In a world where a majority of restaurants fail within the first few years, it’s refreshing to know that some actually do have what it takes to survive. Having been in business for 50 years or more, these restaurants definitely fit that bill. From five-star eateries to local “dives,” these 15 Mississippi restaurants are definitely in it for the long haul.
During these uncertain times, please keep safety in mind and consider adding destinations to your bucket list to visit at a later date.
1. Weidmann’s, Meridian
First opened in 1870, this renowned restaurant has earned national recognition for its mouth-watering cuisine, even attracting the attention of actress and Meridian-native Sela Ward, who in 2001, became an investor in the local favorite. The restaurant’s iconic image lives on thanks to informed servers who are more than happy to give customers a history lesson on Weidemann’s.
2. The Dinner Bell, McComb
While the Dinner Bell has been at its present location since 1959, the restaurant itself was actually first opened nearly a century ago, which would explain why dining at this eatery is practically a McComb tradition at this point. Boasting a “uniquely southern round table” atmosphere, the Dinner Bell offers everything from the “finest steaks” to the “best catfish in the south” to their famous chocolate cobbler, making it clear why the Dinner Bell has remained a local favorite all these years.
3. Mayflower Café, Jackson
This historic café has been serving Jackson since 1935! In all those years since opening, the café has perfected their signature fare, which combines local cuisine and Greek seasonings. Aside from the great food, the Mayflower Café is known for being the creator of Comeback Sauce – a Mississippi condiment that, once you’ve tried, you absolutely cannot live without.
4. Borroum’s Drug Store and Soda Fountain, Corinth
Having been in business continuously since first opening in 1865, Borroum’s is Mississippi’s oldest operating drug store and soda fountain. But it’s not just the nostalgic atmosphere that draws customers to this eatery. Borroum’s is known for their slugburgers – a local specialty that must be tried at least once.
5. Mary Mahoney’s, Biloxi
The beautiful home that houses this restaurant was constructed back in 1737, making it one of the oldest homes in the entire country! By 1962, it was transformed into the renowned Mary Mahoney’s. Since opening its doors, this coastal gem has garnered quite the reputation, even attracting presidents, celebrities, and dignitaries.
6. Doe’s Eat Place, Greenville
This Greenville favorite was originally opened in 1941...as a honky tonk. Eventually, however, it was transformed into a full time restaurant, known for serving everything from award-winning steaks to southern classics. The successful restaurant has since expanded and now includes numerous locations in several different states.
7. Lillo’s Family Restaurant, Leland
If you think authentic Italian cuisine and Mississippi don’t go together, you clearly haven’t dined at this Delta favorite. In business for over 60 years, Lillo’s has become known for serving mouth-watering steaks, seafood, pizza, and, of course, a variety of Italian dishes. Aside from the delicious fare, guests are treated to live musical entertainment several nights a week, making Lillo’s a must visit.
8. Blue and White Restaurant, Tunica
Serving the area since 1924, this restaurant has become somewhat of a Tunica landmark. Running the restaurant is a family affair, complete with authentic southern recipes that have been passed down for over 70 years. Aside from a traditional southern fare, the Blue and White offers freshly-made donuts and cinnamon rolls - all of which are served with a side of hospitality, of course.
9. Frostop, Picayune
This local (and personal) favorite has been in business since 1951, and if you’ve ever had the pleasure of tasting the food you know why. The po’boys are awesome, the hamburgers are too good for words, and the old-fashioned floats make for the perfect ending to any meal. And the best part? The prices can’t be beat – nothing on the menu is over $10!
10. Phillip’s Grocery, Holly Springs
The original Holly Springs location of the local eatery first served as a saloon when opened in 1892. By 1919, a couple purchased the building and started serving burgers made from a top-secret recipe. Over the years, Phillips has opened a second location in Oxford and won numerous awards, even being named one of the top hamburger places in the nation.
11. The White Front Café, Rosedale
Known by locals simply as “Joe’s hot tamale place,” it should come as no surprise that this famous eatery serves, you guessed it, hot tamales. In fact, the café’s motto is, “You can get anything you want to eat, just so long as what you want to eat is a tamale.” And while this café falls just a bit short of being in business for 50 years, the legendary tamale stop is definitely worthy of a mention.
12. Phillip’s Drive-In, Laurel
Phillips Drive-In was originally opened as a Dairy Queen in 1947. By the 1960’s, the name changed and P.D.I. has been a Laurel mainstay ever since. The made-to-order hamburgers and specialty sandwiches are extremely popular amongst locals and have even been recognized in publications such as “Mississippi Magazine.”
13. The Crystal Grill, Greenwood
In business for over 70 years, this family-owned diner has become a Greenwood staple. The lengthy menu is filled with everything from southern favorites to American classics. Featured in Southern Living as well as on the Food Network and TBS, the Crystal Grill is a must when in the Delta.
14. Latham’s Hamburger Inn, New Albany
While many restaurants have come and gone over the past 80 (plus) years, Latham’s has been a New Albany constant. The menu may not include much but it does include a local favorite, the slugburger. From the vintage décor to pictures of first-time visitors on the walls, Latham’s provides a one-of-a-kind experience.
15. Starkville Café, Starkville
This legendary café has been serving Starkville for over 70 years now, attracting everyone from the young and old to locals and transplants. Dining at the local mainstay is basically a Starkville custom at this point, especially when it comes to breakfast - the café’s most popular meal.