50 in 50: Best Black-Owned Soul Food Spots In Each State
By DeAnna Taylor
Soul food has been a staple among Black families for decades. The delicious cuisine has now made its way around the country, and even the world.
Check out this list that we’ve curated of the best Black-owned soul food restaurants in each state, including D.C.
Yo’ Mama’s: This Black-owned soul food restaurant can be found in downtown Birmingham. It recently won the award for “Best Lunch” in Birmingham. Must try dish: The shrimp plate.
Roscoe’s Catfish and Barbecue: It’s pretty hard to find soul food restaurants in Alaska, let alone a Black-owned one. Roscoe’s have been serving the Anchorage area since 1988. Must try dish: Alaska seafood gumbo.
Stacy’s Off Da Hook BBQ and Soul Food: Chef Stacy Phipps is serious about BBQ. This soul food and BBQ joint has even been recognized by the Food Network. Must try dish: beef ribs.
Ceci’s Chicken and Waffles: Chef Cicely McDowell is the face behind this Little Rock restaurant. People travel near and far to try some of her amazing food. Must try dish: chicken and waffles.
Comfort LA: This Los Angeles eatery started as a late night pop-up and evolved to a storefront. Jeremy McBryde and Mark E. Walker are the names behind this business. Must try dish: “Cousin Kina’s Mac & Cheese.”
Welton Street Cafe: This Denver-based eatery provides awesome food and service. Must try dish: the cornbread.
Craig’s Kitchen: Chef Craig Wright serves up some of the best authentic homestyle cooking in the area. Must try dish: chicken and waffles.
Evelyn’s Soul Food: No matter the time of day, this Wilmington soul food restaurant will hit the spot. Must try dish: smothered pork chops.
Nikki’s Place: You can find this spot in the Orlando area. Owner Nick Aiken has been in the restaurant biz since the 50s. Must try dish: smothered rib tips.
Busy Bee Cafe: You can’t mention soul food in the ‘A’ without listing Busy Bee. Must try dish: cornbread.
Hughley’s Southern Cuisine: When you talk about Hawaii, you don’t automatically think about getting soul food, but the option is there. In addition to being Black-owned, it is also run by a military vet. Must try dish: fried chicken wings.
Brown Shuga Soul Food is ranked amongst the top soul food restaurants in Boise, Idaho. Originally beginning as a food truck, Brown Shuga is now conveniently located at 24th and Fairview. Must try dish: ribs and mac & cheese.
Soule Chicago: This North Chicago soul food & creole spot is owned by Bridgette Harris. You can find a variety of soul food classics on the menu including fried fish and Mac and cheese. Must try dish: blackened catfish.
Kountry Kitchen Soul Food Place: Our forever president gave this spot the stamp of approval, as well as several other celebs. It is located in Indianapolis. Must try dish: pork chops.
Sugapeach Chicken and Fish Fry: Chef Carol Cater-Simmons is the face behind this north Liberty restaurant. Must try dish: fried chicken.
K.C.’s Authentic Soul Food: Located in Junction City, this is one of the only Black-owned restaurants in the area. Must try dish: chicken wings.
Shirley Mae’s Cafe: This spot is located in Louisville. You can still find Ms. Shirley in the kitchen whipping up her famous dishes. Must try dish: southern fried chicken wings.
Lil Dizzy’s Cafe: Queen Bey has given this New Orleans spot the stamp of approval several times. If it’s good enough for Bey, then it must be GREAT. They’ve been around since the 1940’s. Must try dish: fried chicken.
We are still searching for Black-owned soul food in Maine. There are a few Ethiopian restaurants instead.
Next Phase Cafe: Located in Baltimore, this cafe brings soul food and cajun food together. Must try dish: cornbread.
Daryl’s Corner Bar and Kitchen: This Black-owned restaurant in Boston hosts a Sunday jazz brunch as well. Must try dish: catfish.
Kuzzo’s Chicken and Waffles: This Black-owned restaurant in Detroit brings some interesting and unique names to its menu. Must try dish: Big Mama’s.
Breaking Bread: If you support this Minneapolis establishment, you’ll also be supporting the local community. Now that’s worth the visit. Must try dish: Salisbury steak.
Johnny T’s Bistro and Blues: Chef Bryan Myrick is said to have a unique approach to southern cuisine. You can find the establishment in Jackson. Must try dish: Shrimp and grits.
Niecie’s Restaurant: Denise Ward has been serving the Kansas City area since 1985. Must try dish: homestyle meatloaf.
The Sassy Biscuit: This is the only listing for Black-owned restaurants in Montana. The Sassy Biscuit is located in Billings. Must try dish: mac and cheese.
Quick Bites Soul Food: This Bellevue restaurant opened its doors in 2016. They are open every day except Sunday. Must try dish: cajun shrimp dinner.
Ella Em’s Soul Food: This family-owned restaurant can be found in Vegas. Must try dish: chicken fried steak.
We have only found a Black-owned Jamaican spot in New Hampshire. If you know of any Black-owned soul food restaurants, let us know.
Delta’s Restaurant: Located in New Brunswick, this Black-owned soul food spot is open every day except Monday. With an extensive menu, there is something on there for every taste. Must try dish: Collard Green Dip.
Mr. Powdrell’s BBQ House: Located in Albuquerque. The focus here is BBQ but there are soul food dishes as well. Must try dish: black-eyed peas.
Jacob Restaurant: This Harlem-based soul food spot has been in operation since 2009. They now have two locations. In addition to the soul food, they offer an extensive salad bar too. Must try dish: Fried chicken.
Cuzzo’s Cuisine: This Charlotte-based restaurant garners rave reviews. What started as a food truck has now grown to a restaurant. Must try dish: lobster mac and cheese.
Daran’s Southern Soul Food and West Indian Cuisine: Surprise! There are Black people in North Dakota. However, this restaurant has now closed.
Madison Soul Food Kitchen: You can find this Black-owned spot in Columbus. It is said to be almost as good as your grandma’s cooking. Must try dish: collard greens.
Evelyn’s Soul Food: Owner Wanda J. named the restaurant after her mother. You can find this spot in the Tulsa area. Must try dish: peach cobbler.
A Heavenly Taste Cafe: This Portland-based cafe is located on MLK Blvd. The menu includes true soul food staples like neck bones. Must try dish: fried fish.
South: This Philly restaurant won the award for ‘Best Southern Food’ in the area in 2016. Must try dish: Cajun shrimp deviled eggs.
Food For The Soul:Located in Providence, Rhode Island.
Big Mike’s Soul Food: This family-owned restaurant is in the Myrtle Beach area. Owner Michael ‘Big Mike’ Chestnut opened up shop in 2012. Must try dish: Big Mike’s Special.
O So Good LLC: Executive chef and co-owner Omar Thornton grew up learning how to make meals from whatever you had. He has now carried that philosophy into this Garretson restaurant. This is one of the only Black-owned spots in the state. Must try dish: BBQ ribs.
H&T’s Home Cooking: Thomas and Hattie Palin started this restaurant in 2005. The Nashville eatery guarantees that you will always enjoy your meal because “mama is always in the kitchen.” Must try dish: Baked chicken in mushroom sauce dinner on Monday. (Menu changes daily)
Mikki’s Soulfood Cafe: This Houston cafe was created by Jeannette Williams and has been serving the area since 2000. They will soon open a second location in Pearland. Must try dish: Smothered pork chops dinner.
We are still on the hunt for Black soul food in this state. Check back soon.
Jamaican Jewelz isn’t exactly “soul food” but its Black owned and its technically a food truck. If we hear of an actual soul food restaurant popping up, we’ll let you know.
Southern Kitchen: Located in Richmond, this Black owned soul food spot brings people all the way from Northern Virginia just to get a plate on the weekends Must try dish: Catfish dinner.
June Baby: This Seattle-based restaurant is a must visit. Must try dish: smothered fried pork chop.
Sumthin’ Good Soul Food: You can find this restaurant in the city of South Charleston. Must try dish: Smothered Oxtails.
Anointed One Soul Food: You can find this restaurant in the Madison area. The chicken and fish are said to be fried to perfection. Must try dish: fried catfish.
The one Black-owned spot, Simply Soul, has permanently closed. No word on when it will re-open.
Oohs and Aahhs: This award-winning D.C. soul food spot brings folks from near and far, even celebs. They have consistently won awards for the ‘Best Mac and Cheese’ in the area. Must try dish: The mac and cheese.
DeAnna Taylor is a criminal defense Attorney turned travel writer. The Charlotte native recently completed one year abroad working as an English teacher in South Korea. Her hobbies include fitness, traveling to new countries, and trying new foods.