Oxford is a culinary destination unlike any other, and whether you’re a discerning foodie or one who simply loves a good meal, We Are Your Type. While we have achieved national acclaim for our dining scene, our local flavor is still the main ingredient–meaning that no matter where you choose to enjoy a meal, it’s sure to hit the spot.
It’s hard to talk about dining in Oxford without a mention of Chef John Currence. The James Beard award-winning chef and former Top Chef competitor has built a culinary “dine-asty” in Oxford that helped put our town on the map, drawing foodies from around the country. City Grocery is marked by its approachable elegance, with dishes that are flavorful but never pretentious–and Currence’s shrimp and grits dish has become an Oxford legend in and of itself.
Across the Square, Bouré serves up Southern spins on all-American classics; the roasted jalapeno grilled peach chutney dip and the black-eyed pea hummus are as delectable as they are unique, and you can’t go wrong with the fried green tomatoes and Bouré burger.
At Snackbar, 2019 James Beard winner chef Vishwesh Bhatt & Currence bring their own flare to the ever-changing menu . Next door, Big Bad Breakfast, a.k.a. BBB, is best described as a place that truly lives up to its name–except for the fact that it’s also a great place to grab lunch.
If your time is limited, consider doing a food tour to consolidate some meals! Check out Oxford Food Tours here.
Though only making its home on the Square a short time ago, Saint Leo established itself as an Oxford mainstay–and was a James Beard semi-finalist for Best New Restaurant in 2017. Once you’ve settled in to their chic-yet-cozy setting and taken a bite of any one of their wood-fired pizzas, you’ll know why. Beyond pizza, the Saint Leo Chopped Salad is out of this world, and the Prosecco Pop is a perfectly fun way to finish any meal, including brunch.
Speaking of brunch–it’s an event we take seriously in Oxford. Whether you need a piping hot cup of local-blend coffee first thing or a leisurely late-morning brunch, we’ve got you covered. The aforementioned BBB and Saint Leo morning offerings are a sure bet, as is Bottletree Bakery, one of the most cherished spots on The Square. Early each morning, pastries, breads, biscuits and more are freshly baked and waiting for the crowd that will undoubtedly fill the bakery’s mismatched chairs and sip on its infamous Bowl of Soul. For solo diners, the low-top bar is a fun spot to grab a bite, read the local paper, and people watch. Fill-Up with Billups is another delicious spot, featuring a menu filled with all of the Southern classics to start your day, as is Cabin 82, a cozy cafe nestled in the lobby of Graduate Oxford hotel. If you’re looking for an under-the-radar option, The Beacon, a local favorite, is a no-frills spot serving up plates of Southern goodness. For a taste of other locally loved meals throughout the day, try the Oxford Canteen, Proud Larry’s, burgers from Handy Andy or tacos from South Depot Taco Shop.
For a memorable dinner, head to the outskirts of Oxford to Ravine–what feels like a quaint cabin in the woods is actually one of our town’s finest dining experiences. For the best steak this side of the Mississippi, look no further than The Grillehouse and be sure to browse the menus at Lenora’s and McEwen’s. Ajax is lauded for it’s plate lunches, but their dinner menu is a treat too—we recommened the house cut ribeye steak. For the adventurous eater, Jinsei’s sushi menu is inventive and delicious with fish flown in daily–and the best mojitos in town.
Did someone mention cocktails? In Oxford, it’s no secret that we know how to have fun–which means we also know how to make quite a good drink. Perched atop Graduate Oxford hotel, The Coop, has a speakeasy feel, plus the best views in town, and offers everything from the perfect barrel-aged Manhattan to frosé. For an extensive wine list and tapas, try the Wine Bar, and for a true Oxford experience, grab a cold beer or a glass of wine and spot on one of The Square’s many balconies, such as those at Bouré, Rooster’s or The Summit, to name a few.
For a big city feel, try the cocktails at Saint Leo, Saint Leo Lounge, or Snackbar.
If you’re looking for a place to eat well and a healthy dose of Southern hospitality, Oxford is sure to please palettes of any type. While your jeans may feel a little more snug on your way out of town, you’re sure to leave full on more than just our delectable offerings, but also on the vibrant flavors and experiences Oxford serves off the menu.