When visiting Mississippi, one thing is certain: there’s always time to eat
Words by Paige Townley
Mississippi is known for many things: beautiful scenery, a unique history and culture, plenty of outdoor adventure, and, of course, southern hospitality. But perhaps most importantly on the list—at least when it comes to meal times—is its food. No matter where you visit—from Oxford to Natchez, Jackson to Gulfport—you’re sure to find those sought-after southern staples for which the Magnolia State has become known. That includes your typical southern meals and seafood dishes, as well as Cajun and creole culinary fare. Here is our pick of four must-visit dining destinations that provide some of the best bites that Mississippi has to offer.
Kermit’s Soul Kitchen
Previously known as Kermit’s Outlaw Kitchen, Kermit’s Soul Kitchen is all about serving up wood-grilled style meals with a special focus on using all things local. The best that Mississippi farms has to offer are all over the restaurant’s menu, from its veggie plate and smoked ribs to the fried brisket sandwich and made-from-scratch chocolate chip cookies. Adding a unique element to the establishment is its location: Kermit’s Soul Kitchen is housed in a historic 140-year-old building in downtown Tupelo.
Fat Mama’s Tamales
Mississippi has become known for its tamales, and it’s probably all thanks to Fat Mama’s Tamales. The restaurant got its start back in the mid-1980s, when two local residents were searching to fill the tamale void after a local well-known tamale maker passed away. Eventually, they landed on a rather popular tamale recipe, and the restaurant itself began. The Natchez institution started out serving only tamales, and eventually it added to its menu. Today, one of its most famous items—besides its tamales that it ships to fans around the world—is the ”Knock-You-Naked” margarita.
At Elvie’s, food is really as much about family as it is the meal itself. Chef and owner Hunter Evans was inspired heavily by his grandmother, Elvaretta May Good, who lived in New Orleans and was an incredible cook in her own right. Naming the Jackson establishment after his grandmother, Chef Evans offers an upscale dining experience heavily inspired by those New Orleans dishes he learned from his grandmother.
Southern flavors meet fresh seafood fare at The Chimneys. Situated in Gulfport, The Chimneys has focused on classic coastal cuisine and fresh seafood since it opened in 22 years ago. Guests can enjoy popular dishes such as crab claws, seafood gumbo, and Cajun redfish—along with a cocktail or two, of course—while looking out over the lush landscape featuring old oak trees and the waterfront.