With a few days of soaring temperatures and wall-to-wall blue skies, it’s a great time to start enjoying the great outdoors with friends and family.
And in no particular order, here are some of our favourite restaurants in Oxford and beyond, with outdoor seating areas, for some fresh air and fine food.
Go on then. You know you want to bask in the early spring sun and hopefully put an end to all this hibernation palaver.
2) Mamma Mia Pizzeria
Mamma Mia Pizzeria in Summertown is probably Oxford’s finest authentic Pizzeria. It is well regarded for its traditional pizzas and authentic pasta dishes – all made with fresh, quality ingredients – as well as sumptuous desserts and a varied wine list.
4) Cherwell Boathouse
Dine outside on the banks of the River Cherwell at the Cherwell Boathouse restaurant. The family-owned restaurant, which was started in an authentic Victorian working Boathouse, alongside the punt station (established in 1904), will be using as much of their outside space as they can.
8) Gee’s Restaurant
What Gee’s Restaurant provides locals and visitors is a uniquely rustic Mediterranean dining experience, set in a unique Victorian Glasshouse. The terrace situated in the heart of the conservation area along the Banbury Road known as Victorian North Oxford offers Mediterranean grills and sharing plates.
9) The Roof Terrace at The Varsity Club
Located over four levels at No.9 The High Street, Oxford, The Roof Terrace at The Varsity Club is great for drinks and dining. The roof terrace has heaters for colder evenings. Booking is advised, although several tables will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
10) The Magdalen Arms, Iffley Road
Located just outside the scholarly city centre – to the east in the bustling Iffley Road – The Magdalen Arms is a gastropub with a relaxed, scrubbed-wooden ambience, and a hearty-but-interesting seasonal menu that often changes daily. The Magdalen Arms has outside seating at the back terrace.
11) Branca, Oxford
Enjoy the bold flavours inspired by Italy, southern Europe & beyond at this contemporary restaurant and brasserie that has been located in the cosmopolitan Jericho in North Oxford for nearly two decades. The beautiful terrace garden is only a 10 minutes walk from the city centre.
12) The Handle Bar, Oxford
This cosy restaurant, cafe and bar in central Oxford, tucked away above a bicycle shop, offers incredible food, coffee and a rare slice of tranquillity. Enjoy its breakfasts, brunches, lunches, Tapas outside in little booths and tables on a part -pedestrianised St Michel’s Street in the City Centre Street.
13) Kazbar, Cowley Road, Oxford
This popular Spanish/Moroccan tapas restaurant and cocktail bar in bustling Cowley Road in East Oxford is usually housed in a modern building with a conservatory. The North African souk inspired decor aims to provide you with a warm, snugly, romantic vibe of being in a Moroccan city. But for now, enjoy tapas, pizzas and drinks and soak up the splendid atmosphere outside on a pedestrianised Dawson Street.
14) Tap Social, Botley, Oxford
Founded in 2016 out of a passion for good beer and social justice, their eclectic partnerships with local foodie vendors continues with the added bonus of heaters, covered seating and of course the (outside) taproom.
15) The White House by Tap Social
The White House by Tap Social cafe bar + kitchen on Abingdon Road, Oxford plans to transform a large section of the existing car park into a beer garden with bright and colourful tables and lots of plants and greenery. Expect coffee, baked goods and a full menu sharing plate style at this recently opened venue.
16 to 19) The Roof Terrace at Westgate
Victors Oxford is a Hamptons-inspired restaurant & bar offering a menu of modern American small plates. The menu is designed to share. Dishes are served to the centre of the table, creating a social and relaxed environment. Menu highlights include black cod, lobster tacos, sushi and raw bar platters, and lamb cutlets presented on a konro grill.
18) The Breakfast Club
This family caf business (caf not café) doing a mean old all-day food and drink offering. The restaurant is fairly well known for its banging brunches, but it also offers some wonderful lunches and evening meals – think the ultimate comfort grub. You can make a reservation for outdoor dining.
19) Pizza Pilgrims
Pizza Pilgrims’ first pizzeria outside of London town serves slow-proved Neapolitan pizza, from double fermented dough made fresh, daily, and topped with the best ingredients they can get their hands on. Bookings and Walk-ins welcome.
The Alchemist are masters in the dark arts of molecular mixology and demons in the kitchen. Their mixologists create cocktails that are presented in vessels orchestrated to add a devilish dash of theatre – served with molecular magic al fresco. Also, expect a menu of classic dishes with an Alchemist Twist.
20) The Up In Arms, Marston, Oxford
22) The Plough at 38, Oxford
This historic city centre pub serves traditional real ales and craft beer, and you can expect an a la carte menu or a more classic all-day menu that can be eaten in the new outside dining areas – on Cornmarket and on St Michael Street – both overlooked by the tower of St Michael’s, one of the oldest buildings in Oxford.
23) Joe’s Bar & Grill, Summertown
This vibrant eaterie and bar located in the heart of Summertown, Oxford offers an American diner menu with a twist – from a unique breakfast and brunch menu and famed burgers to juicy steaks, grills, salads and much more. There will be a covered terrace area in front of the restaurant, open for breakfast, brunch, lunch, coffee, cocktails and all your Joe’s favourites from 9.00am till late.
24) The White Rabbit, Oxford
The White Rabbit is an independent pub in Oxford that claims to make the best artisan pizza this side of Naples! Pizza and a pint are what they believe in. All of their ingredients are carefully selected by their Italian head chef, with their best ingredients imported from Italy every week.
25) The Punter, Osney Island, Oxford
The quirky gastropub is situated on the banks of the Isis, on Osney Island in Oxford. Originally the Waterman when it opened in 1871, this pub has undergone a thorough overhaul recently, including a change of name, and is now much more food-orientated with a completely vegetarian and vegan menu.