The Mission

Price guide: Budget

8 St Michael's Street, Oxford, OX1 2DU

Price guide: Budget

Window on St Michael's Street

By Adrian Mourby, your Oxford expert

I write for Classic FM, Evening .... Read more
#25 of 27
expert-rated restaurants in Oxford
Expert overall rating:3.5 out of 5
Food and drink:
3.7
3.7
Ambience:
3.2
3.2
Service:
3.3
3.3
Location:
3.5
3.5
Value for money:
4.4
4.4
Recommended for:
Backpackers / Students, Families with teenagers, Families with younger children, Singles, Escaping the crowds, No fuss, People watching, Shopping

Best for Cheap eats - Expert review of The Mission

Possibly the best value takeaway food in Oxford.

Sharon and Jan, who set up the first Mission in Oxford, claim they took their inspiration from the taquerias of the Mission District in San Francisco, home of the burrito. What they’ve created in this Oxford side-street is a fast-moving, crowded refuge for shoppers and students without much money to spend on lunch.

"No freezers, no fryers, no tin openers" is the crie de coeur of this enterprise. The Mission could also probably add "no limit to ambition" as well; it is keen to expand and engages enthusiastically with the community. This year’s annual burrito challenge was won by a team from Wadham College who polished off four hefty Mission burritos in 3 minutes and 59 seconds. Runners up were Los Burros Salvajos (5 minutes) The Kosher Kings (05:09) and Team Chunder (05:35). Those names give a clue to the Mission’s key clientele.

My teenage daughter introduced me to this place for which I am grateful. Seems it's popular among the teenage shopaholics too.

Food and drink: 

The menu is Cal-Mex (California-Mexcian) and very good indeed. You stand in line and collect your burrito (a flour tortilla packed with meat, beans, rice, salsa, sour cream) with the option to add cheese and guacamole. Carnitas burritos are made with roast pork and fajita burritos come with sautéed peppers and onions. The lighter end of the menu includes tacos and salad. Vegetarians burritos (made with grilled vegetables, guacamole and black beans) are on offer and extra hot salsa is available if you’re feeling dangerous. There are beers and soft drinks, but no tequila.

Ambience: 

There’s a touch of the Ben and Jerry’s about this enterprise: lots of energy and blokishness and good PR. The place is usually full, and it's clean but all very basic inside. Try and get a stool at the counter that looks out on to St Michael’s Street. This is a good place for people watching.

Service: 

Fast, efficient and friendly. No complaints, but don't expect much conversation at the counter.

Location: 

St Michael's Street runs from the chain store tedium of Cornmarket to New Inn Hall Street. Oxford Union’s debating chamber is almost directly opposite The Mission. Arcadia at 4 St Michael’s is one of those idiosyncratic Oxford shops worth visiting for its variety of stock such as second hand paperbacks, prints, posters, water colours, old postcards, comics and annuals.

Price advice: 

Your meal will cost £5.45-£5.95 depending on your choice of burrito; beers from £3.30. Dine for under a tenner and feel good about it.

Other useful branches: 

There is another Mission in King Edward Street (01865 722020) and a new branch has recently opened in Reading. The Mission hits Bristol in 2011.

More information on The Mission:

Price guide:
Budget
Type:
Café, Takeaway
Food:
Mexican
Address:
8 St Michael's Street, Oxford, OX1 2DU
Telephone:
01865 202016
Website:
http://www.missionburritos.co.uk
Serves:
Lunch, Dinner
Opening times:
Sun-Weds 11am-10pm; Thurs-Sat 11am-11pm.
Accepts Credit Cards:
No
Reservations:
Not possible

Have you been to The Mission? Would you recommended it?