Opinion: Oxford needs more diverse food options

Kendra Newton
Oxford Stories

Oxford is a small, growing town. While its food industry is growing, it does not offer enough diverse options for students.

Since the early 2000s, there has been an increase in fast food restaurants, but there aren’t as many dine-in restaurants. Some students want more dine-in restaurants because of the lack of interpersonal communication while dining.

Current dine-in restaurants in Oxford have moderately high prices for college students, and most college students have a budget. I asked a few people their opinions about the variety of food places and/or restaurants in Oxford.

IMG_1674Oxford native Chadrick Knight, 22, is a University of Mississippi senior studying business management.

“Oxford doesn’t have a true variety of fast food restaurants, but it’s growing,” he said, adding that he prefers dine-in restaurants regardless if he’s with friends or not.

“It’s always better, because I can be more particular about how I want my food prepared, and dine-in restaurants are healthier than a fast food place, in my opinion.”

Knight was also asked about his last dine-in experience in Oxford. “I went to El Agave three weeks ago, a Mexican restaurant, and I had a rather decent experience.”

IMG_1673Nicholas Theisen, 22, of Pascagoula, is a UM senior studying exercise science.

“Oxford does have somewhat of a variety of fast food places,” he said. “Oxford is attempting bring more fast food restaurants to the city already, but I feel like there will always be an increase.”

Lisa Blackman Miller, a UM admissions specialist, said Oxford has a variety of restaurants, but it is heavily saturated with Mexican-style restaurants. “We could probably be a little more diverse,” she said.

She also prefers dine-in restaurants. “I feel like we are getting a lot of fast food restaurants, but not a lot of places where we can get a good quality meal on a date night, or do something nice for birthday dinners or anniversaries,” she said. “… So I think we could probably use more sit-down, dine-in options.”

Kadijah Shellwood, 22, a UM graduate, said Oxford is growing, but a variety of diverse restaurants wouldn’t hurt.

IMG_1676“The city is packed with college students year-round, so nice meals, rather than fast food all the time, would most definitely benefit the health of college students.”

Shellwood said many students miss their parents’ cooking.

“Entering freshman, coming from living with their parents to living by themselves, do not have the pleasure of eating home-cooked meals,” she said, “and some aren’t used to eating out, but the college life will most definitely humble you.”

Bringing more diverse varieties of food would bring more money into Oxford, which would also bring more business. Healthier places where one can dine in would benefit the Oxford area for college students and residents.

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