City Guide: Jackson, MS

by Stephanie

City Guide: Jackson, MS

Today’s Jackson, MS City Guide comes to us from lifestyle blogger and the maker behind Fat Eye Design, Shana Bearden. As the founder of Tipsy Studio, she uses her professional and personal experience to help other designers build their brands. Having recently returned to Jackson, Mississippi, she has rediscovered her passion for the city’s southern charm and unique cultural heritage. Today she shares a bit about this southern city she calls home. Thanks for the lovely guide, Shana! – Stephanie

Read the full guide after the jump…


Mississippi is like a good cocktail. You have to drink it slowly, and savor its layers and simplicity. There is a great appreciation of traditions and history here. So many places will make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time, and so many creatives use this atmosphere as a foundation for new endeavors. We mix the best of the old and the new for something truly special. You are sure to experience these charms for yourself when you visit Jackson, Mississippi.

Check out the Google Map with the below listings! 

Neighborhood – Downtown 


Old Capitol Inn – This boutique hotel in the heart of Downtown has a variety of suites named after Mississippi towns and famous citizens like William Faulkner. Its rooms offer a unique blend of classic and modern design. Enjoy a daily southern breakfast, and treat yourself to the wine and cheese cocktail hour.

King Edward Hotel – Experience modern comforts mixed with rich history at this newly restored hotel. Originally known as the Edwards Hotel when it opened in 1923, it features the King Edward bar, Pavilion Pantry and the King Edward Grill.


Parlor Market – Named after the grocery store the building housed back in 1898, the Parlor Market serves southern food with a local ethnic flare. They specialize in local produce and cured meats, so be sure to try some Mississippi farm raised catfish or delectable Gulf shrimp.

Bruno’s Adobo – Mississippi’s first certified green restaurant. Luis Bruno, the former executive chef of the Governor’s Mansion, creates healthy dishes with his own Latin and Caribbean flare. They have lots of gluten free and vegetarian options. I like the Louie Tabouli quinoa salad and the smoked chili hummus wrap.


The Eudora Welty House – Visit the family home of the Pulitzer Prize wining author Eudora Welty, where she lived until her death in 2001. The home is unique in that it has remained untouched since 1986, when she donated the home and all of its contents to the state of Mississippi.

The Old Tavern – Known locally as George Street Grocery. It’s the same store the Welty family did their shopping in, and it is featured in Eudora’s story, “The Little Store.”

The Mississippi Museum of Art / Pallet Cafe – See the exhibition and collections at the MMA. Have lunch at the Viking Pallet Cafe in the art garden. The museum hosts many fun after-hours events, so be sure to check their calendar.


Thimble Press – Letterpress and printed goods, from DIY kits to wall art, run by the artist herself, Kristen Ley. Find unique gifts like her state flower series or push-pop confetti. She will even let you take a peak at her press, a vintage 10 x 15 Chandler + Price made in 1925.

Old House Depot – For a unique shopping experience, visit this architectural salvage warehouse. You never know what treasures you will find for your next project.

Neighborhood – Fondren


Rainbow Co-Op / High Noon Cafe – Full service organic and natural foods grocery. They have a large natural healing selection with a knowledgeable staff. Grab an all-organic vegetarian lunch to go, or dine in the High Noon Cafe, the only co-op restaurant in the state.

Babalu Tacos & Tapas– They serve gourmet tacos and Spanish style tapas. Their Babalu Burger was voted the best in the Jackson area by readers of Eat Jackson. Watch “I Love Lucy” reruns projected on the wall while you sip a Baba Rita. Their guacamole is a must-try! It’s made fresh at your table, and it’s absolutely delicious.

Campbell’s Bakery – Try gluten free Fridays for sweet treats that taste just like their more traditional counterparts. Delicious baked goods and a fun location will make you feel like a kid all over again.

Brent’s Drugs– Brent’s Drugs has been serving burgers and shakes, lemonade, malts and floats made to order since 1946. The pharmacy section has closed, but the store itself continues to be a staple of the Fondren district.


Fondren Public – A great new place to try local beers and liquors. Play shuffleboard, bocce or watch the big screen on their huge patio. I like the Mississippi Mule made with ginger beer and Mississippi-made Cathead Honeysuckle vodka.

Walker’s Drive Inn – A longtime Jackson favorite with its charming vintage exterior and art deco interior, Walker’s is a great destination for date night. But don’t miss out on lunch on the patio with their delectable blue-plate specials.

Apothecary – Nestled in the back of Brent’s Drugs and named one of the best new bars in the South by Gun and Garden, Apothecary’s interior decor and menu are inspired by the former pharmacy and soda shop. They specialize in pre-prohibition craft cocktails with hand squeezed juices and homemade tonics. Every drink is amazing, but try the Vanilla Argentina for an after dinner drink. It’s an adult ice cream float, and it is delicious.


Fondren After 5 – Held on the first Thursday of each month, Fondren After 5 is a perfect excuse to take a stroll through this historic neighborhood. Once you eat, drink and visit local galleries to the sound of live music, you’ll never want to leave.

Chane – Studio Chane t-shirt lab, Soma Wilai, and Swellophonic clothing boutiques occupy this building, with goods curated and made by local artist Ron Chane.


Neighborhood – Belhaven


Fairview Inn – Stay in this historic bed and breakfast housed in a 1908 colonial revival mansion. Have a drink named after your favorite author in the library lounge, and enjoy the beautiful curated gardens.


Basil’s 904 – Panini pesto, salads and wood fired pizza. You must try the Belhaven Pizza. The creamy pesto sauce is simply scrumptious.

Keifers – This has been a hot lunch spot in Jackson for over 30 years. They serve some of the best authentic Greek food in the state. I love their falafel, and their feta sauce is so good it has its own club!

The Manship Wood Fired Kitchen – Fresh local food cooked over a wood fire with Mediterranean influence. You can’t get this anywhere else.


Notable People

Avery Nejam – designer and owner of Trendy Vendy

Colin Owen – Founder of the Urban Mobility Initiative and Sparse.

Eudora Welty – Pulitzer Prize winning author.

William Goodman Mixed media artist.

Suggested For You


  • It’s nice to see Design Sponge cover the city I grew up in and the neighborhood I went to school. There were spring days when skipping school included lunch at Brent’s Drugs.

  • This post is making me nostalgic for the city I grew up in! If you go downtown to the art museum, may I suggest you go to Steve’s Uptown cafe on Lamar Street (they also have another location on Congress St.) They catered our wedding and the Senagalese Peanut Chicken soup is TO DIE FOR. Happy to see this guide on D*S! :)

  • Yay! As a current Mississippian I am so excited to see this. I refer to the Nashville city guide often and now I can’t wait to try out some of these places. Babalu’s is the best!!

  • How exciting! I’m visiting my parents in Jackson right now; I grew up here. Fun to see my hometown featured! (To be fair, the Eudora Welty House is in Belhaven – so there’s at least ONE thing to do here)

  • Feels like coming home! Some real gems on this list — some I know, some I’ll have to add to my next visit. Babalu has, hands down, the best guacamole, even surpassing Liberace’s recipe, which is saying something.

    That said, above all else, Jackson really is an eating town. If anyone reading this is planning a trip, I suggest you lead up with a week of light salad and Eudora Welty. Come hungry and ready to wallow in the flavor of it all. This awesome list will keep you busy for days, but if you have more time can day trip to Oxford or Natchez. What treasures abound!

    Also of note for visitors – Hal & Mal’s for live music and fried pickles. Don’t ask. It’s touristy but it needs to happen.

  • Thank you for this lovely article on Jackson, MS! As a recent transplant to Jackson, I have quickly fallen in love with this city. I hope this encourages more people to visit Mississippi’s capital city!

  • Thanks for writing this guide about Jackson! Adobo is honored to have been included. I have been reading design sponge for years.~ Aimee, gen mgr

  • I was excited when I saw the title since im from the area, but really disappointed with this list. Exception is Chane because those shops were my high school hang out.