Eat and Drink Your Way Through Mississippi
Words by Linda Nelson
In the heart of the South, Mississippi’s landscape is as diverse as it is breathtaking. From the verdant Delta, to the rolling hills and fertile farmlands of the central region, and the pristine Gulf Coast with its white beaches and sparkling waters, Mississippi is a tapestry of natural wonders—and the food is good too.
There’s a joke that you can stop in any Mississippi gas station and have one of the best meals of your life. We can speak from experience, it’s true. But the culinary scene in the Magnolia State extends well beyond the delicious roadside stands. If you consider yourself a food enthusiast, then Mississippi should be at the top of your travel itinerary. Their restaurants are unique, delicious, and award-winning—and you’re going to wish you could take them back home with you.
Nestled in the charming Belhaven neighborhood of Jackson, Elvie's showcases a menu featuring a harmonious blend of New Orleans, Mississippi, and France. Owned and operated by the talented Hunter Evans, a semifinalist for the prestigious "Best Chef South" James Beard award, this culinary gem is a must-visit. From the moment you step through its doors, the inviting atmosphere sets the stage for an extraordinary dining experience. Stop by at lunch for an oyster po’boy, or enjoy redfish almondine during a sit down dinner.
When it comes to libations, Mississippi does not disappoint. In the Fondren neighborhood of Jackson, Fondren Public welcomes you with its lively atmosphere and impressive beverage selection. With 24 beers on tap, including locally crafted Mississippi-made brews, this vibrant spot is a haven for beer enthusiasts. Additionally, Fondren Public boasts a range of expertly crafted cocktails, ensuring there is something to please every palate. Take advantage of the spacious patio, complete with engaging games like giant-sized Jenga, cornhole, and bocce ball, as you sip on your drink of choice.
Tucked away behind the retro facade of Brent's Drugs in Jackson, Mississippi, lies a hidden gem known as The Apothecary. Transporting visitors back to the era of Prohibition, this speakeasy-style lounge is a testament to the allure of secrecy and exclusivity. As you step into the bar, a sense of nostalgia washes over you, with vintage décor, dim lighting, and a captivating ambiance that harkens back to a bygone era. The skilled mixologists behind the bar are masters of their craft, creating drinks that leave a lasting impression. From classic cocktails with a twist to innovative creations inspired by local flavors, every sip is an adventure.
In the picturesque college town of Oxford, Mississippi, Proud Larry's stands as an iconic institution that intertwines the joy of live music with the pleasure of exceptional dining. Since its inception, Proud Larry's has become a beloved gathering place for locals and visitors alike, who flock to its doors to immerse themselves in a vibrant and energetic atmosphere.The stage at Proud Larry's has become a platform for unforgettable performances and memorable nights, but beyond the music, Proud Larry's is also celebrated for its mouth watering pizzas that have earned a loyal following.
Located just off the historic square in Oxford, Mississippi, Saint Leo is a culinary gem that has quickly gained acclaim as one of the region's most extraordinary dining destinations—it garnered recognition as a semifinalist for the James Beard Foundation's "Best New Restaurant" award in 2017. Saint Leo's menu showcases a tantalizing array of wood-fired pizzas and authentic Italian fare, each dish a masterpiece of flavors and textures. Be sure to experience their Prosecco Pop, a delightful twist on the classic bubbly beverage that combines an organic raspberry and mint popsicle with prosecco—an enchanting and refreshing delight.
In the vibrant city of Starkville, Mississippi, Taste has emerged as a must-visit restaurant that delights the senses and captivates the palate. This elegant and upscale Italian restaurant has quickly become a destination for diners seeking refined flavors and impeccable service. With an extensive wine list and a repertoire of signature cocktails, Taste offers a sophisticated dining experience—from the delicate handmade pastas to the expertly grilled meats and seafood, each plate is a masterpiece that pays homage to the rich culinary heritage of Italy.
In Tupelo, Mississippi, Queen's Reward Meadery beckons visitors into a world of indulgence. This small-batch, award-winning meadery weaves a tapestry of flavors using 100% Mississippi honey as its key ingredient. Stepping into their inviting tasting room, guests are greeted by an array of meads that captivate the senses. Each sip reveals the meticulous craftsmanship and dedication to quality that defines Queen's Reward. From the traditional meads that showcase the pure essence of honey to the seasonal mead slushies that burst with refreshing fruit flavors, every offering is a testament to the artistry and innovation of their skilled team. You’ll certainly want to take home a bottle to savor later.
Mississippi beckons you to embark on a culinary expedition, from the culinary artistry of Elvie's to the hidden charm of The Apothecary. Each destination offers a distinct and unforgettable experience—so start planning your visit to Mississippi and prepare to immerse yourself in a vibrant food and drink scene..