The 5 best markets and food stalls in Oxford

Oxford is filled with good places to eat, and as more of us try to shop local and reduce our food waste, what better time to check out the city’s eateries? Here, we pick out the best choices for picky eaters, the time-poor and tourists alike. 

1) Best for foodies: Gloucester Green market

Open Wednesday to Saturday, and housing a wide array of street food vendors, Gloucester Green is perfect if you want to sample delicacies from across the world. From Lula’s Ethiopian Cuisine – whose menu has multiple vegan and veggie curries – to Caffe Vespa’s coffees (and mulled wine at Christmas!) this spot has lots to offer. And it’s near the train station too!

2) Best all-rounder: East Oxford Farmers’ and Community market

Located in East Oxford Primary School, this market is well-known for providing grocery-shop staples, like bread, pastries, fruit and veg, as well as delicious meals and takeaway treats in its cafe. The market opened in 2006 with just a few stalls, but now hosts a variety of stalls selling local, seasonal and organic produce. The market encourages recycling, and recently hosted a community clothing repair stall and local berry farmer. Open: 10am-1pm, every Saturday. 

Oxford food market. Image by Sam Kimber on Unsplash.

3) Best for a sweet treat: Ben’s Cookies in the Covered Market

A well-loved Oxford staple, Ben’s freshly bake cookies throughout the day, from the classic milk chocolate to peanut and dark fruit and nut. Ben’s started in the Covered Market in 1984, and has since expanded with a mail-order service. Whether you’re in the UK or US, Ben’s can deliver. All their cookies are vegetarian, and their vegan range is growing too. Find them online.

4) Best for variety and value: Brothers Cafe in the Covered Market 

Providing Halal, vegan and wheat-free alternatives, this cafe offers a fusion of English, Greek and Mediterranean food. Souvlaki, Moussaka and Spanakopita are on the menu, as are classic breakfast baps, made-to-order baguettes and sweet treats. Located at the heart of the Covered Market, this cafe is a sanctuary from the busy streets of Oxford, and creates a classic ‘caff’ atmosphere with plenty of food choices and friendly staff. Find their opening times here.

5) Best for veggies: Aleppo’s Falafel

OK, so although this technically isn’t a stall, Aleppo’s is a Cowley Road staple. It’s cash-only, but provides a vast array of salads, pickles and sauces, with falafel wraps that are totally customisable. It’s also reasonably priced – you can pick up a meal for under £7, and there’s always the option to add halloumi (our favourite!). There’s not much seating, so be prepared to grab-and-go. Expect massive flavour, and crispy, fresh falafels.

Falafel. Image by Anton on Unsplash.