Small Plates and Tacos: Babalu Tapas & Tacos

Guac and chips

Known for their tableside guacamole, the Babarita, and shareable tapas, Babalu Tapas & Tacos in Fondren has been serving up deliciousness since 2010 and has since expanded to other cities.

Not only can you enjoy the guacamole in Jackson, but you can also find it in Memphis, Knoxville, Atlanta, Birmingham, Chapel Hill, and Lexington, Kentucky. Babalu is the perfect place for date night, birthday dinners, after-work drinks, brunch, and everything in between.

Starting your meal off with Babalu guac is a must. Their signature guacamole is made with 100% fresh Hass avocados, sun-dried tomatoes, red and green onions, salt, cilantro, and lime juice. If you’re feeling fancy, you can even add bacon and jalapenos for an extra kick. Guac comes served with delicious, homemade chips, or for a healthier option, ask for fresh veggies in the place of chips. Other appetizers include Pico De Gallo and Chips, Fried Calamari, Black-Eyed Pea Hummus, Chicken and Steak Skewers, and Queso Blanco – a blend of Monterey Jack and chihuahua cheeses served in a skillet.

While they are known for their tacos and tapas, Babalu also has tasty salads, burgers, and sandwiches that are also delicious. For a light meal, opt for the delicious Babalu Chopped Salad that comes topped with black beans, peppers, red onions, tomatoes, grilled corn, toasted pepitas, cotija cheese, and house lime vinaigrette. Or, choose the classic Caesar Salad. Guests can add avocado, chicken, or salmon to either salad. As for sandwiches and burgers, the Baba Burger reigns supreme. Complete with Angus beef, roasted roma tomato, caramelized onions, white cheddar cheese, avocado, bacon, and chipotle aioli served on a sourdough bun, there’s a reason why it’s one of Jackson’s favorite burgers. Other sandwiches include the Torta Cubana, Black Bean Burger, Lamb Slider, and the Tuna BLC, complete with bacon, arugula, cucumbers, and wasabi aioli.

One of Babalu’s most popular items is their tacos, especially on Tuesdays when all tacos are just $2 or any 3 for $9.99 every other day of the week. Tacos come served on Corn Masa Tortillas or Bibb Lettuce Cups and include fillings like roasted chicken, braised pork, crispy pork belly, chorizo, steak, fish, shrimp, cauliflower, and spicy seared tuna.

Along with tacos, the tapas at Babalu are also a popular choice with options like Grilled Chicken Skewers, Seasonal Catch, Skillet Shrimp, Churrasco Steak, Shrimp and Grits, Pan Seared Crab Cakes, Albondigas, Filet on a Stick, and Blackened Salmon. Each entrée comes served with their own sides, with options like broccolini, queso grits, Brussels sprouts, black beans and rice, Mexican street corn, and, a crowd favorite, Rosti Potatoes.

While the meals at Babalu are always delicious, the drinks are just as good, and the menu is just as extensive. The Baba Rita, their signature margarita, comes with triple sec, fresh sour, Patron Blanco, and a touch of pomegranate juice. Other margaritas include the Notorious P.I.N.K that includes Cazadores tequila, pink rosé, blood orange, strawberry, and fresh sour; the Mojarita that includes mint and lime; and the Mango Coco-Jito with Bacardi coconut rum, mango, mint, and lime. If you’re not into tequila, choose from cocktails like the La Paloma, Baba Breeze, Cuban Cigar, or the Lemon Berry Sour, complete with Grey Goose, fresh-squeezed sour, blackberry, and raspberry. Sangria lovers are in luck with Babalu’s house-made red, white, and rosé sangrias – also available in pitchers for the whole table to share or a flight of four.

Though Babalu is perfect for lunch or dinner, their social hour is also a huge hit in Jackson. With discounted snacks and drinks, the porch at Babalu is the perfect place to relax with a glass of sangria on a pretty afternoon for a social hour. The social hour menu is available Monday through Thursday from 3 to 6 p.m. Enjoy flights of tequila or sangria for $10 or a beer flight for just $6. Bites include any taco for $3, queso blanco fries, black bean fritters, slider trio, a dessert sampler, or Babalu’s best dips with guac, pico de gallo, and black-eyed pea hummus. Other drink specials include sangria for $4, 14-ounce draft beers for $4, house wine for $5, well drinks for $5, and house margaritas for just $6.

On weekends, head to Babalu for brunch until 3 p.m. each Saturday and Sunday. First and foremost, choose your brunch beverage: a bloody Mary or a mimosa. Build your own cocktail tableside for the full brunch experience. Brunch dishes include Steak and Eggs, Chicken and Waffles, Crab Cake Benedict, or Dulce De Leche French Toast.

No matter the event or occasion, Babalu offers the perfect atmosphere and dishes for any crowd. Check out Babalu in Fondren next time you’re in the area. If you haven’t already been, you’ll be back for more. Be sure to check them out on Facebook and Instagram for seasonal food and drink specials, too.

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Paige McKay

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI is a food magazine dedicated to sharing Mississippi's passion for food with the world. From local chefs making their culinary mark to the many great restaurants this state has to offer, Mississippi's hospitality shines through in the pages of this magazine. It is our desire to preserve our culinary heritage and inspire today's cooks with a new passion for cooking and eating. All opinions expressed in this post are the opinions of the writer and not necessarily those of Sipp Jackson.

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