On-the-Go: Gloucester Green Market (£-££)
Oxford’s answer to Borough Market houses a fantastic international food scene. Grab dumplings or samosa chaat for a couple of quid and wash them down with a cool lassi. Try Lula’s Ethiopian/Eritrean for a feast of stew and lentils, mopped up with injera.
Pizza: Pizza Pilgrims, Westgate Rooftop (£££)
Yes, a chain, but the pizzas here are beautifully irregular, with crusts so tangy you know why they call it sourdough. Swerve past retro arcade machines and a parmesan photo booth to get to your table. What’s not to love?
Scandi: Skogen Kitchen, Centre (££)
Wipe the fog from your glasses and explore the smörgåsbord of Nordic delight. I love the homemade meatball sandwich that screams Sweden more than an ABBA pre’s playlist. A cosy workspace, prepare for your eu-fika moment.
Cake-for-Lunch: Barefoot, Jericho (£)
“Coffee plus cake equals good day” reads a sign inside this pastel coloured gem. So wholesome, it’s hard to believe it neighbours Jamal’s. Step inside and a carpet of rustic cakes and sweet goods awaits. Slices are reminiscent of large slabs; prepare to fill up.
Pie: Pieminister, Covered Market (££)
If you’re looking to replace hall stodge with yet more stodge, this is the gravy-doused place to start. Comforting fillings meet inventive names like Moolin Rouge and, well, Kevin. Fantastic gluten free, veggie and vegan offerings are available.
Salad: The Nosebag, Centre (££)
No, not some kind of obscure Freshers’ Flu prophylactic, but a cute, hidden canteen. The salad options range from slaws to roasted veggies, grains and seeds. Other cold dishes and hot items are on offer and cater for many diets.
Greggs Substitute: Nash’s, Covered Market (£)
For no-nonsense sausage roll indulgence, look no further. However, I hear the city centre may soon be paid a long overdue visit from the original itself…
Post Night Out: Hmm… (£)
A controversial one. For enabling my first experience of chips-and-gravy (my friend from Barnsley insisted), I’d say Hassan’s. But I’ll let you decide.
Burger: Tommi’s Burger Joint, Westgate Social (£££)
I love the way this Icelandic eatery has recreated its worn, trashed look of their Soho joint in the centre of pristine Westgate. The burgers are deliciously “dirty” and oozing cheese, with great veggie and vegan options available.
Cheese Toastie: Hamblin Bread, Iffley Road (££)
My favourite Oxford foodie destination. Simple tables front a whitewashed sourdough bakery. The menu celebrates uncomplicated, locally sourced ingredients. Flanked with stalagmites of golden burnt cheese, this grilled cheese sandwich is divine.