Every direction you look in Jackson, a locally owned restaurant is tempting you. Burgers beckon. Coneys call. Sandwiches summon. You can’t stand the test of time without good food, and many of these Jackson favorites have been around since the early 20th century — putting smiles and food splatters on faces since day one.
Coney Island Royalty
Coney Island restaurants go with Michigan like bread goes with butter. These chili-topped dogs (don’t forget the onions and mustard) are often associated with Detroit, but few know that the state’s first coney dog was actually cooked up right here in Jackson. Jackson Coney Island opened in 1914, three years before Detroit’s first, and hasn’t changed much in the past century — much to the approval of its patrons. It isn’t the only participant in this coney craze either. Virginia Coney Island and Rooster Coney Island both serve frankfurter classics and traditional American fare. You can even chow down on a coney dog while you shop at Alpha Coney Island, located within Jackson Crossing mall. For a different spin on the hot dog, check out the International Dog House for all sorts of bunned concoctions.
Old-Fashioned American Cuisine
You want American food? You got American food. Take a seat at Schlenkers’ U-shaped counter and order the legendary sirloin burger that’s been part of local lore since 1927. Roxy Café has also been perfecting comfort food since the 20s, and they still make a mean breakfast almost a century later. If you’re traveling to or from Jackson County Airport, Airport Restaurant & Spirits is always there to make up for that meal you forgot to eat before you left. And don’t forget a root beer and a chili cheese dog at Rudy's Drive In, which causes stomachs to rumble all winter long before it reopens every February.
A Bite of This, A Bite of That
West Texas Barbecue Co. is just as it says, a taste of the Lone Star State. But this isn’t just another roadside barbecue joint — they were voted MLive’s “Best BBQ in Michigan” in 2012. Grand River Brewery also specializes in Texas style BBQ, wood-fired pizzas and unique tastes that will have your tastebuds tingling. Klavon's Pizzeria & Pub gives visitors a taste of somewhere slightly further west: Chicago. Devour a deep-dish pizza while you watch the game on one of 30 TVs. And if you're looking for something more high end, savor Verita's fresh steak and seafood. They even have a sushi bar overlooking the busy streets of downtown. For something a little lighter, Beach Bar serves sandwiches, salads and cocktails right on Clark Lake’s scenic shore. Enjoy the sunset!
Watch a full plate of great tastes from Mlive - Six great spots for Tasty Eats