Dive Into JXN

There is just no other restaurant or bar that compares to the classic Southern dive.

More often than not, their character was built over the years, so genuinely ingrained into the city’s history, without fuss, fanfare or trends. Dive in, JXN, and find a new favorite hole-in-the-wall, or rediscover a spot that’s been yours all along.

Hal & Mal’s – 200 Commerce Street

Established in 1985 by two brothers, Hal and Malcolm White, this local favorite sits in the heart of Downtown.

They self-describe as offering “Southern fare with regional flair, drinks and music in a multi-roomed venue with a funky retro vibe,” and it shows in the menu.

Hal & Mal’s has everything from locally-caught-catfish tacos to red beans and rice and Creole carbonara. Learn more at halandmals.com.

CS’s. Image: David’s Been Here


Open since 1978, CS’s greets customers with a comfortable and casual feel that can only be found at the best of any city’s dives. They’re a popular gathering spot with eclectically decorated walls, pool tables, cold beer and unique burger offerings.

Try the Inez burger- topped with homemade chili, nacho cheese, and jalapeños – a CS’s specialty that is particularly popular with the late-night college crowd. To learn more and stay up to date, visit the Facebook page at facebook.com/cssrestaurant.

Fenian’s Shepherd’s Pie
Fenian’s Shepherd’s Pie
Credit: Fenian's

Fenian's Irish Pub - 901 East Fortification

Fenian’s has been around since 1996. This restaurant is a sit-down place with that great pub feel to it and a lovely Irish-inspired menu.

Look for curry poutine (chips, sharp cheddar cheese and curry sauce), Scotch eggs made with Irish sausage, farm eggs, pickled onions and mustard, and leek and potato soup. The menu also boasts burgers, “paddy” melts and a Mississippi Reuben sandwich. See the full menu at fenianspub.com.

Martin’s. Image: Martin’s

Martins' Downtown - 214 State Street

Martin’s Downtown has been open since 1953, offering great food and live music. It originally began as a breakfast place and has grown into a classic Southern pub with live music scheduled throughout the week.

Favorite menu items include the 1953 hamburger steak, fried catfish, fried chicken, Martin’s patty melt, seafood po’boys, Philly steak and cheese and country fried steak. Learn more at martinsdowntownjxn.com.

E&L Barbecue

E&L BBQ – 1111 Bailey Avenue

E&L BBQ was started by Eddie and Lula 30 years ago and is still going strong.

This restaurant is a no-frills kind of place, serving down-home specialties like pulled pork, ribs and fried chicken. Local customers think E&L offers the best ribs in town, and the wings and fries, dipped sausage and rib tips are all popular items, too. Stay in the know with E&L BBQ at facebook.com/EandLBBQ.

*This site covers a variety of restaurants and cuisines, though not always in the same post. Is this list missing your favorites? Search the blog for more content or add your favorites to the comments.

Julian Brunt


Julian Brunt

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