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After the year we’ve had, we all want to eat and drink out again! In this guide, I’ll be summing up the best restaurants in Oxford with outdoor seating and Oxford outside bars. If you’re looking for places to eat outside in Oxford this summer, I bring you this mammoth guide!
For everything Oxford food and drink, check out my guide to the best restaurants in Oxford.
As a lifelong Oxford local, I’ve visited many an Oxford bar and pub in my time. The Oxford food scene is excellent and I’m happy to see lots of places to eat outside in Oxford this summer. Oxford City Council are even pedestrianising parts of the city to make room for more outdoor restaurants in Oxford!
Whether you’re a local, spending a weekend in Oxford or simply taking a day trip to Oxford, I hope you enjoy these local venues with fantastic food, drink and open spaces. Eating outside in Oxford is definitely going to be the trend of summer 2022 so finger’s crossed we have good weather!
Please note – while I’ve tried to be as accurate as possible with opening times and menus, things are subject to change during these weird times. Please check with venues directly for more details!
Outdoor restaurants in Oxford
To eat outside in Oxford this summer, these are some of the best restaurants in Oxford with outdoor seating. Keep reading for outdoor bars in Oxford which I’ll cover later!
Across from the Head of the River pub on the other side of St Aldates is The Folly, one of the best-known outdoor restaurants in Oxford. Why not take a leisurely Oxford river walk beforehand to warm up your appetite?
The terrace juts out over the river overlooking Folly Bridge making it one of the best Oxford restaurants with outdoor seating. They have a heater once it gets cold.
The Folly serves upmarket British cuisine including slow-cooked pork belly, beef sirloin and beetroot gnocchi. Don’t miss the banoffee pie! Prices are high (£20-25 per main dish) and while I’ve not eaten here myself, reviews suggest it’s worth it!
”A perfect stylish place with access to the river for contemplating and enjoying the scenery and food” – Trip Advisor
Address: 1 Folly Bridge, Oxford OX1 4JU.
Opening times: 6-10pm Mon-Thurs; 12-10pm Fri-Sun.
Summer evening activity: sunset boat cruise and 3-course meal with Prosecco at The Folly for £60 with Viator.
Bbuona, Gloucester Green
This Oxford cafe serves excellent Italian coffee, pizza and Aperol Spritz cocktails. I spent a lovely evening in summer 2020 dining outside on tables laid across Gloucester Green.
Pizza is served by the slice from breakfast and fermented with yeast for 72 hours for the perfect texture. For authentic, affordable Italian food, this is where it’s at!
Address: 102 Gloucester Green, OX1 2DF.
Opening times: 11am-9pm Sun-Thurs, 11am-10pm Fri-Sat.
The Oxford Retreat
The Oxford Retreat is another gorgeous restaurant in Oxford with outdoor seating. There are two outdoor heaters for when temperatures drop and booths for groups. Enjoy drinks beside the river with beautiful views.
As well as an atmosheric drinking hole, the Oxford Retreat is one of the top places to eat outside in Oxford. They serve beef, chicken, halloumi and beetroot burgers, plus fish and chips and the star starter, halloumi fries. The bartenders are skilled in making all kinds of cocktails. Don’t miss the espresso martini!
Address: 1-2 Hythe Bridge St, OX1 2EW.
Opening times: 1-10pm Mon-Fri; 12-10pm Sat-Sun.
Kazbar is another lovely Oxford restaurant with outdoor seating. Beside it, Dawson Street is pedestrianised with outdoor tables for Kazbar and neighbouring Cafe Coco. To find Kazbar, keep an eye out for the yellow wall saying ‘the sunny side of Oxford’.
From Kazbar’s outdoor area, you can sip Spanish beers and cocktails and dine on Moroccan-themed tapas. The garlic king prawns are the highlight! On a sunny day, wash them down with sangria. Happy hour is 3-6pm on weekdays.
Opening: 5-12pm, Mon-Thurs; 5pm-12.30am Fri; 12pm-12.30am Sat; 12-11pm Sun.
Kazbar is in East Oxford on Cowley Road. For all the best food there, check out my Cowley Road restaurant guide.
Rooftop Restaurant at the Ashmolean
This is one of my all-time favourite restaurants in Oxford. It’s located on the top floor of the Ashmolean Museum with lots of natural light and better yet, a roof terrace for outdoor drinks in Oxford. I’ve listed this as an outdoor Oxford restaurant but it’s also ideal for cocktails with lovely views.
Food-wise, the Rooftop Restaurant at the Ashmolean serves European and British dishes, Sunday roasts and afternoon teas. I’ve enjoyed cakes, finger sandwiches and a pot of tea (or glass of Prosecco!) here many a time. For summer 2022, they’re doing afternoon teas and vegan afternoon teas for £25 (with fizz for £5!) when you book online.
Address: Ashmolean Museum, Beaumont St, OX1 2PH.
Opening times: 10am-4.30pm daily.
Brunch and breakfast fiends can add Jericho Cafe to their list of outdoor restaurants in Oxford. Not only is this bright red cafe a bit of an Oxford institution but they have lots of outdoor seating along Observatory Street.
For more info about Oxford’s coolest neighbourhood, check out my guide to Jericho, Oxford!
My favourite pizza restaurant in Oxford has an outdoor covered area with heated seats and static heaters. The inside is very cosy with a typical British pub feel. But I’m sure we’re all keen for pub gardens in Oxford right now!
The wood-fired pizzas at White Rabbit are excellent with lots of different toppings and several vegan options. They also serve a wide selection of beers and wines.
I tried to dine outside in Oxford in summer 2020 but was turned away for not having booked. Make sure to reserve your table at White Rabbit ahead of time!
Address: 21 Friars Entry, Oxford OX1 2BY.
Opening times: 5-10pm daily.
The Old Parsonage
This 5-star boutique hotel on Banbury Road is a great place to stay and an even better place to dine outside in Oxford. Like the Folly, it’s one of Oxford’s best-known restaurants and the prices reflect that.
Describing their fare as British with a modern touch, the Old Parsonage serve steaks, fish of the day, guinea fowl, risottos and more. If you can afford it, it’s an atmospheric option for those wanting to eat outside in Oxford during summer 2022.
For a luxurious stay, book a room at the Old Parsonage from £299 per night.
Address: 1-3 Banbury Rd, OX2 6NN.
I’ve mentioned Coconut Tree in so many of my Oxford food blogs now so what’s one more? Coconut Tree is now also one of the best Oxford outdoor restaurants thanks to their recently-opened covered seating area.
In terms of food, they’ve long been one of my favourite Asian restaurants in Oxford serving authentic Sri Lankan food like kottu, hoppers and spicy coconut sambal. The cocktails are fantastic, too.
Address: 76 St Clement’s St, OX4 1AH.
Opening times: 5-11pm daily.
Oxford outdoor restaurants at the Westgate
One of the best places to eat outdoors in Oxford is the Westgate rooftop. There are several outside restaurants here as well as outdoor bars in Oxford with great views and plenty of space. These include…
It’s been a while since I visited Victors but after being invited to the opening party in 2018, I can vouch for it as a gorgeous venue with delicious food and drinks. To eat outside in Oxford this summer overlooking the Dreaming Spires, head to Victors – you get an excellent view from the patio.
The menu is American-inspired with large and small plates. As well as bottomless brunch, pizza, afternoon tea and Sunday roasts, they serve an all-day menu with sushi, salads, grill dishes and desserts, as well as cocktails and other alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. Skip your cocktails at home and visit this outdoor bar in Oxford!
For summer 2022, Victors are one of the best Oxford outside restaurants thanks to their ‘Riviera on the roof’ pop up with outdoor tables and hanging wisteria.
Address: RU5, Westgate Shopping Centre 307 The Westgate, Queen St, OX1 1PG.
Opening times: 11am-11pm Mon-Thurs; 11am-12am Fri; 9am-12am Sat; 9am-11pm Sun.
Sushi lovers unite! Oxford’s best sushi restaurant is on the Westgate terrace. As well as delectable sushi and sashimi, Sticks’n’Sushi serve yakitori skewers (chicken, pork, beef or veggie) fresh from the grill.
Sip sake, Japanese beer and cocktails from the fully stocked bar with rooftop views. It’s pricey but you won’t find higher quality sushi or a better ambience elsewhere. Be sure to book your table well in advance.
Address: 311 The Westgate Castle Street, OX1 1NZ.
Opening times: 12-9.30pm daily.
Bars in Oxford with outdoor space
If you fancy cocktails rather than food, try one of these Oxford outdoor bars instead. There are a few rooftop bars in Oxford as well as several terraces and bars with outdoor seating. These include…
Related read: The best Oxford pub gardens
Forget the towers tourists pay to go up in Oxford: one of the best skyline views can be seen from The Varsity Club (TVC). This Oxford outdoor bar is one of my favourite places to sit outdoors and sip a cocktail. The Aperol Spritz is particularly good!
To find TVC, enter the Covered Market and take the stairs upwards. TVC has a few floors with indoor seating but I’m guessing if you’re reading this, you’re looking for outdoor bars in Oxford! Once you reach the top, it’s worth it.
If you’re also looking for outside restaurants in Oxford, TVC doubles up. You can order food to the roof terrace including small plates; mezze, charcuterie and cheese boards; burgers and desserts.
You can book a table at this Oxford rooftop bar but some tables are reserved daily for walk-ins.
Address: 9 High St, Oxford OX1 4DB.
Opening times: 12-10pm, Sun-Thurs; 10am-12am Fri-Sat.
The Alchemist is one of the UK’s coolest and quirkiest bars. The cocktails are served by ‘masters in the dark arts of molecular mixology’ (yes, bartenders to you and me) and every drink is worthy of an Oxford Instagram photo or five. The drinks are pricey but worth it. The bitter cherry sours is a favourite with skull details and plumes of steam coming from it.
Better yet, this outdoor Oxford bar has plenty of seating located on the top terrace of the Westgate Centre. While the cocktails steal the show, it’s also an excellent place to eat outside in Oxford. They serve starters, burgers, main dishes, salads and desserts with plenty of vegan options.
For the best of both worlds, book a boozy brunch served with Chambord cocktails.
There’s no booking required for these roof terrace drinks in Oxford. Simply show up as a walk-in.
Address: Westgate, Bonn Square, OX1 1TR.
Opening times: 12pm-12am daily.
Want more places to eat outside in Oxford?
To eat outside in Oxford, the Oxford markets are a great option. Gloucester Green Market is held from Wednesday-Saturday during the day and boasts street food from around the world. Oxford Covered Market is held 7 days a week and is a fantastic place for cosy cafes and supporting local businesses.
Here you browse food stands including Ceylon Spicy Caterers (serving Sri Lankan food), Flavours of Goa and Lula’s Ethiopian Cuisine. Make sure to order the curry with injera – a sour flatbread – at Lula’s.
Thanks for reading my Oxford outdoor dining guide!
I hope these Oxford outdoor restaurants serve you well during summer 2022 and later on, too. There are so many places to eat outside in Oxford and countless outdoor Oxford bars so it would be a shame to stay home this summer…
Read the rest of my Oxford food and drink blogs:
- Complete Oxford restaurant guide
- Oxford Asian food
- The best cafes in Oxford
- Oxford food markets
- Where to eat in Jericho, Oxford
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