Food and Drink

A Taste of the Deep South: 4 restaurants to visit in the southern states

Rebecca Harley

15th March 2024

Big Bob Gibson BBQ Restaurant

One of the highlights of travelling to the Deep South is the mouth-watering food. From fried chicken to BBQ meats, tamales to flambéed bananas, here are four of our favourite places to eat.

restaurants not to miss in the deep south

Tennessee

Fried chicken is synonymous with American cuisine and one of the best places to indulge in this tasty delicacy is in downtown Memphis at Gus’ World Famous Fried Chicken. The current reigning champion of the National Fried Chicken Festival, this family-run restaurant has been an institution in Tennessee for over 60 years, albeit under different names and with different family members at the helm. Over the years, the secret recipe has been perfected, and after a long day of city exploring, you’ll be grateful for a plate of their delicious hot and spicy fried chicken accompanied by homemade coleslaw, baked beans and white bread.

Alabama

If you happen to follow the maxim “when in Rome, do as the Romans do”, then when you are in Alabama you will want to make like the Alabamians and BBQ! Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q in Decatur, has been delighting patrons with smoked cuts of meat for over 90 years, so make sure to stop by if you are between Huntsville and Muscle Shoals. Whether you try the restaurant’s famous hickory-smoked chicken that’s dipped in their very own Original BBQ White Sauce, or select an award-winning meal from their World Championship Bar-B-Q menu, you’ll be in barbecue heaven by the time you leave!

Image courtesy of Alabama Tourism

Mississippi

Greenville is the self-titled “Hot Tamale Capital of the World” thanks to the vast number of restaurants in the city specialising in this local delicacy. If you want to try a bite of the Mississippi Delta’s most famous native dish, then head to Doe’s Eat Place. The mom and pop restaurant began selling hot tamales in 1941 and hasn’t stopped since. They still make their beef tamales using the original recipe from the 1940s, and all you need to decide is whether you want to add their homemade chili on top.

Louisiana

With an influx of bananas coming into New Orleans from Central and South America back in the Fifties, the owner of Brennan’s Restaurant tasked his innovative chef with creating a dessert to showcase the fruit. His chef created what became known as the Banana Foster – bananas sauteed in butter, sugar and cinnamon, flambéed in rum and served with vanilla ice cream. This dish is usually prepared table side, allowing you to see the process that Brennan’s chef went through when he first created the dish in 1951.

Discover the joys of American cuisine for yourself and browse our range of Holidays to the Deep South.

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