You may find yourself wondering how I found my way to The Story Café at The Story Museum as an adult without small children (to be honest I was slightly questioning it myself at the time!), but a quick glance at their menu and you’ll quickly figure it out. It’s got to be one of the cheapest places to get a vegan brunch in Oxford, and while the menu is basic, it has lots of options.
With everything being so reasonably priced, I decided to try a fair few bits and pieces. While we were waiting for the rest of the food to be prepared, I tucked into a filled vegan croissant from the counter. Finding vegan pastry out and about in Oxford is a rarity, and sadly they were out of plain croissants which I’d really wanted to fill with vegan cheese, but I was willing to take what I could get. The blueberry one that I chose instead was not quite as flaky and lacked the layers of a non-vegan croissant, however it was still very enjoyable as a sweet treat. In fact, it was a little too sweet for the first meal of the day for me, but I’d happily enjoy this with a cup of tea as elevenses or a mid-afternoon snack.
The avocado on toast, which sounded in my opinion like the biggest bargain of all, came served on lightly toasted ciabatta. It shows how much of a mark-up there is on this fashionable dish that you’ll often see it priced upwards of £7.50, whereas here it’s sold for £2.90. For that reason, the presentation is incredibly basic and you are probably out of luck if you’re wanting a shot for the gram. It does exactly what is said on the tin though, with a decent enough amount of avocado slices on top and would probably do for a nice light breakfast on its own, let alone all the stuff I added with the order. I have been served with questionably overripe and underripe avocado before, but was happy to see the topping was perfect here.
There are two types of toppings to go on their vegan pancakes so Jamie and I opted to try both – vegan pancakes out seeming to be a rarity, I wanted to make the most of it! Three huge American style pancakes slapped on a plate arrived for each of us. The banana and maple syrup pancakes were swimming in the sticky sauce, and had a generous amount of fruit between each layer. Along with everything else I’d eaten, I couldn’t quite get through the stack, and had to donate my last one to Jamie. On its own though I think this was a perfectly sized meal, if a little sweet and stodgy (sometimes that’s what you want though, right)? Jamie’s pancakes were the classic lemon and sugar, and we felt there wasn’t enough lemon juice so they were a bit dry. Luckily there was plenty of maple syrup left for him to dip them into. I’d definitely order just the banana pancakes in future.
Honestly the two of us did feel a little out of place being the only people without a young family, and the cafe is very much set up for that demographic so think school canteen style table and flooring. It’s just a very simple set up and the prices reflect that. There were plenty more lunch options that we didn’t get to try and it makes me so happy to see that their menu is very vegan focused. I wouldn’t seek the cafe out for a leisurely brunch with my girlfriends but I would pop in to grab a slice of cake or a croissant to go, and were I with small children I would definitely go here for a fuss-free lunch.