A pub in East Oxford has been recognised in the world’s leading food bible.

The Magdalen Arms, in Iffley Road, has been awarded a Bib Gourmand in the Michelin Guide 2011 for serving “good food at reasonable prices”.

The award is seen as the first indication a restaurant is on the company’s radar, with some going on to win a highly coveted Michelin star.

Every January chefs across Britain nervously await the publication of the red book, which dishes out stars and Bib Gourmands, as well as rating hotels.

Last night owner Florence Fowler said she was delighted to be included in the guide’s centenary edition.

She said: “We are all over the moon. We haven’t been going for that long so we are delighted to have been honoured with this.

“It is down to the amazing support we have had from our regulars and people from the area, who have backed us from the start.”

Ms Fowler and Jericho-born Tony Abarno took over the pub in Iffley Road, East Oxford, in October 2009.

The pub had previously been on the market for 18 months after trade plummeted.

But following £60,000 spent on a makeover – which included trebling the size of the kitchen – the pub has won plaudits both locally and nationally.

Among its fans is former Guardian restaurant critic Matthew Norman, who called it “one of the best gastro-pubs in Britain” after a review.

Ms Fowler added: “It is quite an exciting time for food in Oxford.

“There have been a number of cafes and restaurants open in the past couple of years and I think the restaurant scene is looking promising.

“It’s what you would expect of a city of Oxford’s stature.”

Another pub to win a Bib Gourmand was The Carpenter’s Arms, in Burford, joining 116 restaurants nationwide. The Masons Arms, in Chipping Norton, the Kingham Plough and The Mole at Toot Baldon, near Oxford, all retained the award.

Guide editor Rebecca Burr praised the restaurants included this year.

She said: “There is no doubt that 2010 was a difficult year but those hotels and restaurants that rep-resented value for money, at what-ever price, were the ones who were best placed to weather the storm.

“We found 12 new one-star establishments and awarded 26 new Bib Gourmands which readers particularly appreciate for their moderate prices.”