As Miami students, we’ve heard the same old song and dance about the classic Oxford restaurants a thousand times: Bagel and Deli has sandwiches with funny names; you can get battered, fried balls of mac and cheese at Mac and Joe’s, Skipper’s and Doughby’s; Steinkeller has a million imported German beers or whatever.
We get it: Oxford, Ohio is a pub food paradise. But, with no disrespect to these fine dining establishments, I’m kinda over it.
I’m here to argue the best food in Oxford is its Asian food. Our little town in southwest Ohio is a gold mine for flavors from Japan to India to China. More than 90% of Miami’s 2,083 international students come from Asian countries, so it’s no surprise that our local food scene has seen so many exciting new Asian restaurants. And for those of us who grew up on Asian food, these are the real shining stars of the uptown food scene.
Because of this, I’ve compiled a list of my personal Oxford Asian food favorites. This list is by no means expansive, and I’m sure that I’m missing someone’s personal favorite. These are just the best ones I’ve tried so far.
I hope this guide serves you well when you need a break from the typical American fare that Oxford is so famous for. Besides, mac bites are basically just fried dumplings anyway.
Phan Shin is one of Oxford’s oldest Chinese restaurants, and as a townie, I would say it is still the best one in town. It has super friendly staff, fast delivery and an enormous menu, with both authentic and “Americanized” Chinese dishes. I’d be surprised if you couldn’t find something on the menu that you love.
For those of us who are used to buying ramen in a plastic packet and hastily cooking it in a communal dorm kitchen microwave, $15 for a bowl of noodle soup may sound a bit extreme. However, one slurp of any of Ramen Hachi’s richly flavored ramen bowls is likely to change your mind. It also serves plenty of classic Japanese side dishes, like gyoza, chicken karaage and edamame.
The most recent addition to my favorites list, Mimian specializes in hand-pulled noodles served fried, chopped, under meat or in soup as ramen. Dishes can be ordered with a variety of meats, ranging from brisket to chicken to pig intestine. The portions are also huge, so you can save some for later if that’s your thing.
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Personally, I think Krishna might be the best restaurant in Oxford. I’ve never eaten anything from here that I didn’t absolutely love. The amount of spice in your dish can also be customized, so those with a more sensitive palette can enjoy the food no matter what they order. And like Mimian, the portion sizes are enormous. I’ve easily gotten three meals out of one order of Chicken Tikka Masala before, but I’ve honestly never grown tired of having Krishna as leftovers. It's that good.
Drop In Tea
Plenty of bubble tea spots have opened up across town in the last few years, and while I don’t think I am enough of an expert to tell the difference between two different cups of milk tea, Drop In is my most recent favorite. Novice bubble tea drinkers may want to try its sweet specialty brown sugar milk tea, while more adventurous customers might go for its fruit tea slushies, topped with a sweet and salty cheese foam.
Dim Sum is known for its dumplings, but it also serves sushi and nigiri. This is good news for those who miss Sushi Nara, which closed earlier this year. The menu, which can be found on Oxford to You, is expansive and sure to have something new for everyone to try.
Although not technically a restaurant, Asia Market offers many Asian groceries that can’t be found anywhere else in town, as well as a variety of snacks, drinks, produce and frozen foods like rice cakes and dumplings. As an occasional home cook, I go here when they don’t have what I need at Kroger.
That wraps up my list! Consult it the next time you’re ordering in but want to try something outside of the typical Oxford American food wheelhouse. And be sure to tip your delivery driver.