With the hysteria over the vegan Greggs sausage roll earlier in the year, the fact that plant-based is bang on trend can’t be denied. Whether you’re ditching the animal products from a health, ethical or environmental standpoint, finding vegan food can be a challenge. However, Oxford has a couple of absolute gems tucked away in its tangle of historic streets, so if you’re visiting Oxford and want to stick to plant-based, you’re sure to find something you love.
1. Best vegan café – The Magic Café
This East-Oxford staple is a vegetarian café with a whole host of vegan options! There’s loads of choice when it comes to eating and drinking and this quirky establishment has a history of turning out top notch grub. Their menu changes every day, with a focus on fresh seasonal ingredients, so you’ll never have the same thing twice. We recommend going along for their excellent vegan cakes, perfect for an afternoon tea stop.
Where is it? 110 Magdalen Rd, Oxford OX4 1RQ
How to get there? Cowley Road is a little outside of Oxford, but this café is well worth the trip, take the 1 or 5 bus to Magdalen Road East.
2. Best chain with vegan options – Banana Tree
3. Best vegan curry – Dosa Park
The best thing about Dosa Park is its super convenient location right across the road from the station. They have a huge range of vegetarian dishes, and their helpful and friendly staff are always willing to help you figure out which options would be best for you, if you are vegan. A favourite dish to order is a thali, a round platter used to serve different dishes of South Indian Cuisine. Dosa Park offer a range of veg thali, which gives you the chance to taste lots of little dishes at once. Of course, you can order some of your favourite curries as well.
Where is it? 25 Park End St, Oxford, OX1 1HU
How to get there? It’s a stone’s throw from the station.
4. Most unique vegan option – Happy Friday Kitchen
Oxford’s first fully plant-based restaurant, this spot on Cowley Road is worth the journey and boasts a menu inspired by Californian cuisine. With lots of healthy options, plus some delicious indulgent fried comfort food, this is the spot if your entire group wants to tuck into the best vegan food Oxford has to offer. Make sure you go hungry and tuck into delicious mac-n-cheeze, chicken tenders and grab one of their famous deep-fried pickles on the side.
Where is it? 282 Cowley Rd, Oxford OX4 1UR
How to get there? This one is a little further away but the numbers 1&5 buses will take you to Cowley Road in 25 minutes.
5. Best vegan pizza- Buongiorno e Buonasera
A central location, authentic Italian crust, and lots of vegan options, means that this is the perfect choice for vegans on the hunt for pizza. The name, Buongiorno e Buonasera, translates to “Good Morning, Good Evening” and this friendly greeting carries through to everything they do. The owners are trying to make everyone feel like they’re in Italy, and we’re sure the atmosphere and the food is going to bring a smile to your face. The Caponata Pizza, topped with tonnes of veggies and lots of fresh herbs is a favourite but there’s plenty of choice, and you can even design your own. With most pizzas sitting at around the £10 mark, it’s an economical option too.
Where is it? 102 Glucester Green, Oxford, OX1 2DF
How to get there? Tucked into the pedestrianised centre it’s just a 7-minute walk from the station.
6. Pub with best vegan choices – The Gardener’s Arms
In the heart of Jericho you’ll find The Gardeners Arms, a pub with a fantastic menu which will suit any group. Serving purely vegetarian and vegan takes on pub classics, there’s something for everyone but we particularly recommend their veggie chilli hotdog. If the weather permits, settle down in their pub garden, get yourself a drink, and enjoy a variety of pub favourites. In case the British weather isn’t on your side there’s also a super cosy indoor area, with that quintessential pub feel.
Where is it? 39 Plantation Rd, Oxford OX2 6JE
How to get there? It’s just a 20-minute walk from the station, although you can get the S3 Gold Bus to Plantation Road.
7. Best for vegans with kids –ASK Italian
There’s a reason this nation-wide chain is loved by vegan families up and down the country. Their separate vegan menu is packed with favourites including breads, appetisers, pasta, pizza and even a couple of dessert options. As they use vegan cheese you don’t even have to feel like you’re missing out on your favourite savoury treats. Kids will love lots of options on their menu, but if your little one has a smaller appetite, there’s also a specific kids’ menu which is sure to suit even the pickiest palate.
Where is it? 5 George St, Oxford OX1 2AT
How to get there? It’s less than 10 minutes’ walk from the station, but the numbers 1 and 5 buses will get you a little closer.
8. Best vegan sharing options – Al-Shami Restaurant
This hidden gem Al-Shami has some really great Middle-Eastern and Lebanese treats for vegans tucked away on its extensive menu. With loads of bites, dips, breads and of course the vegan staple of falafel, this is a great option if you’re going out with a group of mates and you want to share a bunch of different options. We particularly like the fried cauliflower, and they also do a banging tabbouleh. Tuck in!
Where is it? 25 Walton Cres, Oxford OX1 2JG
How to get there? Less than 15 minutes’ walk from the station, there’s almost no point taking the bus.
CrossCountry runs services to Oxford from all over the country and there’s loads to keep you and your mates busy for a long weekend.
Written by Abby