Under new management from Nov 2012. Exciting-looking food-to-wine matched paired dishes, organised seasonally and locally sourced. Live jazz nights and food and wine evenings. (Food pics on this page by Tony Brett, Apr 2012.)
Opening hours: Mon-Wed 5pm-11pm, Thu,Fri 5pm-12am, Sat 12pm-12am, Sun 12-11pm. Food served: Mon-Fri evenings, Sat 12-4 and 6-10 and for Sunday Roast 12-6pm (no food service on Sun evening or Mon). Wheelchair friendly.Wifi access available.Dogs allowed. Regular Monday quiz.
Cuisine: Gastropub, British, Veg/Vegan friendly & Wine-food pairing as speciality.
Real Ales, Children welcome, Food served, There are sofas & Live music events
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Latest venue reviews
Whilst short on time before going to see Patrick Wolf at St. John the Evangelist church we found ourselves at The Oxford Blue. I really liked the pub in it's previous guise; planned as a 'sports pub' but actually providing great food; great service and great value.
Now as more of a 'gastro-pub' it is managed by the people behind the closed-down Italian Tapas Bar in Walton Street, Jericho (to make way for the new Co-Op supermarket).
The place feels a little pretentious. Not overly welcoming; bar staff with very little idea about drink selection (never heard of 'Sailor Jerry'?!) - Yet some walls are decorated with glass cabinets full of posh 'museum' wine. A non-sense really.
An odd mixture of furnishings, some antique looking, some old cinema seats. It does not really work for character or comfort-ability.
There are also some random art-works on various walls and some items for sale such as a taxidermy sea-bird.
Drinks were an okay selection; one Ale when we went and fairly unadventurous at that (e.g. Oxford Gold).
Food-wise we both had 'Grilled Chicken Escalope with Frites, Rocket and Parmesan'.
The chicken was perfectly cooked; the frites very dry. The food was not terribly warm and we had to hunt for salt and pepper as no staff member was anywhere to be seen. No sauces were offered and no-one checked we were happy mid-meal.
All-in-all it was a pleasant meal in a rather uninspiring space. Mains were £11.50 each which is a lot for what was beautifully presented but under-whelming food.
ProperEllipsis (DI User), 06/03/13
The Oxford Blue was my favourite discovery over summer and, on the few days of sunshine we had, sitting outside I thought it was a really marvellous addition to the Cowley Road (or just off!) gastropub cohort.
However, my partner is reluctant to dine there at the moment as the menu is quite small, they haven't changed it for some time now and there's nothing on there that he wants to eat! The Korean Lamb is really good but I feel like it's been on the menu forever and personally I think the Chicken Escalope is a poor substitute for the Fried Chicken. So please, Oxford Blue, get started on your spring menu soon; I want to come back!
Dr Mukti (DI User), 25/02/13
Ate at the Blue a couple of weekends ago and have to say it was one of the best meals I've ever eaten in Oxford. I've eaten a number of times at local gastropubs but think they've now been bettered. Exactly what east Oxford needs: great wine list, attentive staff and Sagres on tap. What more could you want? EXCELLENT :)
Dav (Unverified), 17/06/12
Oxford Blue is an excellent gastropub - the food is absolutely incredible. The pheasant scotch eggs are to die for, and the purple sprouting broccoli with poached egg is perfect. I have been a few times now and have yet to be disappointed. The value is also incredible, and I have paid twice as much for food half as good in Oxford more than once.
The wines on offer are excellent, the staff and service are attentive and witty, and there's an outdoor seating area in the back that will be the perfect place for late summer evenings if this rain ever lets up.
There are also several great vegetarian options, for those that are looking for them.
I cannot recommend this place highly enough.
Alex (DI User), 08/06/12
Yes, a massive improvement. Had an excellent meal yesterday and it was half the price of the "gastropub" just down the road. Fabulous beer and a light, airy feel to the place where diners and drinkers are obviously equally welcome. I'll be back...
Pulax (DI User), 09/05/12
What can I say? A simply stunning Sunday lunch.
The starter of pheasant egg scotch eggs with runny yolks was simply divine (see pic on left).
The main of slow-roast sandy and black belly pork was simply to die for (again - pic on left).
A completely delicious meal in friendly and comfortable surroundings and very reasonable at £4.50 for the starter and £11.50 for the main.
If I had to pick something up I would have preferred fewer roast potatoes and more purple sprouting broccoli (as it was delicious) but other than that the whole meal was perfect!
Tony Brett (DI User), 30/04/12
I recently had a Sunday roast at the Oxford Blue with my husband and sister, and it was brilliant. I would go as far as to say it was the best roast I have had in Oxford, having lived here for many years. This newly done up pub is a very welcome addition to the area. I would recommend this place to anyone.
Alex1 (DI User), 27/04/12
Well, that was a Sunday lunch to remember!
Having known Chris Murray for some years and enjoyed his hospitality elsewhere we had some fairly high expectations - these were lived up to.
Taking three children into any pub can be an interesting idea. But the staff were exceptionally sweet and engaged with them throughout - even giving my eldest boy more custard to go with his pudding, and not getting annoyed when my youngest spilt his drink (a regular occurrence...)
The food itself was delicious. Of the six of us five had a roast beef main which was cooked bang on with a mix of good vegetables including sprouting and, unusually, plenty of gravy if desired. The wines were so good (lovely bottle of Tempranillo) that my wife and a friend had a Madeira with pudding which complemented the treacle tart and custard admirably.
I have seen a previous comment from someone about benches? These must have gone as we sat at a table in the bay window for several hours in some rather rustic but perfectly comfy wooden chairs (reminded me of school ever so slightly!), but more importantly the table heights were also just right - something I find is not the case, strangely, in all hostelries.
Overall my summary would be it's a great, calm and friendly place to spend a lunchtime and looking at the plans they have for events/ poker nights/ live music in the future it will develop into something people will travel some distance to sample. A big thumbs up and I look forward to a repeat visit soon.
Flatnose (Unverified), 16/04/12
Definitely worth a try - a few tweaks and this place could rival the best gastro pubs in Oxford - 7.5/10
So, husband and I were there this week.
When we walked in, you are immediately reassured - the place is nicely decked out. it has a calm, restrained grown-up feel about it. Think Scandinavian simplicity with a smattering of English quirk.
The staff were all charming and helpful: we wanted a different table than the one they had chosen and set for us, and there was no whisper of annoyance to moving us over across the pub.
Now while the place looks good, the old school chairs and benches were not very cosy - after an hour, I really just wanted to stand. My first suggestion to the manager is to get those replaced. The benches as well are narrow and without backs. So it isn't really conducive to a long leisurely evening.
We were there for dinner, and when we had ordered our starters, it would have been fab had they brought over some nice bread, olives or something to nibble. His welsh rarebit was ok, though i thought the worcestershire was a bit heavy-handed. My sauteed and dressed purple sprouting with poached egg however was almost perfect - but a sprinkle of sea salt brought it to its intended heights. Call me a carb fanatic, but a crust of bread here would have been perfect to mop up the lovely vinaigrette.
For mains, I ordered the special of braised shin of Beef with caramelised onions, carrots and mash. Now this was well executed, balanced and rich - worth the £12.50 price tag but it would have been even better to have something to cut its irony richness. The background notes of cardamon gave it an additional depth. The man had Korean barbeque lamb, cooked pink. It also was served with mash, sauteed kale, all of which had the hint of Aniseed. So yumyumyum.
This was all washed down with a nice bottle of Veilles Vignes Baron de Baussac, from the French Languedoc region, whose deep cherry character can stand up to such intense and meaty mains.
The upshot is that it is definitely worth a try. Good wine list, good cooking skills, nice warm menu and unpretentious and friendly staff.
We had stopped at the Magdelene Arms for a pre-dinner drink, and it was heaving. Now I have eaten there many times, but the Oxford Blue could be a serious contender. If it invests in getting its name out a bit more, provides cosier seating, and changes up its menu regularly, this place could buzz. I wish it luck - east Oxford is starting to attract some great eateries, so it is no time for any contender to rest on its laurels.
Joroley (Unverified), 10/03/12
Had a great night at The Oxford Blue. The food was delicious, had the vegetarian platter to start and everything on it was really tasty, especially liked the home made hummous and artichoke hearts. Had a very tasty spicy soup for my main and a tangy lemon and almond tart for dessert. You can get a lot of wines by the glass and they make a suggestion of which wine goes with which dish. Very nice decor and friendly staff.
Holly (Unverified), 03/01/12
Just come back from having a great meal at the Oxford Blue. We had a really imaginative vegetarian starter plater. Great value and flavours. My Mussel Chowder was extremely tasty. Five of us ate and we all said what delicious food and wine we had. We will be back!
The new Oxford Blue is fantastic! Great ambience, good beer and amazing food! We had the Oxfordshire Venison and also the Gnocchi with Mushrooms and Artichokes, which was nothing short of superb. Matched wines an added bonus, and can say that the Pinot Noir goes exceptionally well with the gnocchi too.
GrasshopperDD (Unverified), 13/12/11
I would highly recommend this pub for anyone who's after consistently fantastic food, great value for money, superb atmosphere, good music, unpretentious, friendly staff, and if you're into sports...even better!
Their food is of extremely high standard for a pub, and I would especially recommend their burgers and pies. They are MASSIVE and you get a huge share of chips. Their sunday roasts are really good too and clearly popular as every time I have been there the place is packed and almost everyone's having one of their sunday roasts.
L (DI User), 27/10/07
This is a great find. A pub that caters well for it's locals but also for the student population of Oxford. If you like to watch sport, chat to friends or have some good food then this is for you.
There's standing room at the bar, comfy sofas, a couple of booths, tables and a newly refurbished outdoor seating area that's undercover.
Staff are young chatty and friendly and add to the overall atmosphere of the pub. They have managed to create a pub that is neither old and stuffy nor too like the chain bars. It lies somewhere inbetween with a unique character all of its own.
The food is good quality, classic pub grub that has been brought up to date. The Sunday roasts stand out for the local area.
Woody (Unverified), 17/10/07
Great pub that doesn't get the recognition it deserves. It's kind of like a down-to-earth, less pretentious All Bar One on a small scale. Good burgers and Sunday roasts, friendly staff, small but cosy patio garden at rear for summer and flat-screen TV at rear for sport. Only minor gripe would be the slightly drafty front bar area that lacks a little character but overall a quality pub that is deserving of high praise.
Joe B (Unverified), 14/03/07
Our sports team goes here for food and beer after we finish. It is really a nice pub, great food, good sports screens that are not too overbearing, and very friendly staff.
Really top place.
Tom (Unverified), 12/10/06
What a great new/refurbished pub on the Oxford scene! Excellent staff, very comfy booth and armchair seating. Excellent food. A real gem near busy Cowley Road.
OK, so I have to admit that I never went there for a pint under the old management so I can't compare BUT as far as today goes it's brilliant.
Friendly, good looking staff who are always ready and waiting to fill up your pint glass and seem to change your ashtray at least every 4.5 minutes. Great selection of beers and spirits.
The main bar is full of sunlight, clean and well laid out with lots of big leather sofas surrounding widescreen tvs together with big country-kitchen armchairs and tables. If you want to sit in the garden, there are no dodgy smells or noises. So long as the British weather permits, you are bathed in sunlight almost all day and there are plenty of benches to sit on.
The food is FANTASTIC. Every Sunday sees everyone who knows about it, pouring in for a sample of the vast and delicious menu. service is prompt, the food is always served hot and to top it off the prices are more than reasonable.
Would definitely recommend.
Loz (Unverified), 21/08/06
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