As the original city of 'dreaming spires', Oxford's thriving visitor economy revolves heavily around the world-famous University, which dates back over 800 years. There are 38 ancient colleges dotted around the cobbled streets, with a splendid botanic garden to explore alongside the River Cherwell and plenty of excellent shopping to enjoy in the centre. The foodie scene is also thriving and you'll find plenty of first-class eateries and food festivals. When you visit Oxford, the tapas venues are certainly well worth experiencing, with options ranging from traditional Spanish through to modern British and fusion tapas.
When you go to eat tapas in Oxford, you'll notice that the choice extends beyond classic Spanish. Although the style of cuisine originated in the Mediterranean in the thirteenth-century, it has become so popular across the world that you'll see 'tapas' being used to describe tiny dishes of Greek, British, Cajun and even Indian food. The dishes on offer will vary, but the portions will tend to be of appetizer size, with customers usually selecting between 4-5 options to create an informal, sociable meal that is perfect for sharing.
If you choose a traditional Spanish restaurant serving tapas in Oxford, you can expect to enjoy a mouth-watering selection of dishes such as marinated anchovies, patatas bravas , prawns cooked in garlic, chorizo and fresh olives, croquetas and even tiny bowls of paella. British gastropubs may serve their own form of tapas, such as miniature scotch eggs, sticky pork ribs, potted shrimp and deep fried Somerset brie with onion marmalade. The great thing about this style of dining is that it allows you to taste a wide array of dishes and broaden your gastronomic experience, perhaps with a leisurely glass of sangria or wine on the side. Some of the Oxford tapas venues will also serve set menus which can be excellent value, especially compared to a la carte dining.
Quandoo diners have tried a number of the tapas restaurants in Oxford and the surrounding areas and rated them highly. Kazbar in Cowley is always a hot favourite and a beautiful little eatery designed in the style of a souk. It serves a fusion of Spanish and Moroccan styled tapas, served with excellent wine. Enjoy the intimate lamp lit atmosphere as you dine on specials that include a chestnut and warm butternut squash salad, mussels in chermoula and coconut reduction and chorizo baked in smoked tomato and paprika sauce. Just remember to book in advance with Quandoo, as the Oxford tapas venues can get busy in the evenings and on weekends, and no one wants to queue!