We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Delicious breakfast; quirky, characterful surroundings in heart of Oxford; lovely staff”

The Handle Bar Cafe and Kitchen
Ranked #7 of 48 Coffee & Tea in Oxford
Certificate of Excellence
Description: Café and restaurant offering breakfast, lunch and dinner in a relaxed, bright and quirky environment.
Restaurant details
Description: Café and restaurant offering breakfast, lunch and dinner in a relaxed, bright and quirky environment.
Reviewed 11 April 2017

Take note, please, that my visit was midweek during the Easter break, so the Handle Bar was probably much quieter than usual at breakfast time.
But that was fine for me - I had a sunny table for two to myself, overlooking the world going by below on Michael Street, and time to enjoy the cafe's quirky decor. The staff were sweet: very welcoming; quick to serve me and the other customers and then letting everyone take their time over eating.
It's an old building: cobbles on the ground floor which houses the bike shop and accessories shop: above it, the Handle Bar cafe, decorated with old bicycles hanging from the slat-boarded ceiling and behind the bar. Fun!
Breakfast for me was "Bennies": two perfectly poached eggs and a generous portion of smoked trout, all on a thick slab of good sourdough and coated with a proper dollop of unctuous & lemony hollandaise. It was *really* good! Not just delicious but also satisfying - as breakfast should be! It was £8, which made me hesitate at first, but having tried it, I'd be back for seconds in a heartbeat.
Next time, however, I'll try something other than the latte (£2.70), which was ... ok. Latte should still taste confidently of coffee; this one more suggested it meekly.
Cakes looked tempting; the kitchen was clearly well run and was taking in supplies as I left - boxes of avocadoes for their popular avo-toasts!

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
1  Thank hello_boing
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a ReviewReviews (135)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Language

87 - 91 of 135 reviews

Reviewed 9 April 2017

i usually visit the handlebar with friends or dates, however, i’m more than happy to walk in alone whenever i need a coffee or a quick snack because these guys are the best. i really love the atmosphere of the place and the staff are very lovely.

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
1  Thank Abigail Q
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 April 2017

Looking at the cafe from the outside, it very much just appears as a bike shop, but it is so much more! The cafe is adorned with bikes and little wooden tables and creates a lovely atmosphere. The breakfasts that I saw looked amazing, particularly the pancakes, but we had a slice of lemon drizzle cake, a scone and two coffees. Everything was gorgeous, and not badly priced for Oxford. Would definitely recommend!

Thank Danielle M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 April 2017

Came here after doing a 30 mile bike ride and had in my mind a big fry up. I wasn't disappointed. WE made our way up the stairs to a pretty full restaurant, but we were shown a seat. 10 minutes later the place was full (a very good sign for 10.30am on a Sunday !).
The Handle Bar cafe is really lovely and cosy. Our waitress was super friendly and polite and even though she was the only waitress around, she coped admirably.
I went for the full house and it was delicious, exactly as I'd hoped. My partner went for the smashed avocado on toast with bacon. She was delighted with it.
With two cappuccinos the bill was £21. Good value.
We will definitely return, so glad I saw the cafe on the Sofar pages.

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
1  Thank KinkyNoodle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Celine W, Owner at The Handle Bar Cafe and Kitchen, responded to this reviewResponded 4 April 2017

We are so pleased you had a lovely time with us. A cyclist and a music lover!!! Best customer we could hope for...

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 March 2017 via mobile

Was here for a work meal. Great venue and decor.
On the whole the food was ok with a decent selection for Vegans (the main reason we choose this place).
Sadly the menu looked good but the food was a bit average.
Two of us had a chicken burger with a home made brioche bun which was sadly a bit dry (perhaps yesterday's bake?) the rest was nice enough. Our friend ordered a noodle dish which they said was ok, but again perhaps not worth the £13 we paid. One of us ordered a fresh orange juice, but we where given a juice made from concentrate. When we mentioned this both at the time and when paying we were reluctantly and moodily given money off by the manager. No apology and a very blunt "well I suppose we will take it off your bill then". Waiter was friendly and chatty though.

1  Thank Ian H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Celine W, Owner at The Handle Bar Cafe and Kitchen, responded to this reviewResponded 31 March 2017

Seriously? The orange juice-gate review? We were there too, you know.
Enough said.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed The Handle Bar Cafe and Kitchen also viewed

 
Oxford, Oxfordshire
Oxford, Oxfordshire
 
Oxford, Oxfordshire
 

Been to The Handle Bar Cafe and Kitchen? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing