The best restaurants in or near Watlington, Oxfordshire

Are you looking for the perfect place to eat in Watlington? This area of Oxfordshire offers a great choice of places to eat and drink from friendly cafes and rural pubs to Michelin-starred restaurants.

Written by

Sheila Frampton

Whether you’re heading out for a hearty breakfast, a light lunch with friends or a special occasion, you’ll find the perfect place near the Oxfordshire town of Watlington.  We hope the following provide a few ideas.  Whilst all were open at the time of writing, it’s worth checking opening hours online.

The Best Thai Restaurants near Watlington

The Chequers, Watlington

The Chequers is a delightful 16th century pub on Love Lane in the heart of Watlington which is home to the Fat Buddha Thai.  

The Fat Buddha Thai serves delicious food – and the guiding principle of each dish is the harmonious combination of flavours.  The result is a menu that offers popular and well-known dishes cooked in a traditional way.  

Alongside this menu, you’ll find other, more authentic and contemporary Thai dishes from all over the country.  The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner and there’s a takeaway service so you’ll be able to enjoy the taste of Thai food at home.  Booking is advisable – either online on the website at or over the phone. 

Visit the Chequers website

The Giggling Squid, Henley  

Located on Hart Street in Henley on Thames, this popular chain restaurants is a feast for the eyes as well as the tastebuds.  

With bold and vibrant interiors, a wealth of florals and colours celebrating Thailand’s rich landscape, this restaurant offers delicious meals crafted from authentic Thai ingredients.  

Each dish, from the famous Salt & Pepper Squid to the popular Sticky Chicken, has been prepared with loving care by expert Thai chefs and is a tribute to Thailand’s richness of natural ingredients.  

‘Giggling at Home’ means you can enjoy Thai Food in the comfort of home but if you enjoy heading out for a meal, the restaurant is open for lunch and dinner.

Visit the Giggling Squid website
Giggling Squid Henley

The Best Traditional Pub/Restaurants

The Nelson, Brightwell Baldwin

This is a traditional pub that takes pride in its British cuisine from perfectly cooked crab, salad and prawns to good puddings and delicious ice cream – and there’s a good selection of wines.  

This is a busy pub with a good reputation for Sunday lunch and for pleasant, helpful staff.  There’s an open fire, comfortable chairs and a friendly ambience.  

The pub doesn’t have a website so you’re not able to review the menu – but do make sure you get there early to ensure that everything on the menu is available.   

View The Nelson on Tripadvisor

The Best Italian Restaurants 

The Half Moon, Cuxham, Watlington 

The Half Moon, a charming village pub with a pizzeria, was a Trip Advisor Travellers’ Choice in 2022 and a Restaurant Guru’s Best Fast Food award winner  in 2023.  

On the menu are perfectly cooked gluten-free pizza, Italian pasta and pizza salads with tasty sundaes, tiramisu and banoffee pie to finish.  

According to diners, there’s a lovely, relaxed atmosphere and professional, patient staff and, as well as restaurant seating, there’s a garden marquee.

The Half Moon  is open Monday to Thursday 12 noon to 10 pm, Friday and Saturday 12 noon to 11 pm and Sunday 12 noon to 9 pm.  Food needs to be ordered by 9 pm.  There’s also a full takeaway menu on offer each day from 12 noon to 9 pm.

Visit The Half Moon's website
A wood fired pizza
A lasagne at Avanti, Wallingford

Avanti, Wallingford 

Another Travellers’ Choice winner in 2022, this is  family run Italian restaurant on Wallingford’s High Street.  

Established in 2006, this is a restaurant that boasts ‘a taste of Italy’ with food chosen, prepared and cooked fresh each day.  

It has a relaxed, intimate atmosphere and is perfect for any occasion – lunch or dinner.  It’s also possible to order takeaways from Avanti.  

It is closed on Sundays and Mondays and open from 4.30 pm to 10.30 pm on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, from 12 noon to 10.30 pm on Thursdays and from 12 noon to 11 pm on Friday and Saturday. 

Visit the Avanti website

The Best Cafes

The Granary Cafe, High Street, Watlington 

Open Monday to Saturday, 9 am to 5 pm, The Granary Café is a delightful venue serving breakfast, lunch, delicious tea and coffee, snacks and cakes – including ‘Cake of the Week.’  

Coffee beans come from the Dark Horse Roastery and you can choose lighter bites such as red pesto, roasted veg and crumbled feta on a good old-fashioned crumpet.  

This café is the hub of the community with future events including a Gin Tasting Night, a Cider & Harvest Ploughman’s Supper, Quiz Nights, Bingo Nights, Prosecco & Pud nights and more.

Visit The Granary's website

Spire and Spoke 

This café and bar, located on Hill Road in Watlington, welcomes cyclists and walkers for pizza cooked in a wood fired oven, mezze shared platters,  homemade cakes, delicious desserts, coffee and guest ales.  

There’s also a teepee available for hire for parties and celebrations. 

Visit the Spire and Spoke website
Spire and Spoke Watlington's sign
Fish and chips with salad

The Farm Kitchen, Henley-on-Thames 

Open until 9 pm every day, the Farm Kitchen serves delicious breakfasts – including vegetarian and vegan options and lunches, has a licensed bar and amazing specials on Wednesday, Friday and through to Sunday. 

The breakfasts are very popular and there are specials on the menu on selected days – including pizza nights, fish and chips, grills and, on a Sunday, a traditional roast.

Visit The Farm Kitchen's website

The Best Restaurants for a Celebration 

Steak and chips

The Kite Restaurant & Bar, Watlington 

Located at the Lambert Hotel, the Kite has received an AA Rosette and AA Breakfast Award.  

The restaurant offers delicious classics and an a la carte menu so whether you’re opting for formal or casual dining, there’s something to suit you.  

The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, dinner, afternoon tea and Sunday lunch, surf’n’turf Fridays  – and everything in between.  

The menus feature imaginative, modern, British cuisine and traditional pub classics, bar snacks and puddings.

Visit The Kite's website

Belmond Le Manoir Aux Quat’ Saisons, Great Milton

This Michelin-starred restaurant boasts ‘gardens and gastronomy in the English countryside.’  

Set within a 15th century manor house, Le Manoir has a long history of excellence.  The restaurant earned two Michelin-stars upon opening 38 years ago and has retained them every year since – indeed, has the reputation of being one of Britain’s best restaurants.  

Run by leading French chef, Raymond Blanc, the restaurant kitchen has trained 34 Michelin-starred chefs and the venue was used as a filming location in the BBC2 television programme ‘The Restaurant.’  

The gardens are used to grow fresh produce including vegetables and varieties of herbs and the wine cellar has over 600 specially selected wines from around the world and, outside, and a helipad is available for clients.  

Visit the Le Manoir website
Le Manoir Quat'Saisons

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