, set up to bring artisan Antipodean style coffee and a laid back cafe atmosphere to the heart of Oxford. Set up in Autumn 2009 by Ori and Vicky, who had just returned from Sydney, the Missing Bean quickly established a reputation for great coffee with a relaxed and friendly environment. Visit their Roastery in East Oxford to see how they roast their own coffee.
Waste2Taste offer a bespoke catering service with a vision towards a vibrant, healthy and sustainable food culture, committed to packaging and food waste cuts. Fighting climate change by reducing food waste and using high quality food surplus. They are a fabulous team, made up of two friends, who in March 2017 decided to put together all their food knowledge and skills to show the world that magic can be made with surplus food, creating fantastic healthy and super tasty dishes!
Yellow Submarine Cafe – Oxford & Witney
Often rated #1 for coffee and tea in Oxford by TripAdvisor, 70,000 customers each year visit the Yellow Submarine cafés because of the quality of the coffee & food. It just ‘so happens’ that they may leave with a different perception of ‘disability’ too: their two social enterprise cafés are co-staffed by trainees with learning disabilities – Yellow Submarine believes people with learning disabilities and Autism deserve to live life to the full. Find their Oxford cafe on Park End Street.
A community-owned hub providing a welcoming, inclusive space to meet, work, play, learn, eat and foster people’s connection to nature. Flo’s café offers delicious freshly cooked brunches, curry, soups, sandwiches
and salads. You can sit and eat in the cosy space, or takeaway to have in the park or at home.
NewGround Coffee – Ship Street & Windmill Road
NewGround Coffee is a social enterprise coffee roastery based in Oxford. Roasting ethically sourced high-grade coffee, carefully selected from small-scale farms around the world. Serving expertly crafted coffee that rolls with the season. NewGround exists to offer employment and training opportunities to ex-offenders.
The Jericho Cafe are an independently owned, family run, friendly and unpretentious neighbourhood licensed bistro, minutes from the city centre yet tucked away in fashionable, bustling Jericho, with delicious home-made food served by warm, welcoming people from early ’til late.
The Water Tank Café is an independent café working in partnership with Oxfam located inside their first ever superstore in Cowley. It serves a great selection of both hot & cold drinks sourced from other amazing independent businesses, social enterprises & those signed up to 1% for the planet.
Independent Speciality Coffee Shop in the heart of Cowley Rd located at @truckmusicstore Online Shop. Truck Store is Oxford’s independent music hub, a proper record shop in the heart of the city’s music scene, yet they’re so much more than just a record shop!
Modern Art Oxford’s Café is a hidden gem in the centre of the city and provides the perfect place to catch up with friends and family over a drink and a quick bite to eat, or to reflect on the exhibition upstairs. Friendly staff serving up fresh, seasonal food.
CAFES IN OXFORDSHIRE
The recently rebranded Waterside Café at Farmoor Reservoir focuses on high-quality, fresh ingredients and local produce when possible. Open daily from 8:30 am-5:30 pm, it serves coffee from Dark Horse Coffee, eggs from Mayfield Eggs, breads from The Natural Bread Company and a Pippin doughnut day once a month. All cakey treats will be made in-house.
Hedgerow and Harrington is a food business inspired by the beautiful Oxfordshire countryside and has grown from a love of bringing people together with delicious bakery treats. Hedgerow and Harrington have a pop up café with a cosy outdoor seating space at West End Farm, Shilton. You can find it there most Saturdays.
Alfonso Gelateria is Summertown’s own artisan gelato food truck! Bringing you an authentic Italian gelato with a great choice flavours. Along with the ever changing ice cream flavours, they also serve coffee, hot chocolate and pastries.
The Edge is a relaxed Aussie style brunch eatery offering flavourful brunch food & speciality coffee in a relaxed environment. Its the place you go to relieve stress, to enjoy exciting food or even to have a birthday brunch with your family.
The Maker Space is a modern craft venue based online and in a beautiful but abandoned 17th century pub building near Henley-on-Thames where the team teach craft skills in their workrooms, stock gorgeous modern craft supplies and handmade goods in the store, and serve great food and drinks in their cosy café and garden.