We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

The Cowley Retreat

Bar, British, Pub
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Get directions
172 Cowley Road, Oxford OX4 1UE, England
+44 1865 247878
12:00 - 01:30
Closed now
See all hours
Sun - Thu 12:00 - 00:30
Fri - Sat 12:00 - 01:30
More Info
Add Photo Write a Review

48 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Showing 46: English reviews
Level Contributor
77 reviews
39 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

We needed to be in Oxford the night of the six nations Sat 18th March but are not local. We also wanted to watch the six nations.... We emailed this pub and they kindly reserved a table for us. They let us know by email. We got there we were greeted really nicely by a guy who had reserved the... More 

Thank Rhi3
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

This place is really popular amongst students, so I would not recommend to have dinner there - but drinks and lunch is better. It is always full on the evenings!

Thank Gry b
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 February 2017 via mobile

Went for happy hour which was economical, the cocktails were delicious and had a burger alongside which was tasty. Also had jack Daniels bbq wings which I would 100% reccomend. Food and drinks were overall expensive considering it's a student area but staff were friendly and pub had a gas to pub ambience.

Thank Hope L
Oxford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
17 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 February 2017

I definitely recommened visiting this place between 5-8 p.m. as they have 2-4-1 cocktails and they are absolutely amazing. Definitely worth trying the Red Devil. Very cosy atmosphere, there are heated outside seats and good service.

Thank jnadiah
Level Contributor
9 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 January 2017 via mobile

I am a student and used to come here a lot. If you are in the mood for a drink pop in, but don't eat here. The food is bland and tasteless and some of the staff are quite moody. Good place to go with a large bunch of you as there are great booths with heaters in the garden!

Thank Aneira A
Oxford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
145 reviews
119 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 November 2016

The menu here is fairly limited (and they are generally a bit worn): burgers and hot dogs primarily. I had a burger with bacon, cheese and JD BBQ sauce. A bit too much sauce was put on as the burger became rather messy, but it was pretty tasty nonetheless, and the sweet potato fries I had with it were good:... More 

Thank df86
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 October 2016 via mobile

I have been there with few friends a couple of weeks ago. Nice food and absolutely nice staff! Since my booking until the end of their service really friendly. I'll see them again :)

Thank Gianluca Nanni P
Oxford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
624 reviews
456 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 166 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 October 2016 via mobile

Great place to spend a Friday evening .. Busy and buzzy . Staff all friendly and knowledgable . Good choice of beers .

Thank coughandcath
Nieuwegein, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
15 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 September 2016

The first evening of our stay in Oxford, after a long day of traveling, we picked this place to have an uncomplicated meal. It's order at the bar. We got a pint from the tap and order a burger. Good beer, quick and friendly service. The usual wire basket with condiments, but the presentation of the food was actually put... More 

Thank José S
Biggleswade, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
134 reviews
76 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 September 2016

This pub is close to the 02 which makes it popular for pre concert fodd and drink. I had chicken burger and sweet potatoe fries and a pint. The food orders are taken at the bar, the service was nice and quick. The burger was chicken breast, streaky bacon, and the usual salad in a brioche roll. Very nicely presented... More 

Thank peter p

Travellers who viewed The Cowley Retreat also viewed

Oxford, Oxfordshire
Oxford, Oxfordshire

Been to The Cowley Retreat? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing
Improve this listing

Restaurant Details

Rating summary
  • Food
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
    4 of 5 bubbles
Bar, British, Pub
Lunch, Dinner
Restaurant features
Outdoor Seating, Seating, Waitstaff, Serves Alcohol
Good for
Bar Scene, Groups
Open Hours
12:00 - 00:30
12:00 - 00:30
12:00 - 00:30
12:00 - 00:30
12:00 - 00:30
12:00 - 01:30
12:00 - 01:30
Location and Contact Information
  • Address: 172 Cowley Road, Oxford OX4 1UE, England
  • Location: Europe  >  United Kingdom (UK)  >  England  >  Oxfordshire  >  Oxford
  • Phone Number: +44 1865 247878
The Cowley Retreat can be found in the middle of the busy Cowley Road.We offer a fantastic range of Draught beers & Ales, wines and in house cocktail menu. Ideal for a catching up with friends for a quiet drink, or for your weekend warm up.We offer a promotions on cocktails throughout the week.Coming soon....Early next year we will be launching our brand new food offering. Containing a range of great value classic British food.

Questions & Answers

Questions? Get answers from The Cowley Retreat staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?