Bringing The Tropics to JXN: Five Spots to Beat Winter Blues

Get your vacation fix in the City With Soul with these local tropical-inspired foodie spots. No sunscreen or plane travel required!

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

Taste of The Island - 436 E Capitol St

This small, take-out, counter-service restaurant in Jackson's downtown district packs a mighty punch with flavors from the Caribbean.

Delivering big on portions, tastes, and affordable prices, stop by for one of their lunch specials featuring curry goat, shrimp, and jerk ribs, or try one of their tried-and-true favorites like oxtails, red snapper, curry chicken, or jerk pork. Pair with seasoned rice and beans, sauteed cabbage, or fried plantains, and wash it all down with Jamaican soda. A post-meal nap may also be in your future.

The Pearl drinks
The Pearl
Credit: Ben Hon

The Pearl Tiki Bar - 3017 N State St

Jackson's only tiki bar brings a taste of the tropics to the historic Fondren neighborhood.

Connected to Highball Lanes and The Capri Theatre, start your evening in the cozy bar space with a Polynesian-inspired Happy Hour, including beach-themed beers, cocktails, and small plates. We recommend popping in on Tuesday evenings, where you can find local musicians, singers, and comedians taking to the stage for Open Mic Night.

Jerk City Grille oxtails
Jerk City Grille

Jerk City Grille - 4157 Robinson Rd

This Caribbean-inspired dine-in and food truck concept is run by Chef Wendell, who adds his unique twist to favorites like Jerk Salmon, Curry Chicken, ribs, and wings.

A must-have for every first-time diner is the Jerk Chicken Egg Rolls with housemade sauce paired with Jerk Fried Rice. Satisfy a post-meal sweet tooth with the Pineapple Rum Pudding before continuing on your island staycation.

A colorful chicken dish
Sambou's African Kitchen

Sambou's African Kitchen - 1625 E County Line Rd, Suite 150

Taking cues from traditional Gambian cuisine, Sambou's menu recently got nods from The New York Times' '25 Restaurants We Couldn't Stop Thinking About in 2022.'

Blending ingredients from all of the regions of the West African country, plates like Stuffed Crab, Sweet Fried Plantains, and fall-of-the-bone Oxtail & shrimp transport you to the coastline. Check-in daily for lunch and dinner specials to keep the island times going around the clock.

Godfreys chicken Mac and cheese and greens
Godfrey's
Credit: Ben Hon

Godfrey's - 5046 Parkway Dr

Godfrey's by Chef Godfrey Morgan is a Caribbean classic.

Located in Northeast Jackson, the islands meet Southern Soul with dishes like Chef G's Surf & Turf Burger, Sticky Ribs, and the Jerk Chicken Philly Cheesesteak. Try their island beverages like Pineapple Ginger Lemonade before sinking your teeth into the Bourbon & Rum Bread Pudding.

Anne Marie Hanna

Author

Anne Marie Hanna