Where to Dine During the MS Book Festival

Authors, readers and literary buffs unite for The Mississippi Book Festival on the grounds of the State Capitol, set to draw one of the largest crowds in years, and we have the dish on where to dine!

Redfish at Lou's
Credit: Ben Hon

Lou’s Full-Serv – 904B East Fortification Street

Located in the heart of the historic Belhaven neighborhood, this casual neighborhood kitchen serves southern classics in a fun vintage industrial atmosphere.

Lou’s Full-Serv offers lunch and dinner menus chock-full of delicious favorites and daily specials.Lou’s Full-Serv offers hearty snacks such as salmon dip, crawfish fondue and onion rings. Several salads also grace the menu, such as a cold fried chicken salad, Waldorf and wedge.

For full meals, try any number of the handhelds, such as the Chick-Fil-Lou, a crispy chicken thigh topped with comeback sauce and pickles or the No. 7 burger. If you’re in the mood for a hot plate at dinnertime, opt for either of the redfish (one with buttermilk mash, corn hash and crab butter, the other with rock shrimp, sweet peppers and risotto) or the classic Shrimp and Grits.

See the full menu at lousfullserv.com.

The Hagrid at Coffee Prose
Credit: Coffee Prose

Coffee Prose – 1619 North West Street

Looking for a quick breakfast or an iced coffee as an afternoon pick-me-up? This book shop/library meets coffee shop offers small bites, lunch, pastries, lattes, teas and so much more.

Coffee Prose is primarily known for their unique beverages and dishes named after iconic book characters. Pictured here is The Hagrid, the newest and most popular addition, made with fresh bread, garlic confit, sharp white cheddar and apple slices. The Mr. Tumnus toast is another popular option, prepared with goat cheese spread, Ms. T’s peach jam and house-made coffee-infused bacon.

Looking for something a little sweeter? Coffee Prose also has muffins, scones, cinnamon rolls, cookies and cereal bars.

Learn more or order online at coffeeprose.com.

A catfish plate at Hal & Mal's
Credit: Hal & Mal's

Hal and Mal’s - 200 Commerce Street

We’ve covered this place before, but for good reason.

If you’re visiting the capital city, you’ll want to try Hal & Mal’s before you leave. It’s popular with locals for its delicious southern menu and lively atmosphere.

Perhaps the most popular menu items involve catfish (pictured here). Hal and Mal’s offers a variety of catfish dishes, including catfish tacos and a classic catfish blue plate special with coleslaw, hush puppies and fries. Other menu items include juicy burgers, gumbo (of course), fresh salads (including the Greek salad with crab meat), sandwiches (like the chicken-fried steak sandwich or classic club), po’boys and so much more.

Stay up to date with facebook.com/halandmals.

A club sandwich with sweet potato fries at Martin's Downtown
Credit: Martin's Downtown

Martin’s Downtown – 214 State Street

A local favorite for those 18 and up, serving American dishes with a huge beer list, Martin’s Downtown is a great spot for a casual bite, drink and even to watch a live music performance.

The menu ranges from steak dinners to chicken tenders to shareable appetizers for the table. The fried green tomatoes are a popular choice, and for good reason. Served with comeback sauce, you can add crawfish and mushroom cream sauce for an additional charge.

Martin’s also has a variety of sandwiches, from a redfish sandwich with remoulade, lettuce and tomato to the smokehouse BBQ sandwich: pork shoulder burnt ends tossed in BBQ sauce, onion straws, coleslaw, pickles, served on a brioche bun.

View the full menu at martinsdowntownjxn.com.

Elvies Beef Tartare
Beef Tartare at Elvie's
Credit: Cody McCain

Elvie’s - 809 Manship Street

A casually hip restaurant with French influence, Elvie’s is the perfect spot for dinner after the Book Festival.

With small bites, charcuterie, hot plates and plenty of seafood, this menu is uniquely upscale and an ideal way to conclude your weekend.

One popular entrée is the Cacio e Pepe made with house-made pasta, fresh parmesan and cracked black pepper, it’s a must-try for those who haven’t. The pan-seared grouper is another hot item made with buttered leeks, vermouth sauce, basil oil and lump crab.

Be sure to save room for dessert. The sweets menu at Elvie’s is diverse and delicious. Whether you’re a coffee lover wanting the espresso layered pudding, a chocolate lover intrigued by the peanut butter and chocolate ganache or just looking for a simple scoop of house-made ice cream, there’s no shortage of options.

Learn more and see the full menu at elviesrestaurant.com.

Rebecca Fending


Rebecca Fending

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