The first place to look for entertainment should be the Student Activities Association. They are responsible for a wide array of activities throughout the school year. They host events such as Welcome Week and Homecoming Week in the fall, the Ole Miss Movie Series, and Hotty Toddy Holidays. Special Events also oversees the annual Ole Miss Idol competition held in the Spring. The SAA also sponsors the annual Christmas tree lighting of the University Christmas Tree. Local acts and bands playing in town are showcased on the Union Plaza during the noon lunch hour on Tuesdays or Thursdays. And, a few times each year the SAA schedules big musical acts to perform in the grove.
The Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts on the Oxford campus will sate your appetite. At six stories tall and 88,000 square feet, the Ford Center features two performance spaces, state-of-the-art theatrical production facilities, excellent acoustic qualities, well-appointed lobbies and comfortable seating for 1,050 in the main hall.
Ole Miss Department of Theatre Arts produces a full season of main-stage shows every season. All students are welcome to audition and BAs and freshmen are frequently cast.
If you prefer student lead theatre, look into Ghostlight Repertory Theatre. Ghostlight is the student run theatre organization at the University of Mississippi. Any student can become a member.
Perhaps you prefer music? The Ole Miss Department of Music generally has multiple performances every week. The performances include the Ole Miss Band, the Mississippians Jazz Ensemble, choirs, symphony orchestra, African drum and dance, steel orchestra, percussion ensemble, and opera.
If your idea of entertainment runs somewhat more seriously try the Overby Center. The Overby Center for Southern Journalism & Politics’ mission is to create better understanding of the media, politicians and the role of the First Amendment in our democracy. As part of this goal, speakers, panels, and performances are offered in their 225 seat auditorium.
In addition to all of this on-campus entertainment, the city of Oxford is blessed with a plethora of entertainment options. Downtown Oxford, the square, has dozens of venues that offer music and dancing every week. The Malco company offers 18 movie theater screens in two facilities as well as an outdoor performance area and a bowling facility with 20 lanes.
If you are hungry, Oxford is a great place to be. We can’t list every dining opportunity in Oxford but here are a few of our home-town favorites.
- 6’n Tubbs Italian Restaurant – What happens when a New York family relocates to Oxford? We get great NY style pizza and fresh cooked bagels.
- Abner’s Famous Chicken Tenders – One of the several restaurant chains that were founded and started in Oxford. The original and still the best is located just off the square.
- Ajax Diner – One of Eli Manning’s favorite restaurants, Ajax has been named “Best Downhome Soul Food” by Mississippi Magazine three years in a row, in addition to the magazine’s “Best Cornbread” and “Best Plate Lunch” titles. Ajax holds many local titles, including The Oxford Eagle’s “Best Plate Lunch,” “Best Burger,” “Casual Dining” and “Best of the Best.” Needless to say, Ajax is definitely a spot you need to try if you’re in Oxford.
- Big Bad Breakfast – Whether it’s the house-cured Tabasco/Brown Sugar Bacon, crispy southern fried chicken, Original Grit Girl grits, or the Anson Mills Steel Cut Oatmeal, you’ll be talking about coming back before you’ve left the table.
- Bottletree Bakery – Get your fill of European Style Breads & Pastries, Deli Sandwiches and Specialty Coffee.
- Bouré – Decidedly Creole in its overall scope, the restaurant isn’t easily labeled.
- China Royal – It is a Chinese buffet and possibly the best deal in town for a hungry student.
- Coop DeVille – This chicken restaurant delivers over a dozen flavors of wings and over a dozen different chicken sandwiches. Oh, and most importantly, they are open until 3:00 A.M.
- H2O Oriental Café – Located in a tiny place just off the square, this is easily the best Pho in Oxford.
- Handy Andy Grocery & Market – Barbecue, steak sandwiches, hamburgers, and banana pudding. They are family owned and have been around forever. Also, they have arguably the best burger in town.
- James Food Center – Technically this is a convenience store but they have been serving lunches for a long time and the food is good and affordable.
- Kabuki Sushi Bar & Steak House – Dinner and a show. The hibachi chefs are fun and the food is great. One of two sushi and hibachi places in town, don’t ask us to choose. They are both great.
- Maharaja Indian Cuisine – Might we suggest the butter chicken and lots of naan?
- McAlister’s Deli – There are a few hundred McAlister’s around the country now but the original is here in it’s original location.
- Newk’s Eatery – Another home town favorite that has grown to be something more. There are dozen’s of Newk’s across the country but we have the first.
- Old Venice Pizza Co. – Pizza and pasta that will satisfy most appetites.
- Phillip’s Grocery – Its mostly burgers and sandwiches but they are done so very well.
- Pizza Den – One of the oldest dining establishments in Oxford. Their pizza is good but we suggest trying their sandwiches. The roast beef and gravy sandwich makes our mouth water just thinking about it.
- Proud Larry’s – Not only do they have good food but they have live music almost every weekend.
- Rice & Spice Thai Kitchen – If you are in the mood for some heat this is the place to go. The food and service are both great.
- Snack Bar – French Bistro meets North Mississippi Cafe to produce a unique upscale dining experience.
- South Depot Taco Shop – Located on the square with lots of room and fast good food.
- Square Pizza – Easily the best square pizza served on the square.
- Taylor Grocery – Technically its not in Oxford, its in Taylor, but we claim it as our own. Eat Or We Both Starve is their motto and if you leave there hungry its your own fault. Live music and catfish plates, what could be better?
- TeQuilas Mexican Grill & Bar – One of many Mexican restaurants in town. This happens to be our favorite.
- The Taco Shop – This tiny restaurant serves basically one thing, tacos. They are simple but impeccably delicious.
- Toyo Sushi Bar & Hibachi – Dinner and a show. The hibachi chefs are fun and the food is great. One of two sushi and hibachi places in town, don’t ask us to choose. They are both great.
- Volta Taverna – Delicious Mediterranean inspired food. Start with some Greek Pimento Cheese with Pita and follow up with a Lamb & Beef Gyro.