The Best Southern Food Spot in Every State

The South is synonymous with cornbread, collard greens, and homestyle mac and cheese. Luckily, you don’t have to go all the way down south to get a taste of that famous southern hospitality—and hopefully some mashed potatoes. We’ve gone (virtually) across the country to find the best spots for you to get some soul food without having to leave your state. Without further ado, here’s the best Southern food spot in every state.

And for more, check out these 15 Classic American Desserts That Deserve a Comeback.

alabama marys southern cooking
Matt H./ Yelp

This green shack in Mobile serves up Southern staples cafeteria style. Specials include turkey neck and pig’s feet, alongside a wide assortment of homemade cakes, pies, and cobblers.

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alaska roscoes catfish
Crisha R./ Yelp

Soul food is such a phenomenon it’s traveled 3,500 miles up to Alaska. Roscoe’s brings the classics like catfish, jambalaya, and sweet potato pie all the way up to the Last Frontier, with big enough portions to last all day.

arizona stacys soul food
Stacys Off Da Hook/ Facebook

Based on the online reviews of Stacy’s, the food is just as “off da hook” as it claims to be. The reviewers went crazy over the catfish and fried okra. You might say they “drank the Kool-Aid”—literally, because Stacey’s also serves Kool-Aid.

arkansas southern food company
Southern Food Company/ Facebook

Southern Food Company boasts its “nouveau Southern cuisine,” presenting modernized, more upscale takes on Southern classics. On their menu, you’ll find an eggs benedict made with crab cakes and a BLT made with fried green tomatoes (BLFGT?) right alongside the classics like catfish and chicken fried steak. Chow down while sipping on a $2 mimosa or a $3 bellini.

california dulans soul food
Dulans SFK/ Facebook

SoCal may be more known for its kale smoothies than for its fried chicken, but Adolf Dulan’s kitchen brings all the soulful guilty pleasures to LA—and in huge portions, to boot. If you want to check it out, one reviewer recommends ordering online, as the line is usually pretty long.

colorado weltons street cafe
Maila L./ Yelp

Describing its menu as soul food with a Caribbean twist, Welton Street Cafe is so good Guy Fieri featured it earlier this year on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. The show gave us a sneak peek at the preparation process for its famous smothered pork chop—a pork chop fried to perfection and then smothered with creamy gravy—along with the collard greens, which a regular customer declared needed no extra seasoning.

connecticut black eyed sallys
Black Eyed Sally’s / Facebook

Black-Eyed Sally’s is part Southern kitchen and part live music venue, evoking the spirit of Nashville’s Broadway in the northeast. They host private parties and even cater. One Yelper goes to Black-Eyed Sally’s to order their Thanksgiving turkey, which the restaurant will even deep fry for you.

delaware russells quality food
Jeff A./ Yelp

Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner almost every day, Russell’s combines its soulful specialties with local fare like cheesesteaks and Italian sausage sandwiches. Where else can you grab ribs, collard greens, mac and cheese, AND a cheesesteak, all for less than $20? Go ahead, I’m waiting.

florida mamas southern soul food
Courtesy of Mama’s Soul Food Restaurant

Mama’s has a massive menu serving every classic comfort dish you can think of: jerk chicken, chicken gizzards, beef tips, pigs’ feet, corn fritters, hush puppies … do I need to go on? Plus, they have an in house bakery that makes custom cake couture as well as desserts available to eat right after your meal. Reviewers go crazy for the red velvet cake.

georgia rcs southern cooking
Daniel B./ Yelp

To be a popular soul food spot in Georgia, you have to be good. RC’s, which stands for “real cooking,” has been slinging comfort food for the better part of a decade. The menu features several turkey items like turkey wings and turkey meatloaf, as well as a plethora of homemade desserts from cobblers to cheesecakes.

hawaii southern cuisine
Daniel L./ Yelp

Believe it or not, there’s a soul food restaurant in Hawaii. Hughley’s has all the works: fried chicken, candied yams, and even peach dumplings. The vibe is super casual—no lei necessary.

idaho brown suga soul food
Brown Shuga Soul Food/ Facebook

This food truck is one of the only places to get soul food in Idaho, with chef Yvonne Anderson-Thomas and her family cooking recipes that have been passed down through generations. Operating since 2011, Brown Shuga has been filling up Idahoans with massive turkey legs and sweet potato pies.

illinois luellas southern kitchen
Luella’s Southern Kitchen/ Facebook

This hole in the wall located in Chicago’s Lincoln Square neighborhood has all the Southern staples: fried chicken, catfish, and even made-to-order cornbread served in a skillet. The gumbo, based on Chef Darnell Reed’s grandmother’s recipe, was named Chicago’s Best Gumbo by WGN in 2016. Beyond that, Yelpers love the pimento cheeseburger burger: a burger slathered in spicy pimento cheese and topped with a sunny side up egg.

indiana half liter beer
Katherine C./ Yelp

With its wide selection of house-made draft beers and dairy-infused “milk punch” cocktails, it might be even more fun to drink at Half Liter than it is to eat there. They’ve got all your barbecue staples—pulled pork, burnt ends, brisket—and a drink menu so expansive you’ll be stumbling out the door.

iowa vivians soul food
Lacey H./ Yelp

Vivian’s provides updated, more upscale versions of traditional Southern comfort food. Jerk chicken egg rolls? Yes please! They also offer daily specials and a rotating daily dessert variety.

kansas excellent choice
Excellent Choice Catfish/ Facebook

Excellent Choice is only open three days a week, but their undisputed five-star status on Yelp also proves that quality reigns over quantity. Reviewers rave about the lightly fried catfish, huge hunks of cornbread, and the Louisiana gumbo, which is only available on Wednesdays.

kentucky homemade ice cream pie
Homemade Pie Kitchen/ Facebook

Pie Kitchen, as the locals call it, is Louisville’s premiere dessert oasis. With homemade pies, cookies, cakes, and ice cream, there’s something there for every dessert lover. Be sure to check out the chocolate chess pie, which one reviewer described as “like the best parts of a brownie.”

louisiana willie mae scotch house
John N./ Yelp

New Orleans may be the home of Creole cooking, but its most famous spot is best known for its classic fried chicken. Recognized as “America’s Best Fried Chicken” by the Food Network and the Travel Channel, Willie Mae’s always has a line wrapping all the way around the block. Rumor has it that the secret to their addictive fried chicken is brining it in Coca-Cola, keeping the skin stuck to the meat.

maine hot suppa
Tom G./ Yelp

This Portland mainstay serves Southern brunch seven days a week, as well as many lunch and dinner concoctions. Enjoy a pulled pork egg sandwich for brunch and some Nashville hot chicken with a poutine baked potato for dinner.

maryland rubys southern kitchen
Ruby’s Southern Kitchen/ Yelp

This cute, homey space offers a delectable array of soul food in a cozy atmosphere. Signature dishes here include Tyrone’s Sweet Potato Waffles and Chicken and Ronnie’s Blackberry Beef Short Ribs.

massachusetts addie lees soul food
Amelia L./ Yelp

Whoever said you can’t get soul food in New England has never been to Addie Lee’s. With 4.5 Yelp stars and colorful plates to boot, Addie Lee’s evokes all the sensations of good Southern home cooking.

michigan taste soul
Harish V./ Yelp

Biggie’s boasts a massive menu that includes chicken wings, cheesesteaks (or as they’re called here, Cheesey-Weeseys), and even a chicken pita sandwich. Of course, the staples like ribs, catfish, and Kool-Aid are present too. One reviewer went loco for the lemon pound cake.

minnesota revival
Mindy B./ Yelp

Revival has truly revived traditional Southern cuisine and elevated it for the 21st century. Items like a fried chicken and waffle sandwich smothered in honey butter and topped with a fried egg have made this place a Minneapolis staple.

mississippi the pig pint
The Pig & The Pint/ Yelp

The Pig & Pint is part barbecue restaurant and part taproom, boasting 100 craft beers. Serving up barbecue-Mexican fusion with the classic Southern sides, The Pig & Pint was named among the best of Mississippi by Mississippi magazine.

missouri kings table
Billie H./ Yelp

With everything you’d expect from a soul food restaurant alongside burgers and alfredo pasta, King’s Table has something for everybody, including slices of cornbread so big they take up the entire plate.

montana sassy biscuit
Carmella B./ Yelp

This Southern-inspired bruncherie is a full-blown tribute to the almighty biscuit. From waffle-pressed biscuits to biscuit french toast to knife-and-fork biscuit sandwiches, eat here and you’ll never look at biscuits the same again.

nebraska quick bites
Quick Bites Soul Food/ Yelp

Cajun-inspired soul food reaches the midwest at Quick Bites. Open at 6am during the week, this place is filling up Nebraskans with pork chops, po’ boys, and their award-winning ham and beans soup.

nevada gritz cafe
Ayishia M./ Yelp

Hungover from all those free drinks at the casino? Sop up the booze with some gritz, with a “z.” Open only for breakfast and lunch, Gritz Cafe has a menu filled with sandwiches, omelets, and waffles—all served with gritz.

new hampshire kcs rib shack
Lindsey W./ Yelp

KC’s Rib Shack claims to have “the world’s finest hickory smoked ribs” and has been featured in enough local media to give the claim some credence. With four homemade barbecue sauces and a full outdoor tiki bar, KC’s gives diners a million reasons to come back.

new jersey corinnes place
Kareemah J./ Yelp

Corinne’s Place is so good, it’ll give you an excuse to go to Camden. For 30 years, they’ve been serving heaping portions of beans and mac and cheese in their banquet hall-esque space. Stop by on Sunday for a $15 buffet.

new mexico nexus brewery
Nexus Brewery/ Yelp

Nexus Brewery is the second spot on our list featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, cooking up Southern comfort with a Southeastern flare. Take, for example, the New Mexico Hot Chicken, Nashville hot chicken “perfected for the [New Mexican] palate.” Then, cool your mouth down with one of the brewery’s craft beers.

new york sylvias restaurant
Eve J./ Yelp

Arguably the most famous Southern food spot in New York City, Sylvia’s has been serving up soul for nearly 60 years. Locals, tourists, and even celebrities from Whoopi Goldberg to Leonardo di Caprio have dined at this uptown institution. Stop by on a Wednesday night for live music or on a Sunday for Gospel Brunch.

north carolina nofo
Ashley M./ Yelp

Part restaurant, part market, and part gift shop, this repurposed Piggly Wiggly serves as Raleigh’s center for all things Southern. Nosh on some pimento cheese dip at the restaurant, do your holiday shopping at the gift shop, and pick up a casserole to take home at the market.

north dakota cajun cafe
Nisa T./ Yelp

Cajun Cafe, as its name suggests, serves quintessential Creole. Gumbo, crawfish omelets, and alligator po’ boys are among the Cajun staples on the menu. End your meal with some homemade beignets.

ohio southern cafe
Courtesy of Southern Cafe Ohio

Southern Cafe claims to be Cleveland’s premiere Southern restaurant. With dishes like Soul Rolls (egg rolls stuffed with chicken, cheese, and greens) and chicken and red velvet waffles, it’s tough not to agree.

oklahoma drum room
The Drum Room OKC/ Facebook

The Drum Room is all about two things: soul and rock and roll. They play all their music from vinyls, and if you bring your own vinyl, they’ll even give it a spin.

oregon screen door
Screen Door/ Yelp

Reviewers love everything about Screen Door—except the line around the block to get in. But with a menu that includes items like fried oysters, praline bacon, and an in-house bakery, people are more than willing to wait.

pennsylvania south jazz kitchen
Jonathan R./ Yelp

South is a 21st century jazz club, giving visitors that timeless New Orleans charm alongside modern cuisine and cocktails. Reviewers rave about the deviled eggs and blue crab toast.

rhode island food for soul
Kristina N./ Yelp

Food for the Soul is as no-frills as it gets. With its old-school pizza parlor vibe and sub-$10 dinner platters, this place is the perfect hole in the wall to go and fill up fast.

south carolina big mikes
Jon B./ Yelp

At Big Mike’s the dinners come with fries… and hush puppies… and cole slaw. And nearly all are under $10. Or instead of a dinner, opt for a classic meat + three. Or a fried bologna sandwich. The possibilities are endless.

south dakota jambonz
Gautam B./ Yelp

With étouffée, muffuletta, and eight different kinds of po’ boys, Jambonz brings coastal Creole charm to landlocked South Dakota. Reviewers go crazy for the speedy service and spicy food.

tennessee miss girlee
Angie S./ Yelp

Described by reviewers as a hidden gem, Miss Girlee serves up some of the best soul food south of the Mason-Dixon. A massive menu and affordable prices keep diners coming back for more.

texas stanleys famous pit bbq
Stanley’s Famous Pit Barbecue/ Yelp

Open six days a week until they’re sold out, Stanley’s is the real deal when it comes to Texas barbecue. Try The Mother Clucker, their famous chicken sandwich, while sampling one of their 12 whiskey flights. Then head home with a bottle of their house-made barbecue sauce.

utah sauce boss
Xinmiao L./ Yelp

With its sweet and simple menu, Chef Julius Thompson’s Sauce Boss brings real Southern cooking all the way to the beehive state. Reviewers love The Big Cheddar: shrimp and bacon served over shells and cheese.

vermont samurai soul food
Samurai Soul Food/ Facebook

Soul food meets sake at this small town hidden gem, serving up southern fried chicken with sesame noodles and a soy dipping sauce. The fish tacos and tuna sashimi nachos are also huge hits.

virginia johnny rays
Johnny Rayz/ Facebook

Just a few miles from Dulles airport, Johnny Ray’s ought to be the first place you stop. If you’re lucky, you may even meet Johnny Ray himself.

washington witness
Mel C./ Yelp

Witness is an upscale craft cocktail bar with strong Southern influence, where you can munch on traditional chicken and waffles while sipping an elaborate house-made cocktail.

west virginia dem 2 brothers
Gerry S. / Yelp

This well-known West Virginia spot claims to be the best barbecue on the planet. It’s a tall claim, but it just might be true. The restaurant’s famous ribs have been featured on Food Network’s Southern Fried Road Trip, and Chef Adrian “Bay” Wright shared the recipe online, so you can try it for yourself.

wisconsin daddys soul food
Joseph W./ Yelp

Serving a rotating buffet as well as burgers and vegetarian options, Daddy’s is Wisconsin’s premiere soul food destination. Fried chicken, catfish, and tilapia are available every day, as are a rotating selection of cakes and pies.

wyoming hq southern bbq
HQ BBQ/ Facebook

Situated in a former gas station, HQ is your one stop to fuel up before exploring the Wyoming wilderness. Come for the large portions and stay for the impressive selection of local beers and homemade barbecue sauces.

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