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Hi - my name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm a litigation attorney here to assist you.
Yes, you can sue for breach of contract and you can prove that you loaned the money and that your friend paid you some back.
The biggest problem is that oral contracts are not valid unless they're fully completed within 12 months from inception. Thus, it is possible for your friend to claim that because the loan was not reduced to writing, it is not valid, and therefore, not collectible.
However, if your friend admits to borrowing the money and admits that the money is owed, you should be entitled to get a judgment against your friend for the money due.