My Trip to Jackson
Jackson was another place I never thought I would visit. Mostly because it is considered a “fly over” city in the US, not a place you travel to. Luckily, I got the chance to spend a weekend eating around Jackson and enjoying all of that southern hospitality we know and love. Below is a compiled list of all the best eateries in the city. We spent 99.9% of our time eating, so I do not have much to recommend besides restaurants, but I am sure there are many other things to do in such an awesome city!
Jackson is a relatively short flight from Miami, which makes it a great destination for a holiday weekend or a quick 2-day trip for some awesome fried chicken. We spent 4 days in Jackson, and ate at roughly 5 places a day: breakfast or brunch, lunch, second lunch, dinner, and a place for drinks. We wanted to get the most out of trip and we definitely did! Jackson is definitely a foodie city, which is perfect for me!
PSA: If you are driving in the city, please DO NOT brush off the pothole warnings you will get from people. We rented a car, and they told us to be wary of the potholes, and of course, we brushed it off. On our way to the first restaurant, we hit a pothole and burst our front tire. Just keep your eyes on the road!
Where to Eat in Jackson
Our first stop in Jackson was for lunch at Keifers. Keifers came HIGHLY recommended for Mediterranean food, and was completely packed when we got there. We ordered the Gyro, which is their specialty, cottage fried potatoes with fried mozzarella on top, Pitatilla, and the turtle cheesecake. I recommend getting all of those items if you visit, but you could totally pass on the Pitatilla. Everything else was packed with flavor and delicious! Also, their feta sauce is AMAZEEE. Great atmosphere as well. You can tell they put a lot of love into their food and everyone seems to notice.
This restaurant is fairly new and has created a lot of buzz amongst locals as they new “it” spot. Located inside the of the Westin, where we happened to be staying, Estelle is a large modern restaurant serving a twist on Southern cuisine. The chef brought out quite a few dishes to try. Amongst them were: the Butcher Stack Burger, Chicken Livers with Pimento Cheese, Hanger Steak, Buttermilk Fried Chicken, and Cauliflower. The Burger was delicious and the steak was cooked perfectly. I highly recommend checking this place out for a nice dinner on the town!
Located in the Fondren area, Rooster’s is a great place for a quick, and delicious, bite to eat. When I arrived, it wasn’t even 12pm and the place was completely packed. Many people I spoke to said that it was their favorite restaurant. They have a very old school approach to their food, and everything is made in-house. Although they are known for their burgers, my favorite dish was their Country Fried Steak. They have been making their own homemade buns since 1984, and it definitely shows. We also got the Fried Chicken Tenders and one of their Burgers. I loved ALL OF IT. I highly recommend this place for some great comfort food.
Jackson’s oldest bakery, Campbell’s Bakery, is a little pastry shops right in the middle of the Fondren Area. They became famous for their cookie, which is an almond based dough with a sugar topping. Although the place was sold 7 years ago, the recipes have been passed down and kept in the exact same shape, with a few improvements. Although the cookie is their number one seller, they also sell beautiful cakes and petit fours.
I was really looking forward to trying the crazy burgers from Fenian’s Pub. I wasn’t sure how they would taste, because sometimes simple is better, but we are oh-so pleasantly surprised. The Irish pub has been serving American-Irish cuisine for 21 years now, but had a menu flip 2 years ago which re-vamped the whole restaurant. Everything is now made in-house and fresh to order. We ordered the new specials: Luck + Money Burger (Veggie Burger), Dirty South Burger (pictured here), Fried Chicken Sandwich, Shepherd’s Pie (cuz, duh), and the Pimento Cheese Grilled Cheese. We can not complain about anything. The food was delicious! Fenian’s has something fun every night of the week: Monday night is Karaoke night and live music from local artists Thursday-Saturday.
For dinner, Lou’s is a great option. It is elegant and perfect for a business meeting, family celebration, or date night. We ordered the oysters, Bouillabaisse, Teres Major (first time trying this cut of meat), brownie dessert, and an assortment of their homemade ice creams. The place has a great vibe and you can tell the food is high quality.
We went to Manship for brunch and had heard great things about the place. It was very stormy that day, so no one was at the restaurant when we got there. We ordered the Fried Chicken Biscuit, Hash Browns, and the Biscuits and Gravy. Everything was DELICIOUS. The hash browns were extra creamy and not what you would expect. We wanted to order more, but knew we had to save room for more food!
This spot was another favorite of the trip. It is a little outside of the city and is part of a gas station so it is easily missed, but it is most definitely worth the stop. As soon as you walk in, you feel like you have been transported to Bourbon Street in New Orleans. The place is lined with Mardi Gras decoration and the staff make you feel right at home. Of course, we ordered a gumbo which was perfectly spiced. We also got the Dungeness Crab Platter with Andouille sausage, corn, potatoes, and melted butter. The platter was INCREDIBLE. You will get messy, but the mess is most definitely worth it. Come hungry!
E & L Barbecue
If you want to best BBQ in Jackson, this is the place for you. It is definitely off the beaten path, but it is a locals favorite. It is not a restaurant that has been renovated, or changed in any way for that matter, but I recommend waiting in the line (there will always be a line), and grabbing a platter to go. Everything is extra saucy, so I hope you like BBQ sauce! We got the Sampler Platter with ribs, hot links, wings, fries, and bread (to soak up all of the juices). While everything was extremely delicious, I think the ribs were the highlight. So if you’re a ribs person, I recommend just getting the rib platter.
Crazy Cat Eat Up
Crazy Cat Eat up was the best dinner we had in Jackson. The place was BOYB and we were unaware, but they sent us to a liquor store next door and gave us a discount code for ordering a bottle of wine. Every dish we got was delicious. From the homemade Corn Bread and Pimento Cheese to the Red Fish and Snickers Cobbler, we were not disappointed. Red Fish is very popular in Jackson, so I recommend getting it at least once on your visit (preferably here since it was so good). The staff is very friendly and you can tell they put a lot of love into their food.
We went to Char for brunch on Sunday. This is definitely the spot that everyone goes to after Church. It is a classy, yet casual restaurant and fun for the whole family. We ordered the Southern Style Eggs Benedict and the Fried Chicken Plate. I think I ate fried chicken for almost every meal in Jackson and I am NOT upset about it. The place is lively and a great spot for a celebratory dining experience. We saw multiple birthdays being celebrated and accommodations for large parties. The bar area was also beautifully laid out and perfect for a date night or business meeting.
Fine & Dandy
This was our last spot we visited in Jackson, and because of this I was FULL. I wish it had been the first though, because it was definitely a place Jackson locals had never seen in their city before. It is a restaurant you would find in a major city with its up-scale decor and modern takes on southern cuisine. The place was packed on Sunday, and everyone seemed to be happy to have such a great addition to the Jackson food scene. We ordered the Tater tots with creme fraiche and caviar, deviled eggs, split pea soup, Fine & Dainty Burger, Burrata salad, a couple of their insane shakes, and their cake. Again, I wish I had been hungry for this meal, because everything we had was incredible. It was a beautiful space and reminiscent of some restaurants we have here in Miami. The chef does a great job expanding the food culture in Jackson and it is clearly evident that the locals are happy with it as well.
Where to drink in Jackson
Apothecary + Brents Drugs
The coolest speakeasy in Jackson, and I think this is a unanimous choice, is Apothecary; A bar located behind the infamous Brents Drugs. While I didn’t say much about Brents drugs, mostly because we only stopped in for a quick Root Beer Float, it is a favorite amongst locals. It is designed just like an old diner, and the menu is of course, diner food. If you want a cool insta pic, this is the place to get it. Anyways, back to alcohol. The bar is located through an unmarked door in the back. Old drug bottles line the wall on the way back there. The bar is small, but the cocktails have large, bold flavors like menthol and spirulina. We didn’t stay for long, mostly because we were so full, but the bar fills up quickly and is a great place for some craft cocktails.
Library Bar is located inside of an old-style Inn. Many people stay here, and the restaurant is supposed to be delicious as well, but we went for the bar located in the front of the house. While the name is pretty self-explanatory, it is a small bar built inside of a library. Think dark wooden book shelves, old clocks, and large leather chairs. It is a great place to have a glass of wine and a good conversation. The cocktail list is extensive, but they do have speciality cocktails named after famous authors which adds a cool touch to the concept.
Other great places I was not able to go to in such short time was Pig & Pint, Iron Horse, Bully’s Restaurant, Babalu, Walker’s Drive in, and Saltine. There are so many restaurants in such a small city, so if you are a foodie in search of some great southern cuisine, Jackson is your pace!