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Tex-Mex elevated

With a fun atmosphere and tasty Tex-Mex specialties, often featuring a unique twist, the Rooftop Taco & Tequila Bar in Ocean Springs is the perfect place for creative dishes that will have you returning for more. 

Located in the heart of the downtown entertainment district, Rooftop Taco & Tequila Bar allows you to relax and unwind while enjoying expertly prepared dishes using only the finest and freshest ingredients. 

Rooftop is owned by The Nicaud Restaurant Group, which is striving to make it a regular hangout for locals and a destination for tourists. It’s an environment where patrons can listen to good music, eat great food and enjoy drinks while spending time with friends and family — all while surrounded by the cool, colorful Mexican folk art that adorns the walls.

While Rooftop launched in January 2020, it didn’t live up to its name until January of this year, when the actual rooftop dining experience opened. With a large bar and tables covered by a pergola, the rooftop is an elevated oasis overlooking Government Street, and the perfect spot to imbibe with a margarita or specialty cocktail. It is especially delightful if you time your visit to catch the sunset while sipping a refreshing pineapple jalapeno margarita. 

When you come to Rooftop, you definitely should enjoy an appetizer or two. The homemade chips and salsa can be enhanced with queso and guacamole. There’s also a seven-layer dip served in a large martini glass and fried tortilla Mexican pizza, just to name a couple of options. 

On my visit, I had the Mexican street corn dip, which is a delicious combination of fire-roasted corn, poblano peppers, onions and three kinds of cheese. I also tried the crispy salmon skin chips, something I haven’t seen on a menu before. The pan-seared salmon skin was served with a roasted garlic bacon jam, guacamole, queso fresco and pico de gallo, all topped with a drizzle of avocado ranch and served on a bed of fried lettuce. It’s perfect for those on a Keto diet looking for a little something different. 

After my delightful server, Memarie Graves, delivered a couple of specialty cocktails from the full-service bar, manager Jake Watson presented such an appetizing plate of tacos that it was hard to decide which type was my favorite.

The tuna poke taco was a standout. Served in a wonton shell, it features fresh tuna and seaweed salad topped with charred pineapple salsa, house-made spicy mayo, tobiko and black sesame seeds. The veggie taco also was remarkably good. Served on a soft shell with black bean puree and shredded cheese sandwiched between a crunchy shell with spinach, fire-roasted corn, pico de gallo, guacamole and chipotle ranch, it made eating meatless a pleasure. If pressed to choose my favorite, I would have to go with the crawfish taco, which also includes sauteed shrimp with roasted garlic, spinach and corn topped with chipotle ranch. The carnitas taco with braised, slow-cooked pork shoulder was the closest of the four to traditional Mexican tacos. 

While I had to get a to-go box to bring some of the goodness home, I couldn’t quite leave yet after hearing about the apple pie empanadas served with vanilla ice cream. Two warm empanadas come with an apple orange marmalade dusted in cinnamon and maple sugar, topped with house-made caramel sauce. It was a great way to end a highly satisfying meal. 

Rooftop Taco & Tequila Bar opens at 11 a.m. Tuesday through Sunday, closing at 9 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday, 11 p.m. on Thursday and at midnight Friday and Saturday. Every Tuesday, guests can take advantage of all-day taco specials, and on Wednesday, they can indulge in the popular, one-day-only birria tacos. Five-dollar quesadilla specials are featured on Thursday, as well as $1 margaritas for ladies’ night. Weekends feature a special late-night menu, with live bands performing during the day and a DJ playing until close. 

1110 Government St. B, Ocean Springs
(228) 447-3375

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