Crawfish, po'boys, and the Gulf's freshest fare are on the menu along this charming stretch of Southern coast.
Ocean Springs, Mississippi
With autographed photos of famous locals (mostly football players) on the walls, this is pure Mississippi. Don't miss the house-made gumbo and the soups of the day, “surf and turf” po’boys, and bread pudding. Round out the meal with sweet tea; 228-875-2702, facebook.com/bbspoboys.
The man at the back-corner table writes your name and order on a white paper sack. Soon, you pick up that same sack, filled with a buttery, overstuffed shrimp po'boy. The fried seafood is pretty good, too; 228-762-3322.
Long Beach, Mississippi
Hurricane Katrina destroyed the original location across from the harbor in Pass Christian, but the dive has since been rebuilt in Long Beach--once again capturing gorgeous Gulf views. It retained the excellent seafood -- huge mounds of fried shrimp, oysters, and catfish -- and friendly service; 228-867-8949, harborviewcafe.net.
Readers tell us it’s impossible to pick a favorite treat, but Lil’ Ray’s serves boiled crawfish cooked to perfection, plus homemade bread pudding and New Orleans–style po’boys. Part of a local family chain, the restaurant has wooden indoor picnic benches laminated with Mississippi maps—perfect for planning your visit to other dives; 228-822-2400, facebook.com/Lil-Rays-Restaurant-260942295452/?ref=page_internal.
Pass Christian, Mississippi
If you're in the mood for something non-fried (hard to believe), this fun and laid-back family joint right on the dock on Pass Harbor also has good non-fried options. Check out the house-smoked Wahoo Dip, a Shaggy's original; 228-452-9939, shaggys.biz.