The Vegan Student Guide To Oxford
Today we welcome a new guest blogger to our midst at Indie Oxford, Ruairí MacAonghusa. Tell us a bit about yourself Ruairí….
Fresh faced, naive and straight out of university, I’m a 22 year old literature grad stroke coffee dweeb. When I’m not making coffee or on the hunt for the best cup of coffee in Oxford, I get my kicks riding my bike, tap dancing, and adding new vegan recipes to my repertoire.
Here Ruairí gives us a round up of his favourite vegan-friendly student haunts for a new year of freshers embarking on student life in Oxford……..
So, you’ve just moved into halls, you’re ready to start your new life in Oxford, and you’re vegan. Chances are, you’re not the only one.
Several eons ago when I took part in the Duke of Edinburgh expedition, real life vegan sightings were as rare, and as few, as encounters with the loch ness monster; and yet we somehow ended up with one on our team. It was annoying and inconvenient of course, having to wash up our pots twice, having to use twice the amount of paraffin cooking two different meals and, who the hell was vegan anyways? To our 15 year old minds, this was extremism, of the most cumbersome and obtrusive kind.
Jump forward to 2017 and the threat of the weird vegan kid isn’t so much of an issue, as vegan options become less and less difficult to come by, and increasingly more mouth-wateringly delicious. Below, as a fully fledged vegan myself, I’ve curated a list of some of Oxford’s vegan and omnivore friendly options to keep everyone happy while you get to know each other in your first term.
Where to Study
The Missing Bean Roastery – You might already be familiar with The Missing Bean on Turl Street; great coffee, difficult to find a seat, no wifi, and no loo. For the opposite vibe but the same great coffee, head to their coffee roastery in East Oxford where you can settle down with your laptop, try any one of 14 different coffees roasted on site, and bite into some of the vegan treats on offer. You’ll have to be up early for this one though. These guys close at 2 pm, so it’s a great incentive to get your work done in the morning, and have the afternoon off.
Organic Deli – This adorable little cafe on Friar’s entry is one of my favourite spots in Oxford. With a full breakfast menu and a range of sandwiches and vegan cakes to choose from, you could really make a day of your study session. Don’t forget to pick up a loyalty card, because you’ll definitely be back.
Mostro – If it’s an oat milk flat white that you’re after, head to Mostro, attached to the legendary Truck store on Cowley road. A good spot to stay a little way out of the city centre, and pick up some records to justify that turn table that you bought.
Where To Get Dinner
You don’t want to get a cheeky Nando’s because they put mayo on your veggie burger every time, and while Indian food is always a safe veggie option, you’re only just getting to know you’re housemates and you can’t risk anyone having a bad reaction to a vindaloo and stinking out the flat. Here are two simple solutions.
The Gardeners Arms – Spoons can get pretty tedious when the only thing you can order from the menu is chips, or that one curry that’s kind of alright but a bit nothing really. For proper solid trashy pub grub, The Gardeners Arms in Jericho is a must. This little gem is a fully vegetarian pub with vegan mozzarella offered as an alternative on most cheese dishes. Comfy sofas and an oldy worldy interior contribute to the cozy factor, while a spacious beer garden allows you to kick back and loosen a notch on your belt after devouring the chilli cheese dog that you thought was off the vegan menu forever.
White Rabbit – White Rabbit Pizza is, without a doubt, hands down the best pizza in Oxford, and possibly the best vegan pizza in the UK. Never without a lively atmosphere, you might be hard pushed to find a table, but hang around and chat to the friendly bar staff over a pint while you peruse the menu. Officially, the ‘Vegana’ is the only vegan pizza on the menu, but generally the kitchen are happy to make some customisations.
Where To Do Groceries
All of this eating out can do some serious damage to your maintenance loan, so once you’ve settled into the term and are ready to start getting serious about saving some cash by cooking all of your own meals, here’s where to shop:
Wild and Honey – you’ve sworn to your housemates that tempeh is delicious and they really ought to try it, in fact, you’d love to cook it for them! This, is where you’ll find it, along with every grain, every difficult to source bean, every variety of marinated tofu you could dream of, and an endless supply of vegan chocolate. There’s nothing else left to say other than, welcome home. If you happen to visit the Magdalen Road store on a Thursday, pop across the road and buy all of your veg from the Cultivate Van, for extra vegan points.
Gloucester Green Market– otherwise known as ‘the glorious bargain of the city that I remained completely oblivious of until my final year of uni’. I once got 38 bananas for a pound. 38. For one squid. The market takes place on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and the best time to go if you’re only really after the basics, is just before 4 pm as they’re staring to pack up, they’ll be throwing bananas at you.
What are your favourite vegan indies in Oxford? Comment below or chat to us on our social channels! We’re all ears!
Love, Rosie xxx