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- Local Mobile Food Truck – Various Locations
- Pizza vs. Tacos – 1010 N Gloster St, Tupelo MS 38804
- Butterbean – 1103 W Jackson St, Tupelo MS 38804
- Clay's House of Pig– 205 S Veterans Blvd, Tupelo MS 38804
- PopSy – 206 N Spring St, Tupelo MS 38804
- Romie’s Grocery – 804 W Jackson St, Tupelo MS 33804
- Crave – 209 Court St, Tupelo MS 38801
- Brick and Spoon – 1201 N Gloster St, Tupelo MS 38804
- Neon Pig – 1203 N Gloster Street, Tupelo MS 38804
- Blue Canoe – 2006 N Gloster Street, Tupelo MS 38804
- Woody’s Tupelo – 619 N Gloster St, Tupelo MS 38804
- Kermit’s Outlaw Kitchen – 124 W Main St, Tupelo MS 38804
- Johnnie’s Drive-In – 908 E Main St, Tupelo MS 38804
- Vanelli’s Bistro – 206 Main St, Tupelo MS 38804
- Fairpark Grill – 343 E Main St, Tupelo MS 38804
- Bulldog Burger Co. – 311 S. Gloster St, Ste 101, Tupelo MS 33801
Located halfway between Birmingham, Alabama, and Memphis, Tennessee, the city of Tupelo, Mississippi, has emerged as an unexpected foodie destination. From biscuits and barbecue to fish tacos and gouda cheese grits, the restaurants in Tupelo MS offer a variety of family-friendly choices with traditional and modern Southern flair.
Disclosure: The writer was hosted for this trip.
Restaurants in Tupelo MS
On a recent trip to Tupelo, Mississippi, we had the opportunity to sample a variety of restaurants that are sure to please both parents and kids. Fans of independent eateries specializing in locally sourced ingredients will find plenty of family-friendly restaurants in Tupelo to choose from. All of the Tupelo restaurants we tried during our weekend getaway offered unique menus in relaxed and welcoming settings.
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Local Mobile Food Truck – Various Locations
Our Tupelo foodie experience began at Tupelo’s Food Truck Friday. Each Friday at lunchtime, food trucks line the city’s central park in front of City Hall. There, we sampled the menu of Tupelo’s first food truck, Local Mobile. Offerings include burger sliders, cheeseburgers and shrimp, catfish or Cajun sausage po-boys.
We each tried the po-boys, served with lettuce, tomatoes, pickles and remoulade, and were wowed by the light and fluffy deliciousness of Local Mobile’s New Orleans-style French bread.
TravelingMom Tip: Check Local Mobile’s social media accounts for the truck’s current location.
Pizza vs. Tacos – 1010 N Gloster St, Tupelo MS 38804
Every parent has had to mediate the great dinner debate and getting everyone to agree about where to eat isn’t always easy. But at Pizza vs. Tacos, your family doesn’t have to be on the same page. In fact, the menu even isn’t. With a selection of Detroit-style pizzas on one side and street tacos on the other, this restaurant solves the age-old dilemma.
A Detroit-style pizza is a rectangular pizza with a thick crust prepared in a deep-dish pan. The edges of the crust are intentionally crispy—almost burnt—while the inside of the crust is soft and chewy. My son tried the Rachel, covered in Italian sausage and ricotta lasagna sauce. I ventured way into Tupelo-meets-Detroit territory, choosing the Fried Pickle, which combines layers of Southern-style fried pickles with bacon, comeback sauce (a classic Southern condiment made of ketchup, mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce and garlic powder), green onions and a ricotta cream sauce.
My husband opted for a Smoked Jerked Chicken Taco and the Masa Tempura Fried Fish Taco, with cabbage, salsa verde, soy-miso dressing and micro greens and a cold Mexican street corn salad on the side.
Kids will feel welcomed by the colorful taco and pizza cartoon characters covering the restaurant’s ceiling and walls and the no-fuss family-friendly décor. Pizza vs. Tacos offers a kids’ menu with cheese, chicken or steak quesadillas, a slice of cheese or pepperoni pizza, chicken or ground beef taco or fried chicken nuggets. Each meal comes with chips or a fruit cup.
TravelingMom Tip: Every Tuesday through Thursday, kids receive a free kids’ menu item for every $10 spent.
Butterbean – 1103 W Jackson St, Tupelo MS 38804
On our first morning in Tupelo, we stopped into Butterbean, a coffee house and café open for breakfast and lunch. Butterbean offers counter service and indoor and outdoor seating.
The café’s signature biscuits are available with chicken, pork loin or sausage or can be sampled with a “flight” featuring four different country gravies or jams. Butterbean also offers a selection of paninis, protein bowls and breakfast burritos. I opted for one of the toasts with avocado, bacon, greens and a spicy cream sauce. Other toast options include pimento cheese and bacon or ricotta and jam.
TravelingMom Tip: Butterbean is closed on Sundays and Mondays.
Clay’s House of Pig– 205 S Veterans Blvd, Tupelo MS 38804
Located in an unassuming brick building on Veterans Boulevard, Clay’s House of Pig, also known as C.H.O.P. for short, isn’t fancy—in fact, the décor is mostly products from Clay’s Bait and Tackle Shop, which also operates there. But who needs fancy when you can get some of the best barbecue around.
I’ve lived in the South all my life, and I’ve eaten a lot of barbecue, but I’ve never had anything quite like Clay’s Half Tater, a gently mashed baked potato topped with pulled pork, bacon, queso, green onions, jalapenos, sour cream and a Memphis-style barbecue sauce. My husband had the brisket sandwich and concluded it may well have been the best brisket he’s ever eaten. We topped it all off with enormous sweet teas, making it the perfect lunch for a steamy Tupelo summer day.
PopSy – 206 N Spring St, Tupelo MS 38804
For a great start to the day or a pick-me-up in the afternoon, check out PopSy in downtown Tupelo. PopSy offers fresh-made gourmet popsicles, along with teas, smoothies, smoothie bowls, wraps and toasts.
My son tried one of the bubble teas, the Coconut Matcha Latte, featuring unsweetened coconut milk, matcha and agave, while I had the Sunshine Energy Tea, a fruity, sweet combination of orange, cherry lime and piña colada. PopSy’s cold drinks and serene surroundings offered a refreshing break during our city stroll.
Romie’s Grocery – 804 W Jackson St, Tupelo MS 33804
The tag line at Romie’s Grocery is “put a little south in ya’ mouth,” which perfectly sums up what you need to know about the menu. If you’re looking for classic Southern food, Romie’s is where you’ll find it. Entrees include fried chicken, catfish, steaks and burgers, and the sides are exactly what you’d expect: collard greens, cheese grits, fried green tomatoes, sweet chili Brussel sprouts and the like.
During our visit, I had the Catfish Romie, a pan-seared catfish fillet topped with Romie’s creamy brown sauce with crawfish, mushrooms and herbs. My husband enjoyed the ribeye with garlic and cheese potatoes and grilled vegetables, while my son dug into the Bacon, Egg and Cheese Burger. For kids under 10, Romie’s Grocery offers grilled cheese or chicken tenders with one side for $5.00.
Romie’s Grocery, located inside a former community grocery store, has a large open dining room with a hip industrial feel, thanks to vintage bulbs hung from exposed metal trusses and weathered wood floors. One of several restaurants in Tupelo MS that hosts live music, it has an inviting outdoor patio where you can enjoy the entertainment Thursday through Saturday nights.
Crave – 209 Court St, Tupelo MS 38801
If you need a sweet treat, don’t miss Crave. It’s a dessert and coffee house, open weekdays from 7 am to 5 pm, Fridays and Saturdays until 10 pm, and Sundays from 4 until 9 pm. Crave’s specialty is a skillet cookie or brownie, baked fresh to order and topped with ice cream and chocolate sauce. Piping hot with a gooey center, my family devoured two in no time flat. Crave also offers other desserts such as cheesecake, pie, bread pudding and crème brulee.
Crave is a happening after-dinner spot, and the ambiance is cute and cozy. It also has outdoor seating in a picturesque downtown alley strung with lights.
TravelingMom Tip: The menu cautions that the homemade skillet can take up to 30 minutes to prepare. Don’t let that deter you—our wait was not that long, and it was worth every minute.
Brick and Spoon – 1201 N Gloster St, Tupelo MS 38804
With locations across the Southeast, Brick and Spoon features a full Sunday brunch menu with decadent dishes. We started our meal with an order of beignets dusted with powdered sugar and served with raspberry marmalade.
And because sweets, sweets and more sweets are perfectly acceptable for breakfast or brunch, my son tried the delectable Bananas Foster French Toast, with caramelized bananas, foster sauce, pecans, whipped cream and more powdered sugar. If you don’t have much of a sweet tooth, I recommend the Corn Crab and Sweet Pepper Crepe, which was filled with lump crab and covered in a creamy mornay sauce.
Kids’ menu items are available for $8.00. Choices include a pancake and fruit, macaroni and cheese and fries, grilled cheese and fries, or a kid’s breakfast plate with two eggs and a choice of bacon, Canadian bacon, grits or a biscuit.
The other nice feature of the Brick and Spoon brunch is the build-your-own Bloody Mary. You can select from the restaurant’s Bloody Mary order form, which gives a choice of vodkas, such as Absolut Citron, Peppar or Mandarin, veggies (I picked pickled green beans, okra, asparagus, blue cheese stuffed olives and celery), herbs and seasoning, such as tabasco, rosemary, basil, sriracha and horseradish and a plain, salted or peppered rim. Meat and cheese toppings are also available for an additional charge.
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Restaurants in Tupelo MS I’ll Try Next Time
We ran out of time to sample more restaurants in Tupelo MS, but we’ll be back. Here are some local favorites that we’re planning to try next time.
Neon Pig – 1203 N Gloster Street, Tupelo MS 38804
In the same shopping center as Brick and Spoon is Neon Pig, a butcher shop, restaurant and market. Neon Pig’s specialty is its Smash Burger, a combination of filet, ribeye, New York strip, ground chuck and Benton’s bacon. Thrillist named it the “best burger in America.”
Blue Canoe – 2006 N Gloster Street, Tupelo MS 38804
Blue Canoe, the sister restaurant to Pizza vs. Tacos, claims to have “hands-on bar food and the best beer selection around.” Entrees include Nashville-style hot fried soft shell crab sandwiches, chicken and waffles, duck quesadillas, pork and greens, and shrimp and crawfish pesto pasta. It also has live music every night.
Woody’s Tupelo – 619 N Gloster St, Tupelo MS 38804
Woody’s Tupelo is a steakhouse a few minutes from downtown on North Gloster Street. Along with steaks from its charcoal grills, Woody’s Tupelo offers Southern food like shrimp and grits and blackened Mississippi catfish.
Kermit’s Outlaw Kitchen – 124 W Main St, Tupelo MS 38804
Kermit’s Outlaw Kitchen on Main Street is the sister restaurant to Neon Pig, which supplies all the restaurant’s beef, pork and chicken. Along with its locally sourced meats, Kermit’s highlights farm-based ingredients in its Southern and soul food dishes.
TravelingMom Tip: Finding the murals throughout downtown Tupelo, including the one on the side of Kermit’s Outlaw Kitchen, is a fun afternoon activity.
Johnnie’s Drive-In – 908 E Main St, Tupelo MS 38804
Learn some rock and roll history and have a great meal at this classic all-American diner where Elvis Presley and his friends ate. A Tupelo staple, Johnnie’s Drive-In is one of 14 sites on the Elvis Presley self-guided bicycle or driving tour.
TravelingMom Tip: Johnnie’s Drive-In accepts cash only.
Vanelli’s Bistro – 206 Main St, Tupelo MS 38804
Located on Tupelo’s Main Street, Vanelli’s Bistro serves Italian and Greek fare, including pizza, pasta, gyros and salads.
Fairpark Grill – 343 E Main St, Tupelo MS 38804
Across the street from Tupelo’s central park is Fairpark Grill. Serving modern American food, this tavern features entrees such as chicken and waffles and smoked gouda and jalapeno grits.
TravelingMom Tip: Next door to Fairpark Grill is an upscale fine dining restaurant called Park Heights. Try Park Heights on a parents’ date night or girls’ night out!
Bulldog Burger Co. – 311 S. Gloster St, Ste 101, Tupelo MS 33801
Bulldog Burger Co. started in Starkville, home of the Mississippi State University Bulldogs. Now with a location in Tupelo, it features juicy, handmade cheeseburgers stacked with fresh ingredients, like bacon, avocado, crispy onions, chipotle mayonnaise, sauteed mushrooms and jalapenos. Eat in or place an order online for takeout.