I am admittedly a bit of a foodie, actually I am proud to be a foodie, in a student sense of the word of course. I just love eating out. So, even if I am just popping somewhere for a lunchtime snack, I love the whole dining out experience – much to my bank accounts distaste. Essentially, I will eat just about anything, give or take a mushroom or two. My cooking game however, is not so strong and hence the preference to eating out so much. As you can see below though, as much as I love me some noodles, I have not quite mastered how to use chopsticks properly.
Since the opening of the Westgate shopping centre last year in Oxford, I have slowly been making my way around not only the shops but all of the food that it has to offer too. On many a lunch break particularly, I have been heading over to Westgate Social to sample each of their food and drink vendors since it has all kinds of tasty cuisine at reasonable prices all under one roof.
If you fancy Mexican food, Asian cuisine or maybe just a hearty burger with fries, you can pretty much have that all in Westgate Social, literally all of it if you are feeling that hungry. Westgate Social is also the perfect hangout, with the well-known Junkyard Golf Club right by its side and so, the place really does live up to its name. With the vendors catering towards all dietary requirements too, there is something for everyone to enjoy. A little tip too, it also has plenty of charging points in case you are a student like me who is always running around looking for a cafe to work in which is not full and has plug sockets. Well, do not worry because this huge food hall has got you covered and offers plenty of seating areas which make for the ideal work spot with a side of fries. As any support for any up-and-coming deadlines you have in the form of a burrito or milkshake are always welcomed because well, there really is nothing quite like some tasty comfort food to nurse your university stresses.
Inside you can find Benito’s Hat, where you can snack on nachos like there is no tomorrow and enjoy all of the authentic Mexican food that it has to offer. Perhaps if you are feeling something easy for an on-the-go lunch, then Ned’s Noodle Bar is perfect and oh so ‘Instagramable’, with its fulfilling noodle and rice boxes. Even it’s smaller size boxes are perfect for a light but equally delicious snack.
Maybe you are feeling something more traditional, a typical British favourite. Then Salt ‘n’ Sauce is a winner winner with its contemporary take on fish and chips. Bringing a little bit of the seaside into the city with its top ranked chippy (as The Times said themselves). Plus, I am a North Wales gal at heart and so I am absolutely over the moon every time I stumble upon a chippy.
Of an evening, Tommi’s Burger is perfect if you want a meal with all of the trimmings. Grab a beer from the bar whilst you wait and your delicious burger on a brioche bun – because you can never fail with a bit of brioche – will be with you in no time. Go crazy and customise your burger as you wish too. Bacon is the best topping of course. Then there is Shawa, where you can find the tastiest Lebanese food and the most refreshing drinks. I personally can just not say no to a chicken shawarma from here whenever I go in. It is just so tasty.
More importantly for us students, meal prices stand at around £7 and so, you can hardly turn down such reasonable goodness. With all of the vendors not closing until late either, you can always find the will to cram in another 1000 words if you have a taco by your side to keep you going. Then once you are all done and submitted, you can take yourself over to Junkyard Golf Club to celebrate with mini golf and cocktails. Sorted.
For more info about opening time and the restaurants inside Westgate Social, head to the Westgate Oxford website.