Ever wonder where the best destinations for soul food are?
Soul food is a way of life for many people. It gets its roots from the south, but has spread like wildfire to many cities all over America. Popular dishes include fried chicken, catfish, grits and collard greens. It’s not surprising that there are many restaurants around the country that feature a variety of soul food for curious visitors to try.
Willie Mae’s Scotch House In New Orleans
The food at Willie Mae’s Scotch House definitely draws a crowd. You can find traditional soul food dishes like fried chicken and cat fish. When it comes to sides, your best choices are the red beans and rice and the cornbread.
While in New Orleans, we also have to mention Dooky Chase. Initially a sandwich shop and lottery ticket outlet in 1939, by 1941 the full restaurant opened and was a meeting place for great food, live music, culture and a meeting place for civil rights activists. There is a popular lunch buffet offered Tuesday through Friday. Friday night dinner options include fried chicken, shrimp clemenceau pork chops, red beans & rice, gumbo, peach cobbler and praline pudding. This restaurant has served famous diners such as Martin Luther King, Jr. Duke Ellington, Nat King Cole, Barack Obama & George W. Bush.
Martha Lou’s Kitchen
Martha has been serving delicious food in Charleston, South Carolina for over 30 years. It is a family business with Martha Lou being joined by her daughters and granddaughters. A simple menu with fried chicken, pork chops, turkey wings and fish with select days offering chitterlings and bbq ribs. Side dishes include white rice, okra soup, baked macaroni, corn bread, lima beans and bread pudding. Visit Martha Lou’s website.
Deborah’s Kitchen In Philadelphia
There’s so much good food to eat here it’s hard to pick just one dish so you might opt for several different items. There is very little seating so you may want to just order take out. One of the most popular items is the turkey chops as well as the meat loaf and fresh fried fish. The turkey breast is seasoned and lightly fried. Served over rice and smothered with gravy.
Florida Avenue Grill In Washington D.C.
If you are looking for traditional soul food, then Florida Avenue Grill is the restaurant to go to. Here you can find chitterlings and pigs feet. The fried pork chops are also outstanding. Pretty much all of the food here is perfectly seasoned and tender enough to fall off of the bone.
Mr. And Mrs. G’s Home Cooking In San Antonio
One of the most popular dishes to try is the catfish. It has a flaky crust and it very fresh. The black-eyed peas are also good and cooked to an almost creamy perfection. The sweet potato pie and banana pudding are incredible. Menu options include fried chicken, pork knuckles, mac & cheese, corn bread and pies.
Amy Ruth’s In New York
Even the Big Apple has a restaurant that offers good old soul food and it’s Amy Ruth’s. One of the most popular dishes, called The Rev. Al Sharpton, is basically just chicken and waffles, but is delicious. While here, skip the water or the pop and wash down your meal with the Kool-Aid of the day.
Souley Vegan In Oakland
Now I know what you’re thinking, does vegan soul food really exist it does in Oakland at Souley Vegan? Well at this restaurant it does. The inspiration behind this restaurant is simple; many enslaved African Americans depended on a mostly vegan diet to survive. The food at this restaurant is so good here that you won’t even miss the non-vegan items. Popular choices include the mac and cheese and collards.
Busy Bee Cafe, Atlanta Georgia
Serving soul food for over 50 years. It has changed ownership, but the menu choices have stayed close to the original with items such as meatloaf, chicken giblets & rice, black eyed peas, ham hock, turkey wings with cornbread dressing and smothered fried chicken. Popular side dishes are mac & cheese, carrot souffle, candied yams, fresh collard greens and fried green tomatoes. They run weekly specials and add items such as ox tails served over rice with black eye peas and fried okra. Leave room for desert – choose from several home made cobblers, puddings and cakes.
Paschal’s, Atlanta Georgia
Paschal’s has been in downtown Atlanta since 1947. It was a popular meeting place for entertainers, politicians & civil rights activists in the 1960’s. They are well known for their fried chicken, fried catfish, shrimp & grits, mac & cheese, collard greens & black eyed peas.
Mikki’s Cafe, Houston Texas
Local in Houston all know Mikki’s Cafe. They are known for great food & customer service. Daily menu include ox tail, turkey wings, cattfish, smothered pork chops, fried chicken, ham hocks, seafood gumbo, pork bones, lima beans, okra and tomatoes, mac & cheese, collard greens and more. For desert choose from assorted cakes (try the butter pecan!,) pralines, pies, cobbler and pudding. Opened 7 days per week.
This is It Soul Food in Houston, Texas
This is one of the oldest African-American owned restaurants in Houston. Open for breakfast & lunch only, Monday through Friday. Breakfast items include friend catfish, pork chop, and of course eggs service with grits & toast. Lunch choices change each day but you can always get oxtails, smothered chicken, ham hocks and fried catfish. Daily specials include chitterlings, pork neck bones, turkey neck, gumbo & pigs feet.
Donnie’s Place Delray Beach Florida
We recommend the fried chicken, potato salad, mac & cheese and collard greens. Other menu options include chicken gizzards, fried okra & chicken wings. If you are there for breakfast, the grits are a must try. Great desert options, Try to million dollar pie with a mix of pineapple, pecan, coconut and sweet heavy cream in a graham cracker crust or the New Orleans style bread pudding.
Did we miss your favorite soul food restaurant? Please leave us a comment & we will add to our list.