Dating back to the 1770’s, the market has attracted visitors for centuries, and with good reason. Initially the market was opened in response to a general wish to clear 'untidy, messy and unsavoury stalls' from the main streets of central Oxford, but since then, it has evolved into a colourful mix of over 40 cafes, shops and stalls selling local produce, gifts, clothes, flowers, jewellery and much more besides.
One of the biggest advantages of the Covered Market for those of us at OISE Oxford is the wide variety of eateries and artisan food stalls, just a stone’s throw from the school. Here are a few highlights that are not to be missed:
The Cake shop
Visitors stand transfixed at the windows of this shop to watch the skilled cake decorators at work as they produce edible replicas of Oxford’s Radcliffe Camera, elaborate 5-tiered wedding cakes and tantalising cupcake mountains.
Sasi’s Thai canteen is a recent addition to the market and has quickly become one of the most popular lunch venues for OISE Oxford students. They servea range of aromatic curries, noodle and meat dishes at reasonable prices. Their cashew chicken dish is an OISE favourite!
Sofi de France
This French-style cafe has a special connection with OISE Oxford as it is supplies the delicious croissants and pastries we serve to our students during their morning coffee break.
Oxford Cheese Company
Having been cheesemongers to the city and University colleges for over 30 years, the Oxford Cheese Company boasts an unrivalled selection of locally sourced, artisan cheeses, as well as varieties from further afield. The friendly staff are happy to let you try before you buy so that you can be sure to find one you like!
Ben’s Cookies started as a stall in Oxford’s Covered Market in 1983. Founded by cookery writer and chocoholic Helge Rubenstein, she named the business after her son Ben. Since then, Ben’s mouth-watering cookies have taken the world by storm, even appearing in far-flung cities such as Seoul, Tokyo and Abu Dhabi.
As you might have gathered, the team at OISE Oxford are big fans of the Covered Market. But don’t just take our word for it, come and see it for yourself!