12 Best Restaurants in Jackson, Mississippi

Last Updated on February 15, 2024 by Emily Johnson


Jackson, the capital and most populous city of Mississippi, is home to a vibrant food scene with a mix of upscale restaurants, hip cafés, classic diners, and ethnic eateries. From refined French cuisine to down-home Southern cooking, the city offers an array of mouthwatering flavors for visitors and locals alike.

In this article, we have curated 12 of the best and most popular restaurants that you must visit when in Jackson. Ranging from fine dining establishments to casual bistros, these eateries capture the rich culinary soul of the city. Whether you’re looking for the perfect place to celebrate a special occasion or simply wish to grab a delicious, no-fuss meal, you’ll find something for every taste and budget on this list.

So let your appetite guide you as you read on to discover the top 12 restaurants that are a must-try in Jackson, Mississippi!

1.Edo Japanese Steakhouse


Specializing in Teppanyaki-style dining and sushi, Edo Japanese Steakhouse is consistently ranked as one of the finest Japanese restaurants in Jackson. Treat your taste buds by indulging in their signature volcano roll wrapped in thin-sliced jalapeños and filled with spicy tuna, fried jalapeño, and cream cheese.

With an extensive menu offering everything from sashimi to hibachi entrees cooked right in front of you, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Enjoy the energetic atmosphere and talented knife work of the chefs as they put up an entertaining food preparation show. This is a great pick for a fun night out with family and friends.

2.The Manship Wood Fired Kitchen


Located in the blossoming Belhaven neighborhood, The Manship brings a touch of urban chic to the Jackson dining scene. Featuring rustic wood-fired cuisine made from seasonal Southern ingredients, it has fast garnered a reputation as one of the best restaurants in the city.

Start your meal with their duck confit tacos served with a sweet and spicy jalapeño jam or opt for the burrata with grilled peaches, prosciutto, and balsamic syrup. Mains span wood-fired fish, grilled steaks, homemade pastas, and more. With its laidback ambiance and tantalizing food that bursts with smoky flavors, The Manship is perfect for a relaxed evening out.

3.Walker’s Drive-In


A longtime local favorite for over 60 years, Walker’s Drive-In is the place to go when craving quintessential Southern comfort food. Located in an old-fashioned white cinderblock building, it offers indoor and outdoor patio seating where you can soak in the nostalgic vibes.

Their menu stars greasy burgers, crispy chicken tenders, fries doused in special seasoning, and homemade milkshakes. Food is served in traditional red plastic baskets lining up metal stands outside each car window, allowing for speedy grab-and-go service. Affordable, delightfully retro, and delivering no-frills goodness with every bite, Walker’s Drive-In is a must-visit icon.

4.Char Restaurant


Magnificently located on the 25th floor of the sleek Trustmark Art Deco building, Char is Jackson’s premier upscale dining venue. Boasting gorgeous city views through floor-to-ceiling windows, the sophisticated open kitchen concept spotlights a glitzy exhibition kitchen manned by Chef Jesse Houston.

The contemporary Southern menu changes seasonally using ingredients sourced from small Mississippi farms. Start with a drink at the swanky bar before indulging in dishes like the renowned tomato pie with salted tomatoes, smoked bacon, and parmesan. With white glove service delivering innovative plates in a swanky setting, Char is perfect for marking special occasions or just an indulgent evening out.

5.Mayflower Cafe


No list of the best restaurants in Jackson is complete without the time-honored Mayflower Cafe. This unassuming diner has been run by the same Greek family since 1935, gaining iconic status for their fluffy seafood omelets.

Politicians and locals alike flock here for the huge portions of Southern comfort food classics. Belly up to the counter or grab a turquoise swivel seat and order mouthwatering staples like golden fried chicken or juicy patty melts slathered with grilled onions. Don’t skip out on their legendary “super” puffy omelets either, packed with fresh Gulf shrimp and crabmeat. Quintessentially old-school, Mayflower Cafe captures the heart of Southern greasy spoon charm.

6. Aplos Restaurant


After honing his skills in acclaimed kitchens nationwide, Executive Chef Robert Strickland brought his formidable talent back home to Jackson at Aplos. Located downtown in a restored 1920s Texaco garage, the industrial-chic eatery takes a modernist approach to Greek and Southern cuisine.

Start with mezedes like the crazy feta sprinkled with oregano and olive oil before moving on to wood-fired mains such as the popular lamb burger or whole grilled branzino. You can also order creative takes on Greek comfort dishes like moussaka and pastitsio with elevated twists. Constantly buzzing with its bustling open kitchen, lively bar scene, and shareable small plates, Aplos makes for a memorable night out.

7.Elvie’s Restaurant


Offering a vibrant taste of the New Orleans French Quarter right here in Jackson, Elvie’s has been packing diners in ever since opening its doors in 2014. From the NOLA jazz piping through the speakers to colorful strings of lights framing the dining room, the Big Easy-inspired bistro has charm in spades. Their playful takes on Creole and Southern eats have garnered widespread acclaim too.

Start with fried green tomatoes topped with shrimp remoulade or their signature duck pastrami. Seafood lovers shouldn’t miss the Crawfish Monica With Creamy Pepper Jelly Sauce either. From weekend brunch to happy hour small plates to romantic dinners, Elvie’s embodies feel-good Southern hospitality through and through.

8.Saltine Restaurant


After closing the doors at his beloved Parlor Market, Chef Jesse Houston went on to open Saltine, ushering a more relaxed vibe to the Jackson food scene. The pared-down eatery spotlights simple yet skillfully executed Southern plates made using seasonal and local ingredients.

Housed in a converted mid-century warehouse, the welcoming restaurant has won fans over with its laidback ambiance and crave-worthy comfort food. Bestsellers include the juicy house bacon cheeseburger served with zingy bread & butter pickles and the ridiculously crispy fried catfish. For brunch, locals queue to order specials like shrimp and creamy stone-ground grits topped with a rich tasso ham gravy. Unfussy, hearty and homey, Saltine ticks all the boxes for feel-good dining.

9.Fine & Dandy


Led by the husband-and-wife team, Chef Jesse Houston and pastry wiz Rebecca Wilcomb, Fine & Dandy is a neighborhood gem serving elevated Southern eats in an artsy shotgun-style cottage. With an ever-changing chalkboard menu, the cozy eatery spotlights seasonal dishes prepared from locally sourced ingredients.

Peruse daily specials like fried green tomatoes with pimento goat cheese and tomato jam before moving on to melt-in-your-mouth braised beef short ribs or cast iron seared Gulf shrimp. Don’t miss out on Wilcomb’s heavenly desserts either, with the textbook banana pudding being a standout. Charming, talents-packed and decidedly delicious, Fine & Dandy is sure to impress.

10.Keifer’s Barbecue


For finger-lickin’ good Southern barbecue in Jackson, locals all point towards Keifer’s. The no-frills counter-service joint may not look like much from the outside, but they’ve been dishing out acclaimed smoked meats since 1954 using old-fashioned pit-cooking techniques.

Order up tender pulled pork doused in tangy Carolina-style mustard sauce or fall-off-the-bone smoked brisket sandwiches.

Other specialties to try include their smoked Cajun boudin sausage and fried catfish plate with hushpuppies. For the ultimate feast, go for the 3-meat combo plate with all the quintessential barbecue sides. Simple, smokey, classic – Keifer’s captures real-deal barbecue at its best.

11.High Noon Café


Tucked away on Farish Street in a converted 1920s grocery store, High Noon Café brings a funky bohemian edge with its globetrotting vegetarian-focused menu. Under the creative helm of chef and artist Babbi Perry, the cozy art-splashed eatery delivers an eclectic blend of Jamaican, Thai and Indian flavors starring fresh ingredients sourced from local markets.

Bestsellers include highlights like their renowned jerk tofu tacos topped with mango salsa, Thai red curry bowl brimming with seasonal veggies and tender chickpeas, and addictive samosas served with zesty cilantro chutney. For breakfast, don’t miss Babbi’s famous vegan waffles either. Funky, feel-good and flavor-packed, High Noon Café’s global vegetarian plates never fail to satisfy.

12.La Brioche Patisserie


No food tour of Jackson is complete without stopping for something sweet at La Brioche Patisserie. Whether you visit their chic Parisian-style café or French colonial outpost tucked inside the Westin Hotel, their artisanal French pastries and bread will transport you straight to Europe.

Run by Chilean Chef Alex Brounstein, their glass display cases overflows with rows of glossy fruit tarts, mousse-filled cakes, macarons, eclairs and more. For an afternoon pick-me-up, order a latte and chocolate croissant or perhaps a berry tart paired with English tea. Sweet tooths – this is your happy place. Your taste buds will thank you.

Overview


With mouthwatering Southern comfort food, smoky barbecue joints, elevated fine dining venues, and delectable bakeries all on the menu, Jackson’s vibrant food scene has something to suit every palate.

Experience the full range of the city’s culinary soul by paying a visit to these 12 top-notch eateries loved by both locals and visitors alike for their crave-worthy plates, memorable vibes, and talented kitchen crews. Bon appétit!

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