Review: Green’s Café

Mabel Whitchurch discovers there is more to Oxford life than Taylors and other sandwich shops

Oxford boasts some outstanding sandwich shops. Take Taylors for example: ever-present in Oxford and always there for you whether you’re craving a simple BLT or something more luxurious like smoked salmon and cream cheese on rye. Oxford without Taylors or Mortons or Jimbob’s is almost unimaginable.

Yet, despite the delicious delights that can be found in these sandwich shops, there is more to discover. I’m lucky (yes, lucky) enough to live at Hugh’s; every walk into and out of town leads to a discovery of a new café in Jericho, or a patisserie on the edge of Walton Street. Having walked past Green’s Café on St Giles’ nearly every day for two years, this week I finally ventured inside.

Downstairs is small, but this is something I’ve come to expect from the built-up streets of Oxford, and it isn’t a major setback. The display of sandwiches, however, is most definitely not small. There’s something to please everyone, meaning that the lunchtime decision is not for the faint-hearted. The sandwiches come in all shapes and sizes; yes, there are those which are made on two slices of bread, but there are also baguettes, paninis, bagels and breadless options (… salads), all hot or cold, on multiseed, organic white, ciabatta, rustic, wholegrain and even white onion seed bread.

After a prolonged period of decision-making I chose a Goat’s Cheese Baguette; spinach, olives, pesto and roast peppers on multiseed bread, and it was delicious. Other tempting options included the Chorizo and Halloumi Baguette and the Buffalo Mozzarella Ciabatta. The menu also displayed fresh-to-order jacket potatoes and an all-day breakfast, including muesli, pancakes and a cooked breakfast too – no option was a bad one.

The decor, on the other hand, does leave a bit to be desired. There’s a large seating area on the first floor, but the tables are randomly placed around and it’s not particularly light; perhaps it only seems this way as it’s surrounded by some of the most beautiful architecture in the country. Nevertheless, it’s clean, acceptable and inoffensive.

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Ultimately, the food itself should principally define a café, and Green’s Café serves fresh, interesting and most importantly very tasty sandwiches. Break out of the monotonous mould of standard sandwich shops. Walk a few extra minutes up St Giles’ – you won’t be disappointed.