I am always intrigued by the clever trails I find when traveling. Whether it is my competitive spirit or just a fear of missing out, I love to visit the trail participants as mentioned by tourism boards or, in this case, the MS Hospitality and Restaurant Association. A trail that has been on my radar for a while is the Mississippi Seafood Trail.
Here are 10 restaurants on it, arranged north to south, including what to order. The Mississippi Seafood Trail encompasses 360 miles of delicious restaurants, all serving genuine wild-caught Gulf Coast seafood.
Fun Fact: USA Today listed this trail as number two for Best Food Trail in 2015.
8. Half Shell Oyster House
You’ll find several Half Shell Oyster House locations around Mississippi, including Hattiesburg, the one we like best. This restaurant with a New Orleans-style menu is a favorite on the Mississippi Seafood Trail. Two dishes stand out to me.
First is the blackened redfish topped with gulf shrimp sautéed in a smoky Cajun sauce. The second is a pecan-crusted redfish coated in a bacon and pecan breading mix. Can you even wrap your head around that? The redfish is topped with more bacon and a citrus beurre blanc sauce. You have your choice for side dishes. If neither of these appeals to you, you can always have a great Po’Boy, made with authentic Gambino’s French bread and fat, gulf shrimp, or smoky bacon shrimp and grits, though it is best to skip the calorie content on this one.
Half Shell also has a fantastic Sunday brunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., with Crab Cakes Half Shell being a tantalizing menu entry. The crab cakes are topped with poached eggs and then covered with Alfredo sauce, sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and capers. Yum!
9. Mosaic Tapas Bar
Mosaic Tapas Bar is a sophisticated casual, fine-dining restaurant with indoor and outdoor dining in Ocean Springs, Mississippi. It is open seven days a week and also has an adjoining beer house with 45 beers on tap, craft cocktails, and live music.
Mosaic’s menu includes salads, quesadillas, gyros, and classic Southern favorites like New Orleans barbecue shrimp and grits and Mahi tacos with pineapple salsa. Save room for the caramel churros for dessert.
10. Felix’s Restaurant & Oyster Bar
One of our favorite seafood restaurants in Mississippi is Felix’s Restaurant & Oyster Bar, a local Gulf Coast chain restaurant with three locations in Louisiana, plus one in Gulfport. Felix’s is the first name in oysters, with various dishes and recipes to take it to the next level, though oysters on the half shell are still the most popular.
When in season, other seafood options include boiled crawfish, snow crab, and royal reds, the most desirable shrimp of them all. Other menu items featuring Gulf Coast seafood include Po’Boy sandwiches and shrimp, fish, or oyster tacos. Come on Sunday for a celebratory brunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. with bottomless mimosas and a fabulous sounding Iberville omelet with peppers, onions, crawfish tails, and crawfish étouffée over the top.