Jackson, Mississippi 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.
City with Soul Standouts
A restaurant doesn’t necessarily have to be one of the latest to be one of the greatest in Jackson, and there are plenty more mature and or less flashy dining options worth your consideration.
A Jackson stalwart, Broad Street has been baking artisan breads and pastries since 1998. They also serve full menus for all three daily meals with egg dishes and varieties of avocado toast at breakfast, burgers and sandwiches for lunch and rich pasta dishes for the evening repast. A beverage menu of coffee drinks plus beer and wine completes the dining experience.
Focusing on wood-fired meats, seafood and pizzas and boasting the largest whiskey collection in town, The Manship sounds like it would be named after a decidedly masculine sailing vessel. In truth, the name comes from the historic gothic revival mansion located not too far from the restaurant in Belhaven. The Manship strives to utilize whole animal cookery whenever possible out of respect for the farmers and their livestock that provide the proteins. This philosophy shows up throughout the Mediterranean-leaning menu from charcuterie boards of cured meats to pasta sauces to pizza toppings.
This tiny wing shack in the historic Farish St. district serves basic breakfast foods along with exemplary fried chicken. There’s no printed menu at Sugar’s, but if you’re looking for wings or chicken and waffles in the morning accompanied by a funky soundtrack, this is your place!
This family-owned pie shop is located in a lovely restored Craftsman-style bungalow divided into many distinct spaces where you can find people working quietly on their laptops or sharing a flight of sweet and savory scones. They take their coffee very seriously at Urban Foxes, and that care is evident in each deliciously complex cup that they brew. Evenings feature occasional live music and trivia nights, so there’s always something going on in the Foxes’ den.
This bright and airy new build in Belhaven feels like taking a trip to an airy beach cafe along the Florida coast. The crisp and clean interior of the restaurant is accented by shiny subway tile behind the long counter that offers a view into the kitchen and by fun accents like rolling pins hanging from the walls. While the menu of massive topped and filled donuts are certainly the showpiece, Campbell’s also offers specialty coffee drinks and innovative street tacos served at breakfast or lunch.
The “Pint” in the name of this affable barbecue bar refers to the taproom in the back which features one of the most impressive selection of craft beers in Jackson. The bar is lined with trophies from competitive BBQ events, and that’s where the “Pig” comes in. The pitmasters moved from contests to serving their delectable smoked meats to the public instead of just lucky judges. From super smoky cola-glazed ribs to peppery beef brisket to their popular smoked bologna, Pig & Pint is a winner. Try their cheesy Bacon Melt sandwich with pork belly, brisket and collard greens for a taste of Mississippi on toast.
This Belhaven refuge combines a sort of woodsy feel with a novel almost steampunk industrial vibe to create an eminently comfortable neighborhood hang. The bar and lounge area are great places to enjoy a craft cocktail or beer while you wait for a table to open up, which is a common occurrence at this popular eatery. Patience is rewarded with a seasonal menu of dishes inspired by Southern, French and Creole influences. Even with so many excellent choices on the menu, the No.7 Burger with candied bacon and tomato-bacon aioli is always a power move.
Johnny T’s occupies a beloved spot on historic Farish St., the former home of the iconic Crystal Palace which was the hub of entertainment in the middle of the 20th century. Murals of some of the entertainers who performed there like Lena Horne, Muddy Waters and Redd Foxx show up in murals that decorate the interior and exterior of this stylish cafe. The bar offers premium spirits, and the food menu takes inspiration from classic Southern dishes with a real focus on seafood. A hip lounge upstairs showcases diverse musical acts in a classy showroom with floor-to-ceiling mirrors to make it easier to see and be seen.