Two Sister's Kitchen whips up its signature fried chicken—lauded by Travel Channel and Food & Wine magazine as among the best in the country—in the kitchen of a historic home built in 1902. Six days a week, buffets and chafing dishes serve catfish, cornbread, biscuits, tomato gravy, and other Southern eats. Tables draped in flowered cloths fill the house's cozy dining rooms, and wrought-iron furniture crowns the outdoor patio. The front porch looks out at the capitol building, which serves as a reminder to abide the law about chewing with your mouth closed.
A local favorite, Stamps Superburger took third place in the Jackson Free Press’s Best of Jackson 2012 competition, winning accolades in both the Best Local Burger and Best Fries category. The original Superburger is a 12-ounce beef patty topped with lettuce, tomato, and pickles, but diners can customize theirs with an assortment of additional toppings including four kinds of cheese, grilled onions, and chili. Chefs will also swap in a turkey burger or substitute a really nice edited photo of a 6-ounce beef patty for lighter appetites. Orders of fresh-cut fries round out the meal—choose from lemon-pepper or Cajun seasoning or sweet potato fries.
Fried green tomatoes, cheese grits, and other classic Southern sides jazz up plates of upscale fare at The Copper Iris Catering Company, named for a metallically hued spring flower native to the Mississippi coastline. Sunlight streams through broad, front windows by day, and music performances send sound bouncing off the historic building's exposed brick walls on many nights. When not working together on the latest iteration of the seasonally rotating menu, owner Jonathan Lee and chef Olivia White often appear in person to advise guests on which dishes will best match their self-provided beverages—Copper Iris is BYOB—or carefully coordinated napkin rings.
Family-owned and operated through four generations, the Big Apple Inn continues to sate cravings for southern cooking with its signature pig-ear and smoked-sausage sandwiches highlighted in the Southern Foodways Alliance–produced documentary film Smokes and Ears. Owner Gene “Geno” Lee attracts epicures from all corners of the state to sample his moist and tender pig ears—thin slices of pressure-cooked pork smothered with mustard, slaw, and house-made hot sauce and served on slider buns. A bouquet of meaty aromas rises from the restaurant’s Red Rose smoked-sausage sandwiches, which cure the culinary blues with a grilled flavor unique to Mississippi.Open for more than 70 years, The Big Apple Inn once served as a home base of sorts for famous civil rights leader Medgar Evers. The restaurant maintains a laid-back, unassuming décor on humble Farish Street, with wood-paneled walls and a cozy dining room where repeat customers swap self-penned odes to pig ears as they pluck guitars with greasy fingers.
Winner of a 2011 OpenTable Diners' Choice Award, Sophia’s charms the most sophisticated palates with a gourmet menu of Southern-leaning dishes crafted from recipes and ingredients native to rural locales around the United States. Chef Gary Hawkins fills out the lunch menu with inventive starters such as sautéed Louisiana crab cakes ($10.95) and classic sandwiches such as the Gulf-oyster po’ boy with spicy remoulade ($9.50). Mouths watering for the textures of beef can stem the tide with braised short ribs served over grits or a tiny system of levees and dams ($14.95). For dinner, sautéed frog legs with smoked-tomato emulsion and fried asparagus ($12) or smoked Yazoo County catfish with asian noodles and pickled shiitake mushrooms ($10) enliven worldly appetites, while the Tanglewood Farms roast chicken with potato-asparagus hash beckons taste buds back to familiar turf amidst a chaotic world divided by trans-fat railroads ($23). Chewers can conclude their epicurean adventures with a slice of a Belgian milk-chocolate walnut tart with butterscotch-caramel sauce ($7).
Named one of the country’s best spots for fried chicken by USA Today and one of the country's top 50 wine experiences by Food & Wine magazine, Julep dishes up Southern-style fare with a distinctive upscale twist. Julep’s signature fried chicken—available as a breast or half chicken—arrives seasoned in honey and rosemary, skillet fried ’til crunchy, and sidekicked with red-skin mashed potatoes and blackened green beans ($12.95/$17.95). March your tooth troops toward the fried-green-tomato Napoleon, which consists of fried green tomatoes layered with crabmeat and Ryals goat cheese, then topped with lemon butter ($11.95). Down-home favorites such as crawfish etouffee ($12.95), blackened tuna filet ($14.95), and gulf shrimp and grits ($13.95) fill out the mélange of entrees. Finish your Southern-inspired meal with a drink from Julep's wide-ranging wine list, featuring wines for dinner, dessert, and for filling up the post-dessert piñata.