My best friend is from Indiana, and it was a culture shock when she came to visit me in Oxford over Christmas Break. It didn't take her long to fall in love with the southern charm that I have spent my entire life loving. It also didn't take long for her to ask me to take her to some restaurants that would make her feel like a true southerner. Naturally, these are the seven places that I took her:
1. Ajax Diner
Ajax is one of the most known places in Oxford. It was the first place that I took my northern BFF when she came to visit in January. Ajax Diner is also one of Eli Manning's favorite places to eat. Eli Manning and I also share the same regular order: a house salad without tomatoes (I don't like them either), pork chops (hands down the best thing on the menu), mashed potatoes, and green beans.
Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken has 16 locations across America, but it still a must on the Oxford food tour. No trip down South is complete without sweet tea and fried chicken. I also highly recommend the fried pickles as an appetizer. 11/10 would recommend Gus's.
Breakfast is the most important day, and a southern breakfast is even more important. If you're looking for scrambled eggs, pancake stacks, and grits that you'll be talking about for weeks, BBB is the only place to go. You also haven't completed your trip without one of BBB's famous Bloody Marys.
Anyone that knows me will tell you that I have a major Oby's obsession. Their loaded potatoes, chef salads, and chicken strips provide a life changing experience for even people who have spent their entire lives in the South.
Technically, Taylor Grocery isn't actually in Oxford. Instead, it is a ten mile drive down the road. It is also completely worth it. Taylor Grocery is known for providing memories even better than the catfish that they are famous for. This is truly southern cooking at its finest.
6. City Grocery
Yes, another grocery. City Grocery is located on The Square in downtown Oxford and is another southern must. People that I know go for the drinks but stay for the cornbread. I've also heard several people rave about City Grocery's shrimp and grits, but a seafood allergy keeps me from experiencing it myself.
Bottletree Bakery is one of the cutest places to eat in Oxford. Their chocolate croissants are as perfect as their sweet tea. I have never had anything other than a flawless experience at Bottletree.