Saturday, June 20, 2015

Cafe 51

Cafes tend to come and go - sometimes very quickly; more like fashion statements than places to hang out, drink coffee and eat. Cafe 51 is an exception; we have been frequenting this establishment for the last 21 years. Somehow, Cafe 51 has remained Oxford’s ‘place to go’ over all this time, despite the town having at least three other good eateries (one with a rather well known name).

The Cafe 51 experience starts at the door knob - it’s a loosely fitting brass thing that seems only vaguely connected to any opening mechanism. Don’t wrestle with it; just give it a gentle enquiring turn and the heavy wooden door will open into the early 20th century - very much in keeping with the exterior.

The whole Cafe 51 experience is like that door knob - it all seems too casual, the staff too friendly, the atmosphere almost homely. Can this really be a modern cafe delivering the victuals we expect in 2015? Yes, it can; like that questionable door knob, it just works - great coffee, great food and great service. It’s why Cafe 51 has remained our favourite Oxford haunt for 21 years and why, on occasions, it can be so busy that we reluctantly have to try somewhere else.

Give it a try when you’re next in Oxford. You’ll find it at: 51 Main Street, Oxford. Or on the web at:

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