- Georgina’s Cafe
This cute cafe is hidden upstairs in the market, with a pink sign downstairs leaving the only clue to its presence. It’s especially good for the all-day breakfast, which consists of bagels, omelettes and pastries, but also serves tasty potato skins, quesadillas, and wraps for lunch – alongside many many cakes.
This gelateria originated from an inspiring trip to Tuscany and serves easily the best gelato in Oxford – if not as good as the actual Italian stuff. The range of gelato on offer is mouth-watering, with the current menu introducing inventive creations like bubbly (bubble gum), biscotto (cookies and cream) and pistacchio (pistachio, unsurprisingly!), alongside classic flavours such as cioccolato (chocolate), nocciola (hazlenut) and fragola (strawberry). All their ingredients are top-quality too, free-range, organic and freetrade wherever possible.
3. Alpha Bar
Situated in the middle of the north entrances to the market, Alpha Bar offers some amazing lunchtime salads served in takeaway paper boxes with recyclable wooden forks for around £5. All the food is organic, locally-sourced and fair-trade (where possible), and everything is prepared daily in the nearby kitchens. You can expect falafels, roasted veg, goats cheese, smoked mackerel, mixed wild rices, chicken caesar, homemade hummus… the list goes on. The best part? You completely create your own salad; you choose exactly what you’d like and watch it being made in front of you. Fresh, healthy food at its finest.
Just down to the left of the Alpha Bar is this cold-press juice, smoothie and frozen yoghurt bar. The drinks are quite expensive, costing around £2.50-£4, but the selection is really varied and delicious. Everything is made to order, including standard juices, like orange, apple and carrot, smoothies like the “forever young” (blackberries, strawberries and mango) and a whole array of juices (the lemon and mint is particularly good). They even present an assortment of “boosters” to add to your drink, such as spirulina, goji berries and maca.
5. Bonner’s Fruit and Veg
Although not a café or drinks bar, this family-run business definitely deserves a mention. They sell a great range of fresh fruit and vegetables, all in season and artfully displayed up to the ceiling. The servers are really helpful, ready to find anything you can’t and weigh the perfect amounts out. A much better option than Tesco/Sainsburys for sure – it’s cheaper, and gives the ideal occasion to shop locally too.