If you haven't visited Oxford, Mississippi before, you need to add this town to your bucket list ASAP. As I've told you before, this town is so much more than a college town and it has been one of my favorite cities in the world ever since I lived there as a college student.
If you do make it to Oxford, you need to make sure not to leave without visiting the famous Taylor Grocery! I promise that it will be one of the most memorable highlights of your trip. Taylor Grocery is well known for having the South's Best Catfish - but it is much more than just food - it's an experience! Taylor Grocery, located in Taylor, Mississippi, 10 minutes from Oxford, was built in 1889 and it originally operated as a dry good store.
In June 1977, Jerry and Evie Wilson began cooking catfish and eventually opened the first Taylor Grocery restaurant. Catfish and steak are the restaurant's specialties, but they also serve pork, shrimp, chicken, oysters, etc. There is always amazing live music while you eat - here's a video of one of the live performances below:
This teeny restaurant is so famous and popular (it made Southern Living's list of Best Restaurants in the South) that there may be a really long wait - especially during football season.
When Adam and I were visiting over Labor Day weekend, which was a football weekend (you can read about the trip here), there was a three hour wait. However, when each customer was told that there was a three hour wait, nobody batted an eye- that's how great the food is! People usually tailgate on the restaurant porch or in the parking lot while they wait. Here are some photos I took of the parking lot and the porch:
We weren't in the mood for tailgating (we had enough of that the day before at the football game), but we walked around the neighborhood and looked at an art gallery next door, and also looked at the chicken coops down the street:
Since we kept busy, the wait wasn't that bad. I have been there many times before where there is hardly a wait or no wait at all, so don't let the potential wait time scare you off - but be cautious during football season.
Taylor Grocery doesn't serve alcohol but they have a brown bag policy- so you can bring in your own alcohol to enjoy once you're seated. We saw many people bring in their own wine, liquor or beer. Here is a photo I took inside the restaurant:
As you can see, the ambiance is pretty unique. Customers can write all over the walls, and there is memorabilia to Archie and Eli Manning everywhere, and even Taylor High School class photos prominently displayed. We enjoyed listening to the live performance which was a male singer singing today's hits, the Eagles, and music from all of the decades. He was really good!
I agree that they really do have the best catfish in The South! It is definitely the best fried food that I've ever had. We started off by ordering the Taylor Sampler:
Best appetizer ever! It costs $17.00 and comes with four fried oysters, four fried shrimp, four fish nuggets and four boneless buffalo wings. I couldn't decide which sample I liked the most because they were really that good! Don't leave here without ordering this sampler!
Adam had the all you can eat catfish platter, but the first dish had so much food that he couldn't finish one plate. So the normal catfish order is enough for one person:
I tried the "whole catfish" platter and loved it:
It was easy to eat with a fork. Definitely the best catfish I've ever had, their breading and seasoning are really unique. Each entree comes with two sides and hush puppies, so we had the fried okra and fries as well. You can see their entire menu here.
Taylor Grocery is only open on nights from five until 9pm or later and they do not take reservations. However, you can reserve their party room, or even the whole restaurant if you have a special event.
Also do not forget to leave without buying one of their t-shirts! Everyone in Oxford has one and it's a pretty fun keepsake for your trip:
Have any of you been to Taylor Grocery before? Let me know if you have or if you have any questions before you go! Hotty toddy!!!! :)