Oxford has a vibrant street food scene, and not just when the Bitten Street market is in town. The covered market presents a myriad of cafes and food outlets while the Gloucester Green market on a Wednesday is a great opportunity to experience exciting, international cuisine.
Covered Market Alpha Bar Catering to all vegan and veggie tastes with sandwiches, salads and hot food. Ideal for those tired of the generic offerings of humus and falafel in supermarket meal deals. Ben’s Cookies I don’t know who Ben is or in which of his 26 small shops he resides but one thing is certain: he make’s delicious, chunky cookies. They’re great when you want to treat someone, especially when that someone is you.
Brown’s Café An old-fashioned but thoroughly pleasant café by the Market Street Entrance. This is the ideal place for a fry up after a long night or at the beginning of a long day. Georgina’s Coffee Shop A cosy coffee shop hidden at the top of a narrow flight of stairs. If it isn’t too full, it can provide a great place to while away an afternoon with a coffee and a bagel. Moo-Moo’s The lengthy queue on a hot summer’s day speaks volumes about Moo-Moo’s and is well worth waiting in. The smoothies can provide a much needed fruit fix while the milkshakes are simultaneously refreshing and indulgent.
Nash’s Oxford Bakery A part of the covered market since 1955, Nash’s provides freshly baked breads, cakes and pastries. A great option for a snack on the go or to stock up for a picnic or long library stint (preferably the former). Oxford Café Perhaps the most modern and chic of the covered market’s cafés. It may lack the character of Georgina’s or Brown’s but the food is good value for money and the iced coffee is well worth trying.
Pieminister No one should attempt to gentrify pie and mash. They just shouldn’t. Unless they’re going to do it this well. Every pie is a clever twist on a classic and can be enjoyed in the shop or taken away. A little expensive but with student discount and “Mothership Tuesday” savings can be made. Sasi’s Thai Good value Thai food is available every day from Sasi’s and presents fantastic value. For those inclined to try and recreate some real Thai dishes at home they are also the go-to for ingredients.
Sophi de France Oxford may be awash with sandwich shops but Sophi de France holds its own against the likes of Taylor’s and ATS. The baguettes are fresh and the fillings are straight forward and unpretentious. Unlike the aforementioned competition, you can easily sit in or takeaway and wander around the covered market while you eat.
Gloucester Green Authentic Spanish Food This one is (as the saying goes) what it says on the tin, or in this case the paella pan. The paella is consistently mouth-watering and makes for a wholesome and filling lunch.
Flavours of Goa Distinctive and flavoursome curries, served as they are by street vendors in Goa. The food here really is a world away from the anglicised versions of curries which are often served in the UK with a focus on rice fish and vegetables that one would be hard pressed to find in most Indian restaurants.
From Peru to You Peruvian cuisine is hugely varied, reflecting a wide variety of influences from the different regions of the country as well as settlers who have come and gone. From Peru to You serves the best selection of these delicacies that can be expected of a market stall and is the perfect way to sample a cuisine which is largely underrepresented.
Greek Souvlaki Thought to predate the kebab by around 3000 years these tasty grilled meats have stood the test of time. Recently this historic street food has become available at Gloucester Green and is probably one of the easiest dishes on offer for those eating on the go.
Goulash Feeling Hungary? This spicy stew is a filling winter-warmer. Portion sizes are also generous and the service is always good. Gyoza and Buns Gyoza and Buns have recently expanded their range to include sushi and a variety of other delights (the octopus balls are great). A good selection can usually be had for less than £5. They offer a range of traditional condiments and while the rice vinegar is a must the chilli vinegar should be treated with respect, even by the most avid spice fans.
Momo King Very tradition Nepalese curries with tender stewed meats and subtle spices. Anyone who enjoys the food at Yeti is in for a real treat when they pay Momo King a visit.
Mum’s Kitchen Noodle Nation is unlikely to be happy about this stall setting up right outside every Wednesday. The crowds at the market beg to differ though and have come to love their rice noodles and Chinese dishes (not to mention their prices).
Pad Thai Quick, traditional and delicious. Pad Thai has continued to go from strength to strength at Gloucester Green market even with the opening of Thaikhun just around the corner. This truly is testament to the great food and service. Taste of China A variety of Chinese dishes prepared to traditional recipes. Competition from Mum’s Kitchen and Noodle Nation is stiff but Taste of China still manages to find unfilled niches with novel recipes.