This is another New Yorker thing: pizza. Ok, it’s technically an Italian thing, and technically you guys are closer to Italy, but we aren’t living in a scene from Under the Tuscan Sun and New York slices are legendary. Oxford pizza, maybe less so.
Let’s start with the lower end of the scale, shall we? There’s always Dominos. I won’t lie, I’ve ordered it in times of need; the place is open until five in the morning. No one has that much willpower. However, I also can’t hide the fact that Domino’s pizza is a culinary plague upon this earth. Plus they won’t deliver for less than £11 which still will only buy you a medium pie with burnt pepperoni. Pizza Hut is, in my opinion, no better and yet I have never seen swankier Pizza Huts in my life. At least they have the good sense to pretend they’re better.
A similarly speedy though considerably less shameful option is Pizza Artisan on St. Aldates. People scream in the streets about these pies. Let me tell you, it was just ok. As my friend Jason put it, Pizza Artisan is ‘overhyped pizza with cult following’ and the owner ‘has an uncanny resemblance to Russell Crowe’s loyal slave in Gladiator.’ The second half is less relevant, but you’ve got to watch out for him; he will try to pressure you into adding garlic to your six pound truck pizza. The crust is not nearly crusty enough but eating your drooping slice on the curb by Christ Church makes you feel inexplicably cool.
As for the actual restaurants, these too leave much to be desired. I’m a pizza purist and as such Fire and Stone freaks me out. If you go with a big group of students on a Thursday, however, you can get a descent four-pound pizza and several bottles of house wine. I know ASK Italian is hardly the crème de la crème of Oxford dining, but it’s where I’ve had my favourite pizza. The Gamberetti. It’s hardly a ‘pure’ kind of pizza, involving prawns, crème fraiche and courgettes, but technically my friend ordered it and I was just along for the ride.