The Rickety Press reborn
Last time I went into the Rickety Press in Oxford’s hip enclave of Jericho, it was a gastro-local pub with a Michelin Bib Gourmand to its name. It was good, but competition in the gastropub field is bonkers because everyone’s at it now aren’t they? Clearly the Rickety owners sensed a better opportunity offering a more limited menu delivered with greater aplomb because lo! – they have become a pub specialising in superior burgers and pizzas. Think Byron Burger and Jamie’s Italian combined.
Honestly I think it’s genius. I can’t tell you how many times I have to go back to Byron Burger when I’m in Oxford at the behest of my oldest mudlet. Or how many pizzas are thrown down the neck of the youngest two. There’s something comforting about a couple of dishes delivered brilliantly rather than a whopper menu that struggles and I don’t know about you but quite often I don’t want to have a posh expensive meal in a village or drop-in pub, I just want the basics done well and a quick entry and exit to the movies or whatever.
I had a lunchtime pizza and seriously couldn’t believe how the place was heaving (my photos were taken a bit later, without people scowling at my intrusion into their lunches). Undoubtedly it’s a popular spot for office workers and students but it’s a turn away off the high street, so reputation does count for something here. My pizza, a hot little fella (just the way I like em), was huge, thin crust, delicious, and the price to you my friend? Only £10.
The other thing to note about the Rickety Press, if you haven’t already clocked from the photos, is that the styling inside is very slick and curated, definitely well above the usual local pub offerings. So there are flashes of neon, artfully flaking paint on wooden boards, industrial style seating around one of those arcing Victorian wooden bars, dark walls etc. Looks very cool, no?
The furnishings are cool but don’t worry, not everyone is sporting a beard and looking at your high street jeans suspiciously. There’s a real mix of clientele, the locals (all ages), office workers and students, so it’s worth putting on your Oxford eat list, either as an alternative to the George St chain restaurants of which I’m so utterly borrrrrrrrred, or if you’re planning a mooch around Jericho itself or as a pre-cursor to a walk on the lovely Port Meadow.
THE MUDDY VERDICT
Good for: With burger names like Chilli Chilli Bang Bang and pizzas from Cheesus Christ and Ham A Fun Guy, this is definitely a place for relaxed eating. It’s a big yes for family meals out, matey drop ins, chillled-out lunches or dinners for those who can’t live without pizza or burgers. Bargain hunters – it’s 50% off selected burgers on Mondays and 50% off selected pizzas from Tues-Fri.
Not for: Romantics – unless you’re idea of sweet nothings is to whisper ‘extra cheese on mine’ while you’re ordering at the bar. There’s no outside area to speak of so if you have small kids, they may get a bit itchy in their seats.
£££: Very reasonable. £8-10 burgers, or £8-12 pizzas. There’s also home delivery via Deliveroo or you can pick up from the bar and take home for 15% normal prices.
The Rickety Press, 67 Cranham Street, Oxford OX2 6DE. Tel. 01865 424581. thericketypress.com