While you're out and about stocking up on gifts and treats for Christmas, you may want to seek out an independent café to take a break in. But sometimes, the choice can be overwhelming! So we've rounded up some of our favourites here, to get you started...
Tucked away in the unassuming alleyway behind the Magdalen Street Tesco, it would be easy to walk past this gem hundreds of times without going in - but if this is the case for you, you're missing out! The food is completely organic (as is the woodwork!), meaning whichever delights you opt for have the added bonus of being kinder to the environment. Perfectly located if you're doing your shopping in central Oxford - and, as the name suggests, you can also buy quality ingredients to elevate your cooking. We also love how accommodating they are for people with allergies.
Well-established as the Covered Market's original café, this central haven is unsurprisingly popular with town and gown alike. Their offerings range from greasy spoon breakfasts (complete with fried bread) to sumptuous homemade cakes, with prices as close to cheap-and-cheerful as you could get in OX1 - what's not to love?
If you need a sit-down while browsing the shops of Wantage but can't quite bring yourself to abandon your altruistic intentions, The Funky Teapot is the perfect place to while away a few hours, with the productive side effect of producing a unique gift for a loved one. Offering all manner of plain crockery for you to decorate, as well as some lovely Christmas decoration options (see their Facebook page for their quirky baubles!), this father-daughter-run business also offers gift vouchers and party sessions - perfect if you have someone in your life who's difficult to buy for.
This family-friendly spot boasts comfy sofas and all sorts of baked delights, located wonderfully centrally on the historic Market Square, so you can seek the titular rest and recuperation from doing your Christmas shopping, picking up supplies for a creative project from Oxford Wood Recycling, or exploring the museums. Another one that's sensible about allergens, too.
One of the larger branches of the Oxford-based small chain, Taylors in Summertown is a destination to dive into if you're visiting the Sarah Wiseman Gallery, the charity shops or the Sunday market. A bit of a Tardis in terms of the space offered, they have a rotating menu of hot mains, hearty breakfast options, paninis, baguettes, cakes and tarts - plus the full range of hot drinks including coveted Illy coffee. While you're there, you can browse their deli shelves to pick up a jar of unusual chutney, some authentic olive oil, or a whole Christmas hamper.
Sorely missed since it departed Little Clarendon Street, the Natural Bread Co's home is now in Woodstock - perfectly placed to drop into after browsing the pop art at Dantzig Gallery. Their speciality sourdough allows them to produce the most mouth-watering sandwiches, alongside a pleasing plethora of baked goodies, so you have an excuse to indulge for breakfast, lunch or afternoon tea!