Take a journey with us from Memphis, Tennessee, to find some southern fried catfish houses.
- If we really want to talk about a fish shack, we should start with the king of all fish shacks, Taylor Grocery
in Taylor, Mississippi.
It is a legendary catfish and barbecue joint in the cotton-tufted Yocona River bottomlands 8 miles southeast of Oxford, Mississippi.
Taylor is a tiny but vibrant community with art galleries, Big Truck Theater, and a growing farmers' market. Plein Air, a planned community in Taylor, is designed to expand upon the unique charm of the village.
At the heart of it all, though, is a fish shack with walls covered with years of graffiti from young lovers and ole folks. Ole Miss folks, that is. On a stage in the back, bands play everything from Hank Williams to Lucinda Williams. The Taylor Grocery Band formed here.
Taylor serves up perfectly fried golden catfish and hush puppies. Have the typical sides of slaw and fries or be grown up and have a salad and baked potato. Or be decadent and have the Rotel fries, French fries smothered in Rotel cheese dip. Any way you go, it's great.
- Locals have eaten at Catfish Corner
in Grenada, Mississippi for over 30 years, usually for the Saturday night buffet. Fried catfish is really good (not greasy), and they have a wide selection of "country" food.
Who cares if the plate is disposable? You're not going to eat the plate, right? This is referred to as a "hole in the wall.
" restaurant. If you're looking for a quiet, distinguished place to dine, well, this is not it. It you want tasty food, talkative waitresses, and food that reminds you of momma's cooking (assuming your momma cooked soul food with all the proper ingredients, i.e., fat back), then this is the place for you. They offer EXCELLENT turnip greens and GOOD iced tea. Everybody in Grenada eats here - rich, poor, black, white, blue collar and redneck. They are all welcome here.
Seafood Junction Too
- A local favorite for seafood buffet is Seafood Junction Too
in Byhalia, Mississippi. It has a casual atmosphere, is family oriented, and does not serve alcohol. They do not serve pre-breaded items and make everything from scratch. This is one of the best seafood buffets in north Mississippi.
Sweet Pea's Table Country Catfish
- Great southern home cooking!!! Sweet Pea's Table Country Catfish
located in Olive Branch, Mississippi, has generous portions with reasonable prices. The staff is super friendly. The fried shrimp, onion rings, and fried pickles are to die for and you can have catfish any way you can imagine. They have live music with country oldies on some evenings.
Ingrams Mill / Byhalia Mississippi
Absolutely - without any doubt - the BEST catfish restaurant in Mississippi. There are no words to express the experience you will have or your expectations of the quality and portions of catfish with home made desserts you will be presented. You must visit when you can.
[Map and Directions]
County Line Catfish
- Catfish shacks are made great by passionate people. Tony and Stephanie Tompkins own County Line Catfish
in Gallaway, Tennessee.
Tony says, "A restaurant was always something I had in mind to do. The closest catfish place was Olive Branch, and anyplace that you have to wait an hour and a half to eat, there needs to be more of those type of restaurants.
Our philosophy is to put the best product you can get on the table". County Line offers excellent catfish, frog legs and white beans. Stephanie makes beautiful desserts, including a killer pecan cobbler. Saturday and Sunday mornings, the stoves are fired up to make hearty breakfasts.
County Line is the focal point of a local catfish convergence.
Cotton Gin Restaurant
- Hwy 70 in Arlington, Tennessee, is the home of Cotton Gin Restaurant
in a modern strip mall, but it pleases with its green tomato relish and gift shop featuring woodworking pieces.
- on Highway 59 just off Highway 70 is in a beautifully restored 19th century mercantile building. The ambiance is excellent with hundreds of antiques lining the 12-foot walls of this former cotton merchantile of an era past.
This is a true mon & pop
with almost the entire staff being from the same family. The owner often strolls the restaurant chatting with patrons. The catfish is very good along with 20 other items which are all good. The apple cobbler is awesome.
- in Perryville, Tennessee. Step off the front porch and stroll across the street and you can dangle your toes in the Tennessee River.
Geographically, the River Shack does not stand out. The key to finding it is knowing that you are looking for Old Perryville Road instead of just Perryville Road.
"A new road comes through and it kills a small town. That's what happened here," says owner Tommy Lee. Culinarily, the River Shack does stand out because, unlike most catfish places, all the fish served is river-caught not pond-raised. Owner Tommy Lee uses trotlines and sometimes nets to catch all his fish.
Honestly, it's hard to say if there is a definite taste difference between river and pond catfish. The catfish is excellent though. Their hush puppies are made with a mix of flour and corn meal, so they are lighter than normal. Add a side of white beans and a slice of onion and you have the epitome of the fish dinner.
in Perryville, Tennessee, serves pond-raised catfish as part of a large menu that is more restaurant than shack, but they make up for it with their huge 3-D catfish sign.
This is a regular stop after a fun day on the TN River. It is located at Hwy 412 & 100. The TN river is a half mile away. The catfish filtes are good and the mayonnaise slaw is yummy. Nice scenic ride to restaurant no matter which direction you are coming from. Be sure and check their hours before you visit.
Hagy's Catfish Hotel
- is just outside the boundaries of Shiloh National Military Park. Henry and Polly Hagy arrived at this spot in 1825 and began to homestead. In the early 1930s, Norvin Hagy began to serve catfish and hush puppies to friends, some of whom spent the night rather than risk traveling on the river after dark. Thus was born the name, Catfish Hotel. The Catfish Hotel became an official restaurant in 1938 at the urging of then Tennessee governor Gordon Browning.
Seventy years later, Hagy's Catfish Hotel is hugely successful. The road to Hagy's makes the roads to all the other shacks look like superhighways, but given the view down the sweeping lawn and across the river to the forest on the other side, Hagy's is worth the trip.
Pickwick Catfish Farm
- in Counce, Tennessee, near Pickwick Dam is more restaurant than farm now, but it is excellent. Just off the highway, but tucked behind and shaded by huge trees, it's easy to miss, even with GPS guidance.
This is not an elegant place. The main dining room is a cinder block addition. You have to go outside and around the back to get to the restrooms. But, if anywhere we visited could give Taylor Grocery a run for the title of king, it would be Pickwick Catfish Farm.
A steak cut is the primary way catfish is served at Pickwick. Whole fish are cut into inch-thick cross sections giving two meaty chunks with more breading than normal. Of course, filets are popular because they are easy eating. Whole fish seem annoying because of the bones, but there's a secret-the dorsal fin. When the dorsal fin is pulled away from the back of the fish, there is a small amount of fatty flesh that is superb. The tiny bones of the fin make it a pain to get to, but it is worth it. Think O-toro in catfish form.
At Pickwick, catfish can also go from superb to sublime without ever touching a drop of oil. Whole fish are rubbed with black pepper and cold smoked. This is honestly a delicacy that has become the star of the menu. Smoked catfish may go against your definition of catfish, but you would be missing out on a treat if you don't give it a try.
Catfish Country - in Booneville, Mississippi serves good quality food prepared in a professional manner with a smile.
3301 Highway 45
North Booneville, MS 38829
Hours of Business:
Thursday-Saturday : 4:30pm-9pm
- buffet (dine-in only)
- Catfish fillet plate
- Whole catfish plate
- Jumbo fried shrimp dinner
- Chicken tender dinner
- Salad and food bar
Get out of the house with your family. Get off the beaten path. Make those memories with your family.
Make Chatterbox Restaurant one of those memories. See you there!