Oxford’s hippest cafe
How many times have you gone into Oxford, tried and failed to find a cool cafe, and then settled down on pine farmhouse furniture for a carrot cake for the nth time? Not next time, because you’ll be able to put The Missing Bean in your walky sat nav and drink your coffee like the local dons, student and hipsters.
The thing about The Missing Bean is it’s all about the coffee. When I visited, the owner was in some remote Columbian jungle sourcing beans, and getting very excited on Instagram about it all (that’s the thing about coffee, you really should stop after the second one). The point being that The Missing Bean source their beans ethically, they roast them themselves in Oxford, they grind them on the spot if you want to take them home with you, and they also have a hell selection of cakes, created by well funky lady here.
The coffee house is in Turl St, so wonderfully central, cutting a swathe from the High Street (think shops) down to Broad St (think Sheldonian Theatre and access to the Bodliean) but don’t expect it to be flash inside – its tables are close together, there are a couple of low window-facing stools, design is a bit ‘spotlighty’, and the food options are limited to ciabattas, sarnies, and cakes. Plus there are no toilets in the cafe itself, they’re out of the building and around the corner. But hey, you’re easy, you’re hip, you’re not incontinent yet, you can handle that brief inconvenience. I like it’s slightly ‘so what?’ confidence.
The important thing is the coffee and it really is special. I took two bags away with me and managed to drain them in a matter of days.
What I’m trying to say is it’s not the place you’ll linger over your flat white for hours while you pull out your laptop and pretend to work. It’s a superior coffee and snack fix, and you’ll be done and dusted in 30 max which is as it should be in Oxford as there’s so much to do.
So, now that you’re feeling supercharged, I can suggest you head off to Cornmarket for your high street shopping, veer down St Michael’s St to Objects of Use, Michael Clulee for a quick hair cut or the bonkers vintage shop Unicorn if you want a rummage.
Take a detour to hop up the top of the St Michael’s tower, or a tour of the Bodleian (tis amazing) or the Christopher Wren-designed Sheldonian Theatre (go right to the tippety top), zip around any colleges that will let you (tips for the top: Trinity, Worcester, Christchurch, Magdalen), head down to the Rickety Press in Jericho for a pizzery style lunch (and mosey for a while at the indie shops and cafes), get the best view of the city with a cocktail in hand and shared platter at TVC, or if you want to stretch your legs, head off to Port Meadow and find The Perch at the end of it.
I’ll be posting more cafe reviews from now on as it’s ridiculously easy not to find the cool place and end up somewhere godawful without a steer, so if you know somewhere brilliant I’m yet to write about, let me know, I’m all ears!
The Missing Bean Café, 14 Turl Street Oxford, OX1 3DQ. Tel: 01865 794886. Open 7 days a week. themissingbean.co.uk
Want to find about other cool cafes I’ve come across that you might not know about? Check out my most recent reviews here