Here are our Top Ten Culinary Treats so you can eat your way around Mississippi
The Square – Oxford, Mississippi
Nowhere is there a higher concentration of award-winning restaurants than around the historic Courthouse Square in Oxford, Mississippi. Home to James Beard Award winners Chef John Currence and food author John T. Edge (not to mention Nobel Prizewinner William Faulkner), restaurants like Southern gourmet mecca City Grocery, Oprah Winfrey's favourite apple pie at Bottletree Bakery and Ajax Diner's down-home favourites keep "The Square" the culinary and cultural centre of the town.
Johnnie's Drive-In – Tupelo, Mississippi
Opening its doors in 1945, this small drive-in restuarant was a favourite of Tupelo's most famous son Elvis Presley. Here, you can sit in the same booth as the boy who would be "King" when he enjoyed burgers and milkshakes with his friends after school.
Ground Zero Blues Club – Clarksdale, Mississippi
Ground Zero Blues Club is a restaurant by day and a real-deal juke joint by night. Owned by Academy Award-winning actor and Clarksdale resident Morgan Freeman, Ground Zero is situated in a 100-year-old cotton grading warehouse on Blues Alley just steps from the Delta Blues Museum.
Does Eat Place – Greenville, Mississippi
You won't find any white tablecloths at Doe's Eat Place in Greenville – just the finest filet mignon, ribeye, T-bone and Porterhouse steaks anywhere in the South, not to mention homemade French fries and broiled shrimp swimming in garlic butter. And this James Beard Award-winning restaurant doesn't serve liquor, so feel free to bring your own wine or whiskey in a brown paper bag, just like the locals do!
Viking Cooking School – Greenwood, Mississippi
World famous Viking ranges are made just right down the road from the Viking Cooking School, a gleaming facility where local chefs teach "students" how to prepare cuisines from their backyard and all over the world. Classes like Delta Dinner and Blues, Chicago Steakhouse and Parisian Dinner Party make up the curriculum here. And if class runs late, the boutique-style Alluvian Hotel is right across the street, where you don't want to miss their daily Southern buffet breakfast.
Mayflower Cafe – Jackson, Mississippi
Recently featured in the film version of The Help, the Mayflower Cafe is the dream and livelihood of two Greek families in the Jackson area, who opened the cafe in 1935. A local favourite for steak and seafood entrees, The Mayflower is also famous for its "comeback sauce", a distinctive dipping sauce and salad dressing indigenous to the Jackson area. Mississippians put comeback sauce on everything from salads to fried green tomatoes to crackers.
Walnut Hills – Vicksburg, Mississippi
Don't be afraid to sit next to a stranger at Walnut Hills! Housed in an 1860's gallery house in Vicksburg's Historic District, the restaurant is known for their fried chicken and fresh garden vegetables served in round-table style.
Mammy's Cupboard – Natchez, Mississippi
Many consider this unique restaurant a national treasure and you won't find another like it anywhere in the world. The entire restaurant likes beneath the "skirt" of a forty foot tall woman! Not only famous for its unique architecture, Mammy's Cupboard's menu features Southern favourites like corn bread, sweet tea and homestyle vegetables. Don't leave without trying the banana caramel pie!
Mary Mahoney's – Biloxi, Mississippi
Established in 1964, Mississippi coastal legend Mary Mahoney's Old French House proudly serves seafood fresh from the waters of the nearby Gulf of Mexico. The restaurant has hosted American Presidents, dignitaries and celebrities and is also mentioned in two John Grisham novels – Runaway Jury and The Partner. But just as famous as its past visitors is its bread pudding with rum sauce, the perfect finish to a delectable dinner.
The Shed – Ocean Springs, Mississippi
The Shed is "100% 'old school' sweet Southern, down-home barbecue". It's been featured on the Food Network and several national programs and regulary wins awards in the Memphis in May World Barbecue Championship and the National BBQ Association Convention. Come for the food, but stay for the live music you'll find each weekend.