Best Place for Crawfish: Crawdad Hole
1150 Lakeland Drive, 601-982-9299
The Crawdad Hole's existence makes lazy summer weekends in Jackson automatically better. When the days heat up and Louisiana fishermen start sending up those tiny delicious red crustaceans, the Crawdad Hole's season to shine begins.
The restaurant serves crawfish—or crayfish, crawdads, mudbugs or lil' lobsters, depending on the slang you prefer—by the pound with piping hot corn, potatoes and Cajun sausage. Shrimp, crab legs, gumbo and boiled peanuts round out the simple-but-memorable menu. The eatery is open Wednesday through Sunday during crawfish season and is BYOB, which makes it a favorite of big groups looking to socialize around a cooler of brews on a Saturday.
On some nights, Crawdad Hole also hosts live music, and it has held an annual Crawdad Music Festival in years past, featuring musicians such as Jimbo Mathus & the Tri-State Coalition, Rocket 88 and South Memphis String Band.
Quirky and vintage signs decorate the interior as well as the courtyard outside, but in the end, it's the food people come for. That's why Crawdad Hole proudly proclaims that it serves "the best bugs in the biz!"—Kathleen M. Mitchell
Second: The Crawfish Hut (6956 Old Canton Road, Ridgeland, 601-956-3474) / Third: Mudbugs Crawfish and Catering (1299 Old Fannin Road, Brandon, 601-992-5225)