I visited the café which has been crowned Oxford’s ‘most exciting’ vegan brunch, but my take is slightly different. 

If you happen to be walking down Magdalen Road in Oxford on a sunny day, you may notice the crowds of people spilling out of the unassuming Green Routes café, which opened in December 2020.

Nestled by the former Oli’s Thai, and sharing a road with pubs like the Magdalen Arms and The Rusty Bicycle, it has some well-established neighbours to compete with come lunchtime. 

Oxford Mail: I couldn't walk past these delicious pastries at Green Routes Cafe in Oxford. I couldn't walk past these delicious pastries at Green Routes Cafe in Oxford.

Wondering what all the hype must be about, a few weeks ago I poked my head in for a coffee – lured in by the pastries out front– and ended up returning for brunch.

READ MORE: Clarkson's Farm star Kaleb Cooper launches his own cider company

The interior is much bigger than you’d expect and flooded with the mouth-watering smell of freshly made coffee provided by Oxford’s own Routes Coffee Roasters, who co-own the café with catering company Green Box Food Co (hence the name Green Routes).

The almond croissant and pain au chocolate I tried were not only warm and fresh, but deliciously crumbly and had that beautiful melting texture that you look for in any good pastry, vegan or not.

On that note, not all of the pastries were vegan, so anyone with dairy allergies or intolerances should make sure to check.

READ MORE: New fast food restaurant opens in Oxford with free food and a flashmob

Oxford Mail: Warm Heritage Tomatoes toast at Green Routes Cafe.Warm Heritage Tomatoes toast at Green Routes Cafe.

As for the brunch itself, I enlisted the help of my vegan aunt and uncle to sample both of the sourdough options, Foragers Toast, and Warm Heritage Tomatoes, for an eye watering £9 and £8.50 respectively, and of course the Biscoff Banoffee Pancakes at £7.

The Foragers toast, a creamy sauced concoction of wild mushrooms and tomatoes with a balsamic and garlic kick, was – in one word – gorgeous.

Likewise, the flavours of the tomatoes and Pesto Verde on the Warm Heritage Tomatoes sourdough were incredible, especially paired with the (surprisingly) moreish Vegan Boursin.

READ MORE: Popular Oxford restaurant is closing after 50 years

Oxford Mail: Foragers Toast at Green Routes Cafe in Oxford.Foragers Toast at Green Routes Cafe in Oxford.

The area in which these dishes met their downfall was the crispiness of the sourdough, which became more like a giant crouton than artisan bread, and one slice seemed a bit meagre given the hefty price tag.

The Biscoff Banoffee Pancakes however were faultless, an ample portion for a fair price considering the richness of the sauce and fluffiness of the pancakes.

Oxford Mail: Biscoff Banoffee Pancakes at Green Routes Cafe Oxford.Biscoff Banoffee Pancakes at Green Routes Cafe Oxford.

British Vogue christened this café as ‘Oxford’s Most Exciting Vegan Bruch’, which is impressive in a city where the plant-based competition is quite steep.

I’d say it is certainly the best vegan brunch I've ever had, and well worth a visit, but my racing heart rate as the bill arrived was caused by the opposite of excitement.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tik Tok

Got a story for us? Send us your news and pictures here

List an event for free on our website herehe