5 must eats in Mississippi

The following Guest Post was written by Visit Mississippi whose mission is to promote this U.S State around the world. We have been speaking before, during and after the weekly travel chat #Travex and they always mention the amazing southern food! So I personally asked them to share some of the most popular dishes and comfort food of the area. Just so that you know, it may leave you hungry after reading & seeing these images :)

It’s not only Delta blues music that draws visitors to Mississippi: It’s the food. Authentic Southern fare abounds in the Hospitality State. You’ll find homegrown specialties like spicy, creamy comeback sauce (The Mayflower, in Jackson), fried dill pickles (The Hollywood Cafe in Robinsonville) and for the adventurous eater, pig ear sandwiches (Big Apple Inn in Jackson). Read on for five classic foods that you simply can’t miss when you visit Mississippi.

1. Catfish

fried catfish, catfish, southern food, Mississippi, food, foodie, foodporn

Photo credit: Wikia.com

Taylor Grocery in Taylor started as a dry goods store in 1889, and it reopened as a restaurant in the 70s. This place radiates an authentic Mississippi vibe, with its wooden interior, friendly faces, and great music. It’s a must-stop for any traveler around the Oxford area (just 15 minutes south, down Old Taylor Road). Eat the fresh catfish blackened, grilled, or fried. And don’t forget to write your name on the wall when you’re there!

Jerry’s Catfish House in Florence is not what you’d expect from a country restaurant, at least not from the outside. Housed in a giant white igloo, Jerry’s is like no other place you’ve eaten. Its catfish is so good that you’ll put the “all you can eat” offer to good use, with sides of slaw and hush puppies.

The Crown in Town in Indianola offers “New Southern” cuisine and boasts the motto “Eat Like A King”. Since opening in 1976, The Crown has perfected its offerings, particularly the Catfish Allison. A fancy flair on a southern staple, the Catfish Allison is a fillet gratineed with a sauce of parmesan cheese, butter, and green onion. Who said a catfish plate can’t be fine dining?

2. Tamales

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Photo credit: roadfood.com

You may be surprised that tamales are a traditional part of Mississippi fare. According to the Southern Foodways Alliance, tamales likely became part of Delta cuisine in the early 20th century, when Mexican migrant workers came to harvest cotton. Today, you can travel Mississippi’s Hot Tamale Trail, stopping to try tamales at restaurants throughout the state, or indulge at October’s Delta Hot Tamale Festival in Greenville, the Hot Tamale Capital of the World.

In the Mississippi Delta, Doe’s Eat Place in Greenville has been serving up the same all-beef tamale recipe since 1941, and the restaurant still has an old-time charm. Doe Signa, Jr., grew up working in the restaurant that his father founded, and he has since taken over for him. Try the tamales topped with homemade chili for a meal to write home about.

Tony’s Tamales in Jackson serves three kinds of tamales, ground beef, turkey, or black bean (vegetarian). The handmade tamales are always fresh and well-seasoned. If you’re hungry, order the Chili Tamale Dinner with six tamales covered in chili, cheese, and onions.

At Fat Mama’s Tamales in Natchez, you can accompany your tamales with a famous “Knock-You-Naked Margarita.” You can eat the handmade tamales by themselves, or in a Gringo Casserole covered with chili and cheese. And once you’re back home, you can order vacuum-sealed tamales by the dozen.

3. Fried Chicken

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Photo credit: Wikimedia.org

Two Sisters Kitchen in Jackson made Food & Wine’s list for “Best Fried Chicken in the U.S,” and its signature dish does not disappoint. Find it at the all-you-can-eat soul food buffet, surrounded by fluffy biscuits, grits, and Southern vegetables like collard greens. Two Sisters is housed in a two-story Victorian home, so after you climb the stairs to find a table and enjoy your lunch, you can relax afterward in a rocking chair on the front porch.

Visitors drive for hours to eat the fried chicken at Peggy’s Restaurant in Philadelphia. Renowned chef Robert St. John has called Peggy’s “one of Mississippi’s greatest treasures”. Fill your plate at the buffet with comfort food — try the creamed corn and butter beans — and leave your money in the basket by the door when you’re done.

4. BBQ

The Shed BBQ, BBQ, ribs, southern food, Mississippi, food, foodie, foodporn

Photo credit: The Shed BBQ

The Shed in Ocean Springs was literally started in a shed built by the Orison family on the Gulf Coast. It has grown into a landmark that has been featured on national television, including a reality show on The Food Network. Visitors from around the world travel to The Shed to eat the BBQ ribs and meet the colorful Orison family. Check out the “Junk-Free” marinades and rubs in the Shed Store, which contain only ingredients that you’d find in your kitchen.

Ubon’s BBQ of Yazoo is a family-run restaurant that has received national recognition. Owner Leslie Roark Scott is a BBQ competition pitmaster known as “The Barbeque Princess.” Ubon’s award-winning BBQ sauce recipe dates back at least five generations. Find it for sale in the Ubon’s store.

Leatha’s Bar-B-Que Inn of Hattiesburg is a quaint, rustic place that all the locals, including Brett Favre, know and love. The BBQ is some of the best in the state, complete with classic Southern sides.

The Little Dooey in Starkville began in 1985 when Barry and Margaret Ann Wood started selling their homemade BBQ at a local service station. They opened the location in Starkville soon after, where you can order their distinctive pulled pork sandwich with baked beans and potato salad, as well as their signature sauces and rubs.

5. Gulf Coast Seafood

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Photo credit: Frits Hoogesteger  

The famous Mary Mahoney’s Old French House has been family owned for more than 50 years. It operates out of what is believed to be the oldest home in Biloxi, built in 1737. Try the house specialties: the flounder imperial, a whole flounder stuffed with lump crabmeat, and the St. Patrick, a baked shrimp dish with garlic and butter, topped with lump crabmeat.

Shaggy’s has two locations on the Mississippi Gulf Coast: Pass Christian and Biloxi. Its baskets are full of hand-breaded Gulf specialties, such as shrimp, oysters, and catfish, and served with jalapeno hush puppies.

Every dish at the Blow Fly Inn is topped with a quirky signature garnish: a small, plastic fly. The Blow Fly has been featured on Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives for its bayou fare, including smoked sausage and gumbo. Lunch specials include jumbo lump crab cakes and Gulf Coast shrimp & catfish.

Other eats not to miss are the charbroiled oysters at The Half Shell in Biloxi and Gulfport, and the fresh po-boy sandwiches with hand-battered shrimp at B.B.’s Po-Boys and Seafood in Ocean Springs.

Find out why Mississippi is a foodie’s paradise by traveling the state’s culinary trail.

What dish would YOU like to try? 

Let us know!

 

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65 thoughts on “5 must eats in Mississippi

  1. Ok seriously, you don’t need to travel to any of these fried chicken places in Mississippi.

    You just need to stop somewhere for gas. That’s it, just gas.

    As long as the municipality the gas station is located in doesn’t have more than 30k people living in it, you’ll find the best fried chicken you’ve ever had at any of them.

    That’s assuming, of course, that you didn’t visit another gas station a couple of hours back that was better.

    • I’m also sure of that!

      Everywhere you go people do it their own way but it must be really good!

      What I personally like, even if you stop at a small roadside restaurant, is how easy it is to have access to this comfort food!

      I look forward to the day i get to try it in person ;)

  2. Can’t believe they left off Carmack Fish House in Carmack, MS. It is about 10 minutes south of Vaiden, and has HANDS DOWN the best catfish I have ever eaten. THE BEST!!!! Oh. They cook an AWESOME Choice Ribeye as well.

    • Thank you for letting us know about it Bryan!

      Again the places mentioned are suggestions and everyone sure has their fav places and if you know of little gems, say so ;)

      Thank you for stopping by!

      • Oh great to know!

        In anycase I think it gives visitors from all over the world an idea of what great food there is available!

        Just looking at the pics makes this Canadian quite hungry ;)

  3. I would also have to add Mack’s on the River, just off of hwy 49 in Hattiesburg. The restaurant started in the early 60’s I believe. I’ve always had great service, and excellent seafood.

    • Thank you so much for the suggestion Jay! I would LOVE to go to a typical diner that reminds you of the 60’s!

      What makes a restaurant successful is the quality food of course but also how great it feels to be there to experience it and the service received right?

      Those feelings & great memories stay with you for a long time right? ;)

      As a traveler that’s what I value & cherish most!

      Thank you for your input ;)

  4. You need to try the catfish from Gino’s Hamburgers in Greenville, MS. People drive from all over for the catfish and the chili and slaw burgers. They will be packed out on Friday’s during lent. The best in the delta and they only serve Mississippi farm raised catfish.

  5. You left out Hook gulf coast cuisine in Pass Christian, MS off this list?

    It is BY FAR the best seafood on the gulf coast. Even folks from New Orleans come over to try it… Ya gotta add that!

    • Thank you for letting us know about that one Chad.

      Again the places listed are suggestions and not the end all!

      I am pretty sure there are many more little (and hidden) gems in Mississippi and are waiting to be discovered or shared right? ;)

  6. Lived on coast my whole life, 4th generation. I grew up on a Shrimp boat. Shaggy’s? Harbor view maybe but Shaggy’s is more a place where you go for a drink and enjoy the view.

  7. Another suggestion is the hole in the wall Bozos in Pascagoula, Ms. Best fresh seafood, cajun specialities, poboys, and lunch platters.

  8. Long’s Fish Camp, Enterprise, MS – by far, some of the best fish in the East Central area.
    I second the motion for The Old Country Store in Lorman, MS.

  9. You know I have to weigh in on this. Of course any list about MS, MUST include something about Oxford (of course MSU Alum here).

    Catfish- It is an absolute abomination not to mention Pap’s Place in Louisville, MS.

    Chicken- 2 Sisters- can get so crowded, good luck getting any at the buffet (and not really worth it, despite the accolades).

    I wholeheartedly agree about Peggy’s- and surprised it is listed, as its just a house down the street from the Wareheauser mill and downtown.

    BBQ- The Shed- while I do like it, some/most would say its over-hyped.

    The Little Dooey- what’s not to love (ok the crowds on game weekends, but its still worth it).

    Seafood- Mary Mahoneys- And no mention of Rickey’s in Pass Christian?

    Did they even drive down Hwy 90 or did they just do a google search from Jackson?

    I would say the Biloxi Schooner was THE place to get a pressed shrimp poboy on the coast, but they have really gone downhill in recent years, so I’ll give Rickey’s the crown for the time being, especially with their inventive dishes using eggplant, chayote, etc.

    • Thank you for weighing in on this hot topic/subject!

      I repeat this again, the places listed are suggestions. It is great to read and learn about more places that people know of. I mean there are surely thousands of great places but these are just a few of them.

      We all have different tastes and experiences right?

      I do however appreciate your sincerity, input and the suggestions.

      All the best!

  10. I think that Peasants BBQ in Ocean Springs is much better than the shed!

    It is way over hyped only because of the atmosphere.

  11. I normally don’t rave about restaurants but there is McInerney’s in McCarley, just east of Carrollton (which is just east and up the hills from Greenwood).

    Now I’ve only eaten there once so I am a little hesitant to say this, but that is a world class restaurant. only open Fri and Sat nights.

  12. Oh and BBQ? You gotta just find some guys with one of those big grills made out of a propane tank slinking Q on the side of a 2 lane country highway on a Saturday. Tchula, MS comes to mind. Just stop and get some. Best

  13. I have travelled around the US extensively and have had the good, the bad and the ugly of most of these dishes.

    I must disagree about the gas station fried chicken, never ever had a good experience.

    I am from Biloxi so I am partial to our seafood but I also lived in Greenville for four years and their catfish is hard to beat. So ” Bon Appetit”

    • We’ve all experience very positive and not so positive experiences Hugh, whether at home or abroad.

      I prefer remembering the great places who offered a great ambiance, great food of course but also how it felt being there.

      That’s what i like about traveling and of course ask the locals what they recommend, just like we did here!

      That’s what an open forum and free discussion is about right?

      Thank you for stopping by!

      Kay

  14. If you want some great catfish or even steak you should try “The Warehouse” fish and steak in New Albany, MS. It’s awesome and has the best strawberry cake you have ever eaten!!!

  15. The best fish is LT’s in Purvis
    The best Fried Chicken you will ever eat is at The Movie Star in Oak Grove outside of Hattiesburg.

  16. Heading south from Hattiesburg, on Hwy. 49, turn left where you go to get your driver’s license renewed (I know it’s the DMV, but I just haven’t paid attention to the signs, so this is what you would ask someone when inquiring about directions). Not far down, there’s a sign (I think it says ‘home cooking’, or something…jeez, I’m bad at paying attention to details). Anyway, you can’t miss it…on the left, a trailer (mobile home, if you prefer), small gravel parking area, picnic table (seating inside is VERY limited), a big ole pecan tree… Well, she serves the best catfish I’ve ever put in my mouth (and I used to live in Belzoni, MS…Catfish capital of the WORLD!), but only on Fridays (perfect for lent). All of her home style plates are fantastic, all week long, but hurry if you want to experience this unique ambiance, as she has plans to move shop to downtown H’burg, I’m sad to say.

  17. Oh dear lord. I should not have read this post after spending tonight craving fried chicken. Seriously, it just looks so damn good. May need to fill up on grease before work tomorrow. Although a Southern comfort food buffet set in a Victorian house sounds a lot more appealing.

    Incidentally, I just read a post from Adventurous Kate that raved about the oysters in Biloxi. Must. Try.

    • Glad you liked the post & sorry if it made you hungry.

      Yes, having a buffet with southern food in a stunning & historic Victorian home sounds fab!

      I’d love to go on a road/foodie photography tour! That would be epic.

      And also visit the Gulf Coast. Watch the sunset at the end of the day? Priceless ;)

      Hope all is well! Thank you for stopping by!

  18. The Shed…no!!! It’s not all it’s cracked up to be!! And for Catfish, in our area of George County there is The Rocky Creek Catfish Restaurant. In Stone County, The Whistle Stop Cafe’, and in Jackson County, Catfish Point!
    As far as fried chicken and home cooking…Aunt Jenny’s in Lucedale, Mississippi, they have a buffet 6 days a week from 11 am to 2 pm, and on Friday’s they serve catfish.
    As for authentic Mexican food…Stone County, Pericos Mexican Restaurant on hwy. 26/hwy. 49, and in Lucedale, MS, Ranchos Los Fuentes on hwy. 26/hwy. 63 bypass.
    There are many, many places to find great southern food…we just have to look for them!!!

    • Thank you so much for all your great recommendations!

      That buffet for fried chicken & home cookin’ sounds so good….so does the Mexican food :)

      Great now I’m hungry…time for a snack :)

      I am sure that there are many more hidden culinary treasures in Missippi & need to go on a foodie/photography tour for that!

      Thanks again for your input :)

  19. Pingback: Culinary delights at Parador Resort and Spa in Costa Rica | Traveller Soul

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