Some of the best eats around are in small towns across the Mid-South. Today we are headed on a dining extravaganza throughout north Mississippi, hitting ten small Delta towns with a quick jaunt east to the Square in Oxford. If you find yourself on one of these country roads, enjoy five-star flavor at any of these restaurants.
Mississippi Delta Restaurants
Old Commerce Road in Robinsonville, Mississippi
They proudly state that “grease is the word,” so anything fried is their specialty, but they do offer other not-so-greasy choices. The restaurant is in a turn-of-the-century commissary building. They are credited with inventing the fried dill pickle. The catfish, fried or marinated and grilled, is excellent.
Full bar available. For more information, visit: thehollywoodcafe.com.
6195 Fox Island Road in Tunica, Mississippi
The wonderful hospitality of Chef Eddie McGregor is refreshing They serve tasty, all-American cuisine. This café is in a charming setting on the ground floor of the historic Hotel Marie. Order any of the fish specials, but I particularly like the sea bass when available.
Full bar available. For more information, visit: thecafemarie.com.
Insider tip: Sea Bass is the specialty at Café Marie
5770 Moon Lake Road in Dundee, Mississippi
This is Southern comfort food in a true Delta setting. Be sure to try the onion rings and the traditional Kathryn’s salad. The Kathryn’s tradition with friends and a sunset over Moon Lake—It doesn’t get any better.
Beer available; BYOL For more information, visit: www.facebook.com/KathrynsOnMoonLake.
535 Oakhurst Street in Clarksdale, Mississippi
This restaurant has an absolutely undecorated, rustic aesthetic. Embrace the joy of occasionally throwing all nutritional sense to the wind. Try anything fried, especially the shrimp.
Beer available; BYOL. For more information, visit: facebook.com/Ramons
104 S. Park Street in Merigold, Mississippi
Merigold is a great small-town experience and home to the McCarty Pottery studio and gardens. You may want to spend a day shopping and eating in Merigold, beginning with lunch at The Gallery, Lee McCarty’s restaurant, but be sure you save room for a big steak cooked to your liking at Crawdad’s.
Full bar available. For more information, visit: crawdads1.com.
502 Nelson Street in Greenville, Mississippi
Doe’s is the recipient of numerous accolades and their story is a slice of Southern history. This longstanding family business began as a grocery in 1903. The restaurant opened in the 1940s, and the front kitchen used to be a Delta honky-tonk. Enjoy award-winning steak and the house salad but start with hot tamales, their signature dish.
BYOL. For more information, visit: doeseatplace.com.
314 Howard Street in Greenwood, Mississippi
Want a break from the well-appointed roadhouse scene? Giardina’s is your oasis, located inside the luxuriously Southern Alluvian Hotel. Expand your culinary skills across the street at the Viking Cooking School, then enjoy gourmet dining in the Delta with Chef Leflore at Giardina’s. I recommend you begin with the Baked Oysters Giardina with Benton’s Bacon or the Broiled Gulf Shrimp in Giardina’s Shrimp Sauce.
Full bar available. For more information, visit: thealluvian.com.
722 Carrollton Avenue in Greenwood, Mississippi
The menu is filled with delectable choices, all of which have been developed over several generations. This family restaurant is also located in a building that began as an old-time grocery. In the 1920s, Mama and Papa Lusco even offered horse-drawn carriage delivery! I love the private dining nooks throughout the restaurant, a clandestine experience! You cannot go wrong with the steak, but the Whole Broiled Pompano, flavored with lemon pepper and vinegar sauce, vies for #1 menu choice.
BYOB/BYOL. For more information, visit: facebook.com/pages/Luscos-Restaurant.
105 South Court Square in Sumner, Mississippi
Sumner Grille is the gentleman farmer of Delta restaurants. It is a 2013 addition to the dining map, located behind Sumner’s historic courthouse on the square. Chef Walt Norwood’s interpretation of Southern food at the Sumner Grille will be the five-star dining discovery you share with your friends. Try the Bleu Cheese Mountain (kettle-cooked chips with bleu cheese crumbles), Pan-Seared Tuna with White Bean Hummus or the Pasta Bolognese.
Beer available; BYOL. For more information, visit: facebook.com/sumner.grille
152 Courthouse Square in Oxford, Mississippi
Many say that the “world’s best” Shrimp and Grits are here, offered among a full menu of “bests” created by well-known Chef John Currence. Dine in a small-town, downtown building that was a late 19th-century livery stable, complete with hardwood floors and exposed brick walls. Chef Currence oversees six Oxford restaurants and each one offers Delta-style, Southern food from a distinctive angle. The City Grocery is traditional Southern fare with a twist, simultaneously elegant and casual, gourmet yet unpretentious.
Full bar available. For more information, visit: citygroceryonline.com.
721 North Lamar in Oxford, Mississippi
Another one of John Currence’s six restaurants is the popular Snackbar. This is his “Bubba Brasserie,” defined as the careful melding of a French Bistro and a North Mississippi Café. Try the Truffle/Parmesan Frites, served with Tabasco Aioli. Another great selection is the Monte Cristo sandwich, created with aged country ham, Gruyère, Dijon, sourdough bread from Oxford’s BottleTree Bakery and house jelly. Literally, everything is good! Clubby, dark interior with spacious booths.
Full bar available. For more information, visit: citygroceryonline.com/snackbar
203 Main Street in Como, Mississippi
As the name clearly suggests, they are famous for their tender and juicy steaks, which are grilled to order on an open charcoal pit in the main dining room. For the non-red meat lover, they also offer salmon, shrimp, chicken and catfish on the menu.
Full bar available. For more information, visit: thecomosteakhouse.com.
Take this culinary map along on your next drive through the Mississippi Delta. It will not keep you from making a wrong turn or two on your rural excursion, but I guarantee it will protect you from going hungry!