Best soul food restaurant near me: In the United States, soul food is a broad term that refers to the African American-inspired cuisine commonly found in Southern homes and restaurants. With influences from African, European, and even native cultures, soul food is often centered on simple yet hearty staples like fried chicken, collard greens, mac n’ cheese, and more.
If you are craving complexly seasoned dishes with wholesome ingredients and rich flavors but aren’t quite sure where to find them nearby, look no further than this definitive list of the top 50 soul food restaurants near you. Each of these locations has been hand-picked based on the quality of their ingredients and unique menu creations. Read on for insights into what exactly makes these establishments stand out from the rest when it comes to serving up delicious examples of classic soul food dishes.
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Top 50 Soul Food Restaurants Near Me: The Definitive Guide
Best soul food restaurant near me: If you’ve ever spent time in the South, you probably know that soul food is more than just a type of cuisine. It’s also a way of life. And it’s found almost everywhere in the South, not just in New Orleans or other well-known locales. From humble cafes to upscale restaurants, and from fast food joints to home-cooked casserole nights, there are as many ways to find soul food as there are Southerners who love it.
What is soul food?
Soul food is a cuisine that has its origins in the Southern U.S. It’s based on a mixture of African American, Native American, and European ingredients, such as cornbread, collard greens, and fried chicken. Soul food restaurants are often informal, family-run affairs, and the food is commonly eaten as a meal shared among loved ones. Soul food is also a term used to describe the culture, traditions, and symbolism associated with Southern African American cuisine. The dishes run the gamut from crispy fried chicken, cornbread, and greens to yams and baked mac and cheese.
How to spot authentic soul food
Traditional black-owned soul food restaurants tend to be small, family-run operations — the kind of place where the proprietor is likely to be the chef, too. They may not have a sign out front, and they might not look like much from the outside, but inside you’ll likely find authentic Southern soul food that’s made from scratch with love and served with extra Southern hospitality. You can also identify these spots by the way they smell. That’s right — soul food has its own aroma. If you smell something that’s sweet, and just slightly burnt, you’re probably in an authentic soul food restaurant. Authentic soul food restaurants also tend to have these traits: A jukebox – Authentic soul food restaurants are the perfect place to dig out an old jukebox and dig into some soul food. A lunch counter – Many soul food restaurants have a lunch counter, just like the ones common in the 1950s and 1960s. Paper napkins – While you might find cloth napkins at more high-end soul food restaurants, the most authentic spots use paper.
The best southern restaurants
These are the top soul food restaurants in the U.S. — the ones that are most worth your time, and that serve up the most authentic soul food. – The Dream Cafe – New Orleans, LA – This New Orleans institution dishes up home-style Southern soul food with a Creole twist. Try the smothered pork chops or the shrimp Creole. – Betty’s Diner – Savannah, GA – This Southern diner is considered one of the best soul food restaurants in the country. The menu is so large it’s best to let the server recommend something — everything is great. – Arnold’s Country Kitchen – Nashville, TN – This place specializes in fried chicken, biscuits, and buttermilk pie.
Best soul food restaurant near me
– The Blue Door – New Orleans, LA – This casual New Orleans restaurant specializes in seafood and other Creole dishes. – Brown’s Famous – Louisville, KY – This Louisville spot is a must-visit for lovers of fried chicken. – Country Hammers – Asheville, NC – This homey restaurant serves up Southern favorites like fried chicken and banana pudding. – The best fast food joints – The Bluebird – Nashville, TN – This classic Nashville joint dishes up fried chicken, biscuits and gravy, and more. – Chick-fil-A – Multiple locations – This Southern fast food chain, known for its chicken sandwiches, is one of the most popular in the country. – The Chicken Shack – New Orleans, LA – New Orleans is famous for its fried chicken, and this spot is one of the best places for it. – Gus’s Fried Chicken – Multiple locations – This fried chicken chain is loved by Southerners and others across the country.
10 must-try dishes at a soul food restaurant
– Fried chicken – This classic is often on the menu at soul food restaurants. It’s usually served with mashed potatoes and gravy. Sometimes you can also throw some greens or cornbread in there as well. – Collard greens – These greens are a Southern staple. They’re usually served with a bit of fatback, or pork fat, which gives them a rich, smoky flavor. – Mac and cheese – This Southern favorite usually has a creamy, cheesy sauce made with cheese and heavy cream or milk. It’s often topped with a bit of paprika. – Sweet potato pie – This Southern dessert is made with sweet potatoes and a bit of cinnamon. It may not be as well-known as pecan pie, but it’s just as delicious. – Fried okra – Fried okra is another Southern classic that’s served as a side dish at soul food restaurants. It’s best dipped in a bit of hot sauce or tartar sauce. – Biscuits and gravy – Biscuits and gravy is another Southern classic. Traditionally, it’s served with a bit of sausage or country ham in the gravy. – Collard Greens – Mac and Cheese – Sweet Potato Pie – Fried Okra – Biscuits and Gravy
Best soul food restaurant near me
Soul food is more than just a type of cuisine — it’s also a way of life. It’s found almost everywhere in the South, not just in New Orleans or other well-known locales. From humble cafes to upscale restaurants, and from fast food joints to home-cooked casserole nights, there are as many ways to find soul food as there are Southerners who love it. If you’ve ever spent time in the South, you probably know that soul food is more than just a type of cuisine. It’s also a way of life. And it’s found almost everywhere in the South, not just in New Orleans or other well-known locales. From humble cafes to upscale restaurants, and from fast food joints to home-cooked casserole nights, there are as many ways to find soul food as there are Southerners who love it.