Food Lover's Guide to Jackson, Mississippi

September 30, 2015
Posted by:
Visit Mississippi

Food & Drink



In Mississippi, we take food seriously. It’s much more than sustenance – it’s a way to show love, comfort, and a way for us to connect as families or communities. We want to share some of Jackson’s best eats, collected through crowdsourcing from social media and by polling Visit Mississippi staff. Although there are plenty of great places in the metro area, we limited the list to Jackson proper. There’s no way we could include all of the wonderful places to eat and drink, but here are a few favorites!

Upscale

  • Saltine – This former elementary school-turned-restaurant in Jackson’s Fondren district has become a hangout for seafood-loving locals. Raw, wood-fired, fried: You can have your oysters pretty much any way imaginable here. Happy hour offers $1 oysters on the half-shell, along with 30 beers on tap. Saltine also made Bon Appetit’s Best New Restaurants of 2015 list.
  • The Manship Wood Fired Kitchen – Located in the historic Belhaven neighborhood, The Manship offers twists on Mediterranean and Southern classics. The seasonal cooking style ensures only the freshest ingredients are used, sourced locally. The Manship offers an excellent happy hour Monday through Friday, 3-6 pm, with half-priced wood-fired pizzas and cocktails.
  • Parlor Market – True farm-to-table food and upscale atmosphere are available in the heart of downtown Jackson at Parlor Market. Inspired by cultures and ingredients of Mississippi, Parlor Market serves seasonal Southern cuisine with regional ethnic influences. The menu changes multiple times per year, using fresh, regionally sourced products. Try the Trip Down Memory Lane dessert sampler, with elevated takes on childhood favorites like Hostess cupcakes and Push-Up popsicles, served in a lunch box.
  • 1908 Provisions at the Fairview Inn - This recently redesigned restaurant features creative specials that change with the seasons.
  • Walker’s Drive In - Nestled in the Fondren arts district of Jackson, Walker's Drive-In offers the culinary specialties of Chef Derek Emerson, a three-time James Beard Award semi-finalist for Best Chef in the South. Walker's offers an upscale experience in a casual atmosphere, featuring local ingredients from the region, sustainable seafood, and quality aged beef.

 

Casual

  • Keifer’s – Since 1981, Keifer’s Downtown has been serving authentic Greek style gyros, hummus and salads. Try the thick-cut cottage fries!
  • Babalu – Located in Jackson’s Fondren district, Babalu takes its name and inspiration from the I Love Lucy sitcom, offering Cuban-style tapas and shared plates. You MUST order the guacamole made tableside. Trust us.
  • The Pig & Pint – Stop here for excellent barbecue. This Fondren restaurant is very popular with locals and on Yelp. Try the taco sampler or the nachos with crème fraiche and pickled onions. They also boast an impressive craft beer selection.
  • High Noon Cafe – Serving lunch only, High Noon offers exclusively vegetarian fare, with a select menu and daily specials. Seaside Cakes (vegetarian crab cakes) with mashed potatoes, gravy, and coleslaw pack the place on Fridays.
  • Sal & Mookies New York Pizza & Ice Cream Joint – Great for families, this place has a menu with enough tasty options to please anyone, including craft cocktails and mocktails, and an ice cream bar for dessert.

 

Down-Home

  • Two Sisters Kitchen - Buffet style, home cooking in a converted Victorian in downtown Jackson. Try the award-winning fried chicken with as many Southern sides as your plate can handle (such as cornbread, collard greens, and black-eyed peas), and save room for banana pudding or peach cobbler for dessert.
  • Hal & Mal's - Blue plate lunches, po' boy sandwiches, red beans and rice, and award-winning gumbo are among the Southern favorites to try. The tamales, from local restaurant Tony's Tamales, are packed with flavor.
  • The Country Kitchen - Located off the beaten path on W County Line Road, The Country Kitchen features packed parking lots and plate lunches daily. Try the fried catfish plate with mashed potatoes and gravy.
  • Big Apple Inn - Located on historic Farish Street. The pig ear sandwich has been featured on the Travel Channel’s Bizarre Foods America. The less adventurous can try the smoked sausage sandwiches - “smokes” for short. Read more on The Big Apple Inn at Eat Jackson.
  • Bully’s - Some say that this is THE place for soul food in downtown Jackson, and it’s packed with locals every day of the week. Try the fried oxtail with spicy collard greens.

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Sunday Brunch

  • Brent’s Drugs - This family-friendly, fifties-style diner was originally a drugstore, and its storeroom is now The Apothecary (see Drinks section). Order a classic diner breakfast or try the Greens, Eggs, and Ham with collard greens and thick-cut ham. You might not be able to resist ordering a hand-spun milkshake.
  • Saltine - Double-dipped fried chicken biscuits and wood-fired Gulf Oysters with citrus butter, bacon, and quail eggs are just a couple of tasty choices on the brunch menu.

 

Drinks

  • Fondren Public – A great place to unwind after a long week, Fondren Public has a beautiful space filled with exposed brick and reclaimed wood. Order snacks, sliders and bites along with one of the 24 beers on tap, which includes several local brews. Bottled beers, ciders, liquor and cocktails are also available, and the large patio accommodates a group easily. There are games, too: bocce ball, shuffleboard and arcade games.
  • The Apothecary – This small speakeasy-style bar is nestled in the back of Brent’s Drugs in Fondren (see Casual Dining). Try a pre-Prohibition era prescription cocktail or order a non-alcoholic cocktail from the Temperance menu. Don’t miss happy hour, where cocktails are only $6 each. On the bar menu, try the tater tots with a variety of housemade dipping sauces.
  • The Library at the Fairview Inn – Sink into a good book and tuck into a drink at the cozy Library. This is the perfect place to experience Mississippi charm, with shelves lined with books by Mississippi literary greats and cocktails named after their authors.  Check out the bar menu with creative small plates.
  • Fenian’s – This classic Irish pub offers exactly what you’d expect: live music, good drinks, and great shepherd’s pie. Go for karaoke on Mondays and Irish music on Thursdays, often with Irish dancing. 
  • Caet - This wine bar is a companion to Walker’s Drive-Inn, located right around the corner, and you can choose from the extensive wine list at Caet while waiting for a table at Walker’s. You can also enjoy a meal of small plates, including charcuterie and lamb sliders.

 

Sweets

  • Deep South Pops and Pop Culture - These two new family-owned businesses have brought the gourmet popsicle craze to Jackson. Deep South Pops has a beautiful space with plenty of seating and serves coffee and craft beer (try a beer float). Pop Culture has a stand in front of Fondren’s Capri Theatre and also frequents events around Jackson. Both sell $3 pops made with fresh, local ingredients and will keep you coming back for more.
  • La Brioche - You’ll be hard pressed to choose among the options: delicate pastries, decadent gelato, or colorful French macarons.  

 

Markets

  • Mississippi Farmers Market – Thursdays and Saturdays on High Street in downtown Jackson.
  • Old Farmers Market – Monday through Saturday on Woodrow Wilson Avenue.
  • Aladdin Grocery – Open seven days a week on Lakeland Drive next to Aladdin Mediterranean Grill.
  • Mr. Chen’s – This authentic Chinese restaurant and market offers a huge variety seven days a week located off of I-55.
  • Rainbow Grocery – All natural grocery store with organic produce and bulk bins full of spices, located in the heart of the Fondren District.

 

Find more information on the Jackson Master Chef auditions.

To explore where to eat around the rest of the state, see our Food & Drink section





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