Whether you’re a tourist visiting the historic and breathtaking city of Oxford, a student searching for your new favourite haunt to knock back a couple of pints with your mates, or a family on the lookout for a cosy and traditional home-away-from-home for a hearty and scrumptious Sunday lunch, Oxfordshire is just overflowing with incredible pubs you simply must check out. From down-to-earth and unassuming Michelin-starred establishments to handsome hidden gems nestled away in the heart of the stunning Oxfordshire countryside, finding that one perfect pub in this county can seem like an overwhelming task with the sheer amount of incredible options available.
Fortunately for you, we’ve done the research and rounded up 13 of our favourite pubs in the region we think boast all the best qualities you’d expect from an exceptional British pub. From attentive and friendly service, comfortable and homely interiors, and fantastic food and drink, these pubs have it all.
If you can’t find what you’re looking for here, be sure to pick up a free copy of our Oxfordshire Food & Drink Guide or read a digital copy of the guide for a more comprehensive collection of the county’s very best pubs, restaurants, cafes, bars and hotels.
Named one of England’s 50 great pubs by The Telegraph, The White Hart, located in the picturesque village of Fyfield, is popular with both locals and tourists alike. Formerly a chantry, this 15th-century, two AA rosette-awarded country restaurant makes the perfect backdrop to an unforgettable meal, with its soaring eaves, cosy log fire, and summer terrace with aromatic herb gardens.
Winner of both the Restaurant of the Year at The Oxfordshire Restaurant Awards and South East Restaurant of the Year at the Food Awards England, owners Kay and Mark Chandler’s passion for superb food and service is clear in everything that they do. Mark’s self-taught kitchen skills are particularly impressive, with his signature slow-roasted local pork belly with foot-long crackling and fresh vegetables from the kitchen garden a must-try.
A fun atmosphere, great hearty fare, and the warmest of welcomes awaits everyone who stops by the Fox & Hounds. With a dream of creating a beloved community village pub, owners Kelly and Steve have turned this once unloved establishment into a true British gem. Having undergone an extensive refurbishment, the newly restored interior retains the historical charm of the pub with exposed bricks and heavy wooden beams but the fresh paint and clean decor introduces a stylish feel.
Located close to the M40, whether you’ve come for a pint of real ale or lager, a glass of wine, or one of the many comforting pub classics on the menu, you’ll want to make The Fox & Hounds your new haunt. There are also regular special themed evenings and a daily happy hour which offers great value.
With its cosy and traditional interior featuring comfy seating and a log burning fire, along with seasonal menus that will make your mouth water and a Sunday lunch that can’t be beat, The Lion at Wendlebury epitomizes everything that makes English country inns so special.
Situated just a stone’s throw from Bicester Village in the heart of the picturesque and quaint village of Wendlebury, whether you’re visiting for a catch-up drink with friends or an intimate evening meal with your partner, this special Oxfordshire gem’s warm welcome will make you feel right at home. When the weather is a little warmer, you can even sit outside and soak up the sun in this establishment’s charming beer garden.
A proud holder of a Michelin star for the last ten years, what may look like your traditional, unassuming British pub from the outside offers so much more when you step inside. Featuring all the comforts you’d expect to find in a quality English pub including cosy low beams, log-burning stoves, and a down-to-earth feel, once you’ve sat down to eat you’ll understand what sets The Nut Tree apart from the rest.
Chef Mike and his team create everything in-house using as much free-range, organic and wild produce as possible and also cultivate their own ingredients to use in the award-winning and ever-changing seasonal dishes featured on their à la carte and tasting menus. Enjoy starters that include the likes of pavé of house-smoked Loch Duart salmon with whipped horseradish cream, pickled cucumber and avruga caviar and impressive mains like the truly indulgent grilled fillet of aged Charolais beef cooked medium-rare and served with pomme purée, wild mushrooms and red wine sauce.
Housed in the historic village of Rotherfield Peppard near Henley-on-Thames, there are few pubs in the region as enchanting as Anthony and Jay Worrall Thompson’s The Greyhound. Pass by the venue’s serene pond which comes alive by the light of a multitude of flickering lanterns and your breath will be taken away by the beauty of this fairytale-like 17th-century building, featuring playful touches like chandeliers watched by a giant teddy bear hugging the pub’s old beams.
The food here is the real standout, featuring an inventive, extensive and frequently changing menu showcasing the very best in locally sourced produce. Dishes include scrumptious starters of prawns prepared three ways, rich and flavoursome duck parfait, and mains the likes of posh fish and chips comprised of Dover sole goujons accompanied by crispy and indulgent full-fat chips with buttered greens.
With its charming beamed ceilings and warming log fires, The Plough Inn, situated in the picturesque and peaceful village of Long Wittenham, is the area’s go-to foodie destination. Pass by the thatched roofs and narrow winding roads of the village and you’ll be greeted by this 17th-century, Grade II listed building, radiating the kind of charm and warmth you’d expect from a place with such heritage.
If you’re searching for hearty and satisfying British pub fare, it doesn’t get better than this. With mains including creamy smoked salmon and mascarpone risotto and a succulent poached chicken, mushroom and Stilton burger accompanied by three giant onion rings, and desserts like the enticing Eton Mess with a homemade chocolate chip cookie and bread and butter pudding, you’ll soon fall into a food coma that you’ll gladly return to again and again.
Located within easy reach of Wallingford in a pretty patch of rural Oxfordshire on the edge of the Chilterns is the cosy and traditional Shepherd’s Hut. With its warm welcome and buckets of charm, settle down next to the roaring fire of this well-loved village pub and soak up the homely atmosphere with a glass of your favourite tipple from the bar. If you’re visiting in the summer months, their picturesque beer garden makes the perfect place to soak up the sun.
With a drinks menu that has been carefully curated to complement the tempting choices on the menu, there’s truly something to please everyone here. Start with dishes such as the salt and pepper calamari served with lemon mayo, chilli dressing and a pinch of dill or the brilliant belly pork with rhubarb and yoghurt dressing and watercress salad before moving onto delicious mains like the classic beer-battered fish and chips, sumptuous Cajun-spiced beefburger with lashings of melted blue cheese, and homemade lamb kebab.
Having gathered quite the loyal following over the years and having received critical recognition from a number of local and national magazines, as well as consistently gaining glowing online reviews, The Chequers Inn works hard to ensure only the very best for their patrons.
With an attractive exterior complete with overflowing hanging baskets that perfectly complement the venue’s captivating countryside setting and a charming interior boasting vintage oak beams and cosy open fires perfect for warming up in the winter months, you’ll be glad you decided to make a pit-stop here. With delicious seasonal menus all year round showcasing Oxfordshire’s exceptional local produce and the team’s creative flair, whether you’re on the lookout for meals that make the most of locally caught game or fantastic vegetarian dishes, you won’t be anything less than impressed with the offering at The Chequers Inn.
A short walk from the historic Maharajah’s Well and just off the road that connects Sonning Common and Nettlebed and you’ll find one of Oxfordshire’s best hidden culinary gems, the Rising Sun. Enter through the gorgeously green pub garden and step into the pub’s traditional and spacious dining area; an idyllic place to stop by for lunch or dinner after visiting this Chiltern’s landmark.
With its frequently changing menu, you’ll be impressed with the flavours on display here. Start with dishes like the avocado bruschetta or the adventurous crispy pig’s head croquette served with apple and celeriac remoulade, apple sauce and pork jus before moving onto mighty mains which include the likes of pan-seared fillet of local free-range pork with apple and black pudding, completed by butternut squash, bacon and sautéed spinach.
Housed in a picturesque former coaching inn located by the side of the largest village green in Europe, if you’re a lover of historic buildings, great food and drink, and wonderful and welcoming atmospheres, you can’t miss the Seven Stars in Oxford.
Converted from a 16th-century hay barn, Seven Stars retains the charming original features of the barn such as its wooden beams and slatted windows to create an attractive, relaxed and rustic space for dining. Far more than your standard pub, the menu will delight you with its excellent range of traditional British dishes and more adventurous options. Dishes include starters of heritage beetroot salad and pan-fried king prawns, mains of pan-fried salmon accompanied by generous wedges of piquant rosti and tender venison steak with Stilton mash and kale, and desserts including the seductive sticky banana cake and tart of the day.
Surrounded by scenic countryside and picture-perfect English cottages in the heart of the quaint village of Duns Tew on the edge of the Cotswolds is The White Horse Inn. This 17th-century coaching inn, with its open fireplaces, exposed stonework and traditional flagstone flooring is the ideal place to escape from the world for a few hours or even for a restful and relaxing weekend getaway. Exuding all the charms of a classic country pub and located just a 20-minute drive from both Oxford and Bicester, the pub is popular with tourists taking a short break from all the sightseeing and shopping locations nearby.
The White Horse’s gorgeous restaurant is where this venue shines, with a menu that perfectly showcases the best of British produce with vegetables and fruit coming from an organic farming group based just outside Deddington.
Situated next to a Saxon church in a 250-year-old coach house in the small village of Rotherfield Greys lies The Maltsters Arms, a traditional venue which boasts a covered courtyard, beer garden, and a menu full of regularly changing seasonal dishes which are sure to delight.
Having spent the last two years transforming the venue into their vision of the perfect pub, landlords George and Calum are committed to providing you with a place you’ll want to return to again and again. Whether you’re visiting for a pint or two or wish to feast on one of the pub’s many fantastic dishes such as a great seasonal pie, fish and chips, or their fantastic three-course Sunday roast, you won’t be disappointed. The level of service you’ll find at Maltsters Arms is truly impressive, as is the team’s commitment to catering for all dietary requirements and providing delicious options for gluten-free and vegan diners.
One visit to The Angel at Burford and you’ll understand what all the fuss is about. Located in a medieval town known as the gateway to the Cotswolds, this special Oxfordshire pub comprises spectacular, honest good food with a creative spark, along with a drinks selection that will please even the most avid connoisseurs.
Proud owners of a well-deserved AA rosette, the team at The Angel pride themselves on delivering the best of both pub and restaurant dining. Whether you stop by for a hearty breakfast, a light lunch, or à la carte dining, you won’t be disappointed. Try delicious dishes like the Hooky beer-braised beef cheeks presented artfully with puréed carrot, sweet shallots, and pearl barley risotto – a real showstopper of a dish. After stuffing your bellies with great pub grub, move to the bar and enjoy a tipple off of their diverse and well-researched wine list.