The world is your oyster — and fried catfish, fresh shrimp, blackened chicken and more — at Ridgeland’s restaurants
“Good food brings people together. Come share memories around the table in Ridgeland.” –Ridgeland Tourism Commission’s Director of Sales & Events Kelly Durrett.
From a restaurant headed up by a James Beard semi-finalist to some of the tastiest cornbread and fried catfish this Southern state offers, Ridgeland offers a variety of restaurant experiences sure to please world-traveled palates as well as those looking for culinary comforts closer to home. Here, we offer some of Ridgeland’s not-to-be-missed dining treasures. We hope you’re come hungry.
With some 33,000 acres to explore, Barnett Reservoir — “where the water meets wonderful in Ridgeland” — offers plenty of prime real estate to get up close with Mother Nature. Created by impounding the Pearl River between Madison and Rankin Counties, “The Rez” features 105 miles of shoreline and is bounded on the north by the historic Natchez Trace. Whether you’re planning a day of sailing, biking, fishing or water sports, food is an important part of the equation.
Follow the lead of the locals and head to Pelican Cove Grill for generously filled po’ boys (shrimp, catfish and crawfish), either of which pairs perfectly with their signature Pink Pelican cocktail, a mixture of rum, fruit juice and coconut, with ice cream thrown in for good measure. As its name suggests, Crab’s Seafood Shack serves plenty of delicious versions of the crustacean, including crab dip, crab cakes and Dungeness crab legs. Or if you’re craving catfish, fried pickles and mustard greens Cock of the Walk has you covered.
Don’t miss the Sante South Food and Wine Festival
After a day exploring Ridgeland’s outdoor shopping districts, gather the group together for a well-deserved meal. At Renaissance’s Local 463 Urban Kitchen, award-winning chef Derek Emerson sources the freshest regional ingredients for his unique take on Southern comfort food with dishes ranging from Dr. Pepper-braised short ribs to honey-rosemary fried chicken. For classic French bistro food that nods to its Mississippi location — think crawfish and andouille crepes, steak frites and crème brulée — go to Anjou’s in Township, headed up by a one-time personal chef to a French foreign minister.
Should you find yourself in Ridgeland in early May, don’t miss out on attending the Santé South Food and Wine Festival, the largest wine and culinary event in the state, taking place during Art, Wine & Wheels weekend. Featuring more than 120 exceptional wines and food samples from many of Mississippi’s top restaurants, the event provides a rare opportunity for guests to speak directly with boutique winemakers.