With its sugar-sand beaches and picturesque lighthouses and piers, Biloxi has long been a favored vacation spot along the Gulf of Mexico. Newcomers to Keesler AFB might be surprised to learn that even with its plethora of dazzling casinos, Biloxi is actually one of the oldest communities in the country.
Located less than 100 miles from New Orleans, Biloxi was settled in 1699 and served as the capital of the Louisiana Territory for several years. Eight settlement flags have flown over Biloxi, including the French, English, and Spanish.
That rich legacy of culture continues to this day in Biloxi’s culinary scene. Crawfish and catfish, slow-roasted smoked barbecue, oysters on the half shell, and down-home drinks served in Mason jars, it’s all here. When you want the best, here’s where the locals go in Biloxi.
Perched on the ninth floor of the Treasure Bay Casino, dinners and drinks at CQ are just as amazing as the views. With huge floor to ceiling windows, prepare to be treated to spectacular views of the Gulf of Mexico—all while enjoying truly delectable dishes and world-class wines. Seafood is a specialty—but CQ also offers excellent steak options.
Be sure to check the schedule, there are also several jazz nights throughout the year.
Shaggy’s (Lunch, Happy Hour, Dinner)
If you’re looking for a place to relax, enjoy some good (aka – strong) tropical drinks with a casual vibe – Shaggy’s is the place to be. Located right on the beach, Shaggy’s is a local favorite to just hang out, gaze out at the Gulf, and enjoy the day.
The food is casual but delicious. Fresh seafood baskets, southern specialties, salads, and tacos are local favorites. Don’t miss the Happy Hour specials and weekend karaoke!
LandShark Bar & Grill (Brunch, Lunch, Dinner)
With a relaxed, beach house vibe—the LandShark serves up creative bar favorites with a twist. Sriracha burgers and Tex-Mex/Surf n’Turf are just a sample of what’s on the menu.
An added bonus: If you’re looking for a breezy, low-key spot to grab some drinks and watch sports, there are several TV’s mounted throughout the restaurant, showing all of the best games. The patio overlooking the Gulf ain’t bad either.
Half Shell Oyster House (Sunday Brunch, Lunch, Dinner)
For atmosphere and ambiance, the Half Shell is in a league of its own in Biloxi. Offering beautiful, filigreed wrought-iron balconies, potted ferns, and antique chandeliers—the dining space is architectural perfection that feels like the French Quarter of nearby New Orleans.
The food and drinks are equally spectacular. Mouthwatering fish and steak dishes are available but the oysters are unbeatable. Enjoy classic and clean with a splash of lemon on the half shell, or choose from several succulent creations, such as a bacon/mushroom/crab-topped combo baked to perfection.
P.S. Order the martinis.
The Reef (Lunch, Happy-hour, Dinner)
Set on the beach and spread across three floors, The Reef is a nice spot to spend a lazy afternoon with new friends. The food is casual, fresh and delicious—and so are the cocktails. (Jameson and the Giant Peach is a favorite.)
There’s also plenty of seating, making it a great spot to accommodate a larger party. Don’t miss the live music on the top floor, called the Sky Bar.
The Project Lounge (Lunch, Dinner, Late-Dinner)
While it might not be much to look at from the outside (there are no beautiful sand beaches nearby; actually railroad tracks and a chain-link fenced power station), this little local gem has been serving up steak sandwiches and burgers for the last 40 years. The cheeseburgers cannot be beat—and taste particularly delightful, at say … two or three o’clock in the morning. No kidding, The Project stays open until 4 a.m.
Taranto’s Crawfish, Po’Boys & Seafood (Lunch, Dinner)
Just like the Project Lounge, don’t let the no-frills exterior of Taranto’s fool you. Inside their humble doors is some of the best local grub Biloxi has to offer. The food is distinctly Gulf and local—take a chance and order the crawfish. Don’t worry, the staff loves nothing more than to show off some Mississippi cuisine and are happy to show you how to peel ‘em.
The gumbo and fresh shrimp are also delightful. Don’t miss the bread pudding for dessert!
Slap Ya Momma’s Smokehouse & BBQ (Lunch, Dinner)
With slow-roasted meats and succulent spice rubs, this smokehouse has locals and travelers coming back for seconds. Combined with a perfect, laid-back beach vibe, generous portions, and spectacular drinks—don’t be surprised if this becomes your favorite spot in Biloxi.
Whether you are looking for relaxed and casual on the beach, as local as they come, or classy and elegant – these local favorites are a must. But you tell us – find a favorite that’s not on the list? Let us know in the comments!
Written by: Kristi Adams