Bozo’s Grocery & Grill in Pascagoula has made Coastal Living’s Top 20 all-time favorite seafood dives in America.
The Time Inc. magazine has given Bozo’s state and regional distinctions in the past, but this one is nationwide, where it’s competing with lobster rolls in Connecticut and clam cakes in Rhode Island.
“Long live the laid-back shacks where the menus hang on the wall, the beers chill on ice and the food comes piled high, deep-fried, slathered, breaded, buttered, and steamed,” Coastal Living wrote.
Bozo’s came in at No. 18.
The list is compiled from 20 years of rating by contributing editor Steve Millburg, a seafood dive pro.
After years of exploring and loving “those rustic restaurants on the water that offer fresh seafood and no fuss,” he compiled his ultimate ranking.
Many of the top dives are on the water. Bozo’s, at 2012 Ingalls Avenue, is not. But the seafood, fresh from the water, is brought in the back doors nonstop.
Bozo’s was up against “transcendent albacore tuna fish-and-chips” in Oregon, and life-changing lumps of lobster on the East Coast.
Of Bozo’s, Millburg said: “A po-boy tastes best on the Gulf Coast, where they get the bread just right. Bozo’s does an overstuffed version, which arrives hot from the kitchen in a white paper sack with your name scrawled on it. This is the kind of meal you hop a plane for.”
Sea-N-Suds Restaurant & Oyster Bar in Gulf Shores, Alabama, and Casamento’s Restaurant in New Orleans, with its signature oyster loaf, took two of Millburg’s top spots.
Top 20 seafood dives in the U.S.
1. Abbott’s Lobster in the Rough, Noank, Connecticut
2. Provision Company, Southport, North Carolina
3. Bowpicker Fish & Chips, Astoria, Oregon
4. Sea-N-Suds Restaurant & Oyster Bar, Gulf Shores, Alabama
5. The Marshall Store, Marshall, California
6. Red’s Eats, Wiscasset, Maine
7. The Tides Tavern, Gig Harbor, Washington
8. Casamento’s Restaurant, New Orleans, Louisiana
9. Arnold’s Lobster & Clam Bar, Eastham, Massachusetts
10. Killer Seafood, Mexico Beach, Florida
11. Bowens Island, Charleston, South Carolina
12. Malibu Seafood Fresh Fish Market and Patio Cafe, Malibu, California
13. Sunbury Crab Co., Sunbury, Georgia
14. Iggy’s Doughboys & Chowder House, Warwick, Rhode Island
15. Faidley Seafood, Baltimore, Maryland
16. Star Fish Company, Cortez, Florida
17. Calumet Fisheries, Chicago, Illinois
18. Bozo’s Seafood Market and Deli, Pascagoula, Mississippi
19. Jolly Roger Seafood House, Port Clinton, Ohio
20. Wanna Wanna Inn Beach Bar & Grill, South Padre Island, Texas
— Coastal Living magazine