Downtown Ocean Springs is known as one of the Mississippi Gulf Coast’s culinary hotspots! There is something to suit every taste bud downtown and usually some live music to go along with it! For this blog post, we’ve stuck to traditional dining establishments with options for lunch and dinner that are within walking distance of The Roost in the downtown area. For more on downtown Ocean Springs bars with live music, check out our other blog post here. Or for places to grab a sweet treat or coffee, check out our blog here.
First off, Eat Drink Love, our restaurant here at The Roost, has a spectacular menu filled with many delicious items such as grass-fed beef burgers, power salads that come with either grilled salmon or chicken, and shrimp scampi dip that is to die for. The pimento grilled cheese is as Southern as comfort food gets! The Wilbur Bar also serves a dinner menu complete with charcuterie boards and seasonal flatbreads…plus hand-crafted cocktails with specialty bourbons crafted by local connoisseur, Jonathan Maisano…check out Maisano’s Fine Wine & Spirits on Hwy 90 for even more creative libations!
Next up, check out The Greenhouse on Porter for specialty biscuits, pour-over coffee, and tea…plus craft beer or cocktails! The Greenhouse has a weekly trivia night, yoga, bingo, and a monthly “opp-shop” featuring local artists…the best part is that it’s only a few blocks from The Roost! Stop by Crooked Letter Brewery on your way to the Greenhouse for a beer flight filled with creative and seasonal beers and some good, hearty bar grub.
As you make your way east down Porter Ave. towards the heart of downtown, the first stop on your route should be KnuckleHeads, on the corner of Porter Ave. and Washington Ave. This up and coming spot located in the historic Mohler’s Gas Station, (been there since 1930), has great omelettes for breakfast as well as poboys, burgers, and even poutine for lunch or dinner! Don’t miss their $5 pitcher nights on Tuesdays!
Make your way north on Washington Ave. to find Maison de Lu…this French-named restaurant is a classic Ocean Springs restaurant and serves up creative faire such as a goat cheese torte, a salad complete with hot apple beignets, and homemade blackberry or mango margaritas! For dinner, how about a filet mignon or veal du jour?
Just across the avenue is Vestige, the only husband and wife operated farm to table restaurant in downtown Ocean Springs! Vestige serves beautifully prepared gourmet meals prepared with loving care by Chef Alex Perry from fresh Gulf seafood and locally sourced vegetables to grass-fed pork and beef from local farms. The menu changes with the seasons to ensure freshness and quality, so expect to be pleasantly surprised no matter what time of year you decide to drop in!
Lancaster’s is also in the Washington Ave. corridor south of Government St. and is the perfect place to take the family for traditional Southern-style chicken fried steak, burgers, sassy salads, and more!
Walk north past Government St. to Desoto St. and hang a right for one of the best breakfast spots in town—Buzzy’s Breakfast Joint! Here you can find a scrumptious Southern breakfast of biscuits ‘n’ gravy, grits, eggs, bacon, and an exploding egg sandwich!
Just one block north, across from the train depot on Robinson St., is Tom’s Extreme Pizza. This stone-baked pizza place boasts specialty pizzas dreamed up from every corner of the USA…from California to New York State! They use fresh, whole-milk mozzarella and veggies prepared fresh daily! And tomato sauce from vine ripened tomatoes canned within hours of harvest! Stop by with the kids or order out…Tom’s delivers to The Roost!
Head back down to Government St. and check out The Love Shack Bar & Grill for a classic Southern sports bar vibe with weekly karaoke, awesome burgers, poboys, shrimp tacos, and more!
Charred is just the next block over and is known for its raw oyster bar, steaks, and fresh seafood…Chef Milton Joachim whips up amazing and delicious entrees daily such as amberjack and tuna tacos, homemade gumbo, prime ribs, and much more!
Cross the street and double back a block on Government and you’ll come to Mosaic and The Beer House. These sister establishments are known for their multi-national cuisine and over 45 selections of draft beer…plus a wide assortment of hookah! A mix of American, Latino, and Cajun dishes alongside a large outdoor dining area with live music have kept this restaurant a downtown mainstay for many, many years!
A couple blocks down is Glory Bound Gyro, Co. Even though they’re a newcomer to the downtown Ocean Springs food scene, they have quickly become mainstay for handcrafted gyros, pizzas, and a wide range of unique hummus flavors.
Just a block down from Glory Bound is The Government St. Grocery. This dive bar and live music hub, a locals’ favorite, has some of the best bloody Mary’s in town along with traditional muffalettas and poboys. The Grocery, as it’s lovingly called, also offers beef and veggie burger options and gyros and falafel. Stop by for an afternoon pick me up or for late night “Grocery Fries” covered in Rotel with chili, jalapenos, sour cream, and green onion.
Murky Waters BBQ is just the next block down and the perfect spot to enjoy some delicious dry-rub smoked with local pecan wood while listening to Southern rock or blues. Their covered patio is perfect for late Southern nights with good food and good tunes.
Across from Murky Waters and down a block, you’ll run into Phoenicia Gourmet, one of the longest running fine dining restaurants in downtown Ocean Springs. Owned and operated by a local family with Lebanese roots, you can find traditional Mediterranean dishes here such as baba ghanuj and chicken shawarma, as well as Coast classics such as crab bisque or a fresh, red snapper filet. This is also a favorite local spot for fabulous brunch with a wide assortment of specialty pancakes and mimosas plus omelettes!
Go just a little further down Government St. and you will find an Ocean Springs classic—Chef Scott’s Restaurant. Chef Scott Khong is probably THE best sushi chef on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and has a loyal following! Stop by for an extensive menu sure to provide you with an authentic Vietnamese-style sushi experience.
Pleasant’s BBQ is next up on the drag that is Government St. with its unique dining experience…you can get your tires checked or changed here while enjoying some of the best homemade BBQ on the Gulf Coast! Pleasant’s is an Ocean Springs classic as well and is beloved by many all along the Gulf Coast! Michael Pleasant also bottles and sells jars of his famous BBQ sauce! Come for daily specials featuring traditional Southern BBQ and staples such as collard greens, fried catfish, and cornbread!
To add to the cultural tour, walk just a block more for Italian Garden. This traditional Italian restaurant boasts homemade pasta made fresh daily, sauces made to order, and we can personally vouch for their delicious linguini! With indoor and outdoor seating, this is an amazing new addition to downtown Ocean Springs!
As you meander on down Government St., you’ll hit yet another local favorite in Val’s Sports Bar & Grill…stop by to watch a game while eating traditional American fare with indoor and outdoor seating.
The last stop on the Government St. tour is The Crawfish House! Sit outside and enjoy boiled crawfish by the pound with buttered corn, spicy red potatoes, and smoked sausage—a South Mississippi delicacy! They also boast an outdoor oyster bar!