St. Giles' Cafe (Pre-2013)
- 52 St Giles
Pre-2013, the St. Giles' Cafe was a typical greasy spoon caff. In spring 2013 it reopened under different management and with a different style; see new page.
The information below relates to the old version.
A typical greasy spoon caff, offering one of the best fry-ups in Oxford.
The portions remain large though the chips are slimmer than they were five years ago. It does get crowded (which may mean sharing a table with a strange(er)).
The coffee here is superb, much better than G And Ds (Little Clarendon Street) and probably some of the best in the North Central region. The tea is less impressive, and also more expensive than a large glass of milk! The owner is friendly, if you like talking about football.
In 2005 the Cafe went through a very lengthy refurbishment, and re-opened with slightly higher prices and much more comfortable seating. The food appears to be just the same as ever, although on a recent (07/2006) visit it was freshly prepared so took a little while to arrive.
This place was utterly legendary among Christan students in the late 90s and early 00s - being a place to meet following church and properly mop up the hangover that they shouldn't have gone to church with in the first place. The portions at that time were probably the largest on the planet, perhaps barring the US. During the week there was always an interesting by comfortable mixture of students and builders among the clientele.
Has serious competition for the title of best fry-up from the [Excelsior]? place on Cowley Road.
An anonymous visitor in April 2008 tells us that they believe St Giles' Cafe is "one of the greatest cafes that you will ever come across", and imply that they like it better since the smoking ban. Anonymous also tells us that the cafe no longer serves "them skinny horrid sausages they used to serve", that the portions are better sized (it's not clear if Anonymous means they're bigger or smaller than they used to be), and that their coffees are "one of the best coffee's in town much better than greens and browns". Anonymous also feels that the owner is "fair and lovely" and "very nice", the staff are "willing and smiley", and the toilets are "clean and hygienic and always smell clean".