Why you should eat out in Oxford

Let’s just say I know a guy…

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I’m not sure about you, but my life often (at least close to mealtimes) involves a gut wrenching dilemma. Do I have the resources, whether they be related to my will or wallet, to eat out, or do I settle for some combination of carbs and chicken? I usually confront this problem with impulsive hangriness, snappily opting for a meal deal if I’m feeling thrifty or whatever is in the fridge if I’m feeling lazy. But here’s why I should eat out instead.

Eating out doesn’t have to be expensive

There are plenty of places out there in Oxford which understand the student survival struggle. I could rattle off a list of places where you can get lovely warm food for under a fiver, but I don’t have to. An access to the internet and a desire for exploring Oxford is all you really need to find the perfect wrap or chicken katsu curry.

There are even apps out there – such as the locally founded “The Dealer” app – which will do the exploring and price checking for you, showing daily offers and even the distance to their respective gastronomic vendors. I personally use this app to get cheaper cocktails at the Varsity Club or cheaper coffees at my favourite shops, but it can help you find some fine food from Jimbob’s to Rick’s to Viny’s – depending on what tickles your fancy.

Selectively eating out helps the local community

The great thing about “The Dealer” is that it I helps the local community by giving you the option to donate some money to help the homeless through the Porch Stepping Stone and the Gatehouse charities. We all know the taste, price and regret associated with corporations like McDonald’s and KFC. I know that I can’t pretend to morally object to those places given my occasionally indulgent tendencies.

But going to such places comes at a cost: each bum sat on a McDonald’s seat is not on one belonging to a local eatery. This is sad because the owners of non-franchise eateries bring something refreshingly idiosyncratic to the table. It’s just hard to hear their voice over the booming shouts of huge companies with endless resources for publicity.

It is also a pity because these people work extremely hard to produce something enjoyable. Every time you eat at Bill’s, or even G&Ds, you are helping the local economy. Whether or not this means anything to you personally, I think we should show some gratitude to the place where we all spend half our life for three or four years.


It’s better than the other ways we ‘treat’ ourselves

Food is not expensive. Alcohol is expensive. Clubbing is expensive. Drunk Hassan’s every night is expensive. Paying fines for inebriated rampages is expensive. Not only is food monetarily less demanding, it is also less detrimental to one’s health and, frankly, considering the Oxford nightlife, more enjoyable.

Instead of having just vodka and rum at your next pres, or focusing on the wine rather than the curry at your next crew date, try having some good food with a couple of nice cocktails. You’ll see that you’ll not only feel better in the morning, but you’ll also be more conscious and able to enjoy people’s presence at the time.