I’ve recently moved back to Oxford and it’s been such a treat for my taste buds (and a real knock to my bank balance but I’m trying not to focus on that so much). I left Oxford shortly after I turned vegan so I didn’t get to fully take advantage of the options here but now I’m back I’ve more than made up for lost time, here are a few of my favourites I’ve visited over the past few weeks.
Cowley Road, Cowley
Pomegranate is probably in my top 5 restaurants of all time and I’ve been there every weekend since I’ve been back. It’s Lebanese and very inexpensive with so many vegan options. I’d recommend getting the vegetarian platter to share (£9) which includes falafels, stuffed vine leaves, broad bean and coriander salad, hummus, babaganoush, bread, spicy potatoes and mutabal and I usually order a few other mezze dishes on top. A couple of my favourites are the fatayer which are baked pastries stuffed with spinach, onion, pine kernals and spices and the fried cauliflower with tahini and garlic. I’ve never ordered anything in here and not loved it and their falafels are the best I’ve ever had.
Cowley Road, Cowley
Beetroot is a double whammy treat. One half – a health food store stocking all of the hummus/quinoa/lentil chip flavours which are my favourite things ever. As well as raw chocolate, grains, fresh loaves, mylks, organic skin care, pastas, fresh olives etc. The other half is a little cafe serving juices, smoothies, cakes (sometimes vegan options including flapjacks), salads, wraps, falafels etc.
Cowley Road, Cowley
This is actually a vinyl store but it has a small coffee shop attached that offers soya, almond and oat milk. I had an oat milk latte and it was one of the best coffees I’ve ever had. Inexpensive, really nice atmosphere and 5 minutes from my house so a solid 10/10.
The Magic Cafe
Magdalen Road, Cowley
This is a lovely little cafe in Cowley next door to another health food shop and opposite one of my favourite pubs The Rusty Bicycle (rosemary fries say no more). My friend knows someone that works here so I actually went in after they’d closed which meant I got free leftovers which was ideal but I had a peep at the menu and it all looks amazing and pretty cheap. I had a vegan curry with a rice salad and a soya chai latte. Their menu changes daily and they have vegan cakes available, on the day I went it was chocolate beetroot cake. I will definitely be heading back here, possibly weekly.
St. Michaels Street, Oxford City Centre
I’d seen this place on instagram and had wanted to go for a while and it didn’t disappoint. It’s pretty “hipster” with plants dotted around and bicycles literally hanging from the ceiling, they offer soya and almond milk and have a few vegan options on their menu. I went for breakfast and had their coconut, blueberry and maple syrup pancakes which were super sweet and super delicious. They also do my classic go-to breakfast of avocado on toast and I’ll also definitely be going back for lunch one day, I’ve seen that they often stock vegan friendly baked goods too.
Gloucester Green Market
Oxford City Centre
This market is on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays but I find that Saturdays are always the best, probably because of the atmosphere and the fact that it’s the weekend and I’m generally always in a better mood then. They have stalls selling books, vintage clothes, fresh fruit & vegetables, flowers etc. but the main attraction for me is the huge selection of street food style stalls, several of which offer a vegan option. You’ll find curries, sushi, Japanese buns, Chinese, Spanish, Vietnamese coffee, fresh bread etc. there is one lady there who always has three or four different vegan cakes/brownies/flapjacks and they are so good so she is definitely worth a visit.
The Gardener’s Arms
Plantation Road, Jericho
Hands down my favourite place to eat in the whole world and a burger from here would be my ‘if I were on death row what would I want my last meal to be’ meal of choice. It’s an all vegetarian pub in Jericho which is one of the nicest parts of Oxford in my opinion. Despite visiting here probably in excess of 20 times I have only ever tried the burgers as they are that good but they also serve chilli, curry, pie etc. If you go though – get a burger. The veggie burger contains egg but if you order their vegan burger you get two patties so you really aren’t missing out. Each burger comes with chips and a massive choice of toppings and sauces including mango chutney, relish, sweet chilli sauce etc. It’s inexpensive but is always very busy so be prepared to wait a little while for a table and/or your order. I promise you it’s worth it.
I could go on but I’ll stop here as I’m getting hungry. Another of my favourites is the Modern Baker which I’ve written about previously here. Anyone know of any other vegan hot spots in Oxford?!