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.
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.
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.
- Budget Travel
Chandlers: Friendly Service
Chandler's is one of my favourite places to meet family for a chat over a coffee during the day. They serve baugettes. ciabattas, sandwiches, quiche, salads & jacket potatoes. Everything is freshly made and you can order it the way you want it. They also sells cakes and crisps. You can eat in or take out and its non smoking.
Favorite Dish: One of my favorites is a salad box with a cheese, leek and onion topping which I take back to work when I'm in a hurry.
Bagel Bite: Freshly Made Bagels
Bagel Bite is new to Banbury. It offers a choice of freshly prepared bagels, ciabattas and baguettes. It is a take away but allows you to sit down inside, and outside during the summer at no extra cost. Its good for people watching during market days on Thursday & Saturdays. Its also housed in one of the local historical buildings. UNFORTUNATELY THIS SHOP HAS NOW CEASED TRADING.
Favorite Dish: A tuna bagel with salad.
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 Granary: Traditional Breakfast
The Granary, unlike some of the other restaurants in Banbury has space to move around. They provide a large traditional english breakfast in the mornings. Salads and a number of other dishes at lunch time, including snacks. In the afternoons there are a variety of different cakes. The restaurant is open 7 days a week and gets really busy on a Saturday. There are seats outside for those who wish to brave the weather.
Favorite Dish: The full breakfast its more than enough eat.
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.
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.
Thai Orchid: Thai Food
Before it was a restaurant, the Thai Orchid was a green grocers and a small garden centre. Unfortunately the supermarket is now king and lots of these type of shops have been consigned to history. I have only eaten food at the Thai Orchid at lunchtimes. The food is not overly spicy and there is a large variety of different dishes to try if you opt for the buffet. The waiting staff are extremely attentive and quickly clear away dirty dishes. They also ensure that you have enough liquid refreshment. The meal can be topped off with a number of different deserts.
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
San Carlo: Excellent Service
The San Carlo Ristorante/Pizzeria is a fairly new Italian Restaurant that has opened in Parsons Street, Banbury. So far I have only tried the fixed price lunch which cost £6.95 for a drink and one selection from the menu. Not wanting to end up with too much of it down my shirt I tried the Lasagne. The last time I had tried some Lasagne was in Berlin and it was runny and it did end up with it down my shirt. This was totally different. Though it was not a large portion it was really tasty. Other people in my party also commented on how tasty the food was. I have tried a second meal with spaghetti bolognese and my daughter tried a pizza. Both dishes were really nice and the pizza was a fair size for the price. They also do take away service. Restaurant Opening Hours: Monday - Saturday, Lunch: 12 noon - 2.30pm, Dinner: 6pm - 10.30pm.
Favorite Dish: Lasagne
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.
- Budget Travel
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.
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.