Downtown Hattiesburg has plenty of casual dining options for a date night or dinner with friends.
In 2002, Walnut Circle Grill came to the area with owner and Executive Chef Mike McElroy. He had the vision to revitalize downtown Hattiesburg with a restaurant offering comfort food with Southern and Creole influences.
“My brother-in-law actually plays there frequently with the band C. Wren and the Skins so I love going out there with family and friends,” said Chloe Rouse, a senior broadcast journalism major. “It is a really comfortable atmosphere and we always try steal the outside couch when we get there. Plus, the white chocolate bread pudding is amazing.”
Brownstone’s is a personal favorite of many because of the laid-back atmosphere, excellent service and delicious food.
“I really enjoy the atmosphere of the downtown Hattiesburg area in general, but Brownstone’s specifically has a very intimate, warm and welcoming feel, which I love,” said Shannon Beard, a waitress at Brownstone’s.
“The dish I have probably sold the most of is our crab cake and crawfish pasta, but I also sell a lot of our zesty tuna steak,” Beard said. “There is really nothing on our menu that I do not like. I guess my favorites would have to be the Brownstone’s signature club with our awesome mac and cheese as the side.”
Combining fresh ingredients to create Cajun and Creole cuisine, the restaurant’s best dish is the pecan-crusted catfish with Pontchartrain sauce. Add a piece of the to-die-for chocolate cake and it’s a meal one will not forget.
“I had a great experience at Brownstone’s,” said Tonya McGee, a senior public relations major. “I enjoyed sitting on the balcony with my friends. That was a unique feature. The nachos were the best I have ever had. Four of us split them and we ate until we could not eat anymore. The service, food and experience was top notch. I will definitely return again in the future.”
The Depot is a downtown lunch spot and coffee house owned by Stuart Gates and John Neal. Neal also owns Keg and Barrel.
“Whether it is the bistro lunch menu, the Depot catering menu, our coffee or our teas – we like to let our quality ingredients speak for themselves,” said Gates.
Walnut Circle Grill, Brownstone’s and The Depot are just a few of downtown’s most-buzzed about eateries. The community should explore the unique and flavorful restaurants downtown Hattiesburg has to offer.