The Bottom Line
- Cheap and friendly
- Homemade food
- All-day breakfasts
- Usually crowded
- Basic and dated decor
- Not much choice for vegetarians
- A basic, but popular, typical English "caff" serving simple, cheap food.
- Avenue 4, Oxford Covered Market. Tel: 01865 243436. Open 8.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m., Monday to Saturday
- There's a vegetarian breakfast but otherwise choices for vegetarians are very limited.
- Prices are ridiculously cheap. The most expensive dish is the a mixed grill for £7.50 Most sandwiches cost about £2.
- It's always busy and bustling but table turnover is fast. Go early for lunch if you don't like to wait.
Guide Review - Brown's Cafe - Cheap Eats in Oxford Covered Market
Brown's has been around forever. The decor looks as though it has been there since before the flood -- wood paneled walls painted pale green, dusty bunches of plastic flowers, checked vinyl table cloths on some of the wobbly tables.
But looks aren't everything. I ate lunch beside an Oxford professor who had been a regular as a student, 23 years earlier. Today, her daughter was tucking into a huge slab of apple pie, smothered in yellow custard sauce. Around us university students and teachers, tourists, secretaries, shop clerks, truck drivers and market traders devoured such traditional English fare as Shepherd's pie, stuffed jacket potatoes, liver and onions, haddock and chips, plus sandwiches and burgers -- none of it costing much more than a fiver and all of it homemade by the family owners.
English people call this kind of place a "caff". It serves the kind food most of them ate as children. It may not look as beautiful as it might, but it's fast, familiar, filling and tasty. And the tea is made in a real tea pot -- from old fashioned tea leaves. This is a handy place to know about when visiting Oxford.