Chocolate • Coffee/Tea • Delis • Oriental and Asian Markets • Health Food • Fresh Produce (Markets, Farm Shops & PYO Farms)
Alcohol • Organic Vegetable Delivery • Milk Delivery • Meat • Fish • Supermarkets • Wild Food
Bakeries and Patisseries
For bread at its freshest and for the widest choice, go early in the day. The following bake their bread and cakes on the premises and have been well tried and tested.
Nash's in the covered market (tel. 01865 242695) is worth a visit - try their malted grain, lardy cake or Scofa loaves; pastries and fresh cream cakes too. Maison Blanc (3 Woodstock Rd, tel. 01865 510974) is a French boulangerie / patisserie and imports all its ingredients from France; baguettes, pain au chocolat, croissants and delicious French cakes and chocolates. Gatineau (formerly Patisseie Pascal) 209 Banbury Road, tel. 01865 311779) produces the same kind of things: the croissants are less rich but the quiches are fabulously creamy. They also make delicious chocolates (see below).
A new arrival on the Patisserie scene is Chateau Gateau on St Clements (tel 07741 984067). Daily Info has now tried various items in the croissant / pain au chocolat line and report them very edible and more buttery and therefore authentically french tasting than other Oxford croissants. Best of all (for eyes and mouths) are the beautiful bejewelled macaroons, sisters to the ones you can eat in Rick's Café on Cowley Road.
Also well worth a visit is Gibbons' Bakery on Hertford Street (no. 16; tel. 01865 241136), just off Magdalen Rd in east Oxford. Opening hours are Mon-Fri 8.15am-1pm & 3-4pm, Sat 8.15am-2pm or until the bread runs out. This excellent tiny bakery has been run by Roy Gibbons' family for at least four generations, and is now the last independent bakery in Oxford. They have their own 'Friends of Gibbons Bakery' website too with up-to-date news.
Méli the Greek Deli on the Cowley Road have loaves delivered every Friday, and bake their own rolls every morning. The latter are usually gone by mid-afternoon, but you can always console yourself with baklava.
As of early 2010 we are informed that a bakery van serving speciality German breads and cakes can be found on Friday mornings between 10.30am and 11am in Summertown.
Chocology, Oxford Covered Market
Tel 01865 247158
Specialising in Leonidas and Neuhaus chocolates - Get a pre-packed box or pick your own. Quite a good range of branded posh chocolate bars (Valrhona, CafT Tasse, Lindt including 99%, Green & Blacks including 85%, etc).
Coco Noir, London Road, Headington
Tel 01865 236073
All of Coco Noir's chocolate is handmade in Brussels by one of the two partners who run the business. They have a wide range of other chocolates, delivered at regular intervals from Belgium. Their darkest chocolate is the tasty Ganash variety (68% cocoa). Highly recommended..
Hotel Chocolat, 132 High Street
Open Mon - Sat 9.30am - 6pm; Sunday 12 - 5pm
The online giant has finally opened a retail outlet in Oxford! As of August 2009. This is the upper middle class of chocolate; suave, fresh, pricey but just shy of artisanal: you won't find anything too obscure to be highly marketable. Although they do have one 100% bar (albeit a bit dumbed down - "mellowed" in flavour to appeal to a wider audience). Daily Info recommends the Hot Shots, a gloriously alcoholic after-dinner selection for ú12.50.
Sweet Chocolate, Oxford Covered Market
Retro sweet shop with lots of lovely highly coloured sugary badness to take away in paper bags.
Cornmarket St (Tel 01865 793804) & Westgate Centre (Tel 01865 244179)
Speciality sweets and chocolates, e.g. truffles, creams, toffee, chocolate mints etc. Ready packed boxes of Continental chocolates, or make up your own selection. They also sell sugar-free confectionary for diabetics.
Cardew & Co., the Covered Market
Tel 01865 242315
Teas including fruit and flower flavoured and decaffeinated. Good range of coffees - beans and ground. Also coffee-making equipment and spares, and teapots.
The Tea House, Golden Cross Walk
Tel 01865 728838
Herbal and fruit teas, as well as traditional ones. Preserves and biscuits. A lovely selection of teapots.
Whittard of Chelsea, 15 High Street
Tel 01865 202324
Upmarket speciality teas & coffees; Lindt chocolate bunnies in season and attractively bright plates, mugs and other crockery.
Bon Appetit, 2 North Parade Avenue
Tel 01865 513554
Delicatessen, and whole foods. Also homemade ice cream, frozen ready-cooked meals and filled granary rolls, which they will make up with your own choice on request. Vegetarian food. Outside catering undertaken.
Taylor's Deli, 239a Banbury Road, Summertown, Oxford OX2 7HN
Tel 01865 510447
Wide range of deli dry goods – local and continental. Delicious range of chocolates. Breads, cakes, cheeses, meats, charcuterie. Coffee and sandwich bar. Outside catering service available. Hampers to order.
Glutton's, 110 Walton Street, Jericho
Tel 01865 553748
Vegetarian pasties and quiches, filled rolls, fresh pasta, Chinese ingredients. Filled croissants and bagels, etc. Serve-yourself dried fruits, coated nuts etc. Many varieties of sausage. A very good selection overall.
Polish Taste, 124 Cowley Road
Tel 01865 424761
'The widest range of Polish products in Oxfordshire', including fresh bread, meat, sausages, ready meals, dairy, cheese, buttermilk, spices, frozen food, drinks and much more. Home delivery available via the website.
Baltic Foods, 88 Cowley Road
Tel 01865 250819
...cakes, Russian vodkas, pickles, meats, craft goods and much more.
Il Principe, 82 Cowley Road
Tel 01865 202026
Takeaway pizza & hot breads, olives, artichokes, pasta, cakes, meats, cheeses, wine and other goods to stock a genuine Italian kitchen.
LBs, 253 Banbury Road
Tel 01865 311660
Lebanese deli/takeaway offering wraps and lunch boxes as well as many kinds of Lebanese speciality mezze (dolmas, houmous, tabouleh, kibbeh, baklava, etc). They also do outside catering.
Maison Plasse, based in South Oxfordshire.
01491 834 699.
French organic gourmet food from a family business in the Auvergne. Pates, ham and ready-cooked dishes, delivered in recyclable glass jars . www.maisonplasse.com
Méli, 51a Cowley Road
Tel 01865 791906
Traditional Greek food for your kitchen, including: olive oil & olives, fresh Greek bread, honey, stuffed vine leaves, baklava, halvas, spicy houmous, tsatziki & taramasalata... etc! Opens Mon - Fri 9.30am - 6.30pm; Sat 9am - 6pm.
Olives, 42 High Street
Tel 01865 245700
Covered Market-style Italian/French deli opened in autumn 2006. All sorts of continental delicacies including gluten-free pasta and bisuits. Open 8am-7pm Mon-Sat.
Taylor's, 31 St Giles
Tel 01865 558853
Particularly good for pates and salads, but also breads, pies, cakes, sandwiches and filled pitta snacks. Expensive, delicious chocolates, American ice creams and sorbets, Columbo frozen yoghurt. Outside catering service available. Hampers to order.
Palm's, the Covered Market
Tel 01865 247500
Continental, Chinese, Indian and American foods. Fresh ricotta, fresh feta every day. Homemade pates and salads, prepared foods, spices, pastas and sausages. Continental pastries, breads and chocolates. Wines and beers.
Woodstock Road Deli, Woodstock Road, just by Little Clarendon St
Tel 01865 316228
Sister shop to the Alpha Bar and the Oxford Cheese Company of the Covered Market. Cheese (as you might expect), wine and enormous ciabatta sandwiches.
MK Oriental Market, 42 St. Clement's
Tel 01865 248846
Open 10am-8pm daily
Mixture of Indian, Chinese, and South East Asian ingredients. Exceptionally well stocked with fresh, high quality ingredients such as pandan leaves, fresh turmeric root and fresh chinese funghi. One customer was so impressed that they submitted a review in our restaurants section: "Prices are fair, and overall I would recommend taking a trip over to St. Clements if you are interested in authentic S-E Asian cooking." (Thanks to Nick Godwin for this information)
Mirchi Cash and Carry, 381 Cowley Road
Tel 01865 236264
Open 9am - 9pm Mon - Sat; 9.30am - 8pm Sun
Ethnic grocers with fresh meat and vegetables. Range of Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Thai and Chinese foods. Voted "Best Halal Butchers in the UK 2010" by Meat Trader's Journal.
Lung Wah Chong Chinese Supermarket, 41-42 Hythe Bridge Street
Tel 01865 790703
Open 10am-7pm daily
Specialising in imported East Asian foods, such as tofu, miso soup, Thai fish sauce and so forth. If you can't find the ingredient you're looking for, there's an attached travel agent so that you can get it fresh from the source.
Jing Jing Oriental Food Store, 188 Cowley Road
Tel 01865 794688
Open 11am-8pm daily
Frozen seafood a speciality (luscious jumbo prawns far cheaper than the local megastore); also frozen wonton, etc. Range of the usual ingredients for Thai/Chinese cooking.
Thong Heng Oriental Supermarket, 6 Windmill Road, Headington
Tel 01865 452069
Open 10am-7pm daily
Again, frozen seafood, range of sauces, rice etc, all cheaper than the local megamarket and more delicious. Also phone cards.
Tahmid Stores, 53 Cowley Road (near the Plain)
Tel 01865 203202
Open 10am-7pm daily
All manner of imported goods, from exotic veg to loo roll, in 'Oxford's biggest eastern supermarket'. Halal butcher.
Woodin's Shop, 1 Woodins Way, Paradise Street, OX1 1HD
Tel 01865 792656
Specialise in Oriental foods, including ingredients, drinks, & snacks. Thai, Korean, Japanese, Chinese, & some Italian.
Holland and Barrett ( 5-6 Golden Cross, Covered Market, tel 01865 792102; 17 Westgate Centre, tel 01865 249219; 263 Banbury Rd, tel 01865 552523) do herbal remedies, all sorts of vitamin supplements, preserves, honey, grains, yoghurt, whole wheat bread and also takeaway snacks.
Uhuru has the best range of herbs and spices, as well as dried fruits, nuts, muesli, bread and baking ingredients, homemade cakes and organic wholefoods, alongside eco-friendly make-up, cleaning products and vitamin supplements.
Living Food of St Ives is an online company selling sprouting seeds (germinated and for germination) and sprouting equipment. Find out more about the amazing health properties of these little nutrient powerhouses on their website.
Markets (see also our Festivals and Markets page)
For fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and fish, visit the Wednesday Market in Gloucester Green, from about 8am to 4pm. There is also a farmer's market there on the first Thursday of the month: www.sketts.co.uk/farmersmarkets.html. (For more farmers' markets in the rest of Oxfordshire, visit www.tvfm.org.uk.)
Other farmers' markets around town include:
Wolvercote, now well established at Wolvercote Primary School every Sunday from 10am-1pm. Each week 16 or more stalls offer a wide range of mostly organic, local produce, including fruit and veg; cheese (goat's and cow's); beef, lamb and pork; eggs and milk; home made bread, cakes, croissants. The market website, www.wolvercotefarmersmarket.co.uk, gives a full list of stall holders and the stalls expected for the next 2 weeks, or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
East Oxford Farmers' Market (also organic) now takes place every Saturday 10am-1pm at the East Oxford Primary School, behind Tesco's on the Cowley Rd. The East Oxford website: www.eastoxfordmarket.org.uk contains details of who will be stall-holding when, to help you plan your shopping. Locally made and/or Fair Trade arts and crafts are on sale alongside the vegetables/cakes/bread/meat/eggs, and there is always a café offering hot and cold snacks/meals. See reviews on Daily Info here.
A further option (available 8.30am-5.30pm Mon-Sat and 10am-4pm Sun - and longer pre-Christmas) is Oxford's picturesque Covered Market (est. 1774), which offers you a wider choice but is often rather expensive due to its appeal as a tourist honeypot. In addition, you can buy direct from some local farms, listed below. Most places expect to have asparagus from the first week of May.
Click here to view Daily Info's Map of Oxfordshire Farm Shops, compiled using the wonderful Google maps service. Please do add any we're missing!
Callow Farm Shop, Stonesfield, Witney OX29 8EG
Tel 01993 891172
Open Mon - Wed: 8am-5pm; Thu & Fri: 8am-6pm; Sat: 8am-2pm.
Seasonal veg, meat, charcuterie, sauces, cheeses, frozen produce, gluten-free things. Much of the veg and meat is grown/reared on the farm.
Crazy Bear Farm Shop, Bear Lane, Stadhampton, OX44 7UR
Tel 01865 890714, fax 400481
Open Mon-Sat 9am-6pm, Sun 10am-4pm.
Deli, smokehouse, fishmonger and charcuterie attached to fabulous restaurant, hotel & farm. Eggs 24 hrs old; bread and cakes made in the village; smokehouse on-site (and see the animals while you're there too).
Cross Lanes Fruit Farm, Mapledurham, Reading, RG4 7UW
Tel 01189 723167, email@example.com
Fantastic orchard of apples, pears and plums. Not a Pick Your Own but you can wander the orchards. Huge variety of apples, including rare varieties, grown by friendly and knowledgeable small-scale producers. The farm shop is open from mid-August, Wed - Sun 10am - 6pm, and they also have stalls at many Farmers' Markets, including Oxford (Gloucester Green). Website also contains thought-provoking and controversial articles about Organic certification and European agricultural policies.
Cultivate Oxford: the Veg Van, Earth Trust, Little Wittenham OX14 4QZ
Tel 07579 965374, firstname.lastname@example.org
Cultivate is a friendly cooperative owned by the community and based in Little Wittenham. Cultivate also has a VegVan, a mobile shop that sells fresh, locally-produced food at regular weekly mini-markets in and around Oxford. It's a roaming enterprise, but a timetable of where to find the VegVan, Wednesday through Sunday can be found here: VegVan schedule. There is also an interview with Cultivate on Oxcast episode 16 'The Great Outdoors', click here to listen!
Dews Meadow Farm Shop, Oxford Road, East Hanney, nr Wantage OX12 0HP
Tel 01235 868634
Open Mon - Thu & Sat: 8.30am-5pm; Fri 8.30am-6pm.
Farm shop selling their own farm-reared pork and pork products. Locally sourced beef, lamb & chicken are also available. Dews Meadow sell at many local farmers' markets, supply some community village shops, and also several restaurants.
Foxbury Farm Shop, Burford Road, Brize Norton, OX18 3NX
Tel 01993 867385, email@example.com
Open Tue - Sat 9am-6pm, Sun 10am-4pm.
National Small Producer of the Year Award 2002. Family-run farm just off the A40 supplying their own beef, lamb, pork, chicken & duck, not organic but certainly free range and with an emphasis on high welfare standards. Also veg, milk, bread, preserves, etc. Everything from within 5 miles except cheeses. Home delivery service. Tea room now open selling Foxbury Kitchen food.
Little Lodge Farm Shop, Faringdon, Oxon, SN7 7PN
Tel 07771 883741, firstname.lastname@example.org
Delicious home-made cakes, ice cream, jam; free-range eggs, garden produce; relax with a tea or coffee with stunning views over Vale of White Horse. Lunches also available. Open Mon, Wed, Fri and Sat 10am-2pm, Sun 10am-12 noon.
Medley Manor Farm, Binsey Lane, Oxford
Tel 01865 241251
Pick Your Own and some ready-picked produce. Asparagus and strawberries are available from around June, 7 days, 9.30am - 7pm. Also broad beans, new potatoes, carrots, beetroot, spinach, garlic, etc. You can get to it on foot (or by car) from the Botley Road, or walk across Port Meadow from Jericho (over the river, turn right, go left down the white chalk road and left again at the cattle grid by the Perch).
Millets Farm Centre, Kingston Road, Frilford, Abingdon OX13 5PD
Tel 01865 391266 Crop reports: 01865 391555
Large selection of fruit and vegetables plus dairy products, fish, patisserie, wine, meat, garden centre & restaurants, children's area etc. Farm shop open 7 days a week, 9am-6pm. PYO starts beginning June and runs 9am-5pm daily. Maize maze in July. Free tractor rides may be available on weekends in summer.
The Old Farm Shop, Milton Hill, Harwell, Abingdon
Tel 01235 831247
PYO: Many berries, plus broad beans, cabbage, cauliflower, marrow, peas, pumpkins, runner beans, spinach, sweetcorn, asparagus.
Farm Shop: As for PYO plusgreater range of fruit and veg. Own lamb, poultry, turkey, eggs, game, bread, cakes, pies, honey. Organic section. Open Mon-Sat 9am-6pm, Sun 9am-5.30pm. Easy disabled access. Toilets. Free delivery of local orders.
Peachcroft Farm, Radley, Abingdon OX14 2HP
(Leave A34 at first Abingdon North exit. Left to roundabout; left into 12 Acre Drive - farm is 400 yds on left.)
Tel 01235 520094
PYO: many kinds of berries and peas, also potatoes, asparagus, etc. Farm Shop has soft fruits, vegetables, cream, free-range eggs, free-range poultry, cakes, pies, preserves, fruit juices, and honey. Easy disabled access. Tractor rides, apparently. Open Mon-Sat 9am-5.30pm, Sun 10am-4pm. Farm shop has these hours too, all year round.
Q Gardens, Milton Hill, Steventon, Abingdon (on A4130) OX13 6AB
Tel 01235 820988, email@example.com
Farm shop (9am-6pm daily), tea room (9am-4pm daily), butchers (9-6 weekdays, 9-5 weekends). PYO & ready picked fruit. Asparagus from end April - mid/end-June. Attend local farmers' markets May - September.
Specialise in cherries (home of the Harwell cherry) - ready from the solstice (21st June) and also strawberries, raspberries, currants, gooseberries, plums, damsons, greengages, apples & pears.
Rectory Farm, Stanton St. John, OX33 1HF (from the A40 Headington roundabout take road to the North signed 'Stanton St. John 2m'. Follow farm signs after 0.75m)
Tel 01865 351677 (crop availability reports, also on website), 07966 246388 (orders).
Pick Your Own of the Year 2008!
PYO asparagus (separate site): open during season (approx mid April to mid June): Tues-Thurs 2-6pm; Fri 10am-6pm; Sat-Sun 9.30am-1pm.
Main PYO and Farm Shop: May to end August: every day, 9.30am to 6pm. Café open till 6pm.
Mr Finn the Butcher: 27 May - 30 September: 9.30am - 6pm (Sun 9.30am - 4pm).
PYO crops: strawberries, raspberries, gooseberries, redcurrants, blackcurrants, whitecurrants, blackberries, asparagus, broad beans, carrots, beetroot, runner beans, French beans, squashes and pumpkins, globe artichokes. Lots of potato varieties. Farm shop has fresh fruit and vegetables plus butchery by Mr Finn. Ample car parking. Children's play area and sandpit. Picnics. Tractor and trailer rides at weekends. Easy disabled access.
Sandy Lane Cooperative Market, Tiddington, nr Wheatley, OX9 2LA
Tel 01844 279269, Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Farm Shop: Open Thursdays 2 - 6pm. Organic and local vegetables, meat, fruit, jams, cakes, bread (award winning!) and flowers. As there is an emphasis on seasonal produce, the choice does vary. While you're there you might see the piggies who'll later be available as bacon and sausages. The animal welfare is really good, so the animals are friendly and interested. This isn't like shopping in a supermarket! For reviews of Sandy Lane Cooperative Market see here.
If you can't get there on Thursdays you could try the veg box scheme run from Sandy Lane, Veg in Clover.
Witney Veg and Worms, Starnham Meadow, Coursehill Lane, Curbridge, Witney, OX29 7YL
Tel 07515 372480, Email email@example.com
Farm Shop: Small market garden on the Ducklington to Curbridge road just outside Witney, producing organically grown vegetables in a bag scheme (from ú5.00 for potato, cabbage, leek, carrot, swede) and dendrobaeana worms for fishing and composting (ú15.00 per kg). Also fresh organic and free range eggs. Orders can be placed by telephone or email and collected from site on Thursday and Saturday.
Wykham Park Farm Shop, Banbury, OX16 9UP
(A361 towards Chipping Norton from Banbury Town Centre. After 1 mile, turn left at cross-roads signed Bodicote. Farm shop is 1/4 mile on the left hand side.)
Tel 01295 262049
Specialize in asparagus (the season ends mid June and they are open 7 days during it) and their own lamb, beef, sausages, potatoes and paeonies, plus other seasonal veg. Shop generally open Mon - Fri 8.30am-5.30pm; Sat 8.30am-3pm; Sun 10am-1pm.
If you want to bypass the conventional supermarket approach to organics (unripe produce from faraway lands at exorbitant prices), and can't make it to the Gloucester Green Farmers' Market (see above - limited organic produce available) or Wolvercote Farmers' Market (every Sunday, 10.30-1, Wolvercote First School - breakfasts available!) or Sandy Lane Farm Market in Tiddington (Thursdays 2-6pm), or East Oxford Farmers' Market (also see above) you may wish to try one of the following delivery options.
Most of these can be ordered on an ad hoc basis (you don't have to have veg every week, and you can change your order at will), and most produce is at prices akin to the cost of standard non-organic supermarket veg.
Tolhurst Organic, West Lodge, Hardwick, Whitchurch-on-Thames, Oxon
For Oxford city delivery, call Jane Ivemey: 01865 556151 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Part of the Vegan Organic Trust. Delivery of vegetables and fruit to collection points throughout Oxford on Weds & Thurs. Veg bag sizes vary in cost from £7-£13, and contain seasonal produce, the bulk of which is from the farm, near Reading. Fruit comes from further afield (but not by aeroplane) and bags are from £4.50-£11.75. (Reading and Wallingford are also served - visit the website for details.)
Close to the Veg, Little Wittenham, Oxon
07760 483267, email@example.com, www.closetotheveg.co.uk
Delivers £12 bags of seasonal vegetables to villages in the Little Wittenham area and to Oxford, Didcot and Abingdon. Bread made from locally grown flour also available. The majority of the produce is grown on site, or bought in from other growers as nearby as possible. The site is not certified organic, but is managed on the same principles - see website for more details.
North Aston Organics, The Bakery Office, 3 Somerton Rd, North Aston OX25 6HP
Tel 01869 347702. 24 hr answerphone and someone in the office most Mondays.
Soil Association Certified growers with a "no air freight" policy. Deliver organic boxes to drops in parts of Oxford and Banbury, also Cropredy and villages surrounding North Aston. North Aston do most UK grown vegetables and culinary herbs in season. Bought in organic fruit and eggs also available, and at some drops organic milk from North Aston Dairy as well.
Veg in Clover, run from Sandy Lane Farm, Tiddington, OX9 2LA
Tel 01865 427359 for Veg in Clover or 01844 279269 for Sandy Lane Farm.
V.I.C. deliver organic veg boxes in the Oxford, Wheatley and Thame area. You can order a ú12 or ú15 pound box delivered to your door, once a week on Fridays. The seasonal vegetables are grown at Sandy Lane and they're supplemented by veg grown by other local growers or grown within Europe. All vegetables are certified organic (they're registered with the Organic Food Federation) and veg boxes are recycled (they collect the empty box from your doorstep on delivery day). Payment can be made by cheque or cash weekly or monthly.
Coleshill Organics have been recommended to us by a Daily Info reader. They deliver boxes to collection points in Oxford every Thursday, and are based near Swindon. Their £10 weekly box of veg is sufficient for four and a half people. They also offer eggs and fruit. You can call them on 01793 861070 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Willowbrook Farm, Hampton Gay, Oxfordshire, OX5 2QQ.
Tel 01865 849957 / 07812 005629 | email@example.com
Visits Mon-Fri 9.30am-2.30pm (please call first), weekends by appointment
Soil Association accredited organic farm supplying eggs to local Co-Op shops and Oxford farmers' markets, plus all sorts of other locally-made goodies at the farm (meat, honey, sheepskins, soap). Fruit and veg bags (and everything else) available to order via the website or by tel. (apparently with UK-wide delivery capability).
Riverford Organic Vegetables Ltd, Standlake, Oxon (offices 44 Cherwell Street, Oxford, OX4 1BG)
Oxford distributor: Jake 01865 249854 General No: 0845 600 2311
Boxes range from £8-£15 (includes delivery), vary according to the season, and can contain milk, eggs, juice and jam as well as a variety of organic veg and fruit ethically sourced and delivered. Organic meat boxes and extras now available. 80% of the veg and fruit from their co operative of farmers in North Hampshire and Southern England.
Abel & Cole Organic Home Delivery, London
Tel. 0845 262 6262 / Fax 020 7737 7785 firstname.lastname@example.org
70% UK-grown produce delivered direct to your office or home. London-based superboxscheme A&C deliver the usual seasonal fruit & veg plus extras including dairy (Yeo Valley, Rachel's), meat, fish, beer, wine, soft drinks, tinned & dried goods and cleaning products (Ecover), all of which can be ordered on a 'pick-your-own' basis. Prices start at around £10 plus delivery. You can start an account on their website.
Only Organic: Now taken over by Abel & Cole.
Find some more shop outlets of organic produce in Oxfordshire at www.organicfood.co.uk
Though the rise of the supermarket and a number of recent food scares have hastened the demise of the small independent butcher, Oxford has retained an unusually high number, some of whom are organic and/or free-range specialists. We list only these below, as you will find other, non-organic butchers locally after brief research. Halal meat is available from several outlets on the Cowley Road (of which we can recommend the fabulous Continental Stores on the corner of Crown Street, mainly for its friendly service, reasonable prices and proximity to all of our houses).
M Feller, Son & Daughter
54-55, Covered Market, High Street OX1 3DY
Tel. 01865 251164 email@example.com
Family-run business selling organic British meats, including game. The shop is Soil Association certified, friendly and in the tourist honeypot of the Covered Market (so expect to pay proper prices - eg. £15-£20 for an organic, free-range chicken for 5/6 people).
Alcock Family Butchers
273a Banbury Road, OX2 7JF
Tel. 01865 515658
Mostly organic and additive-free meat. Very friendly and helpful and look after their stock properly: their opening hours are slightly restrictive if you have a full-time job elsewhere in Oxford, however: Tue - Fri 8am - 5pm; Mon closed, Sat 7am - 1pm. Definitely morning people.
224 Cowley Road, OX4 1UH
Tel. 01865 248524
The only Oxford butcher we know of with a small, cheery model butcher outside advertising its trade, Alder's has a range of fresh meats including game and some organic, along with local eggs and preserves. Delivery service available.
Park Farm Food
Park Farm Estate, Witney OX29 5SS
Tel. 01865 883336 / Fax. 01865 300725 firstname.lastname@example.org
Well-established family business 'taking pride in the rearing, butchering and delivery of only the best, hormone free, additive free and organic meats at wholesale prices'. Telephone them to order (delivery is free within Oxon. and Gloucs., and payment for goods is usually on delivery).
K G Freeman
10 High Street, Woodstock OX20 1TF
Tel: 01993 811434
Excellent traditional British family butcher stocking only free-range meat. Cooked foods available, and a variety of game in season. Hot sandwiches, baguettes etc. too.
Mr Finn, Family Butcher
Rectory Farm Shop (see above)
Tel. 01865 358993
Mostly free-range meat and lots of it is local, particularly the lamb.
Whilst local fishmongers, like butchers, have dwindled in recent years - with many supermarkets getting rid of their fish counters too - Oxford is well-served for fish, especially since Haymans Fisheries opened their fresh fish mega-market in Osney Mead in 2011 (see below). Sainsburys Heyford Hill branch still has a decent counter, as does Waitrose in Headington (which sells off remaining fresh fish quite cheaply on Sunday afternoons). You will find a fish van along with a butcher's van at the Wednesday market on Gloucester Green. If your local fishmonger is missing from this list, please let us know.
NB: A topical note on ethical fish buying. A surprising number of easily available fish are actually threatened - and even endangered. See fishonline.org for lists of what to buy and what to boycott. You might also be interested in Taras Grescoe's Bottomfeeder, a Bill Bryson-like survey of what's left in the sea and how to help wildlife and fishing communities survive.
A E & M Alcock
273a Banbury Road, Summertown, OX2 7JF
Tel 01865 515658
Tue-Fri 8am-5pm, Sat 8am-1pm
This butcher is also a fishmonger with a full fish selection (cod, haddock, plaice, pollock, tuna, trout, etc, etc.).
• 22-23 The Covered Market, OX1 3DU
Tel 01865 242516, fax 01865 202084
Mon 8am-4pm; Tue-Sat 8am-5pm; Sundays (pre-Christmas only) 10am-4pm
• Unit 7, Ferry Mills, Osney Mead, OX2 0ES
Tel 01865 242827
Vendor of 'fish, crustaceans & molluscs', from shark and octopus to cockles and whelks, Hayman's are an Oxford legend. Their fabulous display and corner position in the Covered Market can feel a bit like an aquarium exhibit; prepare for tourist elbow-jostling. New in 2011, their 13,000 sq ft megamarket at Osney Mead is "open to all...at cash-and-carry prices...7 days a week", and conveniently situated opposite Booker. Unbeatably fresh, delicious fish products of several hundred kinds.
The Fish Man
...sells fresh Grimsby fish (cod, haddock, salmon, plaice, sole, monkfish, turbot, prawns, cockles, mussels, whelks...he's got the whole ocean in there, it seems) in the car park at the rear of Summertown Wine Café (and possibly other locations), on regular weekly evenings which can be discovered by calling him on 07724 243464.
In the decade and a half since this guide was first produced, there has been an explosion in the number, size and quality of supermarkets around Oxford. The two main chains, Tesco and Sainsbury's, both have mega-branches on the Oxford ring road (at Cowley and Heyford Hill respectively) and normal size stores across the region, including within the city itself (Cowley Road, Banbury Road and in the Westgate Centre/on Magdalen Street, respectively). The lines these new supermarkets stock reflect the marked increase in awareness of speciality foods in England over the last twenty years, and most tastes and needs are catered for. Most have an in-store bakery, a deli counter and cash machine.
The Co-op also has branches throughout Oxford (at Headington, Botley, Marston, Summertown, Walton Street, Cowley Road, Iffley Road & Cowley Centre), and whilst few are of the enormous proportions of the other stores, they tend to give good value for money and are a bit less monstrously corporate than the others. Their novel structure gives them the ability to source really local produce by priority (their eggs are the same as the eggs sold by the farmer herself at East Oxford Farmers Market), and all their chocolate is now Fair Trade.
And finally: We Have Waitrose! As the recession saw a struggling Somerfield sell off branches left, right and centre to the other giants in 2009, Oxford finally gained an outlet of the Queen's grocer (formerly only as close as Witney). Find it at 9-11 Old High Street, Headington.
Other stores in the Oxford area include:
Marks and Spencer, Queen Street (city centre) and Summertown
Tel 01865 248075
An excellent range of ready-prepared meals, plus luxury foods as well as essentials.
A special mention should be made of the Eastern and Continental Store at 152 Cowley Road (the green-painted corner shop more or less opposite Tesco). They have shelves piled high with all possible things in packets and tins - including bulk sizes of vegetable and olive oil, rice and spices - plus fresh herbs, exotic fruit and veg and a halal butcher. They're very friendly, and often cheaper than their large corporate competitor - and they're been there since 1975.
A group of enthusiastic foragers have created a google map of wild food sites around Oxford. While we at Daily Info are excited by this project, we would like to remind everyone interested in wild food that it is very, very important to take someone with you who knows what they're doing! You also need to be aware that some wild foods can cause unexpected allergies or toxic reactions in some individuals. Just because you've eaten it before with no ill effects doesn't mean that your friend can. There's plenty of safety information on the internet about wild foraging; do familiarize yourself with these facts first. And be careful to make sure you're not taking plants from environmentally vulnerable areas. Fruit is one thing, as long as there's enough left for the wild animals who actually need it, but the gathering of entire wild plants is another. Having said all that, it's a very delightful way to spend a day, and to get back in touch with the planet. Happy hedgerow-hunting!