EatingOxford: The Perfect Restaurant for Any Occasion

By Liz Barrett Foster

I’ve been writing about Oxford restaurants for almost a decade, so when locals and visitors ask my advice about where they should go for a romantic date, local flavor or a business meeting, I always have an answer, along with a few questions about their budget and taste.

With more than 100 restaurants in Oxford, there’s something for everyone. However, if you’re looking for a restaurant that will fit a particular situation or occasion, the list narrows. I’ve included a short list of my top picks for specific scenarios below, in no particular order.

Local Flavor

For those passing through Oxford, or locals in the mood for some down-home comfort food, I always recommend restaurants that provide reliable service, good food and some familiar southern hospitality.

  • Ajax Diner, 118 Courthouse Square
  • Oby’s, 1931 University Ave.
  • Newk’s, 1309 University Ave.

Business Meetings

Meeting someone for an interview or business chat can be awkward. You want to feel comfortable, but you don’t always want to commit to a meal. Depending on the scenario, suggest a place for a light lunch or meet for a quick coffee. Avoid spaghetti at all costs.

  • High Point Coffee, 265 N. Lamar Blvd.
  • McEwen’s, 1110 Van Buren Ave.
  • Bottletree Bakery, 923 Van Buren Ave.

A First Date

On a first date you’re usually just trying to get to know someone. You’ll want to go somewhere that’s not too stuffy and not too expensive—especially if it ends up not working out. Look for someplace you feel comfortable and can relax. Outdoor patios are perfect spots to enjoy the fresh air while you learn more about one another.

  • Proud Larry’s, 211 S. Lamar Blvd.
  • Greenroof Lounge, 305 W. Jackson Ave.
  • Kabuki Sushi Bar & Steakhouse, 1631 W. Jackson Ave.

A Second Date

If you’ve made it to the second date, you’re probably ready to spend a little more time and money to make an impression. A restaurant where you can enjoy a cocktail, appetizers, entrée and maybe even dessert is in order.

  • Jinsei Sushi, 713 N. Lamar Blvd.
  • The Wine Bar, 401 S. Lamar Blvd.
  • Ravine, 53 County Rd. 321

A Night Out with the Girls or Guys

We all need a night out with our friends every once in a while, which is why restaurants with cool cocktail offerings, extensive beer lists and fun menu items are often a big draw. Start the night with some interesting drinks and apps and see where the night takes you.

  • Snackbar, 721 N. Lamar Blvd.
  • Saint Leo, 1101 E. Jackson Ave.
  • The Blind Pig, 105 N. Lamar Blvd.

After an Ole Miss Game

Win or lose, there’s always something to celebrate after a day spent in the Grove or cheering on the Rebels. Stroll down to the Square and check into one of Oxford’s wide array of bars and restaurants offering snacks and cold libations.

  • The Library, 120 S. 11th St.
  • Soulshine Pizza Factory, 308 S. Lamar Blvd.
  • Rafter’s Music & Food, 1000 E. Jackson Ave.

When You’re Eating Healthier

Even the best foodies have to reign in the calories sometimes. Luckily, there are eateries around Oxford that make noshing on healthy foods a little easier for us.

  • Greenline, 1002 Van Buren Ave.
  • My Michelle’s, 1308 N. Lamar Blvd.
  • Living Foods Wellness Café & Juicery, 809 College Hill Rd.

For Something Completely Different

Sometimes you don’t know exactly what you want, you just know that you want something completely different from what you had the rest of the week. Oxford has you covered here, too. Try some Indian food, Hawaiian fare, or an authentic Mexican taco shop.

  • Maharaja Indian Cuisine, 2570 W. Jackson Ave., Ste. 23
  • Aloha Thai Hawaiian, 2580 W. Jackson Ave., Ste. 30
  • The Taco Shop (Mundo Latino), 1921 University Ave.

liz headshot

Liz Barrett Foster is the EatingOxford editor for, an award-winning business journalist who has written more than 1,000 articles, and author of Pizza: A Slice of American History. Liz ran the popular restaurant information site from 2009 to 2015. Liz can be reached at

Sign up to receive's morning and evening headline emails HERE!

Follow on Facebook (If You Love Oxford and Ole Miss...), Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat (@hottytoddynews).