Jackson, Mississippi, offers up some delicious dining, with Southern cuisine being the most popular choice. From local eateries to mom and pop joints, you’ll find something for every taste in the “City with Soul”. Here is our suggestions for where to eat in Jackson, Mississippi, and recommendations for what to order. We’ve included 14 restaurants you are sure to be intrigued by.
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Babalu Tapas & Tacos
Babalu was Jackson’s first, and still is the one of the most popular upscale restaurants in town, serving “Southern cuisine with Latin flair”. Known for table-side guacamole and killer margaritas, the ambiance is energetic and welcoming so people love coming here and hanging out. Any of the hand-crafted tacos will knock your socks off. Pair them with Patatas Bravas or Mexican street corn.
Located in the hip Fondren district, Barrelhouse is a stylish eatery with farm-to-table cuisine and creative craft cocktails in a modern Gastropub. While the menu is seasonal and changes often, a few dishes I tried (and loved) were the Tuna Poké Nachos and sweet and spicy cauliflower. Nom!
The meats, two sides, and cornbread meal at Barrelhouse is always a hit, too. Choose from items like chicken tenders, braised pork shoulder, fried catfish, and grilled or fried chicken breast.
BRAVO! Italian Restaurant and Bar
BRAVO! is an award-winning Italian restaurant with an enormous wine menu. They offer seasonal cocktails and special dishes, as well as a gluten sensitive menu. The Classic Fettuccine Alfredo is sheer perfection, and for those not craving pasta, BRAVO! offers succulent crab cakes and tender, juicy New York Strip steaks.
Another Fondren gem is Brent’s Drugs, a cool, retro diner with handmade milkshakes, burgers, and fries. In case you think Brent’s Drugs looks familiar, the restaurant was featured in The Help. Try Brent’s Cheese Soup and the Egg and Olive Salad Sandwich, an original and oh so good.
FYI: Brent’s Drugs is also open for breakfast, serving omelets, pancakes, and even breakfast tacos.
Broad Street Bakery
Broad Street Bakery, as the name implies, has a huge selection of pastries, bread, and desserts. Our go-to dish at Broad Street Bakery is the Southwest Turkey Wrap, with SW cream cheese, baby spinach, black bean salsa, and Havarti. We also find the beautiful salad and sandwich creations (including paninis and wraps) tempting and always delicious and reasonably priced.
Good luck getting out of this establishment without buying one of the yummy sweet treats, which are so darned tasty.
The Char Restaurant is our favorite high-end dining option in Jackson. Spectacular food, service, and atmosphere is on the menu at The Char, and trust us, it is delicious. I go for something hearty like the Wednesday daily special (either Meatloaf or Fried Chicken, both are excellent), while my husband, Eddie, loves the Ginger Peanut Chicken Salad, piled high with fried chicken tenders.
Save room for the Pecan Caramel Butter Crunch…it’s magnificent! You’ll think you are in old Hollywood movie inside this classic eatery.
Cultivation Food Hall
Mississippi’s first food hall is in the heart of Jackson. Known as Cultivation Food Hall, this food venue houses a handful of boutique-style local restaurant stalls including Greek, Coffee, Southern, and Poké. The space is full of light, great choices for food variety, and lots of seating arrangements. Cultivation Food Hall is a place you will want to visit over and over again.
Pictured here is a gourmet Monte Cristo, which really hit the spot with the gooey Swiss cheese, light and crispy batter, dusting of powdered sugar, and delicious preserves.
Fine & Dandy
One of Jackson’s hipster restaurants is Fine & Dandy, serving gourmet burgers and choice $10 cocktails. Try the Fairish Street Colada made with local Cathead honeysuckle vodka, coconut, and pineapple, and pair with nibbles of Fine Deviled Eggs (smoked trout caviar) or Dad Bod Tots (with pimento cheese).
Gulf shrimp, catfish, fried chicken, butter beans, collards, country ham jam, roasted pecans, peanuts, Duke’s mayo, pepper jelly, and green onions—the Southern staples are all listed on Fine & Dandy’s dandy menu.
Mississippi has quite a few tasty Greek restaurants, but Keifer’s Restaurant is in a league of its own, and Jackson’s favorite. Please your palate with the bean and sesame hummus with hot sliced pita bread, the lamb & beef gyro, or the feta cheese plate. For dessert, have cheesecake or baklava, a delicate phyllo pastry with nuts and honey. Yummy!
If you are there on St. Patrick’s Day, you can partake in all the green beer rage.
Located in the Belhaven neighborhood of Jackson, this chic restaurant adorned with rustic decor is catered around Mediterranean-inspired cuisine with a Southern flair. Your dining experience at Manship Woodfired Kitchen begins with complimentary bread and spicy oil that is so good. Try the Smoked Tuna Melt, a simple but elevated classic with provolone cheese, red onion, arugula, and a lemon vinaigrette dressing.
Manship also has a Prohibition Era cocktail menu and insists on using local and fresh ingredients.
Pig & Pint
Our favorite BBQ joint in Jackson is Pig and Pint, another Fondren area eatery offering both indoor and outdoor seating. The brisket, pulled pork, and smoked chicken are all delicious, but try it as Nachos for a unique dish that is extremely tasty. Pig and Pint has excellent side items including collard greens, Comeback Cole slaw, potato salad, and Southern baked beans, and feature three spectacular BBQ sauces: Alabama White, Mississippi Sweet, and Carolina Mustard.
Don’t miss the Banana Pudding, rich and creamy and full of deliciousness, or Bread Puddings for dessert.
When I visit Mississippi, chances are I’m going to or bringing home a meal from Rooster’s. One taste of their chicken cutlets and I was hooked. The dish I’m most fond of is the Mushroom Chicken Cutlet, but the tomato option is a close second, with Creole tomato gravy. You get to choose one or two sides with most meals, and the green beans and coleslaw are always perfect accompaniments. Cheese grits and red beans & rice are two other tasty choices.
Sal & Mookie’s NY Pizza and Ice Cream Joint
Serving New York Pizza, with an ice cream parlor in the back, Sal & Mookie’s is a double good idea for dining. Named “Best Restaurant for Families” for years straight by Parents & Kids Magazine, enjoy a delicious dinner followed by a huge dessert selection of banana splits, malts, ice cream sundaes, or floats. We love the plain cheese pizza, but the West End Muffuletta with sweet potato fries is mmm, mmm, good, too.
Saltine Restaurant is Jackson’s premier oyster bar with mind-blowing creations and an enticing menu. For a super cool and amazingly delicious appetizer, try the PB&J, seared pork belly with pepper jelly and boiled peanuts . If you like oysters, you will love the selection at Saltine. If you are new to oysters, try a half dozen sampler of wood-fired (char-grilled) ones.
The food is tremendous at Saltine so I can’t think of a single thing that isn’t pleasing and really tasty. A few of our favorites are the bacon-wrapped meatloaf, Gulf shrimp po’ boy, or a Low-Country boil.
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Melody Pittman and Taylor Pittman Hardy wrote this article.