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Pub-flavoured gig and DJ venue where the Gloucester Arms used to be, opened Dec 2012. Promises to make "the best pizza in Oxford". Also has cinema screenings!
Opening hours: Daily, midday - midnight. Food served: Sun - Wed: noon - 9.30; Thu - Sat: noon - 10pm.


Real Ales, Food served & Live music events

Serves food symbolSelf-describes as pubSelf-describes as bar
Facebook Friars Entry (Gloucester Green end)
Oxford
OX1 2BY

Central
Daily, midday - midnight
Telephone: 01865 241177

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Reviews of The White Rabbit

As someone on a gluten-free diet*, pizza is one of those rarities that is often craved and seldom enjoyed. Supermarkets have, of course, attempted to create and market a substitute - but even the best are only pale imitations (quite literally - the reliance on rice flour tends to leave gluten-free food looking rather anaemic).

In this context, the White Rabbit's offering was genuinely impressive; gluten-free pizza with a thin and crispy base, that didn't look too different from the 'proper' pizza that they were serving.

Perhaps surprisingly for somewhere so close to the centre**, the White Rabbit was rather empty when we went for lunch; at one o clock, there were plenty of tables available. The clientele were mixed - almost ostentatiously so - with a young family occupying one corner, and a couple of students hemmed in by tourists with conspicuously large cameras. You might have been forgiven for thinking you'd walked into a focus-group.

The menu was, broadly speaking, Italian; a mixture of antipasti, salads, and pizza (as a side-note, the doughballs, which we didn't order, have the option of being served either savoury, with garlic butter, or sweet, with nutella (!)). All of the dishes were reasonably priced - with nothing on the menu costing more than 9.50, and most hovering around the 6 mark.

The pizzas had a generous number of topping combinations (far more extensive than the menus at the familiar pizza franchises) - and it's worth mentioning that vegetarians are very well catered for. As someone who has, for years, had to order salads when friends have suggested we go for pizza, it's quite refreshing to see salads that sound not only tasty, but filling; the "White Rabbit Salad" boasted baked goats cheese, roasted peppers, and a 'balsamic dressing' in addition to the greenery.

With a combination of friendly and speedy service (at the White Rabbit, you order over the counter, and the food arrived at our table within about 15 minutes), it's well worth a visit. If there's a gluten-free eater in your life, the best selling point is that the pizza was really, genuinely tasty.

--

* For medical reasons; I'm not a middle-class hypochondriac. Although, having said that, I am immensely grateful to those middle-class hypochondriacs whose discretionary income means that places like the White Rabbit now serve gluten-free pizza.

** You'd be hard-pressed to find anywhere more central; hiding away in Friars Entry, the White Rabbit sits about a minute from Gloucester Green, and about two minutes to Cornmarket.

Jack Lint (DI Reviewer), 04/11/14


Interested in the open-mike night here but irritatingly this pub has no website - just a Facebook page. Can't find out anything useful about it.

IM (Unverified), 12/08/13


Though the pub's name is evidently taken from Alice in Wonderland, it's quite refreshing for Oxford to have a modern city centre bar which doesn't market itself based on being a traditional, ye olde drinking-hole where famous Oxfordians may or may not have perhaps once drunk. The White Rabbit's simplicity, in regards to its décor, menu and atmosphere, is cool and welcoming.

The menu, which features mostly pizza, with a nominal pasta dish and a couple of soups too, was slightly lacking in vegetarian options. Only the soup of the day and one pizza were meatless, however, I imagine the chef would be happy to remove a meat ingredient from a pizza if asked. I eavesdropped on a couple nearby asking to share one pizza but have it split with 2 different toppings on each half, and this request was happily accepted and delivered.

There's a good wine list, but only a few are available by the glass and the bottles are not cheap so this could be slightly limiting for wine connoisseurs. There is also a good selection of local White Horse ales, as well as your usual mixers and soft drinks.

The food is basic but comforting, and served satisfyingly quickly. The pub setting means you can have a more relaxed meal, ideal for sharing or chomping down on a quick bite, all while having an affordable, flavoursome and filling hot dinner. As it stands it's unlikely to become a foodie destination but for the lowlier amongst us looking for a good value dinner that hasn't come out of a freezer pack it's spot on.

The dough balls come highly recommended, they are a very tasty pub snack delivered piping hot in their basket with a pot of garlic butter filled to the brim. There is also a variety of Kettle Chips, notable mainly for including the slightly addictive new sour cream & onion flavour.

Situated near 3 of the town centre's theatres and 2 cinemas, The White Rabbit is excellently placed for a pre-show meal or post-show drink. The atmosphere is very convivial, and although run by (very friendly) trendy indie boys in beanie hats, there is a really pleasing mix of Oxford people, from young to old, individuals to couples, and large chattering groups.

The pub also runs an open mic night Tuesdays, and hosts events regularly, from music to play readings. With plenty of reasons to return, The White Rabbit is fast becoming the city centre's new ‘local'. As far as I can see the only danger is that everyone else looking for somewhere independent for a drink and a bite in the centre finds it too.

Anaïs Higgins (DI Staff), 13/05/13


A friendly pub where you can usually find a seat. The bar and food prices are very reasonable indeed. The menu is short and sweet but does it well - freshly baked pizzas, tasty garlic dough balls - the soups and stew sounded good too.

Visually the pub offers a good mix of fresh, clean decor and old features, with plenty of cosy nooks and crannies.

Exactly what the centre of Oxford needs!

jo_* (Unverified), 11/01/13


 

The Gloucester Arms is dead: it's now The White Rabbit. It is a new music venue, has cinema showings and they are selling food again. I had a sample of the garlic bread and it tasted excellent. I'm not in a position to give a full review of the pub because I've only been there once and still adjusting to how different it is to what my favourite pub used to be. I don't mean to sound horrible, it is a nice family-run place, but you'd never believe it's the same pub.
 

The Dancingman (DI User), 24/12/12


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