FRESH cakes, Mexican snacks and locally smoked meats pulled in the crowds at a festival of street food.

The Bitten Street Food market took over Oxford’s Castle Quarter on Saturday, returning to its home for the first time in more than six months. And diners descended in their droves – attracted by the prospect of quality eats and glorious sunshine.

Visitors were able to get their teeth into all kinds of street food from local traders, and shop for produce and crafts created by Oxfordshire artists and makers.

Becca Chaplin, who set up the market with business partner Jacqui Thorndyke, said: “It is amazing to be back and especially with such good weather for it.

“We always have had a great street food offering, plus the bar and music, but now we’ve added the local produce and craft stalls.

“We take up almost the entire back of the castle site, and now that we’ve got the space we hope to be able to expand the craft and produce side of the market even more in the coming months.

“Obviously there is a huge amount of stress that goes into it, but when you see it as busy las it has been, you realise it is pretty amazing.”

The business duo got stuck in running the bar for the afternoon, talking to their regulars and helping out the local traders for the market which will become a monthly Saturday event.

The foodies booked in for the weekend’s market included Oxford’s Happy Cakes; Mexican food sellers Taco Bandits, who are set to open a restaurant in Oxford’s Magdalen Road; and Aylesbury pop-up OMG Churros.

Julia Atkinson, who runs Happy Cakes in Summertown, said: “It is always a good mix of traders here and it is good to have something regular in our home city, especially for regular customers.”

Oliver Lee, who runs Taco Bandits with business partner Ben Gibbons said: “These markets are good for local traders like us to promote what we’ve got coming up next, as well as being great fun. Pop-ups are how we started, so it is good to continue with that and this time.

“Bitten Street has a great atmosphere, good music and is in a great setting.”

The new market will run monthly from 10am to 4pm in Oxford’s Castle Quarter.

Oxford traders welcomed the expanded monthly market. Joy Hetherington of Oxford Aromatics in the Covered Market said: “Anything that helps local traders and independents in the city is welcome.”

Gillian Senior of The Hat Box agreed and added: “Anything that happens in Oxford and helps promote Oxford is a good thing. The problem with the Covered Market is it is not advertised or signposted enough.”

The trader said that better joined up thinking between city centre markets would be a bonus for all.

Janos Nagy-Radnoh of Goulash Taste of Hungary, in Gloucester Green Market, said: “I don’t think it makes much of a difference to us as we have our regular customers. But if it is a good market, with a good marketing team it could be good for all of us.”