by Rebecca Fending
New year, new budget.
That doesn’t have to mean eating out less, but rather eating out for less. Finding a tasty lunch in Jackson for under $10 is easier than you think.
Here are just a few restaurants where you can find your midday pick-me-up for a great price.
Basil’s – 120 N Congress St
Located in downtown Jackson, two blocks from the state capitol, Basil’s is serving up fresh paninis, pasta and desserts under $10 every weekday.
A few of Basil’s star paninis are the “Turkarella” (turkey, fresh mozzarella, Roma red tomatoes and pesto mayo), “The Slam” (ham, salami, fresh mozzarella, roasted red bell peppers, pesto mayo and olive salad), and “Prime Rib” (roasted bell peppers, provolone cheese and horseradish mayo).
Feeling adventurous? Try “The Elvis,” a peanut butter and banana panini that pairs perfectly with a glass of cold milk. You’ll thank us – very much.
If you’re looking to eat lighter, opt for one of their salads, including pasta salad, priced at $8. Dressings range from comeback to champagne vinaigrette.
The restaurant has a sister location in Fondren.
Corner Market – Fondren, LeFleur East and Belhaven
A Mississippi-owned company headquartered just down 49 in Hattiesburg, Corner Market (once McDade’s) offers fresh lunches at their deli.
Corner Market’s most popular lunch item is their plate lunch – a meat portion with two sides and cornbread for $5.99.
The store has a great recipe and the execution down to a science for the fried chicken. It is called “spectacular” in the words of several staff members and regular luncheon customers, a must-try if you’re wondering which entree to choose for your plate.
There is always a pile of your typical blue plate sides to choose from, like black-eyed peas, green beans, cabbage and mac ‘n’ cheese. And if all this wasn’t enough, every Friday, Corner Market also serves catfish plates for $6.99.
Jason’s Deli– 1067 E County Line Rd
Offering pickup or delivery, gluten-free and vegetarian options, Jason’s Deli is your one-stop, family-owned shop for lunch at a great price, from half sandwiches stacked high with deli meat and fresh veggies to penne with meatballs.
Looking for something easy to grab on a busy day? Choose one of their many sandwiches, including their Santa Fe chicken sandwich with grilled chicken, bacon, Swiss cheese, guacamole, tomato and Thousand Island dressing on multi-wheat bread. If you’re more in the mood for a muffuletta, try the half Ham and Salami muffuletta for just $8.89.
With salads aplenty for just $9.29, Jason’s has bowls like the Mesa Chicken salad with chicken breast, greens, cheddar, grape tomatoes, avocado and roasted corn and black beans with a jalapeno ranch dressing. Not finding a salad you’d like from their pre-made selection? Make your own with their full-service salad bar and take it to go.
And if you’re looking for a fresh, handmade wrap, you’re in luck. Jason’s can transform any salad into a wrap for $8 to $9.
Update: Jason’s Deli permanently closed in summer 2021
Aplos – Highland Village
This Jackson favorite is known for their terrific selection of fresh Mediterranean dishes for lunch and dinner, and they have several plates that are sure to satisfy your lunchtime rumbles.
Their fresh gyros are priced at $9 and feature grilled chicken or traditional gyro meat topped with fresh lettuce, tomato, red onion, feta and tzatziki. Or, try their traditional falafel wrap topped with romaine, baby kale, marinated cabbage, tomato and Schug tahini on Arabic bread, all for only $8, a perfect lunch for anyone on-the-go.
If you love the classics, Aplos’ $9 adult chicken tenders plate features five freshly fried tenders with a side of fries or fresh fruit.
In the mood for pizza? Their Margherita, quattro formaggi and large cheese wood-fired pizzas are $10 each and feature freshly made dough and gooey melted cheese with a crispy, crusty edge.
Aplos also has an array of vegetarian-friendly options on a budget. From lighter or shareable dishes like their traditional hummus plate served with your choice of veggies, pita, or a mix of the two, to their house-made pimento cheese served with pita chips or veggies, both are priced at only $6.
Logan Farms – 1220 E Northside Dr #250
There’s no shortage of $10 lunch options at Logan Farms, from customizable sandwiches starting at $6 to blue plates for $8.50.
Logan Farms’ classic gumbo, salad and bread lunch is a popular option, and it’s not hard to figure out why. For just $8.50, you get a cup of their chicken and andouille sausage gumbo, romaine salad and bread.
For po’boy lovers, Logan Farms offers ham, turkey, roast beef or shrimp po’boys at $5 for a half or $7 for a whole. Pair your sandwich with one of their homemade casserole sides or a cup of the soup of the day to round out the meal.
When you need something quick, pick up a box lunch with options like a tuna salad or roast beef sandwich with chips and a cookie. If you have more time, build your own baked potato with many toppings and meats.
Mr. Chen’s – 5465 I-55 North
Featuring fabulously authentic Chinese cuisine, Mr. Chen’s has a number of bargain lunch options.
Daily from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., the restaurant’s lunch menu features dishes – all priced under $7.50 – including sesame chicken, Mongolian beef, cashew shrimp and pad thai, each served with steamed rice or egg fried rice and an egg roll.
Mr. Chen’s has several appetizers for $5 and under, allowing you to order a personalized snacking menu for lunch.
Craving noodles? Try Mr. Chen’s chow or lo mein options priced at just $8.95. They also offer stir-fried rice noodle options – made fresh daily – with chicken, pork, beef or shrimp.
If you lean more towards chicken or pork options, Mr. Chen’s has entrees, including chicken and broccoli, and Kung Pao and bamboo pork, just under $10 with fresh options like basil or cilantro chicken.
For vegetarian diners, Mr. Chen’s has a tofu menu that includes traditional dishes such as home-style braised tofu, fried tofu with dipping sauce and Mapo tofu, each for only $8.95.
All entrees come with a side of white rice, making your meal both delicious and sure to help you power through the rest of your day.
Aladdin – 730 Lakeland Dr
Another delicious Mediterranean-style restaurant with vegetarian approved dishes, Aladdin offers Jackson a fresh, fast, and affordable lunch option with many dishes under $10.
With all but one of their appetizers being well below $10, mix and match to make a sampler spread for yourself. Their traditional fresh hummus makes great friends with the meat or vegetable dolmas – grape leaves rolled and stuffed with rice, spices and with or without beef – served with tzeki sauce.
All Aladdin salads and sandwiches are priced below $9, and don’t skimp out on the flavor or serving size. Their Greek salad is topped with garlic shrimp atop a bed of fresh romaine, tomatoes, cucumbers, black olives, feta cheese and Italian house dressing. The chicken or lamb kebab sandwiches come with tzeki sauce, romaine lettuce, and tomatoes and are priced at only $5.49.
Feeling more American-fare? Aladdin also serves a cheeseburger (some say, one of the best in town), prepared with Arabic pickles, mayonnaise, mustard, American cheese, romaine lettuce and tomatoes, as well as a Philly Steak sandwich. That comes with grilled thin slices of sirloin with bell peppers, onions, topped with swiss cheese, mayonnaise, mustard, romaine lettuce and tomatoes.
Vegetarian or vegan options abound here. Aladdin offers a sauteed vegetable plate, made with a mix of squash, zucchini, carrots, celery and mushrooms, sauteed in olive oil and garlic, served over a bed of basmati. Priced at $9.89, this makes the perfect plate for anyone looking to get more vegetables into their diet in the new year or those following a plant-based diet.