Whether you’re looking for Southern comfort food that will make you think you’ve died and gone to heaven or want to get your hands messy shelling crawfish, Mississippi offers an unmatched variety of culinary experiences that are award-winning, farm-fresh and always served with our signature brand of hospitality.

Don’t Leave Until You Try

Slugburgers

HILLS

You can’t get more Mississippi than the slugburger, a sandwich that came about during the Great Depression when it cost only a nickel, a.k.a. a “slug.” Deep-fried beef or pork plus cornmeal or soy meal make up this tasty bite, which is celebrated every summer at the SLUGBURGER FESTIVAL in Corinth. Throughout the year you can try it for yourself at BORROUM’S DRUG STORE, a Corinth institution since 1865, and at LATHAM’S HAMBURGER INN, a New Albany restaurant that opened in 1928 and was recently featured on The Travel Channel.

Catfish

CAPITAL/RIVER

Don’t miss the crispy fried catfish filets and hushpuppies at COCK OF THE WALK’S Ridgeland and Pocahontas locations. Upscale meets casual at WALKER’S DRIVE-IN in Jackson, where Chef Derek Emerson pays homage to the location’s low-key heritage with plate lunches including the now-famous “Catfish Fridays.”

DELTA

Poached catfish is gratinéed with a parmesan cheese and butter sauce to create the popular Catfish Allison at THE CROWN RESTAURANT in Indianola.

HILLS

The fried catfish in a rustic atmosphere is well worth the wait at TAYLOR GROCERY in the small town of Taylor, south of Oxford.

FRIED CHICKEN

HILLS

Skewered and savory chicken has made the 4 CORNERS CHEVRON, better known among locals as “Chicken on a Stick,” a regional food favorite located in Oxford.

CAPITAL/RIVER

Get expertly fried chicken alongside chitterlings and fried green tomatoes at the unpretentious but unforgettable James Beard Award-winning BULLY’S RESTAURANT in Jackson. The OLD COUNTRY STORE in Lorman delights diners with famous fried chicken inside a charming onetime general store.

Tamales

Tasty tamales are intertwined with Mississippi food culture, where they’ve been adding international flavor for more than a century. Follow the HOT TAMALE TRAIL at southernfoodways.org to find dozens of restaurants and vendors serving up traditional tamales.

DELTA

With roots dating back to 1924, ABE’S BAR-B-Q in Clarksdale offers tamales alongside a smorgasbord of smoked meats. Greenville, the city that proclaims itself the “Hot Tamale Capital of the World,” turns up the heat each October for the DELTA HOT TAMALE FESTIVAL, which in addition to south-of-the-border cuisine features the crowning of Miss Hot Tamale and a lineup of live music.

CAPITAL/RIVER

Award-winning tamales await alongside “Knock-You-Naked” margaritas at FAT MAMA’S TAMALES in Natchez.

COASTAL

Family-recipe tamales are the specialties of the house at DORIS’ HOT TAMALES roadside stand in D’Iberville.

BARBECUE

COASTAL

LEATHA’S BAR-B-QUE INN in Hattiesburg is revered among barbecue aficionados nationwide for its slow-smoked specialties and sides.

HILLS

Ten-time world barbecue champion Melissa Cookston is the pitmaster behind MEMPHIS BARBECUE COMPANY in Horn Lake, so you can be sure her ribs and rubs are winners.

PINES

Regional favorite THE LITTLE DOOEY in Starkville draws hungry crowds with its secret sauce recipes and perfectly smoked meats.

DELTA

Greenwood is home to the annual QUE ON THE YAZOO festival and barbecue competition each spring.

CRAWFISH

DELTA

The steamed crawfish platter satisfies diners from miles around at CRAWDAD’S in Merigold.

COASTAL

The succulent seasonal favorite we call crawfish is a bucket-list bite for any visitor. Get them boiled, fried or in a gumbo at TARANTO’S CRAWFISH POBOYS & SEAFOOD in Biloxi.

Best Brunch

HILLS

James Beard Award winner John Currence’s BIG BAD BREAKFAST in Oxford so elevated the first meal of the day that spinoffs now operate in five other Southern cities. Sophisticated Southern cuisine is at the heart of GRIT RESTAURANT in Taylor, with its morning-minded dishes prepared with an international influence.

COASTAL

The Sunday Champagne brunch at THE CHIMNEYS in Gulfport us an ode to elegance, with decadent dishes including shrimp & grits and trout & eggs Sardou. Savor the atmosphere as well as the unique menu at THE SYCAMORE HOUSE, in a 19th-century home in Bay St. Louis.

CAPITAL/RIVER

The 1946-built soda fountain inside BRENT’S DRUGS in Jackson features a lively Sunday brunch with all the diner favorites plus famous biscuit sandwiches. Have a helping of history at the CARRIAGE HOUSE RESTAURANT at antebellum Stanton Hall in Natchez, which offers a buffet-style Sunday brunch filled with classic Southern dishes.

Decadent Desserts

DELTA

The mile-high meringue pies at the CRYSTAL GRILL in Greenwood are worth writing home about. STUB’S RESTAURANT in Yazoo City is known for its royally rich chocolate chess pie.

PINES

Chocolate and custard come together in sweet harmony in the acclaimed Black Bottom Pie at WEIDMANN’S, which opened in Meridian in 1870.

COASTAL

Every day is Mardi Gras at PAUL’S PASTRY SHOP in Picayune, where delectable king cakes reign all year long.

HILLS

The cakes and pies at SUGAREE’S in New Albany are so legendary that Oprah even chose one for her holiday gift list.

Fine Fare Faves

PINES

Fresh local ingredients are transformed into award-winning dishes at RESTAURANT TYLER in Starkville. Wine Spectator gave PHILLIP M’S at The Pearl River Resort in Choctaw its Best of Award of Excellence for its cuisine-complementing wine list.

HILLS

A Reconstruction-era livery stable is home to the nationally celebrated CITY GROCERY in Oxford, with a modern menu that stays true to its Southern roots.

DELTA

From lobster to veal to Wagyu short ribs, the menu is as upscale as the atmosphere at CHICAGO STEAKHOUSE inside Gold Strike Casino Resort in Tunica. Curtained booths provide privacy that’s a hold-over from Prohibition at the graceful GIARDINA’S in Greenwood.

CAPITAL/RIVER

The open kitchen is the anchor of ESTELLE WINE BAR AND BISTRO in Jackson. Other capital city hotspots include the modern steakhouse CHAR and the classic Italian restaurant BRAVO! At KOESTLER PRIME in Ridgeland, steaks and seafood are a family tradition since 1998.

Worldly Dishes

CAPITAL/RIVER

Get the taste of the middle east at ALADDIN MEDITERRANEAN GRILL in Jackson.

COASTAL

The French-inspired menu at MAISON DE LU in Ocean Springs includes a continental cocktail list that complements the savory selections. Dim sum and sushi are on the elevated pan-Asian menu at JIA inside the BEAU RIVAGE RESORT AND CASINO in Biloxi.

PINES

The presentation is picture perfect and the rolls are rockin’ at UMI JAPANESE STEAKHOUSE AND SUSHI BAR in Starkville and Columbus.

DELTA

Local-favorite LILLO’S in Leland has been serving up Italian specialties including eggplant parmesan and shrimp supreme since 1948.

HILLS

Try a Mason-jar margarita with the chimichurri shrimp or the “world’s best” chicken tamales at MARIA’S CANTINA in Southaven. If it’s Italian you crave, New Albany’s CIAO CHOW is the place for hearty pasta dishes and tiramisu.

Old Favorites

PINES

Originally a Depression-era grocery store, ANTHONY’S GOOD FOOD MARKET in West Point is now a culinary hotspot with Cajun and Creole fare plus weekly live music.

DELTA

Inspired by a family recipe for tamales, DOE’S EAT PLACE opened in Greenville in 1941 and still serves up that authentic Delta dish along with legendary steaks and seafood.

CAPITAL/RIVER

Step inside for Southern lunch specials and pie at MAMMY’S CUPBOARD, which first opened in 1940 in Natchez. CRECHALE’S CAFE in Jackson quickly made a name for itself after debuting in 1956, and its steaks and seafood still draw fans from around the region.

COASTAL

One of America’s oldest homes—constructed circa 1737—is at the heart of MARY MAHONEY’S OLD FRENCH HOUSE RESTAURANT in Biloxi, a venerated seafood-focused eatery with courtyard seating.

HILLS

Homemade biscuits hit the spot at ABE’S GRILL, an eclectic Corinth joint that bills itself as the oldest diner on US Route 72.

Buzz-Worthy

Mississippi is home to countless award winning chefs, and in 2019 a handful of whom were up for the culinary industry’s highest honors, the James Beard Awards. Alex Eaton of THE MANSHIP WOOD FIRED KITCHEN in Jackson and Alex Perry of VESTIGE in Ocean Springs were both semifinalists for the esteemed award. Vishwesh Bhatt of SNACKBAR in Oxford was named the James Beard Best Chef-South. But these aren’t the only chefs turning heads in Mississippi.

CAPITAL/RIVER

The “surf and turf” gumbo at GUMBO GIRL in Jackson is just one of the many Cajun-inspired dishes that have made this restaurant an award winner.

DELTA

Southern Living called Cole Ellis of DELTA MEAT MARKET in Cleveland one of the South’s top 3 best chefs in 2019, recognizing his “new perspectives on vernacular foods” like locally ground grits and sweet potatoes.

New and Noteworthy

CAPITAL/RIVER

Garden & Gun magazine named THE BRIAR PATCH in Livingston one of the South’s best new bars, and with good reason: the unique craft cocktails and small plates along with an elegant hunting-club vibe make this an out-of-the-way hotspot. Nine boutique restaurant and bar concepts have a presence inside Jackson’s CULTIVATION FOOD HALL, where the variety makes it easy to please any diner.

HILLS

One of Oxford’s chicest new hotels, the Chancellor’s House, is also home to one of its most buzzed-about new restaurants, the CHANCELLOR’S GRILL, which is already making a name for itself with its upscale menu and warm atmosphere. The dining is more downhome but equally tasty at KING CHICKEN FILLIN’ STATION’S two locations in Tupelo and Belden, where a group of the region’s top restaurateurs literally still offer fuel for the car along with specially brined fried chicken.

COASTAL

BRASS HAT, located inside Hotel Indigo in Hattiesburg, features chef-driven small plates, handcrafted cocktails and a well-curated wine list, all in a modern setting that pays homage to the city’s distinctive railroad heritage.

Old Groceries and Roadside Stands

DELTA

Try the signature fried pickles at THE HOLLYWOOD CAFÉ, a Tunica restaurant that was originally a plantation commissary and was later immortalized in the song “Walking in Memphis.”

COASTAL

Find a feast-worthy barbecue restaurant plus a bakery known for its Italian cream cakes and a vintage-style general store at SHADY ACRES VILLAGE in Seminary.

PINES

The WILLIAMS BROTHERS general store in Philadelphia is the real deal, still thriving after more than a century in business; the sliced-to-order bacon and old-fashioned hoop cheese are essential purchases for every savvy shopper.

HILLS

Find a throwback to simpler times at Water Valley’s B.T.C. OLD-FASHIONED GROCERY, a purveyor of fresh local produce and other healthy groceries; the store is home to the DIXIE BELLE CAFÉ, which has received accolades from The New York Times and Food & Wine magazine.

See More Features