Nick’s Picks: Jackson’s 'Top Chef' Shares Local Food Favorites

Jackson chef and Bravo Top Chef Houston contestant Nick Wallace shares his top picks for your next bite in the City With Soul.

Credit: Drew Dempsey/Tell Agency

Nick Wallace is known for redefining the Southern experience, and even more so, the Southern palate.

Making strides in Jackson and beyond, he's the founder and executive chef of Nick Wallace Culinary, Nissan Cafe by Nick Wallace, Nick Wallace Catering, and the nonprofit Creativity Kitchen. He's also taken his sophisticated and modern Mississippi cuisine to the television screen, with past appearances on the Food Network's "Chopped" and "Cutthroat Kitchen."

His latest venture? Challenging the nation's elite chefs on this season's "Top Chef" in culinary epicenter Houston, Texas.

His roots, though, remain homespun, with his grandmothers, Queen Morris and Lennel Donald, teaching him what he knows and loves about the kitchen today. Whether it's a different take on potlikker, pimento cheese, or pork belly, Nick is always up for a new challenge on old favorites.

Here are his top picks for your next bite in the City With Soul.

Spice Avenue

Locally-loved Spice Avenue serves up traditional Indian cuisine from Chilli Paneer to Tandoori Prawns for a taste of South Asia in Mississippi. One of Nick's favorites? The Goat Curry.

"I love, love the goat curry. It’s very special to me because once when the owner was looking for a local goat, I assisted; it just means more. The work and love that goes into each dish."

Edo Japanese Restaurant

Tucked away in a strip mall off of I-55, Edo Japanese is a hidden gem that churns out some of the best and freshest sushi and sashimi to locals.

"The family that runs Edo is just so special. You walk in there, and you feel the passion in the air. The location is also a little hard to get to and nondescript, but they continue their success. Oh, and don’t forget - all the sushi is great!"

Taste of the Island Caribbean plate of food with chicken, rice, plantains and salad
Taste of the Island Caribbean

Taste of the Island Caribbean

Nestled in the heart of downtown Jackson, foodies who takeout from Taste of the Island Caribbean leave with great flavors, great portions, and authentic Jamaican specials.

"These great men put on a show, from conversations to putting the best oxtails on a plate. It’s a really good bite, a really good one."

Green Ghost Tacos

Using family recipes passed down through generations, Green Ghost's menu is small-batch made using the freshest ingredients. Think street tacos, flautas, empanadas, and more.

"The tacos are the best here. I’m a burrito guy, but damn, they are good."

Tokyo Express

Want hibachi or sushi rolls on the quick? Tokyo Express is the spot, without sacrificing any flavor.

"The Yakisoba (Japanese noodle stir-fry dish) is the best. I haven’t had it this good since Anchorage, Alaska. This is my jam, especially on the weekends."

a variety of foods including biscuits, sandwiches, tacos and donuts
District Donuts Sliders Brew

District Donuts + Sliders + Brew

Originally from New Orleans, their Belhaven location churns out dishes for everyone on the sweet and savory spectrum. Be sure to also get a caffeine hit with the restaurant's house-roasted brews.

"One time, I was sent here for donuts and came out with a pork belly breakfast taco. All I have to say is you have to get one, and I definitely mean one, because they're huge."


Serving up Southern tastes with French flair, Elvie's casual elegance has been put on the national culinary map.

"The Boozy Iced Coffee with Hoodoo Chicory Liqueur, Duck Fat French Fries, and the Croque Madame is my jam. You have to get some when you're in town. Oh, and the chef (Hunter Evans) is pretty awesome."

Stamps Super Burgers

Known for having a burger "worth dying for," Stamps is a Jackson institution. But, don't just stop with the 11 oz, all-beef patty. Be sure to get your hands on their lemon peppered French fries, too.

"You have to get a Stamps burger. Enough said. Historically, it’s the place. I'm getting hungry for one as we speak."

Stamps Super Burger

The opinions expressed about restaurants or dishes served are those of Chef Nick Wallace and not necessarily those of Visit Jackson.

Anne Marie Hanna


Anne Marie Hanna