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Three Goats Heads, Oxford

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user reviews of Three Goats Heads, Oxford

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

I only visited the cellar bar of this Samuel Smith's pub during my quick Saturday afternoon stop while I was Christmas shopping.

Usual range of Sam Smith's beers and bottles available. Food was being served, it looked and smelt good.

Wooden floor with antique green tiled on the lower part of the walls, stain glass windows depicting the Sam Smith's logo.

Busy on my visit, very decent cellar bar that I'm sure gets a fair amount of traffic from the students and locals.

Worth a pit stop.

lezford - 19 Dec 2013 09:23
Average beer - not exactly much choice - and a woeful ambience means I tend to give this place a miss on a night out. It might be cheap but price isn't everything!
Oxford_Cully - 15 Sep 2013 20:58
Please offer something else on the pumps apart from Sam Smiths. Called in on a Saturday night and went into the Cellar Bar - no atmosphere, or maybe there was an atmosphere - a definitely strange smell, and then the lack of choice on the pumps - we just turned around and sought a more inspiring selection elsewhere
Andylk - 29 Oct 2012 18:43
The Three Goats has a few over riding advantages, notably centrality, a relaxed attitude to bringing in food in from elsewhere (including the ace Mission Burrito just across the street) and low prices. But it's a pretty average place nonetheless with two fairly glum rooms and a low key mood. Of course the Sam Smith's beer cartel suits some bit not others - even the brewery's adherents would wish for some variety on occasion.
BoehmBawerk - 11 May 2012 16:20

Message to Sam Smith's Brewery - please,please get your handpulled Old Brewery Bitter back into this pub. It is the only thing missing!
mcroyal - 6 Oct 2011 12:37
Interesting and unusual interior. No real ale.
delpus - 8 Jun 2011 12:22
Most of it has been said - but I do enjoy Sam's Oatmeal Stout (bottled) so will occassionally pop in for one. Suffers - as many other managed pubs do - from lack of service and "enthusiasm". Shame as it's an interesting little bar.
mcroyal - 1 Jun 2011 21:54
Had a nice evening in here last night. Splendid decor, and good cheap grub. The IPA from the bottle is passable.
plymouthpirate - 5 Dec 2009 13:06
Very interesting interior - worth a half of some Sam Smiths slop just to admire the woodwork and carving (on the upper story).

Great location, just off Cornmarket in a quiet street. Could be a *great* pub under the right brewery and with a good manager.

However: slack and impersonal service, mediocre and limited food, and top it all off with Sam Smiths undrinkable beer.

griffo59 - 7 Aug 2009 18:37
Once served poor real ale, now serves no real ale. Typical Sam smiths pub - interesting interior, crap drinks. Pretty poor and impersonal service as well. With all the options available in the centre of Oxford, I can think of no reason whatsoever to venture in.
thomashenry - 24 Dec 2008 11:55
As has been said alraedy great art decor interior, rather little else to reccommend it. No real ale and only passable service. Menu is limited but cheap.
wellinformed - 3 Jun 2008 17:32
nice interior food good from a not very adventurous real ales
lilscse - 4 May 2008 19:39
Change from a tenner for 5 pints of bitter was most unexpected in the centre of Oxford - a passable pint of keg Sam Smiths. Atmosphere is pleasant enough, and the decor interesting, particularly down in the basement.
Perfect for a quick cheap pint but if you're after real ale, there's an embarrassment of riches in Oxford within walking distance of this place.
editor - 6 Aug 2007 16:16
Cool art deco vibe, by far the cheapest beer this close to the centre of Oxford... the only problem is that finding a table can be hard.
edznissen - 29 Dec 2006 13:06
very interesting interior
LeedsPhil - 24 Nov 2006 16:18
I used to spend a lot of time and money here in term time but the place has changed over summer. Don't know if the mangement have changed but all the friendly staff have disappeared and the place has lost its charm. A shame but there you go
scrumpyjack67 - 4 Nov 2006 13:23
Interesting but by no means a good pub. I can think of at least twenty pubs in central Oxford which offer a far better experience - and better served beer too.
CJG - 12 Oct 2006 18:28
Nice building with the usual Sam Smiths drinks. Nothing special, and smaller than you think, but in a great location. Several times when I used to go regularly it had a truly great and friendly barman who remembered our drinks after one visit. Last time I went there was a surly girl who seemed to be tripping.
thedts - 5 Sep 2006 15:43
Great pub for a quiet pint. Cheap for Oxford (1.68 a pint (Old Brewery)) Sadly this isn't hand-pull like at more nothern Sammy Smiths places.

Hope they have got rid of that awful large scottish/italian woman who worked there - a real pain.

In my three years at uni this was one of my favoured pubs. Worth a visit if only for the architecture.
race_faster - 14 Aug 2006 17:14
Been drinking here for about a year now. Good quality beers, great prices and the food's pretty good as well. Usually friendly staff, the aussie's are always good there. Would certainly recommend it for a quiet drink.
king_99 - 24 Apr 2006 16:21
Had some really good times in this interseting and unusual Oxford pub. Being a Samuel Smith's place, you can expect the standard range from this chain - but thats not a bad thing. The last time I was in here though, after a good evening, the staff insisted on opening the door at ten to eleven and letting in the freezing cold. This strikes me as an extremely rude way of treating customers. Especially loyal ones! When I complained I was told in no uncertain terms to "f**k off" by the barman. And so I shall never return. Ever.
Spaino - 22 Mar 2006 18:17
Wall to wall Americans !
alanwrigg - 22 Mar 2006 17:37
Interesting pub....worth checking out, especially if you want to drink something other than your usual Fosters/Strongbow.

Difficult to get a seat sometimes (it seems to be increasingly popular with students), but if you can find a bar stool you can perch in various places.

The decor is clean and classic-looking, and the bar staff friendly enough.
clockworkpurple - 15 Jan 2006 14:19
This is an OK pub, worth a stop for a cheap Sam Smith's beer. Try the bottled Imperial Stout. Downstairs is better, I seem to remember.
anonymous - 4 Jan 2006 14:11
I found it disapointing. Looks great from the outside, but the inside is very bland. Sam Smith's ales not bad, look out for the weissbeer. Ok if you're in the neighbourhood but I wouldn't make the journey to it.
OldRogue - 29 Nov 2005 12:59
This place is a distant outpost for Samuel Smith Brewery who are common up North. They spent a fortune creating the pub from scratch in the late 80's from what used to be oxford's best Pizza cellar. It has a half bbasement bar and a half upstairs bar, each one variously open or not depending on the demand. The inside architecture is an over the top treat of heavy heavy woodwork and astonishing plasterwork. The beer is splendid, my favourite being the Pils D - I think D stands for Death, we call it "Death Pils" as it is so strong and you can buy a pint for tha same price as a common bottle of Pils. The price was 2.02 in 1987 and is now only 2.62. What lets the place down ins the management and the food. Over the years various managers have done various scrappy overpriced food which is a pity and lets down an otherwise wondrous pub. We were in there recently and they insisted on having the door open and the air conditioning set on cold, we eventually froze and the refused either to turn the air conditioning off or to close the door, so we left in dusgust. The mens toilets are about the size of a caravan loo. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED though for a quick visit.
anonymous - 12 Oct 2005 17:33
A very good place for a chat. I usually take pals from out of town here early in the evening before moving on somewhere else.
Pretty cheap drinks in a very posh looking setting.

I guess the place is just "nice". Which is an adjective that usually turns me off...but this places manages to get away with it.
Charlie_Daniels - 1 Sep 2005 22:16
I'm an American who used to work for Ollie in spring 2003... he's a wonderful man. Goats is a great cozy place to have dinner or meet with friends. The Pils D is excellent!
Dave - - 6 Oct 2004 04:07
I first visited this place with a friend, and now I take mine there too! It's a unique little place, tucked away on St Michael's Street and you have to go down stairs to enter it (at least I did, but I was in the basement. There may be other ways in).

I was bought a bottle of Oatmeal Stout, and glorious it was too. Unfortunately it was also awfully expensive- 3 or so if my memory serves me right. This was a good year ago, but I rarely see prices drop!

I've not got around to trying the bitter, as I tend to do my session drinking elsewhere. I go here for the novelty of the place.
Laura - 18 Jul 2004 09:47
I really enjoyed the Three Goats. It quickly became our favorite hangout while there for the summer. The food is good and the beer is a good value too.
Michelle Henry - 16 Jul 2004 20:56
Excellent pub, used to live across the street from it and visited it regularly. Relaxed atmosphere and good food. Wish the handsome american still worked there though.
Ben C - 18 May 2004 20:04
This is generally a very pleasant pub, though it can get very crowded, particularly upstairs, and especially when the downstairs part is closed. Mind out for the cocky Aussie barman though.
thegooddoctor - 15 May 2004 15:46
Sam Smith's Bitter was excellent when I've been in recently. Food was good value too. Bit crowded Sunday lunchime - they should open bottom floor too.
Ian M - 5 Nov 2003 17:24
When i went in the barman couldnt stop moaning about the students, and the beer was, well, Peter was bang on with that one.
Sean - 26 Oct 2003 13:21
The beer in this place is totally awful!
Peter - 4 Sep 2003 23:54
This used to be one of my more frequented haunts when i lived in Oxford,Decent beer, friendly bar staff, good food and the Pils tastes like soap.
jockhughes - 4 Sep 2003 08:35
This pub has excellent character and more importantly very cheap beer. The music is never loud, and the inhabitants are usually the more quiet Oxford students. Upstairs is wooden panneling and very Architecturally enlightening. Downstairs bar is open sometimes on its own with the upper one closed, and you have to go down spiral staircases to get to it. Well worth a visit for a quick pint.
Lucy - 13 Jun 2003 11:04

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