10 Reasons You Should Add Jackson, Mississippi to Your Food & Drink Travel List

Turning 200 has never tasted so good. This year marks the bicentennial anniversary of Jackson, Mississippi and, for the past two centuries, this capital city has tantalized palates with a menu of traditional southern cooking, modern cuisine, and savory soul food. With a vibrant restaurant scene and consortium of innovative chefs, Jackson has all the right ingredients when it comes to culinary excellence.  

Throughout its history, the city has attracted and fostered talented epicureans, including Jackson-based chef Nick Wallace who is currently competing on Top Chef Houston. With an eye not only on the palatable but also on the plateable, Chef Wallace finds beauty in every bite. His execution of original recipes from behind the kitchen door has earned him accolades within the culinary community, including being voted Jackson’s Top Chef for several consecutive years. As well he was named Mississippi’s Best Chef in 2020 and he earned a place on the Best Chef America list.

At the dawn of Jackson’s bicentennial, the city’s restaurant scene has never been more exciting, and here are 10 food and drink reasons to add Jackson to your food travel list. Dig into and explore the Jackson food scene!

Six Restaurants You Do Not Want to Miss in Jackson, Mississippi

  • Bully’s Soul Food Restaurant – For nearly 30 years Bully’s Soul Food Restaurant has been the go-to place for classics, such as beef tips, pigs’ feet, ham hocks, smothered oxtails, southern fried catfish and chitterlings.
  • Mayflower Café, Jackson’s oldest operating restaurant, has earned a reputation for its signature Comeback Sauce, a house salad dressing and dipping sauce with a hint of heat that has been featured on the Food Network’s “Best Thing I Ever Ate.”
  •  The Big Apple Inn has the most unusual delicacy and is best known for its wildly popular pig-ear sandwich.
  • Sambou’s African Kitchen is a new dining spot in Jackson. Their African-inspired cuisine is chef-owned by Joseph Sambou. Some savory dishes include Jerk Chicken and a traditional Oxtail Meal.
  • La Cour Kitchen & Bar – The fusion of French, Continental, and new American cuisines at La Cour is influenced by the brasseries of Paris.
  • Oops All Vegan, founded by LaMarcus Robinson, had humble beginnings as Mississippi’s first-ever vegan food truck. Now housed inside a brick-and-mortar storefront in the North Fondren district, Oops All Vegan serves an array of plant-based food made with clean ingredients that are both savory and fresh.

Six Drinking Establishments You Do Not Want to Miss in Jackson, Mississippi

  • Cathead Distillery is one of the city’s most renowned spirits creators opened in 2010, making it the first legal distillery of bourbon and gin in the state since Prohibition.
  • The Pearl Tiki Bar opened in the Fondren neighborhood and is infusing the area with big flavors and all things tiki. Taste the tropics with Pearl’s Original drinks which include a traditional Painkiller or Mai Tai or mix it up with the Fish House Punch or a Jungle Bird.
  • The Library Lounge at the Historic Fairview Inn- With a unique background this bar was built in 1908 as the original library for the Fairview Mansion. It has since been transformed into a lounge that honors great Mississippi authors. If you are looking for the best refreshing and unique drinks, you should not overlook the cocktail menu – which features rotating drink specials and new cocktail creations.
  • 4th Avenue Lounge– This exciting hybrid cocktail lounge and events venue in downtown Jackson can host everything from networking events to VIP invites to birthday parties. With drinks like “The Woman in Red,” made with Malibu, ginger beer, strawberry purée and a sprig of fresh mint, this perfect cocktail is a sure way to cool down at what is notes as “the hottest bar in town.”

Have you been to Jackson, MS? What are your favorite spots to grab something to eat or drink?

Explore more restaurants in Jackson, Mississippi here!

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