Student eating doesn’t have to be all pot noodles and takeaway chips and cheese. Oxford, a culinary gem for all walks of life, hosts a variety of attractive student options. I’m a sucker for hot drinks loyalty cards, which do frequent the Oxford establishments (yay!) – but there are lots of student options, superfluous to these and even to the famed Itsu half price sale, worth knowing about. Here are some suggestions for student-friendly places to eat – both for when you’re sticking to your budget, and for those occasional splurges.
The Best Student Eats in Oxford, in no particular order…
⭐️ UPDATED 11th October 2021 ⭐️
George Street Social
Located in the centre of town, George Street Social is a hot spot for all feasting purposes, from bottomless brunch to after-work dinners (how we’ve missed those!) With their City Pub Co. student discount partnership you can get 15% off food and drink every day of the week, plus they often have different theme nights with additional discounts. Fusing fun with food, choose from a range of board games or make the most of their WiFi and study whilst you snack. If you can’t choose between their ‘big things’ like the burgers, fresh linguine or pork belly strips, give the sharing plate a go: from grilled halloumi to cured meats, you won’t want to share!
📍 34 New Inn Hall St, Oxford OX1 2DH, georgestreetsocial.com
Offering comforting Japanese dishes from the Hakata district (close your eyes and it won’t feel like the Westgate centre), it’s the ramen recipes that are the stars of this show. If you’re sick of beans on toast and are in need of a hearty bowl of slow-simmered broth, then the Hakata tonkotsu ramen is where it’s at! As well as offering 10% student discount daily at Shoryu, you can also enjoy 2 for 1 bao buns with any main on a Monday. You’ll find a range of ramen options including chicken, pork and vegetarian. To accompany your dish, turn the authenticity dial up a notch with some sake on the side – if the student loan allows it.
📍 134 The Westgate, Queen St, Oxford OX1 1PB, shoryuramen.com
Turtle Bay’s 2-4-1
Whilst Turtle Bay don’t currently offer an official student discount, their 2-4-1 daily happy hour is pretty much all you need! Sip your favourite cocktails from 10am – 7pm (easy now) or from 9:30m – close during the week, or 10am-7pm and 10pm-close on Friday & Saturdays. Making that daytime drinking even more tempting, Turtle Bay welcome you to kick back and relax (well, study) on their WiFi whilst you listen to reggae tunes. But it gets better… Our Oxford branch also offers their Bay Breakfast club from 10-12 every day where you can choose any breakfast, brunch, burger or fresh roti dish with bottomless tea, coffee or juices for just £8.50. From the ‘Big Kingston Grill Down,’ to the ‘Roti Bacon Wrap’, this offer sounds like a hangover dream the morning after that happy hour.
📍 12 Friars Entry, Oxford OX1 2BY, turtlebay.co.uk
The Dodo Pub Group is a firm fave for the Bitten Crew, with banging burgers, pizza and wings, regular special offers and funky vibes. Keep and eye out for #BurgerMonday and their special flavour combos, but you’ll enjoy it even without those. The group includes The Rusty Bicycle, The Rickety Press and The Up in Arms in Oxford – so pick your local Dodo boozer and enjoy.
📍 various locations across Oxford, details of each can be found on dodopubs.com
BrewDog’s Wings Wednesday
Here’s a substantial meal you’ll actually want… Unlimited wings at BrewDog with their weekly Wings Wednesday, all for £11! With five wings at a time, how many rounds do you reckon you’ll get through? Including their regular spicy buffalo chicken, the crazy-good buffalo cauliflower or even the Temple of Seitan wings, there’s an option for everybody. Whatever floats your bird feathers, Brew recommends chowing down your wings with their original and flagship Punk IPA for the ultimate spicy experience.
📍 119 Cowley Rd, Oxford OX4 1HU, brewdog.com
Pierre Victoire’s set menus
A firm favourite with the Bitten Crew… Whether it’s a birthday, celebrating exam results or even if you’re just feeling a little fancy, the set menus at Pierre Victoire mean you can eat like royalty but at student-friendly prices. A French restaurant tucked away down Little Clarendon Street, we love its cosy, intimate setting. You can enjoy amazing set menus for lunch or dinner at equalkly amazing prices. Dishes may include French favourites like moules frites and confit duck.
📍 9 Little Clarendon St, Oxford OX1 2HP, pierrevictoire.co.uk
With multiple establishments, Taylor’s is an Oxford gem. Selling plentiful options of healthy food, you could go everyday for months without repeating your lunch choice! Their sweet things are also excellent, but I rate their soup above all else. The largest Taylor’s is on St. Giles and a handy location for Oxford University students with lectures until lunch. There’s also one near the train and bus stations, making it the perfect spot to pop in to for a bite on your way home.
📍 Various locations across Oxford, taylorsoxford.co.uk
The Nosebag is the perfect place to hit when you’re sick of Tesco basics pasta. Home cooked, handcrafted meals are at the heart of this cosy eatery, and just sitting high up away from the world of essays and exams is enough to remind you of home. The portion sizes are vast, though, so your pennies are not wasted in the least. Go for lunch and opt for one of the hot meals that come with three salads, and you probably won’t find yourself in need of dinner. The Nosebag provides brief respite from being a student.
📍 6-8 St Michael’s St, Oxford OX1 2DU, nosebagoxford.co.uk
An excellent option for a portable hung-over breakfast, the Tick Tock café is just by the Magdalen roundabout. The food is cheap and plentiful, principally consisting of fried things in baguettes. Their breakfast selection – bacon, eggs, sausages etc., in baps – is exquisite. Having said this, their cake options are also fabulous – being both generous in size and diversity. You could easily pop in here for a quick cup of tea and snack, just as much as an essay-break or on-the-go dinner. The staff are also super-chirpy, which is enough to stimulate a smile however looming your essay deadline is!
📍 3 Cowley Rd, Oxford OX4 1HP, 01865 200777
Falafel House on Gloucester Green
For fantastic falafel at even more fantastic prices, this Gloucester Green counter is a student favourite not merely for receiving service with a smile. With prices starting at just £2.70 for a falafel, hummus and halloumi-filled wrap, mix and match between a range of options including spinach, baba ganoush, and even chicken or lamb shawarma. Perfect for a lunchtime pit-stop when hanging around town – or umm, studying!
📍 George St, Oxford OX1 2BU
Although perhaps not the most glamorous of foodie joints in the centre, Gino’s has a charm that cannot be denied. It’s decorated like a traditional Italian restaurant and stepping inside, you’ll be dreaming of Sicilian ruins and Tuscan olive groves…. The portions are hearty and true Italian grub. Authenticity is key here. In general the food is all very affordable, but the set menu on weekdays – £9.00 for pasta/pizza, a salad and a drink – is an excellent incentive to pay a visit.
📍 94, Oxford OX1 2BU, ginos-oxford.com
This long-standing Oxford staple is legendary for a reason – not only for its prices that any student loan could afford, but for the size of the burger you get for that price! They’ve got an amazingly huge list of sauces (unless you’re as indecisive as I am), like aioli, tandoori, Mexican salsa and their iconic White Shark sauce. Their chip portions are also plentiful, and the friendly staff let you pick your fizzy cans from the fridge to go with. As a popular joint along Walton street, expect a bit of a wait!
📍 84 Walton St, Oxford OX2 6EA, 01865 511592
Pho provide the ultimate bowls of comfort (their spicy chicken Pho is perfect when you have a cold), but they offer a great student deal too… 15% off food for students when they dine in, just present your Student ID card before you ask for your bill!
📍 305 The Westgate, Queen St, Oxford OX1 1PG, phocafe.co.uk/just-pho-students-15-off-food
Any we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments below and if we agree we’ll add them in!
Credit to Rosie Shennan for writing the first edition of this.