Oxford, Mississippi, the “Cultural Mecca” of the South, brings in visitors from all over the country and the world. Home to the University of Mississippi, the town doubles in population during the school year. Whether in the Grove or on the Square, there’s one thing that is for sure – Oxford knows how to have a good time. A perfect night on the Square all comes down to location and a little bit of timing. To help make the most of an Oxford evening, here are some expert tips and insights so you can navigate the Square like a true local.
Let’s begin with one of the best views of the Square:
The Coop offers a great view of the Square at sunset to start the night. Having a small area to mingle, sit, and sip on cocktails, the industrial-yet-rustic 4th-floor patio of the Graduate Hotel is usually full. With a light bar menu, you can make sure you don’t hit the town on an empty stomach.
Eat Rebel Tots
Do Early Drinks, Watch the Sunset
Perfect for making a quick stop or for spending the night, there are a lot of things about Funkys that locals love. A New Orleans-style daiquiris and pizza bar, you have options of homemade pizza, a wall full of daiquiris, and an optimal people-watching location, facing both the alley and Jackson Avenue East. Famous for having Katy Perry dive off the bar after the Ole Miss win over Bama in 2014, you can spot a gift from her on the wall. House favorites include the Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, and the Tide Pod, all of which include a “floater” in your daiquiri.
Drink Katy Perry, Tide Pod Daiquiri
Eat Frat Boy Pizza
Do Watch the Game, People Watch
SOUTH DEPOT TACO SHOP
When having a night on the town, it is important to consider where you will start the night. This casual dining experience starts with building your own tacos, quesadillas, and burritos. Top it off with one of Oxford’s best frozen margarita and some chips.
Drink Frozen Margarita
Do Eat, Pre-game
Eat Chips and queso
THE SUMMIT LODGE BAR
Up the stairs and above Old Venice, bargoers “climb the summit” to try a variety of drinks. You can expand your horizons with the Horn. Containing an unknown mixture of alcohol, a Ram’s Horn should be on every visitor’s drink bucket list. Bonus: You can also order food from the Old Venice menu.
Drink The Horn Shot
Do People Watch from the Balcony
*Whiskey Wednesdays are a local favorite.
HIT THE TOWN
The Annex (18+) features massive TVs to watch your favorite teams, offers weekly drink deals, and a tasty menu of Poboys, burgers, and catfish platters. This bar covers all the bases. Don’t be surprised by live music and DJs on busier weekends.
Eat Chaud Poulet PoBoy
Do Watch the game, Dance
THE LIBRARY SPORTS BAR
The Library is by far the busiest and biggest bar in Oxford. This has three different sections, including a sports bar for watching all games, a music hall with a dance floor, and a patio and balcony featuring lights and a great atmosphere. Typically having some of the highest cover charges, it pays off to arrive early. This bar covers all your Friday night needs.
Drink Purple Gatorade Shot, or the drink version if you looove some sugar.
Do Catch Live Music, Dance, Watch the Game
ROOSTER’S BLUES HOUSE
The longest and often busiest balcony on the square is undoubtedly Rooster’s (18+). You can typically hear Rooster’s before you get there where the stage on any given night blasts classic, jazzy blues. Grab a spot along the railing and you’ll witness the Square in all its glory. This “glory” features the mounted police and crowds excited for a good time, especially after an Ole Miss Football game.
Drink Rooster’s House Shot also known as a “Walk Me Down”
Eat Wings Specials
Do Catch Live Music, People Watch from the Balcony
Entering from the alley or the Square, The Roundtable is more than meets the eye. From the Square, it appears to be a small shot-gun size bar, but down the hall and out the back door it opens to a patio full of TVs and a crowd. Roundtable is known around town for having one of the best back patios. Upstairs, the atmosphere completely changes, becoming almost club-like with a DJ set up with lights on big weekends. Leather couches line the walls where many take a break and watch others dance.
Drink Be on the lookout for daily drink deals.
Eat The Swog Style Sandwich
Do Watch the Game, Dance, Billiards, People Watch on the Patio
KICK IT BACK
* The following bars are described as more “chill” places, however, on busy weekends in Oxford, any bar is game for a “hit the town” kind of night. *
THE BLIND PIG
You know it’s good when all of the service industry workers go there…located under a clothing shop on North Lamar, this bar is a great place for a bite to eat. With a welcoming and classic pub vibe, staying for a while is easy. With pool tables and a laid-back experience, it is a local favorite and a cool place to retreat from the busy Square.
Drink Vodkaberry Lemonade
Eat The Crosby Killer Sandwich
Do Watch the Game, Billiards
BOURÉ BALCONY BAR
Labeling itself “upscale, down-home cooking” this is one place to consider for dinner and drinks. Once you finish dinner, you can head upstairs for drinks and a beautiful, late-evening view of the Square. You could take an alternative route by skipping dinner and going straight upstairs for some early drinks. This balcony reflects a mature atmosphere where you will most likely see a crowd of Ole Miss Grad students.
Drink Pickle Martini
Eat Spinach and Artichoke Dip or Crawfish Eggrolls
Do People watch on the balcony
CITY GROCERY BAR
Above the restaurant bearing the same name is the City Grocery Bar. A popular after-work stop for locals, the cozy bar has a small bar menu to grab a bite for a snack or dinner. If you’re lucky enough, grab a table on the balcony and settle in for some great people-watching.
Eat The Burger & Fries
Drink Espresso Martini
Do Grab a seat on the balcony and watch the Square go by
Tucked into the back of Oxford’s Lyric Theatre, Bar Muse is a small cocktail and wine bar with a speak-easy feel. Its intimate atmosphere will have you feeling far removed from the hustle and bustle of the Square, and the rotating seasonal cocktail menu will have you coming back for more. There is always something new and exciting to try, and you cannot go wrong with any of the expertly crafted cocktails.
Drink Ghost of Amelia
Eat Good Day Café’s Young Turk
Do Sit back and watch these expert mixologists
The Growler is a hub for craft beer enthusiasts. Inside you can find seating areas similar to your favorite coffee shop but with a different kind of brew. The tables hold stacks of playing cards to supplement a good time and conversations with friends. Don’t forget to bring your furry (or feathery) friend.
Drink Beer or Whiskey Flight (or one to pair with the other)
Eat Choose a Hot Dog from the Top Dogs Menu
Do Pick up one of the provided board games and settle in for a bit
MOE’S ORIGINAL BBQ
Found all over the U.S., this location offers the addition of the Penny Bar downstairs, where the bar top is literally rows upon rows of pennies. Locals and college students alike flock to the Penny Bar for trivia, bingo, open mic, and live music.
Eat Pulled Pork Sandwich
Do Game Night, Watch the Game
A small venue for bands and live music, Proud Larry’s brings in big names to a small-town bar. With a variety of areas to sit and eat, it’s not just great for its music scene. A restaurant by day with live music at night, you will find you can spend a whole afternoon and evening here. Be sure to check their calendar and see what music will be playing on any given night.
Eat The Larry Burger
Do Catch a Show
This James Beard Foundation “Best New Restaurant” semifinalist is known for its oven-fired pizzas and delicious pasta, but locals know not to sleep on the cocktail menu. Enjoy a late-night slice alongside one of their delicious cocktails.
Drink Prosecco Pop
Eat Oven-Fired Pizzas and Sicilian Green Olives
LOOKING FOR A BIT MORE OF AN ADVENTURE?
“SECRET” GRILLED CHEESE
If you choose to take on the Square, the last stop is a secret spot for gourmet grilled cheese. On the south side of the square, down an alleyway named after a notable writer from Oxford, this speakeasy spot is a best-kept secret. With a dress code and a line, this wait is worth it for a twist on a dinner classic.
*No Pictures Please- Pictures are not allowed so save your Snapchats for later.
CHICKEN ON A STICK
The go-to for any late night and a tradition for many, the Chevron on the corner of South Lamar and University has a variety of southern fried munchies.