Sometimes living on a college budget in Jackson, with its many great restaurants and bars, can be frustrating. But you can enjoy great food and drink t without breaking the bank.
Some of the best (and most expensive) Jackson restaurants offer lunch specials that allow you to try the quality of food that you would get at dinner for a fraction of the price. Char (4500 Interstate 55 N., Suite 142, 601-956-9562) has burgers and sandwiches for under $10 and daily lunch specials from $9-12, with a main course like fried chicken or red beans and rice, served with two vegetables like cornbread dressing or smashed sweet potatoes.
Among several affordable large salad and sandwich choices, Walker's Drive In (3016 N. State St., 601-982-2633) has a daily blue-plate special that includes a main course and two vegetables for only $8. Another way to get your money's worth at lunch is a buffet. Two Sisters Kitchen (707 N. Congress St., 601-353-1180) offers a southern buffet for $12.50, which includes to-die-for fried chicken.
Try one of Jackson's early-bird specials to get the same great food at a reduced price. At Broad Street Baking Company and Café (4465 Interstate 55 N., 362-2900) you can get 15 percent off of your order between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. Broad Street's sister restaurant, Sal & Mookie's New York Pizza & Ice Cream Joint (565 Taylor St., 601-368-1919), offers a similar 15 percent off deal from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. The popular Italian restaurant Amerigo (6592 Old Canton Road, Ridgeland, 601-977-0563) offers several entrees, like lasagna, for only $9 if you order between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.
One way to enjoy dinner and drinks with your friends, and still save some money, is to go to a restaurant and bring your own wine. Thai House (1405 Old Square Road, 601-982-9991) can satisfy all of our cravings for spicy food, has several vegetarian options and lets you bring your own wine. Basil's in Belhaven (904 East Fortification St., 601-352-2002) has teamed up with Kat's Wine & Spirits (921 E. Fortification St., 601-354-9181) to give you a double discount. If you go to Kat's and tell them your wine purchase is for your dinner at Basil's they will give you 10 percent off (cash only). Bon Ami (1220 E. Northside Drive, 601-982-0405) has a BYOB policy, which sets itself up for the perfect date night, allowing you to treat your date to a nice dinner with drinks while saving some money by bringing your own wine.
Most bars in Jackson offer happy-hour specials, which is a cheap way to start off your night out on the town. Pi(e) Lounge (inside Sal & Mookie's, 565 Taylor St., 601-368-1919) definitely has the quirkiest happy hour: it's Tuesday-Friday from 3:14-6:28 p.m. and offers 31.415 percent off of drinks, cocktails, wine and beer. Enjoy Que Sera Sera's (2801 N. State St., 601-981-2520) happy hour with friends on the patio Monday-Friday from 3:30-6:30 p.m., which includes two-for-one Bud Lite and Miller Lite drafts, $1 off well drinks and $3 margaritas. Fenian's Irish Pub (901 E. Fortification St., 601-948-0055) is a Jackson landmark with great happy hour deals. Tuesday-Thursday from 3-7 p.m. Fenian's has half-off domestic bottle beer, well drinks and wine, and Monday-Friday $1 off the same.