A & C Fish Bar: Traditional Fish & Chips
I have been using A & C Fish Bar for years and they provide a friendly service and their customers like me are regulars. It serves traditional fish & chips as well as kebabs, southern fried chicken and pies. There are the usual extras available such as peas, baked beans, sausages etc. If you require something different like plaice then you need to order it when you arrive. The batter is always crispy and the chips fresh.
Open Monday to Saturday 11.30 am - 2.00 pm & 4.30 pm - 10 pm.
Closed on Sundays
Favorite Dish: Cod & Chips.
Jay Pur: Balti House
This restaurant does a range on Indian Food but specialises in 'Baltis'. It is always busy on most nights and opens the upstairs floor if it gets crowded. The surroundings are typical of any Indian restaurant. The food is always good and plenty of it. I have not finished a meal yet without feeling stuffed. The chicken korma is very good. The meal is finished off with a mint and free Brandy or Baileys. The cost is usually about 12 pounds a head. The restaurant is open from 6pm daily.
There is also a take away and a delivery service. You can order online for delivery via their website.
Favorite Dish: My favourite dish is a lamb or chicken balti served with rice. The strength is about medium. It is well seasoned and nice to clear the dish with nam bread.
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Saveway: Chinese Take Away
I have lost count the number of takeaways I have had from Saveway and have never been disappointed. It is a well established business that has been at the same location since 1976. It was convenient for me because I worked close by and could pick something up on the way home. I have tried other establishments in Banbury but keep coming back. You can view the menu online, telephone your order in for pick up or for home delivery. You can of course attend the premises and order in person but it can become busy at the weekends. Parking is available outside the premises.
Favorite Dish: King prawn chop suey
PAW PAW: Traditional Breakfast
This restaurant is next to the Bus/Coach Station and years ago it was the Midland Red canteen. Because of its history I always thought it was just a greasey spoon and never used it. So I thought I would give it a try for a breakfast to discover it is a very smart restaurant with waiter service. The word is service. There are attentive staff, who smile, who give the impression they really like their job, quick service, freshly cooked food, the dishes cleared as soon as you have finished. You will not find better service in Banbury. The breakfasts are a traditional British fry up affair with hugh portions. My next move is to try it out in the Chinese Restaurant in the evening. THE RESTAURANT HAS NOW STOPPED ITS BREAKFAST SERVICE AND IS ONLY OPEN IN THE EVENINGS.
Favorite Dish: Bacon Sandwiches, which have about 3 rashers of thick bacon with a large cup of tea.
The Exchange: Inexpensive Breakfast
The Exchange was rebuilt in 1936 and was the main post office in Banbury. At the side of the building was the local telephone exchange hence the name. With the growth of Banbury in the 1960-70's a new telephone exchange was built in a different part of the town and the post office was moved down the High Street a few years later.
It has become a bit of a tradition at work when working on a Saturday morning to go out for a cooked English breakfast. So the first time I went to the Exchange with my work partner, the sight of 30 men at 10am in the morning stood around drinking pints was off putting so we walked straight out again. Fortunately we were told that in fact we did not have to eat our breakfast with the drinkers as there is an area to the right just inside the door that tends to be used by dinners. So we tried it again and I was impressed. At £2.49 it was a good sized meal and breakfast is served until 12noon. For £3.69 you can almost double the size of the meal. The Exchange is owned by a well known pub group and it has establishments in most parts of the country serving exactly the same meals. So if you want a good scoff to keep you going and you don’t want to pay over the top prices it’s worth a try.
Druckers Vienna Patisserie: Cream Cake Heaven
I have used Druckers Vienna Patisserie a few times. It does excellent coffees and cream cakes, which go hand in hand, though the cakes are slightly expensive. The baguettes are already made up, which is a disappointment. Most people tend to sit at the front, which is handy for people watching.
Favorite Dish: Chocolate eclairs and cream meringues.
The Cromwell Lodge: Surprise lunch
I thought I would try out a family lunch for four at the Cromwell Lodge. I have been there before but only for a quick lunch which was works 'thing'. There are different areas to eat and besides being a restaurant its main business is a hotel. I was going to try the 3 course fixed menu but in the end I only had two courses and a different dessert. I started with the breaded garlic mushrooms and they were as good as other restaurants I have been to. I had fish, chips and mushy peas for the main. It was well cooked and a reasonable sized portion. I finished with the summer pudding and custard, which again was very tasty. We also had a bottle of prosecco to accompany the meal. The service was good, the staff very friendly and pleasant. We have already decided that we will return again as it was a very nice meal and good value.
Toby Carvery: Excellent Value
I have been out to the Toby Cavery numerous times to partake of their carvery. I have to say I have never been disappointed. There are a number of meat choices with yorkshire pudding and different vegetables in season. You can help yourself to as many helpings of vegetables and yorkshire pudding as you want, though I always fill full the first time around. It is well cooked as you would expect with fairly simple menu. There are frequent internet offer vouchers for 2 mains & 2 ice creams for £12.50 which is excellent value for money. For those who do not fancy the carvery there are other choices including a vegetarian option.
The Toby Cavery has now branched out into opening for an all you can eat breakfast buffet from 7am to 11 am. Even better news, if you search on the internet there are frequent offers. At the moment a full english breakfast is £3.99 and you can help yourself to as much as you want.
Muffin Break: Baked in store
I have been past Muffin Break a number times but it has always been crowded or when it was empty I did not have the time. So how was our first visit? It was not too busy and I did notice some more seating at the back of the premises. There are highchairs available so it is child friendly. I tried a flat white coffee and Lin had a normal coffee with milk. I usually gauge the taste of coffee if Lin drinks it and she did in this case. As the name implies they sell a variety of sweet and savoury muffins. They also sell sandwiches for toasting, paninis, savoury snacks and cakes. Besides coffees, tea & hot chocolate, their cold drinks include smoothies, frappes, milkshakes, iced chocolate & iced espresso coffee. The service was quick and friendly and we will be trying it out again.
Favorite Dish: Egg and bacon pie. It brought back memories of my mother's cooking.
Pudding Face at the Coach & Horses: Pudding Face
This was my first visit to the new Pudding Face at the Coach & Horses and I was accompanied by my daughter and grandson. The inside of the premises have been completely renovated with a bar to your right as you enter. There are different seating areas with different types of furniture as well as an outdoor area. There is a chalked up menu on the wall from which to make your selection from about 12 different types of pies and puddings. We ordered our drinks and food from the bar. You have a choice of mash potatoes or chips and vegetables are also provided. The food is served in separate dishes allowing you to share the different puddings and food. The food was nicely present, the portions ample and it tasted good. It was quiet with only a few customers, but it was lunchtime and the place is newly opened. We were offered a menu for the desserts but the main meal was more than adequate. The only criticism I would have was there were no highchairs but we were made more than welcome and we made do.
Favorite Dish: I had the roast pork, apple sauce and sage & onion pudding with mashed potatoes and vegetables, which was tasty.
The New Inn: Countryside Inn
Four of us went to the New Inn on a Sunday lunchtime to try out the restaurant. We were greeted on our arrival, ordered drinks and were taken to our table in the conservatory. We ordered our selection of food which started to arrive after a few minutes. I started with Plaice Goujons which were tasty. Being someone who enjoys a roast I followed with a pork roast, which had good sized portions. I was spoilt for choice with the different desserts but finally settled for Toffee Topolino which was delicious. All the food was well presented and none of us was disappointed with any of the different courses. All the staff were pleasant and it was busy with a continuous flow of dinners coming and going. The meal cost approximately £25 each with drinks plus a couple of sides dishes. The location of the New Inn is not in Banbury but about 6 miles out of town and requires a transport to reach it. THE RESTAURANT APPEARS TO HAVE CEASED TRADING AT PRESENT.
Favorite Dish: Toffee Topolino
The Top Wok: All you can eat buffet
The Top Wok is a Chinese Restaurant in Banbury, with a wide range buffet menu of starters, main course, vegetarian and desserts. A lunch Monday to Saturday 12noon to 2.30pm costs £7.50 for as much as you can eat. Drinks cost extra. The only service is to bring drinks and clear dishes. I have eaten here a number of times and the staff are friendly and helpful. Its ideal for lunch being a buffet because the food is available straight away. It costs more to eat at the restaurant during the evening but there is more food selection available. The Top Wok now provides a delivery service to your home or hotel.
Favorite Dish: The Peking spare ribs are certainly worth a try.
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Baguette 81: The Best Baguettes in town
I have had numerous baguettes from this shop over the years. Whereas other shops have come and gone other the years this one has stood the test of time. It is always busy at lunchtimes with a queue sometimes stretching out onto the street. The choice of fillings is huge and the baguettes are freshly baked and are usually still warm when you receive them. The baguettes are freshly made up in front of you with a choice of salad items to be added. There is usually a special each day at a discounted price and drinks are available.
Favorite Dish: Tuna Mayo Baguette with salad
The Indian Pantry Take Away: Disappointed
This was the first meal I have tried from the Indian Pantry. Ordering online was easy and you choose your pick up time or you can have it delivered. I ordered the Tuesday night bonanza which is a set meal for two but half price and it was ready for me when I arrived. The meal had been carefully packed and labelled. The meal consists of poppaddams with mango chutney and mint yoghurt to start the meal off. This was followed by mix veg pakora and chicken tikka. They were quite well seasons, perhaps slightly too much for my taste. Finally there was chicken korma, chicken balti and saag aloo with pilau rice. There was plenty of rice but we were disappointed with the other dishes. I have been to a number of Indian restaurants as well as cooking some of these dishes at home. I am not sure it I have become use to their taste but I did not really like the meal as most of it mainly the meat was too spicy. For someone who enjoys their meal very well seasoned it may suit their palate.
Hanwell Arms: Pleasant Surprise
This was my first visit to the Hanwell Arms, though Lin has been there a number of times. The pub and surrounding shops have only been open about 5 years and this was one of the last parts of the Hanwell Estate to be built. There is plenty of room between the tables which makes a change from most of these types of premises. Having made your choice of food you order it from the bar and it is brought to your table. We all chose starters and these were well presented. The mains we had were steaks and gammon. Lin and Emma had a dessert. It was well presented for simple bar food and we enjoyed it all. Being a pub we never felt under any pressure to leave and could have stayed there all afternoon. I was pleased with the food and will return to this pub again for another meal. There are various themed days for meals, low calorie choices and a traditional roast available on Sundays.
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