Food at Balliol

College Members eat together in the magnificent Hall on the Broad Street site. A buffet-style lunch and dinner are served seven days a week during term time and breakfast is available during the week. For alternatives to meals in Hall for students, see the information on other options below.

Hall meals are subsidised by the College, and provide healthy and varied menus, including vegetarian options. Here are sample lunch and dinner menus, and today’s menu in Hall [College Members only: single sign-on required]

It is compulsory for all students (undergraduates and graduates) living in College accommodation to pay a termly Fixed Living-in Charge of £36.09 per term; students who live out pay a reduced charge of £23.34 per term, which does not include any meals. This charge contributes towards the overheads of running the central kitchens.

Meal times and arrangements in Hall

We have had to make some changes because of the COVID-19 pandemic, to ensure that we can still provide meals whilst protecting the health and safety of all the Balliol family.

Updated 18 May 2021:

Balliol students may now bring guests to Hall.

Hall will be open for breakfast Monday to Friday, from Tuesday 20 April to Friday 25 June, and open for lunch and dinner Monday to Sunday, from Monday 19 April to Friday 25 June. Each meal sitting is limited to 100 places.

  • Breakfast: 8.00 to 9.30am
  • Lunch: 12.30 to 2.00pm
  • Dinner: 6.00 to 7.30pm

There will still be a one-way system operating in Hall: enter through the main Hall doors and then leave via the SCR stairs behind High Table.

To maintain social distancing, we have placed screens on the Hall tables and will only be allowing 100 people to dine at any time. The tables are now set up in groups of six; however, some of the single spaces remain for those who still wish to be cautious. 

There is no longer any need to book in for meals in Hall, except for the Tuesday Hall formals.

Tuesday Hall will be running again every Tuesday in term from 1st Week (2 April). Book at the meal bookings site, but please remember to have sufficient funds on your Bod Card - otherwise you will not be able to book. We are now allowing one guest per person. The deadline for booking for Tuesday Hall is every Monday at 12 noon.

Takeaway service

We are also offering a takeaway service from the Hall for those who do not wish to eat in Hall. This is available for lunch and dinner. When you reach the service counter, please just inform staff that you would like a takeaway meal. Please remember to return your plate straight away. Failure to return plates will result in the takeaway service having to close.

Payment for meals 

There are two ways for College members to pay for Hall meals; the first method is considerably cheaper. The two payment methods are: 

1.    a termly Catering Pre-Payment (CPP) meal-deal for dinners or lunches

2.    the option of putting money on your University Card for all meals purchased in Hall. Here are sample cash prices for College members and non-members.

Hall is now entirely cashless. Please make sure that you have money on your University Card before you come to Hall.

1. To take advantage of the College’s CPP meal-deal, for Hilary Term 2021, please visit our payments site by Sunday of 3rd week of term (9 May 2021) at the latest. The CPP meal-deal runs from Monday of 1st week and ends on the Friday of 10th week (26 April to 2 July 2021). Pre-payment dinners/lunches consist of a main meal, with vegetables and potatoes, rice or noodles or a main meal plus a standard side salad; and a hot or cold dessert or a piece of fruit. The options are, for weeks 1-8 of each term: 7 dinners per week for £192.80 for the term; 5 dinners per week on any day for £155.20; 5 dinners per week Monday to Friday for £137.35; or 5 lunches per week Monday to Friday for £137.35 - which is very good value for money.

2. To deposit money on your University Card, you should also visit our payments site and indicate the amount you wish to top up with.

You can combine a Catering Pre-Payment meal-deal with a University Card deposit by visiting the payments website and selecting both options. Please note:

  • Any meal-deal or money you pay in will be added to your University Card, which you must produce at the tills in Hall.
  • Neither method of payment includes the separate Catering Subsidy Charge which is levied on all students (see above).
  • No refund will be given on the Catering Pre-Payment; nor is the Catering Pre-Payment transferable to a following term.
  • You will be able to use your University Card in Hall from the Monday of 0th week, but meal-deals do not begin until the Monday of 1st week.

Special dietary requirements

Every day in Hall we provide a vegetarian or a vegan option at lunch and dinner. On Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays we offer one meat option only for dinner. 

We also ensure that there is a dairy-free, gluten-free, and nut-free option available at each meal.

As per the allergen labelling legislation, the daily menu in Hall shows the presence in a dish of any of these 14 allergens: gluten, lupin, peanuts, nuts, milk, soya, mustard, eggs, fish, crustaceans, molluscs, sesame, celery and sulphur dioxide. 

Please note that whilst every effort is made to avoid the cross-contamination of allergenic ingredients, we cannot guarantee that our dishes are 100% allergenic free. If you have concerns about the ingredients in any dish, please ask a member of the catering team or contact our Executive Chef directly.

For more information about Balliol Hall food, students may also be interested in this article by the Executive Head Chef.

Other options for students

There is next to no self-catering for students on the Broad Street site. There is some self-catering in the Graduate Centre.

Rev 18 May 2021 1.4