Jackson, MS prides itself on the diversity of its population, something that is reflected in the city’s deliciously varied restaurant scene. From down home soul food to fine dining, Jackson offers excellent opportunities to discover a bite of Southern culture presented in vibrant restaurants springing up in some of the city’s burgeoning neighborhoods.
The city’s culinary community also demonstrates a laudable diversity of restaurant ownership and clientele. The welcoming atmosphere in these eateries befits the attitude of Southern hospitality that makes Jackson restaurants so special.
Capital City Cocktails
They say a man cannot live by bread alone, so it’s fortunate that Jackson also offers some fabulous spots to grab a craft cocktail or a glass of beer or wine.
Hidden away in the back of the iconic Brent’s Drugs diner is this little speakeasy-inspired lounge that has just the prescription for your maladies. Utilizing fresh juices and house-made ingredients in their updated versions of classic cocktails, the talented bartenders at The Apothecary enjoy educating their guests about the history of mixology. The same kitchen that puts out the great diner food at Brent’s also offers elevated small plate late night bites to accompany your cocktails.
This large taproom aims to be Jackson’s favorite spot to enjoy craft beers, and they’ve come pretty close to hitting the bulls-eye. A large outdoor patio area is a gathering spot for bocce or cornhole enthusiasts or for anyone who enjoys an al fresco beverage. The walls behind the long interior bars are lined with beer taps offering a wide array of draft beers, plus they’ll be happy to mix you up a cocktail if you’d like. The food menu revolves around classic bar snacks like boiled peanuts, chips, dips and sliders, all excellent pairings with beer.
This upscale downtown cocktail lounge and nightclub projects a cosmopolitan vibe, especially on weekends where there’s more of a club scene. Whether you sit at the bar or in one of the more private plush booths, you’ll enjoy creative cocktails with the nice addition of occasional live musical acts.
An experience at the intimate lounge at the Fairview Inn really does feel like being served a fine cocktail in the clubby library of a family friend. The bookshelf-lined walls of the library of the former Fairview Mansion are still filled with historic tomes, many written by Mississippi authors. The personal service from the talented bartenders is exemplary, and the Library offers one of the best happy hours in town from 4:00 until 6:00 Monday through Friday.
Mississippi’s first distillery since the lifting of Prohibition, Cathead is best known for their vodka, but they also produce gin and bourbon whiskey. Tours and tastings are offered Thursday through Saturday for an entertaining and educational view into the distilling process. A taproom offers beer and cider for sale before or after your tour, and the large green space outside is a popular family-friendly destination for festivals and food trucks. Please note, Cathead will not be able to offer tours again until 2021 due to COVID-19.
- by Erin Byers Murray
- by Amber Chase