Back-to-school: Where to eat and how to pay for it

Posted on Aug 21 2017 - 6:00am by Hannah Willis

It’s pretty likely that by the time you’re reading this, far too many hours of your time have been spent packing, driving too long, unpacking and organizing. Your room is in fairly good shape, at least enough for you to live with, but now you have to venture out in search of food. That’s where things might get tricky.

The three forms of Ole Miss money are Flex, Express and Plus 1.

All food-related places on campus take Flex or Plus 1. Express can be used for non-food items and is a lifesaver when you have to get a Scantron out of a library vending machine or pay to use laundry machines in the dorms. Plus 1 should be accepted anywhere Flex is, but remember Plus 1 gives you $7.50 a day that won’t roll over, so make sure to take advantage of it every day.

For you coffee folks, there are two Starbucks coffee shops on campus. The one in the library is where you’ll spend your finals week, cramming for tests while getting your caffeine fix. The newer location in the front of Coulter Hall tends to be much quieter and less busy.

When construction on the student union is completed, there will be a food court that will add several more food options for students.

The Rebel Market is your best bet for good food, cafeteria-style. Beware, though – during non-peak hours, some counters will close down, and it still costs $10 or a meal plan swipe to get in. It’s not the cheapest option, but is quick and all-you-can-eat.

If you’ve heard chatter about the Grill at 1810, get used to it. This cafeteria, designed for the athletes but open to all, is probably one of the healthiest options on campus. It’s also in the Archie and Olivia Manning Performance Center across campus from most dorms, so if you need to eat like a champion, prepare to walk like one.

The university also has PODs (Provisions on Demand) scattered around campus. Find the one that’s closest to you and then grab all of the cheese sticks your heart desires. They also sell sushi and other quick meals for students on the go.

Now for everyone living off campus, or the brave freshmen venturing into the outside world, Oxford has some killer food. Plan ahead, though, because unless you’re made of money, the Square will eat up an allowance like no other.

Boure is a downtown classic with great mixed drinks, Proud Larry’s has good eats along with music, Soulshine can fix your pizza craving, and Ajax has food to warm your soul, just to name a few.

Rice and Spice and the newcomer Pick Thai both serve killer Thai food. Go hungry and prepare for a heavenly food coma. Both spots also offer delectable vegetarian options for our veggie-loving Rebels out there.

People always head to Big Bad Breakfast or Bottletree Bakery for their morning feasts, but if you drive a little farther past BBB on North Lamar, you’ll also find the Beacon. It’s definitely a greasy spoon, but the coffee is hot and the grits are marvelous. When there are more locals eating than students, you know you’ve found a keeper. The Ravine’s also a great brunch choice if you like farm-to-table type places.

There are plenty of other spots around town, local and franchise, to cure your hunger so don’t be afraid to try a new place every now and again.

Whether you’re new in town or you’ve been here every Saturday since birth, Oxford is a town with a lot to offer. Instead of drinking away syllabus week, explore your home for the next 10 months. Follow your nose wherever it leads you. Oxford won’t disappoint.

Oh, and for the more adventurous, you should also find the Secret Grilled Cheese Bar. That’s all I’m at liberty to say.