Pass Christian is a small, picturesque community nestled on the Mississippi Sound’s 62-mile shoreline. It also has a beautiful port, which dates back to when French and Spanish explorers first lay claim to the region. Yet it wasn’t until the 1830s, years after Mississippi became a state, that Pass Christian truly came into its own.
Pass Christian was formerly a bustling port city situated between New Orleans and Mobile, Alabama. It was a commerce hub and a sister city to New Orleans, with both the appearance and taste of the Big Easy. It was a great location with amazing views.
Because of its vicinity, affluent cotton and cane plantation owners from Louisiana and Alabama were drawn there. They opted to put their vacation houses directly on the four-mile beach boulevard. It became the place to be. Hotels were springing up as well as other enterprises, supporting the busy summer vacation. The first yacht club on the coast was created in 1849, contributing to the affluent atmosphere.
After the Civil War, affluent individuals competed to construct the largest homes along the coastline. Pass Christian earned the epithet “Queen City of Mississippi” for constructing sixty of the best Antebellum mansions in a single year.
Wharves were erected on high pilings reaching out into the Sound, allowing passenger vessels from Mobile and New Orleans to dock. Winter visitors to the sparkling metropolis included Presidents Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and Harry S. Truman.
Regrettably, the weather had an impact on the Pass. Hurricane Camille in 1969 and Katrina in 2005 both entirely destroyed the city. After each event, the town rebuilt and healed in order to amuse its visitors. Visitors come for the gorgeous scenery, the finest seafood, and the warm hospitality in a town famed for its legendary charm, therefore the hotel sector always returns.
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Visiting other places in Mississippi? Check out our other tasty guides:
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Pass Christian’s Top 5 Restaurants
On the Beach with Bacchus
Scenic Route + 1-228-222-4852111W
Bacchus on the Beach is a popular hangout for locals. As I heard music and laughing emanating from the terrace of the restaurant across the street, I was staying at the Hotel Pass Christian (constructed in 1831). The harbor views were stunning, and it was a beautiful day. I went over to investigate. Bacchus has both indoor and outdoor seating, but because the weather screamed for an alfresco supper, I sat at the bar and shortly met several locals.
I was speaking with a bunch of amicable people when I requested for a menu from the bartender. I asked my new acquaintances what they liked to eat. The regulars informed me which dishes they liked best, and the seared ahi tuna came out on top. I went with the advise and got it as my beginning, and it was rather filling. It was seared rare and topped with a soy glaze, wasabi aioli, and white and black sesame seeds. A serving of house-made pickled cucumbers accompanied the meal. The freshness of the rare sushi-grade tuna amazed me.
I enjoyed the combination of soy and aioli and thought it was extremely great. I made care to add pickles with the fish pieces, and I like the acidic taste. The fresh tuna, tasty sauces, and vinegar dressing on the pickle all worked well together. That was an absolute delight.
I was full after my beginning and wanted to have a lighter main course. I ordered the Bacchus Caesar Salad, which came with fresh romaine, croutons, and parmesan cheese sprinkles. It was crisp and fresh. The dressing has the anchovy flavor I was searching for. That was the ideal supper to enjoy on the balcony with a nice drink of Sauvignon Blanc and the lively company.
Bacchus’ cuisine focuses on seafood. You’ll discover oysters both cooked and raw, Blue Crab claws, and lots of shrimp selections (its Mississippi, and shrimp are caught right in the Sound). Oysters, catfish, shrimp, and their famed pork chops and steaks are among the many Poboys available.
I enjoyed a lovely supper at Bacchus and discovered that stepping onto the balcony was a pleasant accident. The seafood is fresh, the staff is courteous, and the ambience outdoors is ideal for an evening out. I really enjoyed the company and the experience. A fantastic restaurant stop along the Pass.
+ 1-228-452-9939120 South Hiern Avenue
Shaggys is a delightful beachy-themed restaurant where you may have lunch or supper. Shaggys was selected Best Seafood Dive Restaurant by Coastal Life Magazine, and Outstanding Outdoor Dining Restaurant in The Pass by Mississippi Magazine. Considering the Shaggys backstory and how much the Ladner family gives back to the community, as well as all the wonderful news about the cuisine and ambience, I knew I had to go.
Ron Ladner was fuelling his boat at the Bait Store in June 2005 when the owner contacted him about buying it. Ron had just relocated to the Pass full-time, leaving behind a profession in computing to concentrate on modest real estate ventures. He was intrigued by the thought of expanding the Bait Shop and turning it into a restaurant, but he wasn’t sure he was ready. He chose to go forward with it nevertheless, with the intention of constructing a kitchen so that he could acquire bait and meals right in the port. Nevertheless, Hurricane Katrina destroyed the whole community two months later. There was not a single house, company, or building left standing.
Shaggys was born months after Katrina, when the Landers rebuilt on the same place. They launched in June of 2007, calling their establishment after a pub popular in the Pass during the 1940s. It was a bright point for everyone in Pass Christian and provided a glimmer of optimism for the city. Presently, with three more venues in Mississippi, Shaggys prioritizes presenting a lively atmosphere for its clients. They support their communities and get honors for their efforts, and every Shaggy offers delicious cuisine!
The menu is vast yet full of favorites such as Caribbean flavors and fresh local seafood. Tacos, fish platters, flatbreads, and Poboys are available. Burgers and filet mignons, fresh Mahi sandwiches, and legendary wings are on the menu. The restaurant atmosphere is relaxed, and the speciality cocktails are renowned. The views of the harbor are spectacular if you want to sit outdoors.
With so many options, I went on the special, a redfish Poboy. I had it dressed, which means with mayonnaise, lettuce, and tomato on crisp French bread with a side of French fries. I sliced my sandwich in half and brought part home since it came with two filets. It was freshly caught and delivered that morning.
The fillets were crisply breaded and fried by the chef. That was not at all greasy. On the speciality bread, the flaky white fish with all the toppings was wonderful. The side of potatoes offered crispness, but the true star was the fish. And my signature drink, the Biloxi Blue, was fantastic. Shaggys’ service and environment were amazing. It’s the place to go for fantastic meals in Pass Christian if you want a calm atmosphere with wonderful music (they often have live bands).
The sea level
+1-228-493-59993 Hiem Street
Sea Level is well-known for its tacos, but everything on the menu is created fresh and to order. I decided to check out this unusual restaurant idea and happened to run across the proprietors, Dana and Thomas Barrett, in the parking lot adjacent to their beach home restaurant.
One of the first things I inquired about was why they opted to develop the cottage idea. They pitched their eatery on a trailer in a seaside cove in the West Pass Christian Harbor. The short answer is that it is an ideal site.
Next to the restaurant, there are breathtaking views and picnic tables on the beach. For family enjoyment, Sea Level has cornhole, sand toys, and hula hoops. I went twice since the meal is delicious. I witnessed a gorgeous sunset one evening and lovely views of the Gulf of Mexico throughout the day. Umbrellas provide shade for the picnic tables.
Since the ocean is close by, you may enjoy pleasant breezes from the Gulf and sometimes watch dolphins swim by. It’s a beautiful location.
The hurricane season is the lengthier answer. After Katrina struck, all that remained of their old eatery was a spoon. The tragedy taught them resilience and inspired them to create a new business strategy.
You can still run a beachfront restaurant, but if the weather becomes bad, you can pack up the cottage and move it to higher ground. The concept is fantastic, and the reputation encourages consumers to park in the neighboring lot and walk a few feet to the cove.
The burgers are made with fresh ground beef and come with all the condiments. Chili, bacon, cheese, or nothing at all are additional options. They’re served with grilled brioche buns.
But it’s the tacos that have everyone talking. Fresh-grilled blackened shrimp, blackened mahi-mahi, Jamaican jerk, or pork carnitas. I had the shrimp one night and the Mahi the next; everything is served on flour tortillas with finely shredded cabbage, pico de gallo, and lime crema. These are really fresh and tasty.
Specialty hot dogs, grilled chicken sandwiches, hand-cut fries, and nachos are also available at Sea Level. To wash it all down, there’s fresh-squeezed lemonade, sodas, and beers. For dessert, they serve Snowballs, a traditional delicacy in Mississippi the involves shaved ice covered with sweet syrups in different flavors. It’s a laid-back spot that’s simple and enjoyable, particularly for family eating in Pass Christian.
You may stroll up to the cottage, order, and then go play in the beach. When the tray is ready, they call your name and you take it. Then enjoy the vistas while you eat, either lunch or supper. The cuisine is prepared fresh to order, and the prices match the relaxed atmosphere. It’s a fantastic supper at an affordable price.
Fill Your Tank at Billups
+1-228-222-4796110 W. Scenic
Fill Up At Billups is not your typical breakfast establishment. Rowell Billups constructed a full-service gas station in Carrolton, Mississippi, in 1927, with two pumps, premium and ethyl. During the course of 36 years, the Billups family expanded the business to include 600 full-service gasoline service stations in eight states ranging from Florida to Texas. In 1963, the family sold the company to Exxon, Citco, and Charter.
Guy Billups III was a child when his family ran the stations and recalls them fondly. As an adult, he established a coffee shop and patented the Fill-up with Billups motto. Guy and his wife then teamed up with family friends with restaurant experience to open an expensive breakfast café in their garage. They are open early and close late, and the tagline “Fill Up With Billups” is still in use.
The upmarket throwback diner is designed to make you feel like you’re dining in a garage, complete with petrol pumps and chrome countertops. The decor revolves entirely on automobiles. Breakfast is the emphasis of the menu, but since they open early and close late, they also sell wings, burgers, sandwiches, and pizzas.
I wanted to eat breakfast, mainly the waffles, so I arrived early. Billups makes their own waffles. They produce crisp on the exterior and fluffy on the interior Belgian waffles. The house specialty, the Bananas Foster Waffle, is served with warm buttery rum sauce and topped with whipped cream.
I spotted the Cinnamon Roll Waffle topped with cinnamon roll filling and cream cheese frosting, but then I noticed the Tomato-Avocado Waffle. It had to be mine. On a waffle, it featured smashed avocados, sliced tomato, sea salt, fresh cracked pepper, and olive oil. It’s like avocado toast but on a waffle, and it’s delicious.
I don’t like sugary breakfast dishes, but I adore waffles, so this was a win for me. The tomatoes were juicy and delicious, and the avocado was smooth and flavorful, with just the right amount of salt, pepper, and olive oil. If it isn’t your cup of tea, there are lots of alternative options.
There is also a grit bar. Toppings include buffalo chicken, smothered beefsteak in brown gravy, bacon, egg and cheese, crawfish etouffee, huevos rancheros, and steak tips. There are, of course, egg dishes and massive Cathead biscuits.
Fill Up At Billups provides some fantastic options for breakfast, lunch, and late-night munchies. I loved the atmosphere and the waffles. One visit was clearly insufficient, and I need to return to try some of the other options.
Davis Avenue, 228-222-5172115
Whiskey Prime is your fantasy high-end restaurant that also serves the finest seafood brought in from the Gulf of Mexico. The restaurant also features a full-service bar to complement its one-of-a-kind offerings.
Whiskey Prime is a locally owned and operated restaurant on the ground level of The Hotel Whiskey in downtown Pass Christian. The proprietors endeavor to give excellent service in a welcoming environment in the heart of quaint Pass Christian.
I wanted a smaller meal since I was late for supper. Since this is a steakhouse, I strongly suggest the Black Angus Filet ( the house specialty). Although everything on the menu looked delicious, I couldn’t stop thinking about the scallops.
I selected a chilled Chardonnay and two delicious appetizers from the menu: seared scallops and grits and steakhouse Caesar salad.
The scallops were precisely prepared, softly seared, and served on top of creamy grits. The portion was just right for me. There were three scallops and a heaping serving of grits with caramelized onions. On the platter, it created a great display. The salad, which was topped with bacon and crunchy croutons, was big enough to share. It was properly prepared with a creamy Caesar dressing that wasn’t too heavy on the greens.
I appreciated talking with the bartender about Pass Christian and the history of the town. The staff was so pleasant and attentive that I felt right at home in this great location. Whiskey Prime is a must-see if you’re in the Pass.