Tap Social, Botley
Tap Social seriously boosted Botley’s social scene when it opened its doors (or, erm, corrugated shutters) in 2016 – and scooped up a Muddy Award for Best Bar just three years later. There are now two other outposts (in Oxford and Banbury) with a third coming soon in Oxford’s Covered Market, although the original Tap Room tucked away at the back of Curtis Industrial Estate remains the buzziest with live music events, buzzy quiz nights and string of food trucks parking up outside. As well as serving excellent craft beer, Tap Social is also a social enterprise, employing serving or ex-prisoners and using artwork from incarcerated artists on its funky beer cans. I’ll cheers to that!
Bringing the cool vibes of London and Bristol to South Oxfordshire since October 2021, this pop-up formed of corrugated shipping containers serves street food from local vendors with an outdoor space to eat and socialise. Currently on site you can choose from Dorindos Mexican and Chor Muang Thai, but I’ll be making a beeline for 1885 – insanely juicy burgers with all the trimmings (Veganuary, who?).
You’d never find Coopers from a casual amble around Marlow. The cafe is on an estate a five minute drive from the centre – but you’ll be glad you made the effort. You could easily be in London with its industrial chic interiors, long communal tables, retro furnishings, artfully rough edges and brilliant coffee.
Jericho Coffee Traders, Osney
From the back of a Vespa to one of Oxford’s best coffee joints, JCT has an espresso bar on Oxford’s High Street, but if you’re a proper coffee buff head to the hidden gem on Osney Mead Industrial Estate where you can enjoy coffee and cake amongst the hustle and bustle of a working roastery. Get your timings right and you can walk out with a fresh batch of beans, straight from the roaster.
Also located on Osney Mead Industrial Estate above Aldens Fishmarket, might just be the best chippy you’ll find in the whole of Oxford. Open 12-3pm Fri-Sat Fish4Lunch serves takeaway fish and chips using fresh fish available on the day from the fishmarket – or if you fancy something a little different, try the delicious tuna burger. A dead cert.
Watertank Café at Oxfam Superstore, East Oxford
Nab a bargain and scoff some tasty homemade treats at this sweet community café set up inside a water tank in the world’s biggest Oxfam (18,500 sq ft to be exact – wowzer!). The café is open Tues, Thurs, Sat & Sun serving a changing, mainly plant-based menu for lunch and a selection of vegan and gluten-free cakes.
Boho Burrito, Bicester Business Park
You’ll find this Mexican street food bar on Bicester Business park (just look out for the funky frontage) wrapping up bursting burritos, tacos and nachos for carnis and veggies alike. A pulled chicken tinga burrito and churros for dessert for me, please.
Lata Lata, High Wycombe
Okay so this one’s not strictly found on an industrial estate, but will an underpass do for you? This dead cool small plates restaurant champions seasonal, local ingredients with Instagrammable interiors to boot. Menu favourites include wild mushroom and garlic arancini, confit chicken wings and burrata with fennel and peppercorn pickle.
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