A Fantastic Foodie's Meal-by-Meal Guide to JXN MS

Some take trips to see the mountains. Others prefer a quiet museum or a walk along the beach. But a certain subset of savvy travelers prefers a wholly indulgent excursion based on one thing and one thing only—food.

The Dutch Baby at Elvie's. Image: Cody McCain

For these intrepid wanderers, the stomach is a compass. The palate aims to a culinary magnetic north which is located, as it turns out, in the Deep South. Jackson’s modern-day restaurant renaissance invites all gourmands, connoisseurs, bloggers, vloggers, and even everyday folks who just love great meals.

Breakfast & Brunch

Ah, the foundation(s) of the day!

Urban Foxes is a locally owned small-batch bakery featuring daily flavors for pies, cookies, and scones alongside every kind of coffee imaginable (plus kombucha and even beer).

For more filling fare, Elvie’s Restaurant is a pared-down, New Orleans-inspired brunch spot specializing in the savory with items ranging from duck fat hashbrowns and croque madame to brunch bread pudding and raw oysters. Eating at Elvie’s is a like taking a grand tour of Southern cuisine from a single seat.

Or try a brunch option: we have a list of suggestions to get your mid-morning going.

A Friday blue plate – catfish at Hal & Mal’s


Lunch is a special meal, the workday dividing delight of 9-to-5ers everywhere. Even in the age of “work from home,” lunch maintains its special place in our hearts.

Hal’s and Mal’s is a favorite local hangout with Gulf Coast vibes reflected in signature po boy sandwiches, gumbo, and catfish options. Locally famous for its easy ambience, friendly regulars, and funky tunes, Hal’s and Mal’s feels as familiar as your own weekly lunch spot.

As a family-run diner, Sugar’s Place Downtown prides itself on satisfying diners to the utmost limit. Ask any Jacksonian and prepare for a dissertation about the truly cherished menu and staff. The Loaded Momma Burger comes with a hand-pressed patty and a Kool-Aid to drink while the catfish and shrimp po boys serve up perfect crunch on a pillow-soft bun. Daily specials include chopped steak and gravy among so much more!

For those in the market for something else, try Stamp’s Super Burgers, Crazy Cat Eat Up, Godfrey’s, and Aplós.

Nandy's Candy chocolates
Nandy's Candy


Even after big meals, a discreet (and shameless) snack or two can make us feel like champions!

Nandy’s Candy is that certain kind of dangerous sweet shop where—if you’re anything less than careful—you may wind up buying “one of everything.” Sporting delights from pralines to truffles, candy apples to fudge, caramel popcorn to English toffee, the kid in you will come alive.

You won’t want to miss a specialty latte, cold brew espresso, or tea from Coffee Prose, Soulé, or Native Coffee.

plated food at Walker's Drive-In
Walker's Drive-In
Credit: Ben Hon


The last meal of the day is all about taking chances, reaching for something new in the hopes of discovering the unexpected and sensational.

Derek Emerson is one of the deans of Jackson chefs, and his flagship restaurant in Fondren, Walker's Drive-In, presents sophisticated food in a casual environment. While the food is certainly elevated, the diner vibe is maintained by black and white tile floors and photos hanging on the walls depicting the history of Jackson and the restaurant.

At BRAVO! Italian Restaurant and Bar, fresh ingredients and experienced chefs are create salads overflowing with freshly prepared vegetables, fruit and meat, to satisfying and soul-warming entrees like veal parmigiana.

Additional dinner choices worth a try: Johnny T's Bistro & Blues, The Manship, Drago's Seafood Restaurant, Pulito Osteria and Char.

The Library Lounge


Finally, after the last bite is had, some libations are certainly in order.

The Apothecary at Brent’s Drugs is bound to be unlike any other cocktail bar you’ve been to. Styled in keeping with its pharmaceutical location, this speakeasy is located in the back of Brent’s Drugs—an obvious nod to those troubled times in our nation’s past when alcohol was less than legal.

At Fertile Ground Beer Co., Jackson's only brewery, beers available on a rotating basis include several different IPAs (West Coast, hazy, imperial), a peach Berliner and a chocolate stout. There are also fruited sour selections and seasonal beers. Weekends end with "small batch Sundays, with a special limited release available each week.

You’ll find other singular sipping opportunities at The Library Lounge located in the Fairview Inn—a booklined barroom slinging serious drinks.

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