Mississippi is no stranger to unique restaurants. In fact, some of the state’s eateries have a lot more to offer than great food. From restaurants with stores to those that have incredible grounds to explore, the following Mississippi restaurants are so much more than amazing places to eat!
1. Restaurant 1818 (1358 John A. Quitman Blvd., Natchez)
Restaurant 1818 is located inside the Monmouth Mansion, which dates back to the early 19th century. After filling up on the eatery’s authentic fare, you’ll definitely want to devote some time to exploring the historic property. The home, which is filled with antique furnishings and décor, can be toured daily from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Aside from the home itself, the gardens are also a must see. Spanning several acres, the sprawling gardens are filled with colorful flowers, lush greenery, a gazebo, bridge, and small pond.
2. Council House Café (91 Le Fleur Circle, French Camp)
This mouthwatering eatery is part of the French Camp Historic District, which also includes a museum, gift shop, and bed and breakfast. Filled with buildings that date back to the 1800s and a museum packed with artifacts, a visit to this hidden gem will give you the chance to experience early American life for yourself.
3. The Tomato Place (3229 Hwy 61 S. Vicksburg)
A former fruit stand, The Tomato Place now serves some of the best home cooked food around — and that’s in addition to real fruit smoothies and other made from scratch goodies. While waiting for your food, spend some time looking around the shop area of the eatery, where you’ll find plenty of handcrafted gifts, art, and other unique merchandise.
4. Carriage House (401 High St., Natchez)
Located on the grounds of the historic Stanton Hall Mansion, this restaurant has been in the business of serving authentic southern cooking for more than 50 years. Made using a secret recipe and technique, the restaurant’s fried chicken is nationally famous and an absolute must try. Either before or after your meal, spend some time touring the expansive mansion, which takes up an entire block! Tours are given every 30 minutes from 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
5. The Onward Store (6693 Highway 61, Rolling Fork)
This general store has been serving locals and hunters since 1913, and in recent years has grown to include a restaurant that serves a variety of southern favorites. And while the food is delicious, it’s not the only reason to visit the Onward Store. Truly a unique experience, the store is filled with old photos and artifacts relating to the history of the area. There’s also a variety of merchandise, which includes plenty of bear-themed items since the store is built at the site of Theodore Roosevelt’s famous bear hunt. (You know; the one that resulted in the creation of the Teddy Bear).
6. Shady Acres Village (624 US 49, Seminary)
Tucked away in the small town of Seminary, Shady Acres Village is as charming as it sounds. The "oasis of hospitality" includes a restaurant, which is a stop on the Mississippi BBQ Trail, as well as a bakery, gift shop, general store, and gardening center.
7. Brent’s Drugs (655 Duling Ave., Jackson)
A retro eatery with an undeniable hint of nostalgia, Brent’s Drugs has been in business for decades. The old-fashioned soda fountain serves up a mix of traditional and local favorites, such as burgers, fries, milkshakes, and, its specialty, the egg and olive sandwich. No trip to Brent's would be complete without perusing the shop filled with merchandise, which includes everything from candy to decor and gifts.
8. The Gallery (100 Sunflower St., Merigold)
Tucked away in the small town of Merigold, the McCarty Pottery Studio is truly a hidden gem. In addition to a studio filled with locally produced pieces, the grounds include The Gallery Restaurant and an internationally acclaimed garden.
9. H.D. Gibbes and Sons (140 Main St., Learned)
Located in the small town of Learned, H.D. Gibbes and Sons has been serving as the local general store since 1892. Today, the bevy of merchandise includes both new and vintage items, making for a one-of-a-kind shopping experience. At some point, several tables were added, creating a makeshift restaurant. In addition to perfectly cooked rib-eyes and filets, the fare includes seafood dishes, hearty sides, like potato casserole and lamb chops.
10. Lee’s (409 West Oak St., Laurel)
In addition to an amazing fare, this Laurel eatery features live music and a second-floor art gallery. With so much to offer, you could easily spend hours at Lee’s.
11. Old Country Store (18801 Highway 61, Lorman)
Housed in a building that is over a century old, a visit to Lorman’s Old Country Store is truly an experience. The still-functioning general store is stocked with antiques and memorabilia, while the restaurant has become known for serving "the best fried chicken in the world." The famous fried chicken has been featured in countless publications and TV shows, including the Food Network’s "Best Thing I Ever Ate."
So, have you ever visited any of the places listed above? Know of another restaurant that should’ve been included? Tell us in the comments section!