If you’re living near the University of Mississippi, you’re in luck. Ole Miss students are steps away from the best restaurants on the square and around town. These eateries are bringing upscale Southern delicacies and authentic Cajun and Creole dishes to Oxford. You also won’t want to miss out on the Italian flavors by Saint Leo, or the dinner and live show you’ll find at Proud Larry’s.
Location: 1101 Jackson Ave. E., Oxford, MS 38655
Hours: Mon & Wed–Sat, 11 a.m.–midnight; Sun, 11 a.m.–9 p.m.; Closed Tue
In 2017, Saint Leo was a James Beard Foundation Best New Restaurant semifinalist. Owner Emily Blount wanted to bring big city flair paired with small town hospitality to this prime Oxford spot, and succeeded with an extensive Italian menu. Pizza dominates lunch and dinner, featuring tons of fresh mozzarella topped with an array of spicy Italian meats. For something a little different, try the sweet potato and kale, complemented with goat and Tomme cheeses, red onions, and pumpkin seeds.
Location: 110 Courthouse Square, Oxford, MS 38655
Cuisine: American (New), Southern, Cajun/Creole
Hours: Mon–Thu, 11 a.m.–10 p.m.; Fri & Sat, 11 a.m.–10:30 p.m.
Bouré brings a menu mixed with Southern classics and Creole favorites to the historic Oxford Square. Dive into a crawfish basket or some spicy queso to start, and complete your meal with a sandwich like the Peacemaker: fried Louisiana oysters, shrimp, crawfish, and remoulade on a toasted French loaf. They also have an amazing wine list. Treat yourself after finals to a bottle that pairs well with pasta jambalaya or chicken carbonara.
Location: 221 S. Lamar Blvd., Oxford, MS 38655
Cuisine: American (New)
Hours: Mon–Sat, 11 a.m.–9 p.m. (Bar open until 1 a.m. Fri & Sat); Sun, 11 a.m.–2 p.m.
Far more than just a restaurant, Proud Larry’s is the place to go for dinner and a show. They feature live music from both established and up-and-coming artists multiple times throughout the week, and have a Spotify playlist so you can listen and see if anything on the schedule fits your style. While you’re jamming out, chow down on a classic like Larry’s Spaghetti and Meatballs or the 14-inch Fat Larry pizza — a whopping pie topped with Italian sausage, beer, pepperoni, Canadian bacon, peppers, onions, mushrooms, and olives.
Location: 152 Courthouse Square, Oxford, MS 38655
Hours: Lunch Mon–Sat, 11:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m. | Dinner Mon–Thu, 6–10 p.m.; Fri & Sat, 6–10:30 p.m. | Brunch Sun 11 a.m.–2:30 p.m.
City Grocery’s rustic vibe and upscale, Southern-style menu quickly made it a restaurant staple in the Oxford town square. Start your meal with a wholly unique bite like duck confit rillettes or stuffed collards, then fill up on pan-seared Simmons catfish, grilled quail, or shrimp and grits. If you’re looking for a bite light on your stomach as well as your wallet, try their bar menu. Pair a draft beer or craft cocktail with snacks like Mrs. Wheat’s meat pies or pimento cheese served with sourdough croutons.
Location: 1931 University Ave., Oxford, MS 38655
Cuisine: Cajun/Creole, Sandwiches
Hours: Every day, 10:30 a.m.–10 p.m.
This restaurant has a storied history in Oxford, beginning in 1976 when ex-U.S. Navy man Don O’Bannon was inspired to open the ultimate local delicatessen. You can find the famous Oby’s in both Oxford and Starkville, serving up their Cajun po-boys to high demand. They’re best known for their fried seafood po-boys, featuring Mississippi farm-raised catfish, fresh Gulf oysters, and alligator tail.