Cock of the Walk is an iconic Southern catfish restaurant known for its delicious fried Simmons catfish that has been voted time and time again as the best in the state of Mississippi.

Cock of the Walk catfish restaurant
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Craig Claiborne, former food critic for the New York Times said Cock of the Walk served “possibly the best catfish in the nation.”

A spacious waterfront dining experience on the Ross Barnett Reservoir in Ridgeland, Mississippi, Cock of the Walk is open for lunch and dinner. The waterfront vantage point offers a perfect sunset view during evening meals, so plan accordingly.

Cock of the Walk catfish restaurant
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They don’t complicate matters when it comes to the menu: they serve fried catfish. Really, really good fried catfish. And if you just don’t do catfish, they offer fried chicken. Also, very, very good.

Standard fare is to order the Keelboat Special – one platter is a hearty meal and comes piled high with fried catfish (or fried chicken), Riverfries, Hushpuppies, Coleslaw, Pickled Onions and Skillet Bread. Recently, they’ve started offering the Keelboat Special “broiled” for the gluten-free and health-conscious among us. I tested it out, and I must encourage you to try it if you are so inclined: it is a delightfully satisfying replacement if fried food is no longer your friend.

Cock of the Walk catfish restaurant
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Regulars know to add a side of greens and a mixed platter of fried onions and pickles. And they also know to show up hungry to manage the portions – and to plan to leave with a to-go box of leftovers.

An iconic part of the Cock of the Walk experience that continues to delight all ages is the flipping of the skillet cornbread tableside. The delight continues when you smear the crunchy-edged cast iron cornbread with a pat of soft butter to suppress the appetite you brought until the main event arrives.

Cock of the Walk’s history is almost as important as the meal itself. The name of the restaurant comes from boat fights that occurred in the 1800s on the Mississippi River. Boats battled on the river to gain the title of the “Best of the Best,” called “Cock of the Walk.” Workers in the restaurant dress in authentic riverboat attire in homage to the history of the Mississippi riverboat era.

Customers will also note that food isn’t served on typical dinner plates. Instead, you’ll enjoy sweet tea – or “hard stuff” from tin can cups and food on tin platters that reflect the Mississippi riverboat theme.

Cock of the Walk catfish restaurant
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Save back a few nibbles of cornbread or fries, because when you leave you’ll enjoy the waterfront view and an opportunity to feed the dozens of geese that surround the restaurant and entertain guests.

Cock of the Walk specializes in serving fried catfish – and serving a fun memorable atmosphere for friends and family for lunch and dinner daily at 141 Madison Landing Circle in Ridgeland, Mississippi.