Gastronomic Gas Station Food Spots in Mississippi that are Surprisingly Delicious
Mentioning good food and gas stations in the same breath isn’t a Mississippi juxtaposition, it’s a Southern tradition
In Mississippi, gas station restaurants are more than a gas station and a junk food joint for travelers. People south of the Mason-Dixon line covet gas station food because it’s an integral part of the culinary culture.
Long before freeways were built, black women would walk miles from their Mississippi kitchens, juggling boxes of homemade chitlins and collards to the nearest train depots to serve weary travelers from all walks of life. This tradition continued through the Jim Crow times and after Emancipation as industrialization increased. Modernized railroad cars were a thing of the past, and new roads emerged in rural Mississippi, creating a new requirement for motorists in the South.
Out of necessity, gas stations were created to fill up the vehicles and stomachs of the travellers. They also served as safe havens for black travelers to refuel and have a seated meal where other places still turn them away, or worse. These aid stations at gas stations supported the crews who built the roads and their equipment along with farm workers from nearby small towns.
These gourmet gas stations in Mississippi serve convenient, filling dishes that taste like they were made in grandma’s kitchen. Call ahead of time as many places have limited seating. Or opt for takeout and enjoy your meal at the local park with the group.
Mississippi Gas Station Food Spots:
- The Market Cafe on the Fleetway
- Rib daddies
- 4 corner chevrons
- Vine’s Quality Meat and Smokes
- Seafood Express
- And more
Located in the small town of Centerville on the Wilkinson/Amite County borders is a fourth generation smokehouse that produces unique cured meats. Vine’s Quality Meats and Smokehouse have served travelers far and wide who happily stop there to refuel. They offer a variety of unique flavors and meats that have been slow smoked the old fashioned way. Made with green Mississippi hickory and the Vine family secret, their smoked sausage is coveted by people across the country. They also process venison for local deer hunters.
When traveling through Meridian, a visit to the gas station is a must Seafood Express off Interstate 59. Fill up on their famous Po’boys, loaded to the brim with the freshest shrimp, scallops and catfish, or sample delicious snow crab legs when in season. Rave reviews from returning regulars praise this place and people drive for hours just to get a taste. Try a blackened or grilled basa, mahi or flounder fillet and taste the authenticity. They also serve soft shell crab, oysters and shrimp.
A delicious seated meal can be enjoyed at The Market Cafe on the Fleetway in Glueckstadt, Mississippi. They offer gas and a full-service restaurant that prepares Southern cuisine like fried chicken, po’boys, and cured meats. They also offer quick grab-and-go sandwiches, wraps, salads, and more. The contemporary interior is warm and inviting, with plenty of seating for your group. They also have over 20 locations throughout Mississippi which you can find on their website fleetwaymarket.com/locations if you are not in the Glückstadt area.
Barbecue lovers come together Rib daddies in Jackson for flavorful spare ribs, southern fried chicken, smoked turkey and great soul food. Check out their multiple locations in Madison, Canton and Carthage for authentic pork chop sandwiches on white bread and turkey drumsticks with south sides.
In Oxford, Mississippi, travelers head to the 4 corner chevrons Downtown for the southern staple chicken-on-a-stick. This easy-to-eat, crispy fried chicken became famous decades ago at the well-known Chevron gas station and remains a popular roadside snack. This particular chevron station has been featured on The Travel Channel and Bon Appetit magazine for their World Famous Chicken on a Stick recipe that keeps people coming back for more.
Conveniently located midway between Charleston and Oakland on Highway 32 in Mississippi is aptly named Midway Market and Deli. Bring the group here for affordable meal combinations like burgers, cheesesteaks, po’boys, fresh seafood and a selection of southern side dishes. From ribeye po’boy and lemon pepper hot wings to classic American fare like cheeseburgers and fries with ice cold drinks, this one-stop shop is sure to please everyone in your party.
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By Heather Dale