12 Best Restaurants in Meridian, Mississippi

Last Updated on February 20, 2024 by Emily Johnson

Meridian is a city in eastern Mississippi that offers a surprising variety of delicious dining options. From down-home Southern cooking to creative takes on international cuisine, Meridian’s restaurants showcase the city’s cultural diversity and culinary talent.

As the largest city in eastern Mississippi, Meridian serves as a regional hub for commerce, healthcare, transportation, and recreation. The steady flow of visitors and residents helps support a robust food scene with over 200 eateries ranging from fast food joints to fine dining establishments.

Foodies can find plenty to love in Meridian. The Southern staples like fried chicken, catfish, barbecue, biscuits and pecan pie are all done extremely well here. So are contemporary dishes fused with flavors from around the world. The restaurant landscape keeps growing and improving as more chefs recognize Meridian’s untapped dining potential.

The only tough part is narrowing down the choices! To aid in that endeavor, here is a curated list of 12 of the best restaurants that Meridian has to offer.

1. Weidmann’s – Classic Southern Fare Since 1870

Weidmann’s is steeped in history, having first opened its doors in 1870. Now run by the fourth generation of the founding family, it continues serving quintessential Southern fare in an elegant setting. The restaurant has welcomed many prominent figures over the years, from Elvis Presley to Jimmy Carter.

Housed in Meridian’s historic Lewis Building downtown, Weidmann’s charming interior features exposed brick walls, framed portraits, and white linen-draped tables. The menu focuses on expertly prepared classics like shrimp and grits, fried green tomatoes, chicken and dumplings, and bread pudding. Save room for their legendary peanut butter silk pie!

With its dedication to tradition and hospitality, Weidmann’s offers a memorable taste of Southern food and culture. It rightfully deserves its status as the oldest restaurant in Mississippi.

2. Portebello’s – Italian Eatery with Charm to Spare

Classical music drifts through the air as diners enjoy northern Italian cuisine at Portebello’s cozy restaurant. Owned by Italian native Paulo Portebello and his wife Karen, it brings a taste of the Old World to Meridian.

Everything is prepared from scratch using family recipes and fresh ingredients. Diners rave about the velvety vodka sauce blanketing chicken, shrimp or pasta. Other favorites include braised beef short ribs and seafood risotto exploding with flavor. Leave room for canoli or tiramisu to end your meal.

Beyond wonderful food, the restaurant’s charm enhances the whole experience. Exposed brick walls, flickering candles, checked tablecloths and opera music set the mood. Attentive staff ensure your glass is always full.

Patrons say Portebello’s makes them feel like they’ve been transported straight to Italy for the evening. It’s easy to linger for hours over conversation, savoring every last bite. This hidden gem offers an intimate, authentic and unforgettable Italian dinner.

3. The Brickhaus – Brewpub Offering Elevated American Fare

Beer and food take center stage at The Brickhaus brewpub, located downtown on Front Street. Their microbrewed draft beers pair perfectly with an eclectic menu of elevated American fare.

It’s housed in a converted 1925 Coca-Cola bottling plant with high ceilings, exposed ductwork and brick walls honoring the industrial past. Hops vines crawling up metal trellises and intimate booth seating balance the large open space. Outside, a tree-shaded beer garden beckons when weather permits.

Executive Chef Dustin Moring puts his creative stamp on classic American dishes by incorporating diverse flavors. The menu offers something for everyone – bacon-wrapped meatloaf, shrimp tacos, chicken pesto flatbread pizza, steaks and chops. Save room for speciality desserts like bourbon pecan pie. Or choose among 20+ craft beers and cocktails if you prefer a sweet alcoholic kick.

The Brickhaus offers big city atmosphere with small town hospitality. It’s a hip downtown destination for hanging out with friends, people watching on the patio or enjoying Happy Hour after work.

4. Mammy’s Kitchen – Quintessential Southern Soul Food

Mammy’s Kitchen proudly lives up to its slogan of serving “Southern at heart, second to none.” For over 20 years, the family-owned eatery has dished up quintessential Southern soul food for locals and visitors alike. Expect mouthwatering fried chicken, fall-off-the-bone ribs, rich mac ‘n’ cheese, collard greens and perfect pastries.

Diners rave about the very reasonable prices, huge portions and deliciously seasoned dishes. Daily specials like smothered pork chops, ox tails and candied yams keep guests coming back. Be sure to try their signature giant yeast rolls, which Food Network named some of the best in America.

The welcoming atmosphere matches the comfort offered by the stick-to-your ribs cuisine. Formica tables and vinyl-covered chairs accompany framed family photos decorating peach walls. Service is lightning fast but extremely friendly.

Mammy’s Kitchen encapsulates the rich culinary history of Meridian and the region. For authentic down-home Southern cooking done right, this local gem can’t be beat.

5. The Grill – Fine Dining with an Urban Chic Vibe

Those longing for fine dining can sink their teeth into steaks, seafood and craft cocktails at The Grill. With its sleek decor, creative cuisine and bustling bar scene, it exudes big-city sophistication.

The Grill occupies a hip downtown space featuring exposed duct-work, black leather booths and glass pendant lighting. Dramatic paintings and photographs liven up the brick walls. A glassed-in temperature controlled wine cellar stores their collection of renowned labels. Outside, sidewalk seating allows for excellent people watching.

The menu emphasizes wood-grilled and wood-roasted meats, chops and seafood paired with signature sauces. Dishes like espresso-crusted filet mignon, wood grilled tuna and lobster mac ‘n’ cheese keep diners satisfied. Daily specials utilize seasonal ingredients while the sushi menu offers raw delicacies. An extensive craft cocktail program includes unique martinis and award-winning Manhattan recipes.

Its cosmopolitan yet welcoming ambiance makes The Grill a go-to spot for a celebratory meal or night on the town. The polished service meets high expectations for fine dining befitting special occasions. But the reasonable prices mean you don’t need a special reason to visit anytime.

6. The Neon Pig – Elevated Barbecue Fusion in a Hip Setting

Carnivores rejoice at The Neon Pig where inventive Southern barbecue takes center stage. The hip eatery crafts sandwiches, tacos, salads and more showcasing smoked pulled pork, brisket, chicken and housemade sausage. Creative starters and sides round out the menu.

Located downtown in a former warehouse, the industrial-chic setting pairs well with the experimental barbeque creations. Exposed brick and ductwork meet colorful Neon Pig branding touches for a lively ambiance. Of course, drinks get their due here. Choose among local and national craft brews, unique bourbon cocktails or a spiked milkshake.

Smoky meats meet global inspiration in dishes like brisket banh mi sandwiches, pork carnitas tacos and Asian ribs. Sides wander beyond baked beans with surprises like bacon pickled deviled eggs and goat cheese slaw. Seasonally inspired specials and creative desserts ensure something new to try with each visit.

It’s the perfect spot for happy hour drinks on the patio or enjoying a game on the many TVs indoors. The communal tables cultivate a convivial vibe to match the friendly service.

7. Harvest Grill – Farm-to-Table Southern Cuisine

Located inside the MAEE arts center, Harvest Grill champions the city’s cultural rebirth through its seasonally inspired Southern menu. Executive Chef Alex Eaton spotlights regional farms, fisheries and artisans to create distinctly Meridian cuisine rooted in tradition and place.

The restaurant resides in a modern glass-enclosed addition allowing natural light to flood the space. Local artists’ works decorate the exposed brick walls alongside prints of vintage Southern cookbook recipes.

Start your meal with elevated Southern apps like baked pimento cheese, peanut hummus or fried green tomatoes. Entrees include regional standbys like fried catfish, crawfish etouffee and barbecue baby back ribs offered alongside nightly specials. Round out your meal with a slice of red velvet or sweet potato pie.

Their dedication to Meridian shines through in the friendly service, cozy yet artsy ambiance and culinary celebration of all things Southern. Supporting local never tasted so good.

8. Tyne’s – Coastal Seafood with Sumptuous Style

Located inside the historic Lamar Hotel building downtown, Tyne’s transports diners to a romantic 1940’s supper club setting. Under gleaming chandeliers, guests enjoy Southern coastal cuisine focused on expertly prepared fresh seafood. The Executive Chef has roots in Alabama’s seafood region, bringing Gulf influences to the menu.

Seating options range from white linen-draped tables to tufted leather banquettes and the granite-topped bar. Attentive waitstaff deliver coastal delights like seafood gumbo, crispy fried Gulf oysters and buttery po’ boys layered with fried shrimp or oysters. Landlubbers enjoy options like aged steaks, pork tenderloin roulade and duck breast with seasonal sides and sauces.

The wine list offers over seventy-five varietals to complement your meal alongside specialty cocktails like the Tyne’s Tea with bourbon, peach brandy and oolong tea. Indulge in desserts like crème brûlée or warm beignets before departing this refined dining gem.

9. TA Steakhouse – Upscale Steak & Seafood Restaurant

Carnivores meet their match at TA Steakhouse located downtown inside the Historic Lamar Hotel. Its elegant yet relaxed setting complements their menu starring Midwestern aged steaks and premium seafood.

Neutral tones contrast beautifully with dark wood accents and velvet upholstery. White linens and leather-bound menus promote the spot’s upscale yet welcoming ambiance. The glass-enclosed temperature controlled wine room adds a touch of sophistication while showcasing their ample wine selection and craft cocktails.

USDA prime beef dry-aged on premise serves as the delicious foundation for dishes like bone-in ribeyes and filet mignon topped with lump crabmeat or blue cheese crumbles. Gulf seafood like grilled shrimp and seared scallops make tasty appearances alongside lamb chops and pork entrees for non-beef lovers.

Attentive servers ensure your dining experience goes smoothly, whether closing a business deal or celebrating a birthday. TA Steakhouse offers refined dining and premium ingredients befitting special occasions.

10. Thai Palace – Authentic Thai Cuisine with Hospitable Service

The mouthwatering aromas of lemongrass, coconut milk and chilies lure diners into Thai Palace just off Highway 45. This family-owned eatery transforms a nondescript strip mall into a portal to the flavors of Thailand.

Beyond excellent food, the gracious hospitality creates a warm, welcoming ambiance. Personal touches like a small altar with incense burning in one corner underscore the care and pride the owners have in sharing their culture.

Started from recipes perfected in their family’s Bangkok restaurants, the authentic Thai dishes burst with bright, bold flavors. From fragrant curries and noodle dishes to fried rice and savory salads, all ingredients taste remarkably fresh. Balance among spicy, salty, sour and sweet makes it hard to have just one bite.

Thai Palace stands out as an uncommon dining gem in Meridian, offering hard-to-find flavors executed beautifully for adventurous palates.

11. Lost Pizza Co. – Creative Pizzas Plus Eclectic Eats

Craving pizza or something more unexpected? Lost Pizza Co. has diners covered with its funky warehouse setting and menu spanning creative pizzas to tacos, po’boys and starters.

Local artists’ colorful works splash patterns across the laid-back industrial space. Gather at the long wooden table or slide into a booth while taking in the eclectic surroundings. Funky fixtures like repurposed traffic lights hang above while exposed ductwork stretches across the soaring ceiling.

While housemade pizzas satisfy with tradition or unique flavor combos, plenty of more eclectic options grace the menu. Tempting appetizers range from chicken kale pops to white queso dip with chips or veggies for dipping. Po’boys overshadow typical subs with fillings like blackened gator or sweet chili shrimp. Tacos offer savory-sweet fillings of Korean beef or pineapple fried chicken glazed in chile sauce.

The global mashup continues with entrees like chicken & waffle sliders doused in Thai peanut sauce or the signature Lost Burger with Asian slaw and Bulgogi marinated beef. Quench your thirst with regional craft beers or Lost’s exclusive rauchbier made specially to pair with pizza.

12. Cook’s BBQ – Serving the Best Barbecue in East Mississippi

Located just off I-59’s exit ramp, Cook’s BBQ serves smoked meats that keep diners returning again and again. Sizzling plates loaded with succulent ribs, chopped pork and turkey grace the tables of this no frills local favorite.

Its central East Mississippi location provides hungry travelers a tasty pitstop between Jackson, Meridian and Birmingham. But much of their loyal following comes from Meridian residents craving mouthwatering barbecue served cafeteria-style in a huge smoker-scented room.

Expect polite service doling out perfected smoked meats by the pound to enjoy family-style right inside or to-go. Load up on classic sides to complete your barbecue feast – fluffy potato salad, buttered corn, crispy fried okra, baked beans and more. Don’t skip dessert – the sweet potato pie and bread pudding will leave you smiling.

When asked the secret to their success, the owners just point to the glistening smokers filled with pork, chicken and turkey slow-cooked over hickory wood. It fills the air with a smoky perfume luring BBQ enthusiasts from all around. After one taste, you’ll agree Cook’s deserves its reputation for serving the state’s best smoked meats.

Conclusion

The eclectic array of dining options in Meridian, Mississippi means delicious food awaits around every corner. From steakhouse elegance to hole-in-the-wall barbecue joints to ethnic eateries, this city covers a world of flavors sure to satisfy every craving.

Equally impressive is the culinary talent crafting creative spins on regional cuisine with locally sourced ingredients. Many restaurants showcase global techniques and spices fused with Southern soul food classics. The result is a uniquely Meridian style of updated comfort food in unexpectedly delightful ways.

Beyond palate-pleasing dishes, Meridian’s dining scene brims with charm and hospitality. Elegant establishments in historic buildings rub shoulders with laid-back industrial warehouses hosting the next trendy eatery. But almost universally, the service remains gracious and welcoming across price points.

Clearly, this Mississippi city deserves more accolades for its dining landscape. Foodies seeking quality and variety can eat very well in Meridian. In fact, visitors may discover it’s the tasty restaurants that keep them coming back to this budding Southern hub.

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