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A guide to Gloucester Green

No city is complete without a fresh food market. Oxford’s is the area next to Gloucester Green bus station, hosting the Gloucester Green Market Wednesdays through Saturdays. Students flock to it during the day for a fun outing, food, and a browse through the vintage clothing stalls or jewellery booths. Gloucester Green’s food stalls offer cuisines from all over the world. You’ll be sure to see something new every week, all selling a good meal for less than £10. I have personally spent too much of my time (and arguably, my money as well) at the food stalls when I’m sick of cooking and don’t want to eat in hall. So, for the uninitiated, here is my beginner’s guide to Gloucester Green. I’ll take you through some of my favorite stalls, based on cuisine, plus my produce guide.

The classic GG meal is the £6 dumplings from the Gyoza Oxford stand. They have both a vegetarian and chicken option, as well as baos, chicken skewers, tofu, and fried chicken. They have everything you could crave, plus some specials that make every day different. As a Hong Konger, I was excited to see a few stands selling traditional street food like egg waffles, as well as fried rice and chow mein. I always get salted fish, chicken, and egg fried rice, and am happy to have a place to get rice noodles from. Growing up with Korean food, the selection of Korean corn dogs and street snacks, as well as kimbap and bibimbap, was comforting. 

If you’re a big fan of Thai food, there’s a few pad thai stalls and others selling Thai curry. I personally recommend the green curry, and tofu pad thai is my go to order. For Nepali food, Momo King’s stand was where I had my first momo. Besides its amazing Too Good To Go bag with veggie and meat momo, they also make some great rice dishes. 

There is also many a place for Middle Eastern food, with places to get shawarma and wraps galore. The Syrian place is especially delicious, and the deals at many of the stalls rival those of Najar’s. One of the two Persian stands always has the ingredients out so you can watch the person making your food; I love the saffron Persian chicken wrap. I also am a big fan of the other Persian stand’s spicy vegetable stew. Though it may seem like they’re all selling the same wrap, each marinates the insides differently and uses different ingredients, which make each wrap taste totally different.

Honestly, though there’s less European representation in the market than Asian, what they do have is amazing. Every Wednesday, when I go to GG for my produce, I pass by a stall with French tarts and quiches and am constantly tempted to take a slice home. Though there’s no French food stall, there is one with Italian street food and pasta – and the arancini is good! The smell of barbecuing meat that emanates from the Greek gyro stall is almost as mouth-watering as the wraps themselves. One of my Hungarian friends loves the Hungarian stall, and I adore the goulash. 

GG has a few baked goods stands. One sells freshly baked bread and pastries, and there’s one dedicated solely to brownies— they’re absolutely delicious. There’s also a cookie stand, and their chocolate chip cookie goes well with a coffee from the little blue coffee truck. They have lots of unique flavors; there was pumpkin spice and apple cider in the autumn, and more seasonal ones for spring. The boba stall on Thursdays has some great flavors and a decent price to boot. 

Wednesday is market day, and you can find so many deals on fresh produce here. There are two stalls by the White Rabbit, with heaps of produce in baskets and boxes. Bring your own tote bag, because there’s minimal packaging. A basket of six avocados is typically £2, two boxes of raspberries are £2.50, and I once bought a bowl of 13 bananas for £1. They also have vegetables like broccolini, carrots, and pak choi for similar, if not cheaper, prices than the supermarkets. If you wanted to try some new recipes and foods but didn’t want to commit to a large portion, GG is your place! The two stalls also have herbs; I once bought a bag of six garlic heads for £1. The fishmonger sells fresh fish on ice, often fileted, and it’s around the same price as the often sold-out fish at Tesco and Sainsbury’s. 

Outside of the food, there’s so much to see at Gloucester Green. It makes for a great day out or date, and gives you a chance to try cuisines you may not have tried yet. Go on Wednesday or Thursday for fewer people, but there’s more variety on Saturdays. Happy market day! 

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