Where to Drink and Dine in Belhaven
In Jackson's Belhaven neighborhood, food offerings are storied and eclectic, alongside new flavors and purveyors of City With Soul cuisine.
LOU’S FULL SERV
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.
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.
Take a virtual trip to a cozy European bistro at this all-day café in Belhaven. The former residential home has been converted into an attractive oasis with gleaming brass accents and a sparkling white marble bar where they serve specialty coffee drinks during the day and inventive cocktails at night. The menu also skews European with seasonal fare made using fresh ingredients and a thoughtful attitude toward sourcing. From fresh breads and egg dishes at breakfast and lunch to classic French dishes like Duck Confit Cassoulet and Steak Frites at the evening meal, Elvie’s knows exactly what sort of restaurant they want to be and maintains a laser focus on their food. Pro tip: show up early - or stay after - to visit their sister establishment nextdoor, open-air cocktail bar, Good Bar.
FENIAN'S IRISH PUB
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. You can’t leave without trying the famous whiskey bread pudding and Guinness chocolate pot de crème.
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.
KEIFER'S ON POPLAR
Just across Poplar Boulevard from its original location, Keifer's is a longtime fixture in the Belhaven neighborhood. Opened in 1980, “Jackson didn’t know what hummus was, or gyros or falafel or cottage fries,” current general manager Chip Holden explains. Keifer’s was also one of the very first restaurants in the Jackson area to offer outdoor seating. Today, the menu hasn't changed and the decor - painstakingly recreated from the original location - lives on.
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.
FERTILE GROUND BEER COMPANY
Whether you're a local Jacksonian or visiting the capital city, new experiences are always exciting, especially when it involves craft beer.Opened in May 2022, Fertile Ground Beer Co. is the first craft brewery located in Jackson's historic Belhaven neighborhood. "Our 'core four' which consists of a pale ale, a german style pilsner, a light lager, and a sessionable IPA," said one of the partners in the project, Matthew McLaughlin. "Beyond that, we will have a couple of different IPAs - West Coast, hazy, imperial - a peach berliner, and possibly a chocolate stout. Once we are... keeping regular schedule, we will always have a the core four, a rotating IPA series, a rotating lager series, a different fruited sour each month, a couple of seasonals, and some one-offs."
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. This burger and other specialty burgers such as the Suzy, the Pat, and the Joe B, are all part of owner Pat Boland’s habit of naming menu items after employees and customers.Menu items also include smothered, cheesy fries, hot dogs and hot plates of Southern classics.
DISTRICT DONUTS, SLIDERS & BREWS
District Donuts, Sliders & Brews' name tells you what this place is all about. Sandwiches include a double cheeseburger, fried chicken and hot chicken, and honey butter toast. There are also three sliders, perhaps the most interesting being the pork belly slider. The breakfast menu includes choices such as buttermilk biscuits and a chorizo bacon taco. The menu also features different types of donuts and sweets, like cinnamon rolls, chocolate chip cookies, chocolate glazed donuts, and even a cinnamon glazed doughnut.
THE PIZZA SHACK
The Pizza Shack began in 2005, offering artfully made pizzas using dough and sauce made in-house daily. In addition to the standard options, there are unique offerings, including Andy’s buffalo chicken pizza, chicken curry delight pizza, the Greek pizza, double cheeseburger pizza, chicken fajita pizza and Mexican fiesta pizza. Ingredients are sourced as locally as possible, and each pie is made to order. And because so many young people survive on pizza while in college, The Pizza Shack offers a ten percent discount to college students. (Pro tip: call in orders ahead of time, then be prepared to wait. It’s worth it).