Not going away? Need to feel the sun on your face, drink ice cold beer and eat European food al fresco style?
Cowley Road might not be your first choice, but there’s an irresistible Mediterranean vibe going down on Dawson Street this summer for anyone wanting to make the most of the weather.
“Dawson Street is framed with tables, umbrellas and a sunny, happy crowd enjoying the rays, cocktails and the gorgeous food”
(READ OUR GUIDE HERE ON OXFORDSHIRE’S BEST AL FRESCO DINING OPTIONS HERE) https://www.oxinabox.co.uk/top-60-where-to-eat-outside-in-2022-oxfordshires-best-al-fresco-pubs-cafes-and-restaurants/)
For those who haven’t been, the pedestrianised Dawson Street frames Cafe Coco and Kazbar, linking St Clements with Cowley Road, and enticingly full of tables, umbrellas and a sunny, happy crowd enjoying the rays, cocktails and the gorgeous food.
You can’t book and it’s a popular spot, but is definitely worth the trip to East Oxford to soak up the vibe.
Because while Cafe Coco offers a delicious array of pizzas, burgers and salads on one side of the street, open late at the weekends), the Kazbar on the other side offers some spectacular tapas more suitable to a warmer climate and opens later all week.
Sipping cold rosé, beers, some excellent mojitos and Moroccan Iced teas (iced mint tea, Absolut, lemon juice, sugar, sprigs of mint) to get us in the mood, accompanied by some zingy tzatziki & garlic bread, we finally made up our minds on the exciting menu.
A smattering of pizzas, the highlight being the Greek pizza with tzatziki, feta cheese, fresh tomatoes, peppers, onions, sesame seeds, olives and oregano, were enjoyed.
From the all day breakfast menu, (breakfast/brunch here is always a treat) the dish of the day – a resplendent shakshuka – a colourful combination of baked free-range eggs in a spicy tomato, red pepper, onion, garlic and cumin sauce, topped with feta cheese with toast (£9.50) or £10.50 with the excellent merguez sausage added. Piquant, rich in flavour, and stunning to behold, everyone insisted on trying a mouthful.
The 6oz ground steak burger (cooked medium rare) came in a seeded bun with tomato, lettuce, red onion and gherkin, and a choice of skinny fries (tick), sweet potato fries, superfood salad or coleslaw – another firm favourite and great value for money at £12.50.
Followed by several hedonistic plates of waffles with and maple syrup with fresh berries and ice cream (£7.50), we sat back and soaked up the atmosphere, enjoying the al fresco ambiance and the heady atmosphere that I’m sure continued long into the night.
Make sure you check the opening times before you venture over, but if you are missing foreign shores, or spending the summer in Oxford, Cafe Coco and Kazbar’s Dawson Street offering will make you feel a whole lot better. Sangria anyone?