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“Mark Bittman in Oxford! And BYOB!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Organic Deli Cafe

Organic Deli Cafe
24 Friars Entry, Oxford OX1 2DB, England
+44 1865 364853
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Ranked #39 of 471 Restaurants in Oxford
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Price range: $8 - $15
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Delivery, Late Night, Private Dining, Reservations
Description: The Organic Deli Cafe is family run & prides itself on locally sourced organic produce, specialising in artisan homemade produce & food intolerances such as gluten & lactose free. We open early for breakfast, brunch, lunch, afternoon tea & dinner and are available for event catering & private hire. Spread over two floors, ground floor sales are for groceries, whole foods & customer dining with the 1st floor for customer dining. Private hire, dinners & group bookings available. Talk to us. Regards Trevor & Cristina.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Mark Bittman in Oxford! And BYOB!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 6, 2014

I'm an American thirty-something who loves real food. I love Oxford, and I love its fancy restaurants. I also love the pub food you get in some of its better pubs. But you can't live on that stuff, and I've been here for two weeks doing research. At home I live on a very healthy, home-cooked diet of fresh produce, local, organic meat, etc. And I love to drink wine at home with my wife with a light dinner of salad and good bread, especially in summer. I also am on a limited budget, and I'm driven to economize even below that budget.

Enter Organic Deli Cafe. A colleague brought me here for lunch today, in part because it is one of the only places in Oxford where she can consistently get decent gluten-free food. I had a lunch special of sauteed zucchini with some other vegetables and quinoa, and two huge slabs of toasted "Oxford Sourdough" with profound English butter. The dish itself was a classic Mark Bittman preparation, super-simple, veggie flavors forward, delicious, light. The Oxford Sourdough was very mild by American standards--maybe about as sour as Trader Joe's--but it was also a different creature, slightly brown, with a thicker, browner crust that I associate more with French <i>moule</i>. It was really excellent, and in my unsystematic search for good bread in Oxford these weeks, it was by far the best.

So I returned the same evening for dinner, lured by the sign that said it was BYOB with free corkage. I popped aroudn the corner--literally around the corner--to Tesco and got a top-shelf bottle for the price of two pints-in-a-pub. Then I returned to order from the same menu that was available at lunch (it has the same menu as all day). Don't expect a steak or something here. It's the same Mark Bittman stuff. This time I got a salad with ham and roasted new potatoes and other things with two overeasy fried eggs exquisitely draped on top. That with the bread was magnificent.

So I got a really wonderful dinner, at a quiet table for one in the upstairs by an open window, with a bottle of wine, all for about 20 quid (the wine was 10 of that).

Also, everybody is really friendly (not necessarily true in Oxford in general), and the proprietor seems to really care about what the customers like (ditto).

I will come back here regularly next time I am in Oxford.

  • Visited June 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
oxford
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
49 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
“Promised Much. Delivered Little.”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 1, 2014

Having read the reviews and liking the ethos of the place, thought it was a dead cert for a nice family meet up for breakfast.

Started well with a great coffee with soya milk. Placed our food order and waited. And waited. People arriving after us got theirs, and still we waited. Half an hour later two cooked breakfasts arrived. When I questioned where the third dish was we were told "it's being made.from scratch". Err,yes,that's why we came here not McDonald's. Almost ten minutes later the pancake arrived. Pale, flaccid, tasteless and not even a spec of maple syrup or anything to offset the sour yoghurt and blueberries. Can't believe something that takes minutes to make caused a 40 minute delay.

As for the cooked breakfast? Almost cold hard tomatoes, sausage was barely warm and the jacket potato instead of toast? Really? Zero seasoning.

Venue? Appears nice but if you are strictly vegan/vegetarian then the smell of cooking meat wafting up from the kitchen might put you off. Came here as an alternative to our usual visit to Bills, wished I hadn't. Very disappointing and definitely won't be going back again soon.

Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nottingham
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“This place has everything...”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 31, 2014

...excellent options for vegans and vegetarians, but also some organic meat dishes; a central location; a cosy setting upstairs; *and* very reasonable prices. We'll be back!

  • Visited May 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambridge, United Kingdom
1 review
“Just perfect!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 24, 2014

We were cold and wet from traipsing round in the rain and were desperate for a nice brunch! The Organic Deli Cafe provided exactly what we were looking for; I am lactose intolerant and we both like organic, healthy foods. They were still serving 'breakfast' foods at about 12 midday when we went in (I think they do all day) so my partner ordered the full English and I ordered poached eggs on sourdough toast. We shared a fruit salad and each had an Americano, mine being a decaff. The service was prompt and polite and the chap serving us was thoughtful enough to point out that the gluten-free bread, which I originally ordered, had a little milk in the recipe and advised me to avoid it, which I really appreciated. The coffee was delicious and our orders came just as requested, mine without butter on the toast. The fruit salad was strawberries and blueberries and you could taste that they were organic and perfectly fresh. We couldn't get over how nice the bread was too! My eggs were perfectly poached and my partner found the sausage and bacon in his breakfast really high quality and tasty. Thank you for being one of the main highlights of our trip to Oxford, Organic Deli Cafe! Next time we return for a visit, we'll be eating every meal we can with you!

  • Visited May 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Great breakfast”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 5, 2014

Tucked away, but worth seeking out. Excellent breakfast of bacon and egg sandwich, on proper crusty bread with good coffee and good price - what more do you need?

  • Visited May 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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