We all know that Oxford students work hard (and play hard), so finding the right place to study with easy access to caffeine is usually priority number one. But with so many things to consider— like location, prices, and atmosphere (and maybe even proximity to a library if you’re feeling particularly hard working)—and so many coffee shops in Oxford, how do you know which one is best?

Don’t worry Oxonians, as a fellow student and occasional coffee lover, I took on the daunting task of visiting and reviewing the coffee shops most recommended to me by die-hard caffeine addicts (AKA Oxford students) that are also in central Oxford (i.e. near the libraries), and have judged them by their drinks, food, and atmosphere to see if they’re worth visiting. Since these reviews are for the greater good of the student population, I've been unflinchingly honest. If anybody knows barely anything about coffee but a lot about food and mood, then it’s me.

1. The Missing Bean

beer, wine
Nadia Chang

The Missing Bean is a classic Oxford student haunt and is constantly packed full of people, which isn't hard considering how small is it. This may not be the best place to study, as you may feel bad for hogging a seat, but if you don't mind queueing and waiting around for a seat it is worth it for a good cup of coffee.

Nadia Chang

The Missing Bean has recently started making their own soups and following current trends, avocado toast (??!!) on top of their usual tasty cakes and sandwiches, so be sure to pop by to try them out. If the long queues are anything to go by, the food and coffee must be good.

2. Society Café

Vivien Zhu

Society Café may be in the centre of Oxford but definitely doesn't feel that way, as it's hidden away in St Michaels Street, just off busy Cornmarket Street. The minimalistic decor and soft music makes Society Café a very relaxing place to study or to chill out with friends and there is usually never a shortage of both. 

coffee, cappuccino, espresso, milk
Vivien Zhu

Their coffees are all reasonably priced (usually between £2-3) and beautifully made (see above) and for those who aren't big coffee fans, there is also a variety of luxury hot chocolates available. These range from vanilla white hot chocolate to Madagascan 71% dark hot chocolate and are made with melted chocolate as opposed to powder, giving it a much sweeter and richer taste.

To accompany the drinks, there are also many delicious cakes to choose from- I would highly recommend the brownies, as the salted caramel, gluten-free brownie I tried was to die for (I still have dreams about that brownie).  

3. Café W 

coffee, beer, pizza, tea, wine
Nadia Chang

Not many people have heard of Café W since it's tucked away on the top floor of Waterstones, but it's definitely worth a visit for the views over Oxford as well as for the food. It's a good place to study as you're surrounded by books (which is a great motivator to do work) and the floor to ceiling windows make the café nice and bright for all your studying needs. 

coffee, beer, wine, tea
Nadia Chang

On top of their usual coffees and cakes, Café W are also currently selling scrumptious Christmas themed drinks, which include amazing combinations like honeycomb mochas and gingerbread lattes. I can't resist a Christmas drink so I went for the orange hot chocolate; hot and sweet, it was just what I needed to escape the cold Oxford air.

4. George Street Social

beer, coffee
Nadia Chang

George Street Social should be easy enough to find since the name is in the title. It has 2 floors complete with a bar, books and board games so there's more than enough space for both studying and socialising.

Though more of a restaurant at night, George Street Social is a great place to spend the day working or enjoying a coffee with friends whilst being surrounded by fun and eclectic decor, which makes it feel very cosy and homely. 

coffee, cappuccino, espresso, milk, tea
Vivien Zhu

I think you have to go to George Street Social for the latte art alone - I mean, where else are you going to find a cat in your coffee? Their impressive designs are the merely the icing on the cake of the already delicious coffees and since George Street Social closes at 11pm, you have more than enough time to eat, drink and/or study the night away unlike regular coffee shops. 

5. Georgina's Café

Nadia Chang

Blink and you'll miss Georgina's if you don't know where it is in the Covered Market - there's a hidden staircase right next to Brother's.

The secrecy of Georgina's location makes it very satisfying when you do eventually find it, and the fun, Bohemian (and very pink) decor whisks you away from Oxford - there are cute touches all around the café, from hand drawn flowers on the corners of each food label to the colourful, wacky murals that cover the walls.

sandwich, bread
Nadia Chang

If I had to describe Georgina's food in one word it would be hearty - not only will you definitely be full by the end but the menu too is full of rustic and comforting treats that range from paninis to loaded potato skins. The hot drinks are equally as comforting - for only £2.30 you can get a sweet and warming hot chocolate with a dash of cinnamon.