Retro and Authentic: Brent’s Drugs

There’s no arguing that Brent’s Drugs is one of Jackson’s most visibly iconic spots.

Thanks to movies like “The Help” and magazines such as Vogue and Southern Living, audiences all over the country have become acquainted with the diner’s signature turquoise décor and retro neon signs. It’s challenging to find an article or feature written about Brent’s Drugs that doesn’t include the word “nostalgia” somewhere in the headline.

Brent’s style makes it an excellent fit for the historic Fondren District. It’s a fun and comfortable place to take out-of-town visitors. But underneath all the chrome and color, Brent’s Drugs is a neighborhood diner. And that brings with it a whole different set of expectations. The coffee should be good, but not fancy. Everything should come with a biscuit on the side and the option to add cheese.

Thankfully, Brent’s delivers on substance as well as style. The coffee, served in classic off-white diner mugs, is good enough to warrant several “warm-ups.” The biscuits are flaky, buttery, and delicious. And whether you order your eggs over-easy or scrambled (with cheese!), you won’t be disappointed.

There’s one other key element for a successful diner, especially one that adds the phrase “and soda fountain” to the name: the milkshake. It has to be perfect. After all, it’s the thing that ties the whole experience together: nostalgic, but not too kitschy. Delicious, but not too fancy. A perfect, frothy, creamy milkshake, mixed with a classic chrome soda fountain blender, consumed atop a brightly colored counter stool.

Once again, Brent’s nails it. Whether you choose a traditional flavor or something more unique—like bananatella—you’ll find that while the image of a milkshake with two straws might be retro and romantic, these are too good to share.

Retro décor and nostalgia are fun, and indeed, add some flair to the city. But at the end of the day, what most Jacksonians want is a classic, comfortable neighborhood diner. A place to kick back, run into a few friends, enjoy some comfort food, and relax.

If that’s what you’re looking for, look no further than Brent’s.

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