In honor of Black History Month, Jackson Foodies curator Carlyn Hicks has compiled a list of the top ten must-eat black-owned restaurants in Jackson based on their menu originality, unique cuisine and some incredible reviews from Jackson Foodies around town.
Godfrey’s – 2460 Terry Road
This Caribbean restaurant has breathed new life into South Jackson with a menu guaranteed to give you an explosion of flavors for your palate. Voted Best New Restaurant in the 2020 Best of Jackson Awards, it is safe to say it’s no secret this is number one on our Jackson Foodies list. Foodie favorites include the jerk chicken, curry goat, spring rolls, and the Reggae punch. Check them out on Thursday nights for live music and Saturday mornings for an island worthy brunch.
Bully’s Soul Food – 3118 Livingston Road
This soul food restaurant is not without its fair share of accolades and notable culinary features, and rightly so. The James Beard Award-Winning restaurant rises to the top among its peers in taste and treasure, with travelers coming from near and far to “taste the South” at Bully’s. You are guaranteed to be treated with signature southern hospitality while you enjoy some fantastic food prepared with love and care. Foodie favorites include the turkey necks, mixed greens, fried green tomatoes, pork chops and neckbones.
Johnny T’s Bistro & Blues – 938 North Farish Street
Johnny T’s is the perfect stop if you’re looking for a place to enjoy incredible food, cocktails, and good music for dinner. From their signature Cajun seafood pasta to their shrimp toast appetizers and wing platters, there’s something for everyone’s taste buds. If you’re looking for even more wind down time, you can enjoy the breeze while sipping bourbon on the back patio or in the separate lounge area – The Renaissance Room – above the restaurant. Foodie favorites include the shrimp and grits, Cajun seafood pasta and shrimp toast.
Gumbo Girl – 5681 MS-18
Gumbo Girl has some of the best gumbo around town. Don’t believe us? Just ask any local in the Jackson area, and you will soon discover why this gem has held the coveted title of Best Gumbo in Jackson for years in a row since they joined the culinary scene. They make fresh batches of this liquid goodness every Tuesday through Saturday for lunch or dinner. The goodness does not stop at gumbo, however. Foodie favorites include the turkey neck pot, seafood pot, surf and turf burger and the tacos.
Sugar’s Place Downtown – 168 Griffith Street
Sugar’s Place Downtown is another must-stop on any foodie’s list, any day of the week for breakfast or lunch. Holding the distinction of pleasing the taste buds of notable Chef Carla Hall and Jackson’s own Enrika Williams, Sugar’s Place charms your foodie senses with its simple daily menu and consistent “tried and true” specials from week to week. Stop in to get your day started with a hot breakfast or settle in for a real treat in their ever-popular chicken and waffles. Foodie favorites include the chicken and waffles, the catfish and shrimp plate, the baked chicken and the chicken tetrazzini.
Big Apple Inn – 509 North Farish Street
Big Apple Inn is not a New York diner, and it’s not bed and breakfast, so if you’re trying to figure it out from the name alone, you will not have much luck guessing what foodie goodness awaits you there. Pig ear sandwiches, anyone? If this is not something you’d typically include on your foodie must-haves, we say please don’t knock it until you try it. When you try it, know that you’re biting into a bit of Jackson’s history that is uniquely our own. Big Apple Inn has been featured in Ripley’s Believe It or Not, and you can believe these sandwiches are a hit with locals. They also offer turkey tamales and smoked sausage sandwiches you will not find anywhere else. Foodie favorites include smoked sausage sandwiches, bologna sandwiches and hot tamales.
Stamps Superburger – 1801 Dalton Street
If you are looking for a great burger in town, look no further than Stamps Superburger. It’s big, it’s messy and it’s good. There are no frills or fluff at Stamps, just great burgers grilled to your desired temperature and topped with whatever your heart desires. With beef and turkey options that are equally as flavorful and juicy, this place is a must-stop for the traditional burger lover as well as those looking for all of the flavor and some of the guilt. A staple in the community, much like many of the restaurants in this listing, Stamps has thrived on keeping things simple with their signature burgers and fresh hand-cut fries. Foodie favorites include the super turkey burger with lemon pepper fries.
Eddie’s & Ruby’s Snack Bar – 1268 Valley Street
There’s a lot more happening here than a snack bar. If ever a place deserved the southern designation of “fish house,” Eddie’s and Ruby’s is it. With fish sandwiches the size of fish platters, you get more than your money’s worth. Their fish sandwich and dinner offerings include catfish, pan trout (or whiting) and buffalo fish. Each order is prepared fresh, so expect a bit of a wait. Rest assured, it is totally worth it. After all, there’s only one way to eat fish in our town and that’s “hot and fresh” any day of the week. Foodie favorites include the catfish sandwich, pan trout dinner fried hard and the mixed meal.
1693 Red Zone Grill – 1693 Beasley Road
Craving New Orleans zest and flavor in Jackson? 1693 Red Zone Grill has you covered. Whether it is red beans and rice, shrimp towers or Cajun pasta, you can find that and more. If you are ready for a party in your mouth any day of the week for lunch or dinner, then head to 1693 Red Zone Grill for one of their signature dishes, daily specials or even a custom culinary creation fit for a queen… a foodie queen. Foodie favorites include the loaded fries, red beans and rice with fried chicken wings and Philly cheese steak egg rolls.
Fred’s Soul Food – 930 Palmyra Street
We know, on the surface, it looks like another soul food restaurant has claimed a spot on this must-eat list. However, Fred’s Soul Food holds the distinction on this list as being your absolute go-to for a good old fashion country breakfast your parents would write home about. With the convenience of opening at 6 a.m. for those on the early commute, Fred’s has an extensive menu with everything ranging from salmon croquettes and buttered rice to fried bologna and eggs. It is convenient and straightforward – and always made with love at Fred’s. Foodie favorites include the salmon croquettes and buttered rice, full breakfast platter and the pancakes.