When you’re heading to Oxford, MS for an Ole Miss game you may want to check out these great restaurants. Beware, if you’re waiting until the last minute to make reservations you may be in for a wait, but all of these places are worth a visit.
All are within easy walking distance, if not sight of each other. In no particular order, here they are:
Early on the scene of the Oxford town square revival, City Grocery has become a landmark in the Oxford dining scene. Exposed brick walls and heart pine plank floor augment the candle light and white linen staging some the most inventive and interesting food in the South. If you don’t secure a reservation before game day you may be in for a wait but put this restaurant at the top of your list. The upstairs bar over looking the square is a nice place to have a drink.
If you find yourself without a game ticket, my first suggestion is head to this place. Housed in the old Leslie’s Drug Store/ Downtown Grill building on the historic Oxford, MS Square. The newly renovated space is home to the “Up-scale Down-home” fare of Bouré. Decidedly Creole in its overall scope, the restaurant isn’t easily labeled. A bustling, casual dining room and balcony, attentive service and an outstanding menu elevate Bouré to something greater than just another college joint.
The Second Line, 208 South Lamar
New to the Oxford restaurant scene is The Second Line. The casual restaurant menu designed by award winning Memphis chef, Kelly English. “Nothing takes me back to New Orleans like a roast beef poboy, dressed, and an old school Italian salad,” says English. “Neither of these are part of what most think about when you eat “New Orleans food.” Truth be told I never had anything blackened until I left New Orleans, that is strictly tourist food, just like we don’t walk around with mardi gras beads on all the time.”
McEwen’s, 1110 Van Buren Ave.
I recommend McEwen’s Oxford, one of the better southern foods in Oxford. It is popular and highly rated. It is also one of the averagely priced southern foods in the area. If you are looking for a place that closes late, McEwen’s Oxford is your best bet.
Proud Larry’s, 211 South Lamar Ave.
A casual, fun place just right for a pre or post game drink. Food is above average and you’re likely to run into lots of locals.
Old Venice Pizza Company, 1112 Van Buren Ave.
Great pizza and a relaxed atmosphere on the square. If City Grocery’s wait is too long, have a cocktail at the upstairs bar while you wait on a table at Old Venice.
Ajax’s, 1118 Courthouse Square
The best “meat and three” in Oxford. Bring a big appetite and order the sweet tea and dessert. One of Eli Manning’s favorite restaurants, Ajax has been named “Best Downhome Soul Food” by Mississippi Magazine three years in a row, in addition to the magazine’s “Best Cornbread” and “Best Plate Lunch” titles. Ajax holds many local titles, including The Oxford Eagle’s “Best Plate Lunch,” “Best Burger,” “Casual Dining” and “Best of the Best.” Needless to say, Ajax is definitely a spot you need to try if you’re in Oxford.
Graduate Hotel, 400 North Lamar Ave.
This roof top bar may be my first choice for a cocktail in Oxford. Located just off the town square, The Graduate bar offers phenomenal views of Oxford and is a great place to “people watch” on a game weekend.