Pop quiz: what is the name of the city where Mississippi State University is located?
If you guessed Starkville, Mississippi the city right next to the campus, you only get partial credit. The actual campus is primarily located within a city literally called Mississippi State. The more you know!
Most of the restaurants and other happenings around the school, however, are in the bustling Starkville area. So grab your cowbell and your fork and knife and prepare to dive into our favorite restaurants near Mississippi State University.
Since 2014, the Cotton District’s food scene has been dominated by the creative and meaty magic of Two Brothers Smoked Meats.
It’s hard to beat the classics at Two Brothers. The Pulled Pork Sandwich is tried and true, and the Smoked Wings will quickly disappear before your very eyes. The most exciting things to order, however, are more unique. The Pork Belly Tacos are smoked in-house with a brown sugar mustard glaze and topped with white BBQ slaw and fried onion. The Smoked Duck Sliders are glazed with soy and sambal and topped with pickled cabbage.
Bulldog Burger Co has been a fixture of the Mississippi State universe for decades, starting in the 1980s. Take one look (and more importantly, bite) at any burger you order and you’ll see why.
The Freshman 15 is a perfectly-named creation, because you can easily gain fifteen pounds eating this beast, loaded with fried mozzarella, crispy bacon, and their Sassy Sauce. The Smokehouse is another staple, dubbed as “an entire tailgate spread stacked between two buns”, containing: smoked pork belly, an onion ring, smoked gouda, and mango habanero BBQ sauce. No matter your burger order, don’t forget an order of Truffle Tots or Sweet Potato Fries. Or both.
“A Starkville tradition since 1945”!
Starkville Cafe has all your favorite breakfast and lunch options, from omelets to country fried steak. Their pancakes and waffles are fluffy and the perfect level of sweetness. The Bologna Sandwich, also known as a Mississippi Round Steak, is comfort food to the max. The real star of the show, though, is their proprietary Duck Butter, a homemade syrup that’s a perfect complement to the homemade waffles.
The Little Dooey has been providing “slow roasted perfection for over 25 years”.
Mississippians love their seafood, and The Little Dooey has them coming back for more and more. Their Catfish is some of the freshest and tastiest in the area and the Fried Crawfish Tails are a delightful twist on a classic Mississippi dish. Another favorite is the Signature Dooey Cheese Fries, which cover crispy waffles fries with bacon and queso then top them with your choice of pulled pork, pulled chicken, or chicken tenders. The sides are also hard to beat, whether you’re getting Turnip Greens, Fried Okra, or Hush Puppies.
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You don’t need to get arrested to have Mugshots! Mugshots Grill & Bar is the hottest spot for all your bar bites.
Having trouble deciding on your appetizer? That’s what the Mombo Combo is for: three items of your selection, but we strongly recommend you get the Southwest Eggrolls, Blankshrooms (fried mushrooms), and Tee’s Cheese Wedges. For your burger, it’s hard to beat the Gamble: chili, house-made Rotel, sour cream, jalapenos, and lettuce. If you’re feeling funky, try Anthony’s Peanut Butter Burger, topped with either smooth or crunchy peanut butter. It’s weird in the most beautiful ways.
Thai Siam is Starkville’s hub for authentic Thai food, along with countless other Asian styles of cuisine.
They have many of the usual Thai staples, like Pad Thai and Massaman Curry as well as bubble tea, sushi, and ramen (we recommend the Thai Spicy Tonkotsu Ramen).
If you were to look up “fresh” in the dictionary, you might just find this spot. In addition to a grocery store with authentic meats, produce, and more, they cook devastatingly delicious Asian fare.
Some of the most popular orders are the Spicy Garlic Eggplant with Pork, Honey Chicken, Cream Cheese Wontons, and Chicken Wings in Garlic Sauce. They also do a fabulous Hot Pot (a Chinese cooking method where a simmering pot of soup stock cooks ingredients placed into it, much like fondue) as well as Milk Tea from their Tea Bar.
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Ever since 2008, Restaurant Tyler (named for Chef Ty Thames) has been a Downtown Starkville favorite. They serve down-home dishes with a sophisticated slant.
Whether you’re getting brunch, lunch, or dinner, you’re guaranteed to find a winner. The Fried Chicken is battered and topped with crawfish sauce; get the blue plate special and you can get it with two sides (our favorites are the Cajun Creamed Corn and Sweet Potato Fries) along with Vardaman sweet potato cornbread. One of the top items is the Crawfish Dip, packed with roasted garlic, spicy Italian sausage, spinach, herbs, and crawfish tails, then topped with parmesan cheese.
Uno Mas is a modern taqueria and agave bar that has five authentic salsas, home-made chips, and fifty different tequilas, so you’ll always find a new combo to try.
Their Fajitas are some of the best in class, and the Loaded Taco Fries (queso, cotija, pico, guacamole, and crema with any of the most popular taco flavorings) make life worth living. Whether you’re hungry or thirsty, you’ll be asking for “uno mas” of whatever you get.
To learn more about the delicious food spots at other SEC schools, check out our Best Restaurants in the SEC guide, which includes all 14 college towns and their amazing eateries.