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Not Your Average Pig: Neon Pig Café Is More Than A Burger Joint

It might be famous for its decadent Smash Burger and known as the home of America’s Best Burger, but the Neon Pig Café in Tupelo is so much more.

Did you know this establishment is part old-fashion butcher shop, part fresh seafood market, part dine-in café, and equal parts delicious?

The 2015 Best Burger in America title from Thrillist online magazine is well-deserved for this balanced monstrosity known as “The Famous Smash Burger.” It’s a combination of aged filet, ribeye, sirloin, New York strip, and Benton’s bacon that’s ground all together to give a strong, smoky flavor with every bite. Toss in a ciabatta bun with bacon bits, cheddar cheese, pickled red onion, quick pickles, and a special comeback sauce and you’ll see why it’s a daily sold-out favorite.

But did you know, the eatery is also an old-school butcher shop and fishmonger that offers fresh meats and never-frozen seafood. Each day the staff even bakes bread, and pickled vegetables, and creates sauces and dry rubs. Whatever isn’t made in-house is locally purchased.

That’s a lot for a small establishment, but the legendary restaurant and its success can most likely be attributed to the owners’ commitment to serving quality food and specializing in house-cured meats.

Seth Copeland, Mitch McCamey, and Trish McCluney have co-owned the Neon Pig since 2012 with smashing results.

“We got into this because we were going to fill a niche in the market that needed us,” McCluney said. “Our goal was to serve our community with mom and pop products on our shelves. We’ve tried to provide something different and unique.”

Today, the Neon Pig is thriving, and there are plans to open an out-of-state location in Oklahoma at the WinStar World Resort and Casino owned and operated by the Chickasaw Nation. There are additional talks with a franchise group in  Huntsville, Ala. But that was pre-pandemic, and those plans were put on hold. Whether or not those plans are revived remains to be seen.

“It has definitely exceeded my expectations, being around for 10 years, because the restaurant business is hard to survive,” McCluney said. “But I know that Neon Pig had the capability of being successful, and we have endured many trials and tribulations.”

Ready to try a famous Smash Burger, Hot Shrimp Po’Boy, Sweet Magnolia Gelato, or the butcher shop for yourself?

The Neon Pig Café is located at 1203 N. Gloster Street in Tupelo and it’s a dog-friendly eatery where Fido and Fluffy are welcome to join you at an outdoor table on the patio.

*Photo courtesy of Neon Pig FB page


Written by Cherie Ward

Cherie Ward is an award-winning Mississippi Gulf Coast journalist with decades of experience in writing and photography. She lives in Ocean Springs with her husband and has two adult children who also live on the Coast.

Connect with her by email at [email protected] with story ideas or find her @cherieward on Instagram. She would love to hear from you.


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