Coastal Mississippi delivers much more than fun in the sun. Yes, there are sandy beaches stretching the 62 miles of coastline along the Gulf of Mexico and Mississippi Sound. But, not unlike the way the Florida Keys deliver different kinds of experiences, the 12 cities that make up Coastal Mississippi offer everything from small-town charm to arts and culture and fine dining. This list touches on 18 noteworthy mom-and-pop cafes and James Beard-nominated hotspots, all most satisfying.Read More
Where to Eat in Coastal Mississippi
Great eats when you head to the Mississippi coast, from Bay St. Louis to Pascagoula
This breakfast and lunch cafe fosters a welcoming environment just steps from the beach. Start with locally roasted Coast Roast coffee out of New Orleans. Then tuck into tasty egg dishes, short rib and brisket burgers, and an Eat Like a Bird vegetarian section, all served in plastic-free containers. Mockingbird Cafe can sate even the weariest traveler. Need more good juju? There’s a yoga studio upstairs.
Covington’s loss was Bay St. Louis’s gain when chef Jeffrey Hansell and his wife Amy left the Northshore to open the beguiling Thorny Oyster in the Pearl Hotel steps from the beach. Hansell’s attention to detail and gorgeous composition come across in an array of fresh Gulf seafood, from grilled and raw oysters to a bouillabaisse and stuffed whole flounder. Wonderful craft cocktails, naturally.
Sea Level, a sweet little turquoise shack on the beach, combines the simple pleasures of sandy toes with freshly grilled vacation food, from local fish tacos to award-winning burgers and macaroni and smoked gouda bites. Familiar New Orleans sno-balls for dessert? Yes, please.
Long Beach Market & Deli
Love Long Beach Market & Deli, a family-owned casual eatery that welcomes pets, kids, and everybody in between. There’s patio dining, where a range of Korean, Chinese, Cajun, Vietnamese, vegetarian, and American dishes are served. Whether nibbling on Korean barbecue or a banh mi, it’s worth noting that chef Lucia van Norden is a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu Culinary School. Huge selection of ice-cold beer.
Chefs William Rester and Lauren Joffrion are behind this modern Southern restaurant in Long Beach. Radish is named for the Long Beach Red, a local radish that was shipped by railroad to points North, where it was a popular bar snack dipped in butter and salt. Radish does a terrific job of both honoring and updating the Southern table. Besides roasted radishes with chimichurri, small plates include crab beignets with Crystal beurre blanc and fried green tomatoes with tasso cream. Try a killer pork chop with collards and grits or Maple Leaf Farms duck molé.
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The Chimneys Restaurant
The Chimneys is a swell spot for classic coastal cuisine on the Gulfport waterfront. Take a seat on the front porch patio of this charming historic home for views of live oaks and the Gulf. The seafood gumbo is terrific, as well as the Godchaux salad, a toss of lump crabmeat, boiled shrimp, anchovy, and avocado on greens, dressed with a Creole mustard vinaigrette. Seafood is a specialty.
White Pillars Restaurant and Lounge
James Beard semifinalist Austin Sumrall is behind White Pillars in Biloxi, a show-stopping space restored to its original 1905 splendor after Hurricane Katrina. The large Greek revival-style mansion creates beautiful backdrops for Sumrall’s unfussy mix of Cajun, Creole, and new Southern cuisine. From briny oysters to foie PB&J to wood-grilled gulf fish and duck fat fries with garlic aioli, Sumrall’s eye for detail and sense of flavor is spot on.
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Fill-Up with Billups
Located in Pass Christian, Fill-Up with Billups dishes hefty breakfasts from early to late night, including the three hangover specials featuring the likes of biscuits and eggs smothered with crawfish etouffee1or better yet chicken fried beef steak. The menu is vast, with burgers, pizza, sandwiches, and salads served in a friendly setting.
A Pan-Asian restaurant tucked away in the Beau Rivage, there are surprises at every turn, with traditional flavors, superb presentation, and globe-trotting dishes. Jia isn’t going for fusion, instead from pho to sushi to kung pao to roti to Mongolian beef, the team of chefs takes the diner on a world journey that replicates favorite dishes from Vietnam, China, Thailand, and beyond.
This inspired plant-based breakfast and lunch spot will win over even the hardened carnivore. Makin’ Groceries’ flavor-packed menu is inspired by owner Lauren Turner’s travels in Europe, North Africa, and Mexico with dishes like jackfruit carnitas tacos and lentil shepherd’s pie. They also offer family meals to go — perfect to bring home to the beach house.
An upscale AAA four diamond-rated restaurant in the IP Casino, Thirty-Two offers lovely water views from its 32nd-floor vista. The menu embraces traditional steak and seafood but doesn’t stop there. The chef’s southern board is a down-home take on the usual charcuterie, adding pickles, pimento cheese, Crystal-deviled eggs, and fried saltines to the meats and cheese. There’s chargrilled octopus with nduja sausage, a wide range of choices for all palates.
One Thirty One on Lameuse
An inviting spot in Biloxi, One Thirty One on Lameuse offers Cajun-Creole-inspired coastal fare with an emphasis on seasonal and local ingredients. A few favorite dishes include crawfish hand pies, barbecue shrimp over cheese grits, and a fried chicken sandwich. Dinner expands the options with temptations like duck ravioli, crawfish and clam pasta, and boudin stuffed quail. Open for lunch and dinner Wednesday through Saturday and brunch on Sunday.
With locations in Gulfport, Biloxi, and Hattiesburg, Patio 44 is a solid choice for brunch, lunch, and dinner, thanks to a copious menu with strong seafood-centric sensibilities. Indulge in the blue crab fondue and the outstanding redfish on the half shell with crawfish cream sauce. The field pea saute deserves careful attention, perhaps from the applewood bacon, or the cornbread and roasted garlic aioli.
This French-Vietnamese bakery is loved for its fresh daily pastries (the cinnamon rolls! the danish!) French bread, and a selection of Vietnamese banh mi. Bubble teas, smoothies, and specialty cakes are also available. Le Bakery’s crusty baguettes are served at many of the best restaurants on the coast.
Eat Drink Love
Open for lunch Tuesday through Saturday, Eat Drink Love delivers innovative dishes using local ingredients with bayou views. Thoughtfully composed sandwiches and salads are almost too pretty to eat, but lean into the likes of an Italian club, pesto turkey wrap, or a toothsome caprese. Check Instagram for specials.
Vestige is a romantic date night spot that combines contemporary American cuisine with Japanese influences, thanks to chef Alex Perry’s wife Kumi Omori’s inspiration. Expect a farm and Gulf to table multi course chef’s tasting experience, with just caught seafood, museum-quality composed plates of greens and vegetables, proteins that might include perfectly cooked robata charcoal grilled wagyu beef and blistered miso “ora king” salmon. The prix fixe menu is $92 per person, an experience that would easily be twice the price in the big city. Chef Perry was named a 2023 James Beard Award Finalist for Best Chef South.
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Mosaic Restaurant & Bar
Tapas, beer, and craft cocktails is a winning combination at Mosaic, which offers an all-day menu that ranges from sandwiches and burgers, gyros, salads, and tacos, along with small plates of Argentinian empanadas, seared tuna, and chicken skewers. Frozen drinks are a specialty, best enjoyed on the patio where live music is played nightly. Check the keto cheeseburger salad.
Huck's Cove on the Bayou
Situated at the mouth of the Mary Walker Bayou and the West Pascagoula River, Hucks Cove is a winner, a family and pet friendly spot with super views and down-home cuisine. From fried seafood to burgers and salads, there’s something for everyone here.
Scranton's Restaurant & Catering
This beautifully restored historic jail firehouse sets the stage for generous portions of comfort fare for lunch and dinner every day but Monday. Try Scranton’s she crab soup, Bang Bang shrimp tacos, pork rinds, and for the vegetarians, there’s the Impossible burger.