Are you visiting the birthplace of Elvis Presley in Tupelo, MS and feeling overwhelmed with dining options? With over 170 restaurants to choose from, it can be a tough decision. Luckily, we’ve got insider information on the local favorites that will have your taste buds rejoicing. Whether you’re in the mood for Southern cuisine, farm-to-table, or casual bar food, get ready to chow down on the best restaurants in Tupelo, and where the locals eat.
Welcome to Blue Canoe – the home of live music in Tupelo! If you’re looking for a fun and funky restaurant with a unique menu and incredible live performances, then you’re in for a treat. Prepare yourself for fresh ingredients, an extensive craft beer selection, and deliciously creative food.
You won’t want to miss out on the Caribbean Edamame with jerk seasoning at Blue Canoe, or the legendary Crack Dip Fries, featuring spicy sausage cheese dip over hand-cut potatoes.
And don’t even get us started on the Avocado Wedges (with crawfish!). If you’re looking for a heartier meal, we highly recommend the popular Pork & Greens, complete with pulled pork, cheese grits, greens, and cornbread.
Save some room for Connie’s Blueberry Doughnut Bread Pudding – an award-winning dish that’s out of this world.
Sweet Tea & Biscuits Cafe
Step into Sweet Tea & Biscuits Cafe for a taste of homemade Southern goodness served with a side of hospitality. This family-operated business has been perfecting their recipes for years, with their unique dishes passed down from generation to generation.
Although the locals in Tupelo already know the scoop, Sweet Tea & Biscuits Cafe has gained national attention, even making an appearance in Paula Deen’s magazine.
Be sure to make time for lunch and treat yourself to Momma’s Famous Chicken Salad Sandwich (with toasted almonds and sliced red grapes) or the Pimento & Cheese Sandwich with ripe, juicy tomatoes and fresh spring greens.
Of course, no southern meal is complete without a refreshing glass of southern sweet tea to wash it all down.
If you’re in a hurry or looking for something to bring home, bring a delectable casserole or dessert from their Take Home Freezer.
Try Sweet Tea & Biscuits Cafe for a meal that satisfies both the stomach and the soul. Finish off your culinary experience with a slice of their decadent strawberry cake. Trust us, you won’t want to miss this southern gem.
Johnnie’s Drive In is one of the oldest restaurants in Tupelo. Founded in 1949 by Johnnie Henson, it is a family-owned and operated business that serves up classic Southern dishes such as chicken-fried steak sandwiches, BBQ pork sandwiches with slaw, fried chicken dinner plates with mashed potatoes and gravy, and more.
Their famous homemade chili is also a must-try!
Fun Fact: When Elvis Presley was in elementary school in Tupelo, he liked to stop at nearby Johnnie’s Bar-B-Q Drive-In for a cheeseburger and an RC Cola.
Welcome to Romie’s Grocery, where the atmosphere is fun and dining options are aplenty! Have you tried their famous Meat +3 meal? For under $10, you’ll get to choose your entree and three sides. I think it is the best lunch in Tupelo.
The Meat +3 is also served with cornbread (that’s more like a hoecake) or dinner roll. Meat options change daily, so there’s always something new to try like fried or grilled chicken tenders, salmon patties, or fried chicken.
Sides range from fruit to purple hull peas and deviled eggs, which are spectacular, I might add.
But if plate lunches aren’t your thing, don’t worry! Romie’s has a wide variety of options, including salads, sandwiches, pizza, and nachos. And when dinner rolls around, you can choose from most everything on the lunch menu plus pasta, catfish, and steaks!
Personally, I recommend trying the chicken and stuffing plate lunch with a side of the best green beans you’ll ever have. And for dessert, you can’t go wrong with either the banana or bread pudding, or the lemon crunch.
Stop by Fairpark Grill for a meal that will not disappoint. With a prime location in the heart of downtown, Fairpark Grill offers a stunning park view to accompany an extensive wine list. Whether you’re in the mood for lunch, dinner, or weekend brunch, Fairpark Grill has got you covered.
To start off your meal, indulge in Spring Rolls or Panko-Crusted Fried Cheese, both of which are absolutely delicious. And if you’re a cheese lover like me, you’ll have to try the ooey-gooey Mozzarella & Pepper Jack Fried Cheese.
For dinner, the Sriracha Chicken Sandwich is an excellent choice. The fried chicken is perfectly cooked, and the Sriracha aioli offers just the right amount of kick. But my absolute favorite dish on the Fairpark Grill menu is the Chicken Piccata.
The pan-fried chicken breast is served with a light caper-lemon butter sauce that is simply divine. And the side of mashed potatoes and grilled asparagus round out the meal perfectly.
Overall, Fairpark Grill is a must-visit for any foodie in Tupelo. With great food and impeccable service, it’s no wonder that this restaurant rates a 10/10 score in my book.
Neon Pig Cafe
Neon Pig is a restaurant nestled in a strip mall setting and easily identified by the cute Purple neon pig sign above the door. Inside is a spacious dining area, cooler full of a variety of craft beers, small market with fresh produce, and an old-school butcher shop. There are grab and go items, too.
We came to eat lunch. Neon Pig is a full-service restaurant, but you serve yourself fountain sodas and tea. The Smashburger, voted Best Burger in America by Thrillist, was what I had, while I was tempted to have the Gulf Shrimp Dinner (fresh seafood always at Neon Pig).
Their iconic Smashburger is a house-ground patty made from Benton’s bacon, four cut of steak, and then topped with pickled onions, pickles, cheddar cheese, hoisin, and comeback sauce. All of this yumminess sits on a ciabatta roll.
The flavor is really good, and I especially liked the pickled onions.
Fun Fact: Neon Pig breaks down whole animals in-house and the produce is locally-sourced.
Park Heights Restaurant
Park Heights Restaurant is another long-time favorite among locals. Tupelo’s fine dining doesn’t get much better than at this treasure trove. With an extensive wine list and impeccable service, you’ll want to celebrate special occasions and date night at Park Heights.
Alaskan halibut, prime beef (served with potato dauphinoise, the best possible potato option of them all!), and coffee-rubbed pork chops are some of the stars of the menu, while the Asian chicken lollipops and Panzanella salad are also satisfying enough to make for a main course.
Enjoy al fresco dining from the rooftop. Save room for creme brûlée…the best in town.
Park Heights is open Tuesday through Saturday for dinner only. Reservations are recommended.
If you’re a traveler looking for a cozy and delicious spot to satisfy your sweet tooth, Crave is the place for you! This adorable coffee shop not only serves up tasty coffee drinks, but also has a wide variety of pastries and breakfast items to choose from.
What really sets them apart is their award-winning Skillet Cookie, named “Best Dessert in Mississippi” by Mississippi Magazine – giving them the well-deserved title of “Tupelo’s Dessert Cafe.” Make sure you plan accordingly and order your skillet cookie as soon as you arrive – it takes about 25 to 30 minutes to bake to perfection. Trust us, it’s worth the wait!
Served warm and topped with vanilla ice cream, chocolate, and caramel drizzles, this mouth-watering treat is worth waiting for.
But Crave isn’t just all about desserts! Their savory scone is a great alternative to the sweet options.
Looking for some finger-lickin’ good appetizers and honkin’ big bbq plates and sandwiches? Look no further than Crossroads Ribshack, a casual spot offering up a variety of sandwiches, hickory-smoked pulled pork, fall-off-the-bone ribs, and cheesesteak sandwiches.
Order plenty of delicious sides to go with your entree, like fried okra, baked beans, potato salad, and macaroni & cheese. The cheesesteak sandwiches are outrageously good!
Mugshots Grill & Bar
Looking for a place to have a great time and fabulous, elevated bar food? Look no further than Mugshots Grill & Bar, the brainchild of two college friends who wanted to make life grand. And boy, have they!
Mugshots serves up some of the best burgers in Mississippi, with nearly 20 creations to choose from. Plus, their daily happy hour is something to behold, with drink, appetizer, and wing specials that’ll leave you wanting more.
But it’s not just burgers and happy hour–the Parmesan Chicken Marinara Plate is a mouth-watering option, as is the chili with onions and shredded cheese. If you’re feeling adventurous, try Anthony’s Peanut Butter Burger, add smoked bacon. It’s epic.
C.H.O.P. Clay’s House of Pig
Tucked away inside a bait & tackle shop, Clay’s House of Pig (CHOP) might not be the first place that comes to mind for a delicious meal. But don’t let the unconventional setting fool you! With seating and counter service options available, this hidden gem is a favorite among locals and visitors alike.
On my last Tupelo visit, I opted for the outside window service, joining a dozen other hungry patrons. I couldn’t resist trying the fried bologna sandwich, a specialty of the house. And boy, was it delicious! The bologna was perfectly cooked and paired with a flavorful coleslaw that left me wanting more.
But the real winner was the BBQ Pork Tater, CHOP’s most popular item. It’s hard to describe the explosion of flavors that comes with each bite – from the juicy pulled pork to the crispy bacon to the tangy sour cream and queso. And let’s not forget the jalapeños, adding a bit of heat to this already irresistible dish.
Whether you’re a barbecue aficionado or just looking for a unique culinary experience, Clay’s House of Pig is not to be missed.
Brick & Spoon Tupelo
Get your Southern breakfast and lunch fix at Brick & Spoon, Tupelo’s best and most delicious breakfast spot. This charming eatery is a must-visit for foodies who love craft cocktails and Louisiana-style dishes. While the atmosphere is casual, it has a hint of sophistication that elevates your dining experience. Make sure to catch some live entertainment that brings the house down.
Satisfy your cravings with our two exceptional starters: the Bananas Foster beignets and Bayou Green Tomatoes. For the main course, try the Killer Creole Omelet featuring Gulf shrimp, Tasso ham, and hollandaise—the perfect savory start to your day.
If you’re feeling adventurous, go for the Corn Crab & Sweet Pepper Crepe. This brunch creation will blow your mind with its delicately lump crab meat mixed with corn, sweet peppers, onions, and mornay sauce. You can also indulge in our fluffy pancakes and French toast dishes.
Come hungry and leave satisfied at Brick & Spoon.
Bar-B-Q by Jim
Bar-B-Q by Jim is a cozy joint doing delicious Southern comfort food at its finest. From hearty ribeye steaks cooked over open flames to sweet potato pies made from scratch every day, it’s all superb!
They also offer an extensive selection of craft beers on tap that pairs perfectly with any of their BBQ dishes!
Kermit’s Soul Kitchen
Kermit’s Soul Kitchen in downtown Tupelo offers a vibrant and unique dining option. Housed in a charming century-old building, the exposed brick walls and cute outdoor patio spaces create the perfect atmosphere for a night out.
But it’s the menu that truly sets this eatery apart. With a focus on locally-sourced ingredients and supporting small businesses, the eclectic menu offers something for everyone.
During my visit, I was blown away by the pulled chicken plate – it came with two sides and a choice of cornbread or cauliflower breadsticks for just $4.50 extra. I opted for a healthy option of marinated broccoli and farro salad, paired with the indulgently delicious Benton’s Bacon Mac & Cheese. The presentation of my meal was so beautiful, I almost didn’t want to eat it!
Once I tasted it, I was hooked. The server even brought out three sauces for me to try, each one mouth-wateringly tasty. My personal favorite was the King sauce, a tangy mustard bbq blend. And don’t forget to check out their drink menu, featuring specialty margaritas and frosés that are sure to delight.
Strange Brew Coffeehouse
Pick up delicious pastries, sweet treats, and an arsenal of fantastic coffee and tea drinks from Strange Brew Coffeehouse. They also have really good quiche and breakfast items. The coffee shop is warm, friendly, and welcoming; a great place to get some work done or just hang out.
Tupelo’s first food truck was Local Mobile, serving NOLA style cuisine. A variety of Po-boys, sliders, and salads make up the menu. When you spot the Tiffany blue food truck with an adorable young couple at the wheel, you’ve found them. Follow Local Mobile’s Instagram or Facebook page to see where they will be and the hours they are serving.
Many of our meals were complimentary during our Tupelo visit. As always, opinions and reviews are completely mine and unbiased.
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