Best Music and Food Joints in South Mississippi

I spent about a month in south Mississippi where I grew up getting reacquainted and taking a load off. I hadn’t been to MS in a little over a decade and had plenty of old friends to visit. I spent a good deal of time in Hattiesburg, MS an old lumber and railroad town. Hattiesburg is a convenient place to visit if you are really trying to experience the south because it’s 60-75 miles from New Orleans,  LA , Mobile, AL, and the MS Gulf Coast.

South Mississippi has had far more damage that has been reported by the media since Katrina. Even Hattiesburg, which is rarely affected by hurricanes due to being 75 miles inland is still recovering. This beautiful and important part of the country has been home to some very notable names such as Brett Farve, Fred Armisen and Jimmy Buffett , and with food like this it has to be worth checking out.

T-Bone’s in Hattiesburg, Ms: This record store and café is the Hub of the Hub City! T-Bone’s is a combination café and record store that has the most inclusive atmosphere you will ever encounter. Everyone from college kids, to adorable little old ladies, to police officers and families dine and shop here. They have great food and and the carry Woodchuck Hard cider which is always a win for me. They also do in-store music certain nights of

Leatha’s Bar B Que Hattiesburg, Ms: Now Leatha’s is the only place that I did not actually eat at but I would highly recommend because everyone recommended it to me. I am a vegetarian and even being a a BBQ place would be too much for me to bare but I have been told a about a hundred times that this family owned restaurant has the best BBQ in the state. So if you are a meat eater and love BBQ then be sure to check out the highly acclaimed Leatha’s. I’ve never heard of a place more recommended in my life.

Shady’s Global Grille & Oyster Bar in Ocean Springs, MS: Shady’s has the feel of a modern saloon and a traditional southern dining room. I really enjoyed the aquariums embedded in the rich terracotta walls and great service. This is a oyster grill so if you love seafood stop by and get your fix of the freshest catch from the Gulf coast. Shady’s also offers Thai and American food at a great price. I had the yellow curry with tofu and it was so delicious I’m still wishing I had some more.

Sweet’s Lounge  in Ocean Springs, MS: Sweets is another cheap on my list but its a  must visit spot. This tiny juke joint style bar only serves beer and only had music occasionally but it’s a great place to stop off for a drink and some southern hospitality.


Sakura in Hattiesburg, MS: Asparagus rolls are to die for at this little Japanese restaurant just off of highway 49. I suggest going for lunch so that you can sit out on the front porch and enjoy the south MS air.

Thirsty Hippo Hattiesburg, MS: I didn’t get to visit the Thirsty Hippo this time because it was being rebuilt but I remember the old venue which was the best place to visit for live music in Hattiesburg.  The new Thirsty Hippo is set to open soon? And if you are town won’t want to miss out on the new venue.

The Government St Grocery Ocean Springs, MS:  This is not a grocery store at all but a restaurant and bar with a stage and live music. If you are lucky enough to be there when the charismatic pony-tailed owner Pat is around introduce yourself and get ready to laugh all night. You can tell immediately upon entering that Pat has some extremely happy employees.  As soon as you enter  “ The Grocery” you are gonna  feel like part of the family. With great food, great service and a steady stream of quality live music be sure to stop by The Governement Street Grocery if you find yourself in Ocean Springs.

The Squeaky Lizard Ocean Springs, MS: This tiny little venue is not for the faint at heart. It’s small in size and super smoky but extremely friendly. They only serve beer so bring your own liquor, yes you can actually do that here.  It gets smoky so if you’ve got asthma this may not be the place for you. The music the night I was there was worth the cloud of smoke and then some.

The Buffet at Beau Rivage Biloxi, MS: Biloxi is a ghost town of what it used to be since Katrina but the beautiful beaches are worth a stop alone. We ate the amazing buffet at none other than “The Buffet” at the Beau Rivage. There were plenty of vegetarian options which is always a concern for me and they had everything from Gulf shrimp to Chinese and everything in between.

Chelcie Porter Written by:

Chelcie S Porter is a photographer, artist, writer and fashionista based out of Chicago. Growing up the daughter of a fashion model she has lived in 7 states, visited almost all 50 and traveled to 4 countries. Now approaching her 30's she has vowed to make travelling a top priority with plans to head to the Carribean for work and friends, visit China for an artist's residency, volunteer in India and to get back to Alaska to visit the pieces of her heart she left there. Follow her as she continues her education, starts an online vintage boutique and tells you her secret to travelling the world. Feel free to view her work at