Of all the things there is to love about Mississippi, the food is one of the best. From comfort food to seafood, there’s something to please everyone’s taste buds. Having so many great restaurants is a definite perk; however, it can make deciding where to bring visitors a bit difficult. So the next time you’re facing that dilemma, just reference this list for 10 of our favorite go-to Mississippi restaurants when hosting out-of-town guests.
1. The Little Dooey (100 Fellowship St., Starkville)
One of the most popular BBQ destinations in the state, The Little Dooey attracts both locals and tourists alike. Using tried and true family recipes along with signature rubs, it’s easy to see why this BBQ joint has been in business for over 20 years.
2. Big Bad Breakfast (719 N Lamar Blvd., Oxford)
With a motto like "lard have mercy," it’s no surprise this Oxford gem has been dubbed the "best breakfast in Mississippi." In addition to southern staples, like biscuits and grits, the menu includes plenty of signature creations. The portions are plentiful and the food is hearty, so tell your guests to bring along their appetites.
3. Char (4500 Interstate 55 N., Jackson)
This upscale steakhouse has been serving Jackson for over a decade. In addition to USDA prime and choice cuts of beef, veal, and lamb, the menu includes an impressive seafood selection – all of which is delivered fresh daily. The dessert menu, which features pies, cobblers, and brownies, has won numerous awards, making it just as impressive as the rest of the menu.
4. Dempsey’s (6208 Kiln Delisle Rd., Kiln)
With a population of less than 2,500, "the Kiln," isn’t exactly overflowing with restaurants, which makes this amazing roadside eatery even more of a treat. Aside from delicious seafood and Cajun-inspired dishes, Dempsey’s is known for serving up mouthwatering steaks, which are grilled to perfection (and your preference).
5. Doe’s Eat Place (multiple locations throughout the state)
Doe’s specialty, the porterhouse, has won numerous awards including being named "No. 1 of the 100 Best Things to Eat in America" by Men’s Journal. Among the tasty fare, you’ll also find Doe’s legendary hot tamales. Made the same way since 1941, they’ll give you a true taste of the Delta. While you’ll find the original Doe’s in Greenville, there are also locations in Biloxi and Ridgeland.
6. The Shed (7501 Highway 57, Ocean Springs)
Serving up award winning barbecue in a building made from actual junk, a visit to The Shed is sure to be an unforgettable (and tasty) one. The standout barbecue has been featured on several television shows, including Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives and Man v. Food Nation.
7. Old Country Store (18801 Highway 61, Lorman)
If you want to give out of town guests a true southern dining experience, a visit to this remote eatery is a must. The buffet is loaded with authentic comfort food, including the "world’s best fried chicken." Aside from the fare, guests will surely enjoy the ambiance. The restaurant is housed in a still-functioning general store that dates back to the 1800s. After eating, spend some time browsing the nostalgic merchandise.
8. Neon Pig Café (1203 N Gloster St., Tupelo)
If you want to treat your guests to the best, take them to this Tupelo café where you’ll find what Thrillist dubbed the "best burger in America." Officially named the Smash Burger, the mouthwatering creation is made by piling aged filet, ribeye, strip steak, sirloin, bacon, comeback sauce, melted cheddar, pickled onions, and pickles on a freshly baked ciabatta bun.
9. The Castle Restaurant (84 Homochitto St., Natchez)
Give visitors the royal treatment, with a visit to this castle themed eatery. Part of the Dunleith plantation, the building that houses the restaurant once served as the carriage house. When constructed in the 18th century, it was purposely built to resemble a castle. In 2015, the restaurant received some updates, but maintained its regal appearance. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the menu is full of southern classics, like shrimp and grits, gumbo, and chicken fried steak.
10. BTC Old Fashioned Grocery (301 North Main, Water Valley)
Aside from being raved about by locals, the food at BTC has been featured in several notable publications, including the New York Times, Food and Wine, and the Wall Street Journal. The tasty fare includes loads of southern favorites as well as sandwiches, soups, and daily specials. Since BTC is also a grocery, your guests can stock up on local favorites, like hoop cheese, hog head cheese, and sorghum syrup.
Ever taken guests to any of the restaurants mentioned above? Have another go-to eatery when you have out-of-town guests? Tell us in the comments section!