When hunger strikes on a road trip, culinary discoveries such as tender, smoked barbecue and seasoned, fried gulf shrimp await adventurous eaters in Mississippi.
“Filling stations” take on a whole new meaning in the Magnolia State and this famously delicious and affordable cuisine is much more than just a convenience.
Gas station food dates back to the civil rights movement when the hot and hearty food was cooked on-premise at Southern filling stations to offer sustenance, safety and community for Black travelers.
These food traditions continue today and Mississippi welcomes all wanderers to take to the highway and discover their roadside treasures.
See some of the best gas station restaurants across the state below and consider including these Mississippi institutions in upcoming culinary travel coverage.
The 4 Corners Chevron, Oxford. Home of the “World’s Most Famous Chicken on a Stick,” this acclaimed gas station eatery holds its own against the finest of Oxfords restaurants – and even offers late-night fare.
King Chicken Fillin’ Station, Tupelo. This classic southern gas station invites travelers to “eat like a king” in Elvis’ hometown, serving smoked, grilled and fried chicken, burgers and specialty sandwiches at the 800-square-foot restaurant and convenience store built in 1944. Diners pair up their meals with a variety of sauces, house-made pickles and grab a drink from the cold vault while they top off the tank.
The Seafood Express, Meridian. This is a popular place to tank up and get filled up on delicious seafood, too. The restaurant serves up a variety of generously stuffed seafood po-boys, fried or boiled fish plates, soft-shell crab, frog legs, crawfish (in season), and even boiled snow crab legs.
Vine Brothers, Centerville. One of those surprising finds that can permanently alter a driving route, Vine Brothers 5,000-square-foot restaurant offers a variety of Southern staples – from fried chicken to po-boys and, of course, barbecue, all served up daily at long “family-style” tables.
Rib Daddy’s BBQ, Carthage. The white clouds pouring from the smoker outside the gas station beckons to drivers who would be remiss not to order the best-selling rib plate that comes with a half slab of pork ribs, two sides and a slice of white bread. Smoked or fried chicken, turkey legs, sausage, and fried fish are available, too, at all three locations including Jackson and Canton.
Courtesy of the Lou Hammond Group