With Valentine’s Day around the corner, whether you typically ‘celebrate’ it or not, it’s a great excuse to go out and enjoy some tasty vegan food. Explore our round-up of great vegan food in Oxford, whether you’re looking to go all out, or for something a bit more low-key.
No pressure – The Bicycle Shed
The bar/restaurant in Summertown has a relaxed atmosphere, but the food is amazing and the dimmed lighting in the evening can make this feel like a low-pressure romantic evening. The Bicycle Shed offer some of the best vegan food in Oxford, with a focus on drawing out delicious flavours from seasonal veggies rather than using lots of meat replacements. It’s always popular, so make sure to book well in advance if you’re planning on going out on actual Valentine’s Day.
Long-term love – Happy Friday Kitchen
No awkward conversations about veganism because your partner is well aware of your obsession with good vegan food, or perhaps even better, they’re vegan too! The California-style junk food at HFK pretty much requires you to get it all over your hands and around your face, but your other half has probably seen you at your worst so there’s no need to feel self-conscious, right? We recommend you go on an empty stomach so you can somehow save room to enjoy dessert. Vegan comfort food at its best 🙂
Pushing the boat out – The Folly
Really wanting to impress your other half, or treat them to a particularly special occasion? It might set you back a little more but for the food, atmosphere, and service, it’s surely worth it. Book a table looking out over the river and get cosy over candlelight, enjoying the quintessential Oxford relaxed fine dining experience. Remember to let them know when you book that you’re looking to order from the vegan menu, as it says on their website that they require 24 hours notice – at least you know the ingredients haven’t been sitting around for ages waiting for the next vegan to show up!
On a budget – Pho
It can be a tricky time of year with the wallet still recovering from Christmas, and we know it’s a chain but Pho really does have some of the best value food in Oxford in terms of quality vs cost. For Veganuary 2020, they partnered with THIS to add ‘This isn’t Chicken’ across their menu, which has really taken their vegan options to the next level. You can easily enjoy a delicious and filling meal for a tenner, and students get 15% off food when they dine in too. The food is all cooked fresh to order with vibrant veggies, and the low lighting makes for a reasonably romantic atmosphere, so all in all a great date spot.
Galentines Day – The Coconut Tree
This is actually my favourite place to eat out in Oxford and it would definitely work well in any of the above situations, but the reason it’s perfect for a night out with your friends is that you can share even more of their many vegan dishes. The small plates are super affordable and over 50% of the menu is vegan, so I always struggle to narrow my food choices down to an acceptable amount to eat in one sitting. I’m thinking strategically here – the bigger your party, the more dishes you get to try. My must orders though are the vegan kotthu and the cashew nut curry. The cocktails are amazing too, so if you can book a spot during happy hour, even better.
Writing this I can’t predict exactly what the weather will be like on the big day, but working under the assumption that it’ll likely be cold and/or wet, maybe staying in seems like the preferable option. There are *so* many vegan options available to order in online now, so you don’t need to miss out on a night of indulgence. Papa Johns are slaying it with their vegan pizzas, and just think how much food you could get delivered right to your door for the same price as a meal out! We’ve also spotted that Wicked Kitchen meals are included in Tesco’s Valentines dine-in meal deal for the first time this year, with all three courses finally catering for vegans, which is amazing news!
Are you planning to do something foodie-related for Valentine’s Day? Let us know which of these options you’d go for in the comments!