9 Casual Dining Spots in Laurel & Jones County

When you’re in Laurel and Jones County, Mississippi, there’s so much to do and see! Whether taking photos, discovering our unique history, shopping our boutiques and name-brand stores, or exploring the great outdoors, you’re sure to work up an appetite in our hometown. Lucky for you, there are casual meals served up deliciously at these must-try restaurants throughout Laurel and Jones County!

 

Eat Like a Local at our Must-Try Casual Restaurants

These destination-worthy restaurants are some of the top-mentioned by our Facebook and Instagram fans – and for good reason! Dishing up seafood, comfort food, breakfast, desserts, and so much more, Laurel and Jones County’s casual restaurants offer varied selections to curb whatever you’re craving!

9 Casual Dining Spots in Laurel and Jones County - Pearl's Diner

Pearl’s Diner

Pearl’s Diner

At Pearl’s Diner, you’ll find Ms. Pearl serving up tasty renditions of classic soul food. From fried chicken and collard greens to mac & cheese and banana pudding. She loves catching up with her customers when they come in so don’t hesitate to strike up a conversation while you’re there. If she’s not in, don’t worry, you can catch her serving up her famous dishes on HGTV’s Home Town in Season 2! Beat the rush by getting there early on the weekends and listen to some live music while you wait. Come for the food, stay for that small town hospitality!

 

9 Casual Dining Spots in Laurel and Jones County - Bird Dog Café

Bird Dog Café

Bird Dog Café

As seen on Season 4 of HGTV’s Home Town, Bird Dog Café is the Bell brothers way of giving back to their hometown of Laurel. The café features everything from lattes and scones to soups, chicken salad, and decadent dinner dishes. Truffled short rib pot pie anyone? Check out their Facebook page for specials.

 

Corn Dog 7

Dining at Corn Dog 7 is like being able to eat fair food even when the fair isn’t in town! Funnel cakes, corn dogs, seasoned fries, and fresh squeezed lemonade. It’s #BetterThanGood.

 

320 Fifth Street

If you like your dinner with a side of live music, add 320 Fifth Street to your itinerary! Casual dining and live music every Friday and Saturday night! Looking for a Sunday brunch spot? This is your place!

 

9 Casual Dining Spots in Laurel and Jones County - Lee's Coffee & Tea

Lee’s Coffee & Tea

Lee’s Coffee & Tea

Our walkable Downtown Laurel offers many dining establishments, and Lee’s Coffee & Tea is a must-stop! While perfect for a breakfast drink or afternoon caffeine jolt, this coffee shop is just as well-known for their delicious lunch offerings. Does Lee’s have the best pimento cheese in Laurel? You be the judge!

 

PDI / Phillip’s Drive-In

If you’re looking for a burger and fries, definitely swing through the drive through at PDI / Phillip’s Drive-in. A local icon, the PDI is known for burgers, shakes, and all the nostalgia of a classic American drive-in!

9 Casual Dining Spots in Laurel and Jones County - Bosun Joe's of Ellisville

Bosun Joe’s of Ellisville

Bosun Joe’s of Ellisville

Looking for more Southern cuisine? Try family-owned and operated, Bosun Joe’s of Ellisville. Fried catfish, po’ boys, turnips, and delicious four layer homemade cakes by the slice (or whole!).

 

The 5000

When it comes to delicious dining options, brick and mortar eateries aren’t the only option. The 5000 food truck offers signature sandwiches, salads, gourmet grilled cheeses, and specials for lunch (and dinner some nights). Don’t miss their Saturday breakfast!

 

Touted as some of the best dining spots in Mississippi by Mississippi Magazine’s reader poll, our local eateries are ready to for dine-in, outdoor dining, and takeout for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! For a full list of restaurants in Laurel and Jones County, MS, be sure to check out our Eat Page.  

 

Couples Getaway: A Romantic Weekend in Laurel & Jones County

Looking for a weekend escape full of charm, relaxation and small-town hospitality? From laid back and romantic to lively and entertaining, Laurel and Jones County has something that every couple will enjoy.

Where to Stay?

Couples Getaway Weekend - Grandiflora Bed & Breakfast

Grandiflora Bed & Breakfast

Laurel and Jones County has found the perfect way to combine romance and history throughout their area and while it might sound crazy to some, it definitely works for visitors looking for that ideal getaway. If you head down to Laurel’s charming historic district, you will find the Grandiflora Bed & Breakfast. Built in the early 1900’s, this luxury Bed & Breakfast will take you back in time with antique décor and vintage furniture, at the same time providing its guest with modern amenities to make your stay the most enjoyable.

Wanting to connect a more with nature (and maybe as a couple)? Do some camping at Big Creek Water Park or Lake Bogue Homa. Both with scenic views and a mild climate all year round, you’re always able to take in the countryside and enjoy a romantic picnic while you’re at! These outdoor sites are just a few of the hidden treasures Laurel and Jones County has to offer.

Other travel and lodging can be viewed here.

 

Date Night

Be sure to make a good impression and book those reservations in advance. Not sure where to start? We’ve got you covered! Laurel’s own, Café La Fleur is a local favorite inspired by the Cajun experience and definitely a place you’ll want to experience for yourself! With classic Cajun fare and homemade desserts, it’s easy to see why people can’t get enough of this local restaurant.

If you’re looking for tasty, innovative dishes, make sure to check out Edgar’s Steakhouse, located in the Dixie Golf Club. Go for lunch and try their blue-plate special if you’re looking for an all-in-one meal or really impress your date and go all out with a perfectly hand cut steak.  And don’t leave without trying their homemade praline bread pudding! We always like to end the night with something sweet.

 

The Loft Restaurant

The Loft

 

Sit back and relax while you enjoy some live music when you dine at The Loft on Central Ave. Steak and seafood are their specialties and you’ll never leave hungry! Having a more upscale feel, The Loft will be sure to impress any date and may even land you a second!

View our other dining options here.

 

A Weekend Full of Fun

Looking for something to bond over but that won’t break the bank? Then the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art, might be the perfect place for you and that special someone. Luckily for visitors, the LRMA has countless collections and multiple exhibitions throughout the year that anyone can enjoy.

If you’re wanting something a little more “hands on” look no further than HAND + Made. You’ll find a little bit of everything at this interactive retail and studio and be able to see what makes it unique to Laurel and Jones County. From apparel and take home diy kits to classes offered right there at the studio, they definitely know how to add a personal touch.

 

Couples Getaway Weekend Ideas - 320 Fifth Street

320 Fifth Street

Although we love experiencing new things, music is something we can always count on to bring people closer and Laurel and Jones County have just the spot! Throughout the year you can support local artists and head down to 320 Fifth Street for some live music and good times! No matter how you choose to spend your time in Laurel and Jones County, you can always count on it be memorable. If those don’t strike your fancy, we suggest other fun filled activities you might enjoy such as shopping in Laurel and Ellisville or testing your luck at Bok Homa Casino!

 

Experience a Laurel & Jones County, Mississippi Winter Weekend Escape

If you’re looking to experience an affordable weekend away this winter, Laurel and Jones County Mississippi are a winter wonderland of Southern proportions. When you visit for a winter getaway, you’ll be sure to find a plethora of unique history, local shopping, and Southern charm!

Grab a cup of coffee during a Winter Weekend in Laurel MS

Sip Something Brewed

Mississippi weather is typically pretty mild, so when the temperatures drop (even if only slightly), grabbing a hot cup of coffee or tea is a must. Our local coffee shops are always brewing up something delicious. Grab a cup to-go before you get your day started, or find a cozy table, booth, or seat outdoors to enjoy your cup of joe! Try sipping something at The Coffeehouse at Brookside, Lee’s Coffee & Tea, Bird Dog Café, Higher Ground Coffee Shop, Jitters Coffeehouse, or Small Coffee Big Taste.

 

 

Go antiquing during your winter weekend in Laurel MS

Find Something Vintage

From sipping to shopping, our picturesque storefronts of downtown Laurel and Ellisville, plus the warehouse-sized antique stores

throughout Jones County are ready for every type of collector, browser, and shopper! Three must-see stores for antique and vintage lovers include Peddlers Junktion, Carpenter Brothers Emporium of Wonderful Whatnots, The Rusty Chandelier, and Southern Antiques.

Get a full list of shops and stores on our shopping listings

 

Visit Pinehurst Park during your winter weekend in Laurel MS

Discover Something Local

With our mild winters, our parks are the perfect spot to explore, take a break, or settle in for a picnic lunch.

Located in Laurel, Leontyne Price Musical Park is a unique downtown gem. Discover musical instruments and why locals love Laurel-born Leontyne Price.

Also worth a stop are Euclid and Gardiner Parks, where you can take a break from exploring the beautiful historic homes in the Laurel Historic District to gather your crew for a picnic. Listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, the Laurel Historic District is a must-see.

Situated on North 5th Avenue & Oak Street, next to the Arabian Theatre is a memorial park on the site of the famous Pinehurst Hotel. Pinehurst Park is an iconic Jones County landmark and features a gazebo, fountain, and is a picture-perfect spot to snag a photo (be sure to use #VisitLaurelJonesCounty to share with us)!

 

Even more trip ideas for your weekend in Laurel and Jones County:

 

Find out more about how to Visit Mississippi responsibly, and be sure to visit our FAQ page for the most current community and safety information.

Your Jones County Holiday Gift Guide

‘Tis the season for the joy of gift-giving, and when you’re shopping in Laurel and Jones County, Mississippi, finding the perfect present is easy! Make your list, check it twice, then get ready to spread some yuletide cheer with these gifts that are sure to bring a smile to the faces of your friends and family!

Holiday Gift Guide | Laurel MS

 

For the Hostess with the Mostess

If you’ve been to Laurel and Jones County, Mississippi, then you know The Knight Butcher for both their delicious jerky as well as their mouth-watering fudge. Either treat makes for the perfect hostess gift! Don’t forget about Shug’s Cookie Dough and Candy Bar for holiday decorated sweet treats!

Laurel Nursery & Garden has beautiful plants and flowers perfect for any hostess, plus their fresh, Mississippi-grown pecans are always a welcome gift. Bonus points if you turn them into a homemade pie or pecan divinity for your family, friends, or neighbors!

For the Coffee Drinker

For the cold coffee drinker, a gallon of Iced Lattes with your choice of syrup can be found at Lee’s Coffee and Tea and is sure to make for a very merry caffeine lover! Go ahead, grab yourself a sweet goodie or some pimento cheese while you’re there – your gift-giving heart deserves a treat!

Both men and women will be happy to receive a Laurel tumbler from Guild & Gentry, which feature a map of our area. Prefer to drink from glass? Guild and Gentry also has beautiful Laurel glass coffee mugs. Should you round out your gift with Mississippi coasters to keep table tops safe in Mississippi style? Well, of course you should!

For the Tiny HGTV Fan

It’s sure to be a holly jolly Christmas with a beautiful coloring book for all of the littlest HGTV fans on your list. Grab Erin’s Sketchbook Coloring Book at Laurel Mercantile Co.

Gifts for the little ones can be found throughout Jones County, but definitely make sure to check out the offerings at Bookstore in the Window! Santa’s elves will be thrilled to find a variety of puzzles, books, and unique stocking stuffers.

For the Lover of Laurel

Laurel and Mississippi sweatshirts are a perfectly cozy gift for so many on your list! Grab a snuggle-worthy sweatshirt from Allie’s on Magnolia Boutique or head upstairs to the bookstore in Lott Furniture for seriously soft sweatshirts!

Be sure to swing by The Coffeehouse at Brookside in Ellisville for delightfully-scented bath and body gifts, seasonal mugs, comfy sweatshirts, and more! Plus, grab yourself a coffee for a mid-shopping pick-me-up!

Even if your giftee can’t whip up a classic and mouth-watering Southern meal like Ms. Pearl, she can still dress the part with an apron from Pearl’s Diner!

Rubie’s Home Furnishings and Hand+Made both feature a variety of beautiful Laurel and Jones County home décor items, plus dozens of Mississippi-made products. Whether purchasing a beautifully painted dough bowl, a Laurel frame, or creating a work of art of your own, you are sure to find a beautiful gift for everyone from your boss to your bestie!

For…well, everyone

When you don’t know what to get someone, a candle is always a well-received gift! The Stockbridge from Laurel Mercantile Co. is one of the most popular “holiday” scents! Meanwhile few things are more southern than a glass of sweet tea, and a Tea candle from Lott Furniture will bring the front porch sipping fun indoors. Many other shops have wonderfully scented candles available including The Cotton Boll, the gift shop at Landrum’s Homestead and Village, and Bella Bella.

 

Looking for even more gift ideas? Don’t miss our full holiday shopping guide! Find out more about how to Visit Mississippi responsibly, and be sure to visit our FAQ page for the most current community and safety information.

Shop ‘til You Drop: Where to Shop in Laurel and Jones County, Mississippi

Shopping in Laurel, MississippiShopping in Laurel and Jones County, Mississippi is more than just strolling through one street with a few shops. It’s a veritable shopping mecca of various districts filled with antique shops, trendy boutiques, eclectic gift shops, name brand stores, and so much more! Get ready to shop ‘til you drop when you visit Laurel and Jones County!

 

Laurel, Mississippi: Small Town, Big Shopping

Downtown Laurel and 16th Avenue are truly a shopper’s delight! We just hope you left room in your suitcase for all of the home furnishings and accessories, wardrobe staples for every season, and antiques galore! Continue reading

Gather the Girls: Plan a Getaway to Jones County

Laurel is the perfect destination for a girls getaway! Especially if you’re a fan of Ben and Erin Napier’s home renovations on HGTV’s Home Town. Gather up your girlfriends because there’s plenty to see and do – both what you’ve seen featured on the small screen and beyond!

Plan a girls getaway to Laurel, MS!

Photo by allyelyse04 via Instagram

Road Trip-Worthy City

When you and your girlfriends are ready for a weekend-long, quiet getaway, Laurel and Jones County offer the perfect respite from crowded city scenes and beach towns. With plenty of cozy B&Bs, name brand hotels, and Airbnbs to rest your head, Jones County is an ideal girlfriend getaway destination. While you’re here you and your girls can shop, explore history, discover the beauty of Southern architecture, and eat to your heart’s (and tummy’s) content! Continue reading

Your Guide for a Day Trip to Laurel, MS

Only have one day to spend in Laurel and Jones County, Mississippi? It’s a choose your own adventure whether you’re here for a day trip or are spending a whole week with us, and with these ideas, you’re sure to see a little bit of everything the New State of Jones has to offer.

Day Trip to Laurel

Photo courtesy Christine Johnson

Continue reading

Laurel, MS: Experience the Filming Location of HGTV’s Home Town

 

Get a firsthand peek into HGTV’s Home Town with a tour of the area where the show is filmed: Laurel and Jones County, Mississippi.

The HGTV’s Home Town Experience

On HGTV’s Home Town, the darlings of Mississippi, Ben and Erin Napier take old houses and turn them into dream homes as they lovingly welcome people to Laurel, MS. With hotels, local Bed and Breakfasts, and Air BnBs, there’s plenty of room to make our hometown yours for the weekend so that you can enjoy Laurel, MS beyond the TV screen. Here’s a list of must-see places to complete your HGTV’s Home Town experience.

 HGTV Home Town Laurel MS | Ben and Erin Napier

 

Take a Historic Home Tour

Start your Laurel experience at the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art or the Laurel Welcome Center where you’ll find the official Laurel Walking Tour brochure. Wandering the oak-lined streets of the Laurel Historic District will give you and up-close-and-personal view of so many historic and stunning homes, plus the beautiful parks and streets you’ve seen on episodes of HGTV’s Home Town.

Shopping

Laurel Mercantile Co in Laurel MS

Downtown Laurel is basically its own character on the show. Episode after episode, viewers will see the twinkling lights, plus watch Erin grabbing fabrics, antiques, knickknacks, and more from the darling shops throughout the town.

To truly get a sense of the style showcased on Home Town, start your shopping at Laurel Mercantile Co. and Scotsman General Store. Style and American Made are the theme of Laurel Mercantile Co. This retail store includes apparel, candles (oh the candles!), sundries, kitchenware, bath-ware, home décor including pillows, fabrics, vintage finds, and art for your walls back home.

Meanwhile the Scotsman General Store is a step into Southern days gone by. An ode to general stores that were known across the south decades ago, visitors will find apparel, preserves (and other delicious perishables), soda pop, and a peek into Ben’s woodshop. Pro Tip: stop by during the filming of HGTV’s Home Town to watch him create custom pieces featured on the show!

For more places to find toys, apparel, accessories, and antiques, check out our list of where to shop in Laurel and Jones County.

 

Dining

If there’s one thing we Southerners know how to do, it’s gather around a table, so it comes as no surprise that there have been many dining establishments featured on HGTV’s Home Town. Here are a few fans may remember.

Sweet Somethings Bakery in Laurel MS

  • Pearl’s Diner is Southern cooking at its best. From fried chicken to mac ‘n cheese and everything in between, you’re sure to get your fill of both mouth-watering fare and sweet Southern hospitality.
  • Lee’s Coffee & Tea is the perfect spot to grab a cup of soup, a sandwich, fresh baked goods, and (as the name implies) a hot cup of coffee or tea.
  • The Loft on Central Avenue features seafood, steak, and pasta in a beautiful setting. Settle in for a perfectly cooked steak in the courtyard, and you’re guaranteed a perfect Southern night.

Beyond the show, Erin and Ben regularly feature all the best spots to grab a bite in Laurel on Instagram.  They’ve named many local favorites including Café La Fleur, David’s grocery, The Knight Butcher, Shug’s Cookie Dough & Candy Bar, PDI / Phillips Drive-In (we hear Ben gets the #3), Mimmo’s Restaurant, Sweet Somethings Bakery, The 5000 MS, and more!

For a full list of restaurants in Laurel and Jones County, head to our Where to Eat page.

 

Local Favorites Featured on the Show

Erin dropped the sweet tidbit that her parents went on their first date at The Little Laurel Theatre, and it’s definitely a must-see sight in Jones County, MS. Located in the heart of Downtown Laurel, Laurel Little Theatre features a varied season of shows every year, so check out what shows are playing during your visit. Be sure to nab a pic under the neon Arabian sign during your visit!

ThHGTV Home Town Stars Ben and Erin Napier | Discover Laurel MSe Loblolly Festival is one of the most annually anticipated events in Laurel. On the first Saturday of October, Laurel’s heritage as a sawmill town is the center of attention as folks gather to celebrate, shop, and eat. This free festival features arts and crafts vendors, live music, rides, and all of the best festival food (hello, funnel cakes and corn dogs). Demonstrations take place throughout the day, and the local shops are available for perusing as well.

 

The murals seen on the show are a big thing here in Laurel and Jones County. Literally a big thing. Covering walls and the sides of buildings, these gorgeous quotes are both charming and Instagram-worthy. See how many you can find (and be sure to tag us in your Instagram posts).

 

Whether visiting in the fall, spending the holidays in Jones County, or joining us for a quick weekend getaway to Laurel, we’re so happy to get to share our little corner of Mississippi with you! Welcome to our hometown!

 

Find out more about how to Visit Mississippi responsibly, and be sure to visit our FAQ page for the most current community and safety information.