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What are some Don't Miss Restaurants in and around Vicksburg, MS and Jackson MS

  • m

We are planning a trip to Vicksburg and Jackson and would appreciate some suggestions. We like to stay away from chains and like everything from "home cooking" to fine dining. What are some "don't miss" restaurants that serve regional food?

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  1. I must admit that I don't enjoy typical "Southern" food, but Julep's is a good place that could (if you were being generous) be described as Southern. The Mayflower, downtown, is old school Southern and pretty good. Nick's is probably the best "fine dining" restaurant in town, but I prefer Walker's Drive In, which is more casual and has more of a neighborhood place vibe. Everything is terrible at Tico's but the steak -- and it's the best in town. Shapley's is a more well-rounded steak house. Bravo's has inventive food and a fun (grown-up) bar scene. There are a couple of dinner-club type places -- Pavoni's (which I've been to several times and love) and Ro Chez (which I have not). Both are just north of Jackson in Ridgeland. There are a couple of decent Greek restaurants -- Bill's Greek Tavern and Keifer's. By the way, all these places are in Jackson -- not sure about the Vicksburg restaurant scene. Let me know if you need more info or if there is a particular type of place you're looking for.

    1. pkimble seemed to cover them all. I don't think anyone should miss the seafood specials at The Mayflower and Walker's is one of my all time favorite places. I also love Keifer's. A couple of places missing would be The Cherokee and Hal & Mal's! The Elite and Two Sister's are both great southern lunch places.

      1 Reply
      1. re: lgault

        This guy knows what he's talking about. Sorry, Ma'am. this gal knows what she's talking about. At Hal and Mal's, get some tamales and the red beans and rice. At the Elite and Two Sisters, get the vegetable plate with greens, green beans, macaroni and cheese, and sweet potatoes (which will be a badly disguised dessert) and some cornbread. Put some pepper vinegar on the vegetables. The fish at the Mayflower is fresh and well prepared. Go with straightforward preparations.
        In Vicksburg, eat tamales. The tamales in MS and AR near the River are so much better than what you have had elsewhere. And visit the battlefield. And drive across the River into LA to teh 1st exit to the only gas station I have ever been to that has wine tastings. And slots.

        Two Sisters Cafe
        373 SW Frontage Rd, Winona, MS 38967

      2. My new favorite restaurant in Jackson is Spice Avenue - a great little Indian restaurant/grocery on I-55 just North of Northside Drive. I realize is isn't exactly regional but the food is made with fresh ingredients and everything is delicious. For lunch you can get any of the meat entrees (I love the butter chicken) with rice and naan for $7.99.

        As for Southern food, I love Crechales for their red snapper in butter/wine sauce. It is on Highway 80 and open only for dinner. The catfish at Cock of the Walk (on the reservoir) is good as is their coleslaw.

        I had some great catfish and fried peach pie at Jake and Rip's in Grenada last week. I wish Jackson had a place like that.

        1. 3 Locations ago, (and two owners) Shapley's was very nice. On my last visit, I enjoyed the water. Everything esle was bottom shelf product with top shelf prices! Nick's is on a downward spiral. The Mayflower and Elite are excellent at what they do. I'm hearing great things about Walker's...haven't been personally in forever... Bravo's can be interesting as can Char...if they are "on". For Catfish, Cock of the Walk, Penn's, and Jerry's all have their following. As someone said, the Cherokee Inn, Hal & Mals, and Keifer's can be good (not great) at what they do. If you are guessing..'this guy is not overly impressed with the Jackson restaurant scene" You would be guessing right!!

          2 Replies
          1. re: Uncle Bob

            The Jackson restaurant scene is pretty sad. Everyone's been heading to P.F. Chang's (a chain in Ridgeland) for the first decent Chinese food in the area in ages.

            Char was sold and we wre rather nonplussed when one of the first things the new owners did was chop the iceberg wedge (my fave) in half.

            Spice Avenue, however, is an exception to the otherwise dreary Jackson food scene.

            1. re: JaneWinston

              There are plenty of great places to eat in Jackson. I don't really do the fine dining thing very much, but the places that are mid-range are very exceptional.

              There are a lot of Greek guys grilling fish at various places (Bill's, Vassillio's, Mayflower, etc.), and you can't go too wrong at any of 'em. Aj's and Monte's are a little richer, and also quite good.

              Rossini's for a nice Italian experience, and Fratesi's, whose waitstaff always seems kind of spaced out, but *always* nail everything perfectly does the rustic thing well...

              Cool Al's for burgers, Sal and Mookies has great pizza, a lot of new bbq places have sprung up, though the best ribs still come from gas stations...

              For Chinese, skip the P.F. Changs and instead go to Golden Dragon in Madison- Johnny Lee is still in business, but now he is in the kitchen cooking instead of serving as host. I've been eating at Golden Dragon since they were on State Street, and never knew he cooked! Anyway, skip the buffet (horrible) and go for the Steak and Shrimp Que for two- the best $23 that you can spend, and as always with Jonnie Lee- "you no like, you no pay"... If your tastes run to the more exotic, check out the stuff on the table tents instead of the regular menu- things like chicken feet don't really appeal to me, but maybe others might like...

              Want a good steak? Try Olga's on Flowwod Drive. I wish that they would do Russian Food more often (as far as I know, it is only available on Thursday night) but the steak there is some of the best I've ever had- lots and lots of butter though... I've heard that there is a place in Pearl that is also quite good, but I've never been.

              Several Cajun places (Fat Tuesday's, Good Times Deli, and Que Sera) cover the Red Beans thing pretty well- Good Times has really good po'boys too.

              I could go on and on and on, but my main point is that Jackson is actually pretty good for food- in fact I think that it is pretty under-rated in the grand scheme of things. We may not have the variety of some larger cities, but I'm almost never at a loss when thinking of someplace to go...

          2. As a native of Vicksburg, there really are not many good places to eat there. Goldies bbq if you like that. The casinos unfortunately have put a lot of restaurants our of business. Walnut Hills used to have great home cooking for lunch, it's in an old house with a roundtable service, kind of typical of the south.
            Now living in Jackson, I would agree that Walkers is one of the best places to eat. Derek Emerson ( chef) always has great fish specials and rivals food I've eaten anywhere in this country. We've never had a bad meal at Nicks, would definitely suggest that also. Broadstreet has great sandwiches and breakfast, closest thing we have to a new york deli. Keifers is awesome if you like Greek, Bravo, Julep, Char, are all good as well. Char has a good lunch that is very southern and affordable. The duck at night is to die for.
            For a town the size of Jackson , I think you will find there are lots of good choices.

            1. Any reviews on Schimmels, Nagoya, Tony's Tamales, Parker House, Huntington Grill??

              Tony's Tamales are Super!!!

              6 Replies
              1. re: Uncle Bob

                I've always had good food at Schimmel's, I just can't afford to eat there. But that reminds me - Trio's, on Old Canton toward the reservoir has great fish and steaks and the prices are more reasonable than some other places. Also, Pan Asia has the best spring rolls and lettuce wraps in town. And I love the Pan Asia-Up martini.

                Elyxir, in Lefleur's Plaza (by the Piccadilly) has excellent food. The redfish bruschetta is a favorite of mine.

                1. re: JaneWinston

                  Thank you. We're looking forward to our trip and it looks like there are some nice options.

                  1. re: JaneWinston

                    You saying spring rolls reminds me of the Crawfish Rolls at Old Venice!! Wow!! Talk about good!!!

                    I've gotten several recommendatons for a place in Madison...Atlanticia.

                    Anyone been there???

                    1. re: Uncle Bob

                      I've been to Atlantica once. It was good.

                  2. re: Uncle Bob

                    Schimmels is pretty good, but for the price I would go to Walker's.
                    I like Nagoya a lot; not quite as good as Sakura Bana / Little Tokyo but inexpensive and tasty.
                    Huntington's Grille is a typical expensive hotel restaurant...not a fan.

                    1. re: fat harry

                      If any of you guys haven't tried Spice Avenue, you are missing out. And don't say that you don't like Indian food. Go and order the butter chicken and have it prepared mild. You will love it.

                      I dragged two picky eaters to a great Indiian restaurant in New York one time and they loved it.

                  3. I stayed at the Cedar Grove Mansion (Vicksburg) and had room service...i thought the food was really good. I never visited the dining room, so i am not sure about service. Here's a link. There is definitely a regional flare to their menu.


                    2 Replies
                    1. re: iluvtennis

                      We were looking at the Cedar Grove Mansion website and it looked interesting except for the part where they say "If you are a light sleeper please note that we are near the railroad tracks". How was your room? Was it noisy? The turndown service sounded nice and their menu looked tasty.

                      1. re: mjtx

                        Hi...i stayed in the Mississippi Suite, which was very spacious with a spa tub. It's one of the riverview suites, but i didn't have a really good view of the river. It isn't in the main house...it is on the third floor of a seperate building on top of a hill. It was kind of creepy (not in an unsafe way, more like an old building, spooky kind of way), but i was 21 and staying alone. I love historic houses and hotels, so i enjoyed it. I don't recall noise being a problem at all, but again, i was not in the main house. And just so this post isn't totally off topic from food chat, the food they served really was good...and Vicksburg is quite limited when it comes to places to eat.

                    2. I livein Vicksburg and the best place for lunch or dinner is Anchuca. It is a beautiful B&B with excellent food and service. The dessert are to die for. It beats Cedar Grove hands down on quality and atmosphere. Make reservations. I also enjoy Rustys Riverfront Grill. You will normally have to wait there. When I have out of town guest, these are the two places that I always take them.

                      1. I'm not a V'burg resident (but close by) Thanks for the reminder about Anchuca B&B. It's been quite sometime since the last trip!

                        1. Which restaurants did you end up trying and how were they?

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: iluvtennis

                            Unfortunately we had to postpone the trip. We hope to go at a later date so we will try these restaurants when we go. I want to thank everyone for their suggestions.

                          2. I'm going to be driving through Jackson tomorrow (lunch time) and want to revive this thread to see if anything has changed. I'm really only interested in food that is particularly good in Jackson (ie. no ethnic food). What and where can I find some Jackson specialties (i'm not sure but maybe things like shrimp and grits, chicken and dumplings, catfish etc...)? Lastly, no BBQ as I'm from a good 'cue place. Thanks for the help everyone.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: demigodh

                              I agree with some of the folks above who mentioned Julep's in Jackson. Not exactly southern but good nevertheless. Try the friend green tomato and lump crab meat "napoleon" appetizer and check out the little bakery in the back for the cake of the day. Plan on getting the cake to go as it's usually a slice bigger than you can eat in one sitting!

                              1. re: autiger94

                                I can't handle the noise level at Julep.

                                Julep Restaurant and Bar
                                4500 I-55 North, Jackson, MS 39211

                            2. Sadly, Schimmel's closed its doors, apparently for good, a couple months ago.

                              I don't think any poster has yet mentioned Walnut Hills in Vicksburg. It's a fun place. Old-timey Southern cooking. It's one of those round-table restaurants that are, as far as I know, unique to Mississippi. You sit at a big round table with a big round lazy susan on it. They put platters and bowls of food on the lazy susan and you spin it and take what you want. Then you spin it again and take more. And again and again, until you wish you had stopped a couple spins ago, but you stagger out smiling and happy. (They also have blue plate specials if you're not in the mood to gorge yourself.)

                              In Jackson, and in season, you can get crawfish at the Crawdad Hole on Lakeland Drive just east of I-55. It's like going to a crawfish boil, sort of--very rustic, just the basics, picnic tables outdoors (although under cover, partly). It might be too late in the year now, though.

                              Hickory Pit on Old Canton Road, also just east of I-55, has excellent pulled pork BBQ.

                              Aladdin Mediterranean on Lakeland in Fondren is terrific for Middle Eastern food. It's BYOB, but there is a liquor store next door that will give you a discount if you're eating at Aladdin. (In Mississippi, liquor stores sell wine and spirits; if you want beer you must go to a grocery store or a gas station.)

                              Speaking of beer, the only craft brewer in the state (as far as I know), Lazy Magnolia, puts out wonderful beers, including Southern Pecan Brown Ale and a tasty stout. Many Jackson restos have them on tap.

                              Roosters in Fondren has pretty good burgers. You can get a really good burger at a place that I bet has never been mentioned on Chowhound before. It's called Sillers Cafe. It's downtown in the Sillers building on High Street, across the street from the Capitol (the new Capitol, that is) and just east of the Supreme Court building. It's run by the state and caters to state employees, but anyone can go. A hamburger is $3.25. It is made from scratch, by hand, by a guy who really knows how to cook a burger. The atmosphere is very sterile and institutional, though, so if you go, it'll be just for the burgers. (They also have a hot food line with Southern-style food like fried chicken and collard greens, etc., and a salad bar.)

                              Nick's is very good, as is Walker's, both already mentioned above. Ditto Hal & Mal's, a Jackson institution, although its appeal is as much the atmosphere, the vibe, and the music as the food. The tamales are good but nothing extraordinary. They do vary, depending on who is cooking and, I suspect, on how much fun they had the night before.

                              I do enjoy the Mayflower and the Elite.

                              For a more genteel experience, the Fairview Inn in Belhaven has a nice restaurant called Sophia's. Lunch there is not overly expensive, and it's good. The place is worth a visit, and you can stay there overnight too. Nice owners.

                              Hickory Pit
                              1491 Canton Mart Rd Ste Frnt, Jackson, MS 39211

                              2615 N State St, Jackson, MS 39216

                              Aladdin Mediterranean
                              730 Lakeland Dr, Jackson, MS 39216

                              Hal & Mal's Restaurant
                              200 Commerce St, Jackson, MS 39201

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: seefood

                                We ended up eating at Walnut Hills. The good news is that the food was delicious. The bad news is that we were seated at a table where the other diners had been there for awhile so the food had been sitting there and wasn't hot. When they did bring out hot dishes the food was great. If we are ever in the area again we will definitely eat there again, but would ask for a table where the other people had just arrived so that the food would be hot.

                                When we walked in we saw these delicious looking pies, but since the round table dining comes with dessert (pudding or cobbler) we didn't get to taste the pies.

                                1. re: seefood

                                  FYI, Hal n Mal's tamales are made by Tony's Tamale's on Woodrow Wilson by the medical mall.

                                  1. re: seefood

                                    This is a follow-up to my post of a couple years ago, in case anyone finds it. I write because of a couple changes in the Jackson restaurant scene.

                                    First, I mentioned Sillers Cafe above. It has changed ownership and the burgers are now lousy. Don't bother.

                                    Also, a new restaurant in Fondren called Babalu is now one of my very favorites. It is a tapas/tacos place, very hip and cool, with great food. They make their own tortillas. And the cocktails are on the cutting edge of the mixology movement. It's kind of noisy inside, but when the weather is nice, the outside seating provides a very pleasant place to sit and sip and dine.

                                    1. re: seefood

                                      Have lunch/dinner @ Rusty's River Front Grill @ 901 South Washington St., Vicksburg, MS 601 - 638 -2030.

                                      or @ Walnut Hills @ 1214 Adams Street, Vicksburg, MS 601 - 638 - 4910‎ for southern cooking.