A Foodie’s Guide to Mississippi

You know Mississippi is a must-visit destination for history, music, and the great outdoors, but did you know it’s a foodie’s paradise as well? The state has a rich culinary tradition that draws on numerous cultures, family recipes, and hidden dining treasures. If you’re planning a trip to taste the best food in Mississippi, learn more about the state’s signature dishes and cuisines with tips from Visit Mississippi.

Fondren District

Barbecue Joints

Most Southern states have a unique twist on barbecue, from white barbeque sauce to eclectic dry rubs. These barbecue traditions unite in Mississippi, where you’ll find flavors inspired by dishes found all throughout the south. Mississippi is home to more award-winning pitmasters than any other in the nation, and it’s easy to find ribs, chicken, pork, and brisket smoked to perfection and dressed just how you like.

You’ll find many barbecue restaurants in Visit Mississippi’s food and drink directory, but be advised that even more incredible eateries can be found with local recommendations – including at a gas station when you stop to fill up! For the ultimate flavor journey, consider following the Mississippi BBQ Trail.

Greenville Mississippi

Hot Tamales

Tamales play a significant role in Mississippi’s Delta region, and historians have long argued their true origin. Some believe they were handed down from the area’s indigenous population, while others claim they were introduced by Mexican laborers arriving for the cotton harvest or brought back by veterans of the Mexican-American War. Regardless of their source and variations, tamales follow a simple recipe: Ground or minced meat is surrounded by masa or cornmeal then steamed in corn shucks.

Today, tamales can be steamed, baked, or deep-fried and topped with chili, cheese and jalapenos or even crawfish sauce. The options are limitless. To get your fill, follow the Tamale Trail during your next visit.

Drago’s Seafood in Jackson, MS

Gulf Seafood

Ask any Mississippi native and they’ll tell you the best seafood in the world comes from the Gulf Coast region. Generations of commercial fishers have spent their lives bringing in the shrimp, oysters, and crab that fill plates in the  best seafood restaurants in the state and eateries across the country. Visitors can also feel good about enjoying the ocean’s bounty, as the modern fishing industry strives to achieve sustainability and protect Mississippi’s Gulf waters.

Whether you enjoy your seafood fried, broiled, or cooked up family-style in a classic Mississippi boil, it’s easy to savor all the flavors of Gulf Coast seafood during your vacation. You’ll also want to dip your fried seafood in comeback sauce, a spicy Mississippi original.

Soul Food

When people think of Southern food, soul food often comes to mind. Soul food has its own unique history, however, drawn from the culinary traditions of African Americans. Recipes brought out the best in whatever ingredients were available, creating comfort foods that are rich in flavor and history.

Mississippi is home to some of the country’s best soul food restaurants, where visitors can find plates loaded with fried chicken, greens and beans, hush puppies, cornbread, biscuits and gravy, okra and other seasonal vegetables, turkey wings, fried catfish, and much more. During your visit, be sure to support these eateries and learn more about the origins of soul food, as well as its modern evolution and incredible influence on American cuisine.

Finding the Best Food in Mississippi

No matter what you’re craving, you’ll find it in Mississippi. As you add activities and lodging to your trip planner, be sure to include all the state’s best culinary traditions on your next itinerary. To learn more, download our tour guide or contact Visit Mississippi today.