It’s not easy to find an independent restaurant in Oxford’s city centre. George Street is a sea of chain restaurants. But tucked behind the Gloucester Green bus station is the wonderful, family-owned Gino’s Spaghetti House. I’ve been a fan of Gino’s for many years. It’s a small, authentic Italian eatery with painted (albeit slightly cracking) walls, checkered table cloths, and a great menu with daily blackboard specials.

The service at Gino’s is friendly, but not fawning or over the top. Ask for a jug of water or a bottle of wine and they will happily get it for you, just don’t expect them to pour it for you! The food is always delicious and hot and fresh. I’ve had pizza and pasta, and have always enjoyed my meals.

This week, hubs and I shared a fried calamari (which could have used just bit more time in the fryer, but was still good), and each had a pizza. I had Pizza Funghi (tomato sauce, mozzarella, mushrooms and sweetcorn), and hubs had Pizza Sorrento (mushrooms, onions, olives, tomato sauce and mozzarella). We shared a bottle of Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. The bill came to a total of £33, which is a pretty good deal in this city!

Gino’s is a great little restaurant for dates or meals with friends. During the warmer months they have outdoor seating. They have a set menu available during lunch where you can get pasta or pizza, a small salad and a drink (including a glass of wine or a beer!) for only £8, and a take away menu of any pasta or pizza for just £5.