This is our choice of the 6 best family restaurants in Oxford & South Oxfordshire.
Gone are the days when we used to walk into any restaurant, without thinking. With children, eating out is a game-changer. What will/won’t they eat? What are the toilets/changing facilities like? Will we be the only ones making lots of noise?
We think this group of eateries offers something for everyone, whatever your mood or your pallet & isn’t too hard on the wallet!
So here’s my family’s pick of the best family restaurants in Oxford & South Oxford.
Ok, I know Thame is south Oxfordshire, just outside the City, but I had to include this cosy cafe in my (new) home town. It’s such an easy place to hang out with the kids. It does serve sandwiches, soups and light lunches but what it’s most known for it its chocolate.
Mr Rumsey has made chocolate for decades, and this really is gooorgeous chocolate! You can see the chocolates being made in the shop, or you can just eat and drink as much of it as you’d like!
It’s running ‘Chocolate Lollipop Making Sessions’ for kids this February half term. Running on Wed 15th, Thurs 16th & Fri 17th February, 3pm & 3.30pm, it’s suitable for kids aged 5+
Each session costs £6 & includes lollipop making (and taking away – if not eating immediately!) and a kids hot chocolate.
Booking in advance essential (call 01844 260303)
Rumsey’s. 8 Upper High Street, Thame, Oxfordshire, OX9 3ER.
My children loved Thaikhun. And if your kids enjoy a bit of drama with their dinner I think they will, too.
Pronounced ‘Ty-coon’ this restaurant offers a range of Thai street food including a more sedate, spice-free children’s menu. If your children like Thai food the choice of starters we ordered from the main menu were flavoursome but not too spicy and we all enjoyed them.
Children love Thaikhun in Oxford for its decor,
There’s so much to look at in this restaurant, which looks like it’s been transported from Bangkok. The theme starts at the entrance with a giant, gold Buddha, at the tables with graffiti walls and mix n’ match chairs right through to signs about not washing your feet in the sink in the bathrooms!
Then for pudding you’re offered a Thai food delicacy – deep-fried silk worm delicacies!
Thaikhun. 36 George Street, Oxford. OX1 2BJ.
We love this museum café. Situated in the centre of Oxford, it’s laid-back & is very family friendly. You don’t have to look around the museum to enjoy the cafe, although there’s no admission fee so it’s worth a look. It has lovely high ceilings making it feel light and airy, but there are enough nooks and quieter spots if you prefer to hide away.
The main menu usually includes at least one soup, some paninis options and lots of cakes big enough to share…if you have to! For kids there’s a lunchbox option which offers variety & choice.
St Ebbe’s Kitchen, MA, Oxford. 30 Pembroke Street, Oxford. OX1 1BP
A new trainline connecting south Oxford to East Oxford is now up and running, which we’ve used a few time to get into the city. On our travels the The Jam Factory has often been our saviour for loo stops and food just before hopping back on the train. It’s really close to both Oxford’s bus or train stations.
This laid-back restaurant has lots of space in its café section, which is good news if you have a pram or pushchair to negotiate. We have always been in good company, with lots of other families also eating or just having coffee and cake. And if you need a distraction you can always tap into its free WiFi!
The kids menu ranges from mini burgers to falafel with Hummus, plus pudding, all for a fiver. A good-to-know, worth a visit pit stop
The Jam Factory. Hollybush Row, 26 Park End Street, OX1 1HU
We like Summertown because of its trendy, cosmopolitan feel, and often go to the art gallery and North Wall Theatre on Parade Street. When there we often stop at Mamma Mia Pizzeria. If you like authentic, Italian pizza you can’t get much better.
The pizzas are thin and crispy but the topping generous and not gloopy. Pizza is such an easy-eat with kids, you can’t go wrong.
You’ll always see lots of other parents with children inside taking advantage of the lunchtime menu. With its exposed brick walls & chequered tablecloths, it has an authentic, Italian feel. However, please note it doesn’t have any baby changing facilities.
Visit during lunchtime, Monday to Thursday, to take advantage of its fixed price menu.
Mamma Mia, Summertown. 8 South Parade, Oxford. OX2 7JL.
For a cheap and cheerful coffee stop or light lunch you can’t beat the Crisis Skylight Café.
It’s menu isn’t extensive but it covers all the bases – from daily specials and jacket potatoes, to a range of sandwiches & the infamous fireman’s all-day breakfast. It’s super cheap but they don’t scrimp on portion sizes. It’s a bright and breezy location & the staff have always been friendly and helpful when it comes to tailoring the order because one child doesn’t want beans, the other one does…you know the score! All of the café’s revenue goes to the national homeless charity, Crisis.
The Crisis Skylight Café, Old Fire Station. 40 George Street, OX1 2AQ. Closed on Sundays
Right, I’m now hungry. I’m off for lunch!
If you like what you’ve read, please add me to your collection of good reads & sign up to get me popping into your email. Go on, you know you want to..!
I'm Tracey, nice to meet you. Mummyshire was 'born' three years ago after we moved from London to the Oxford countryside. Here I chart our journey adjusting to our new lives, the challenges of being in the countryside & surviving parenthood.
Thanks for reading