Food & Drink

The 10 best places for Southern and soul food in Chicago

Published On 07/14/2014 Published On 07/14/2014
Mike Gebert
Mike Gebert
Mike Gebert
Mike Gebert
Liam Gebert
Mike Gebert
Mike Gebert
Mike Gebert
Mike Gebert
Mike Gebert
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1. Analogue 2523 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60647 (Logan Square)

Cajun is the name of the game at this Logan Square restaurant and cocktail lounge. You could to Analogue for just a drink, but you’d probably find the dinner menu, heavy on crawfish, po boys, and catfish, too tempting to pass up. The weekend brunch is one of the best, mainly because of the beignets, biscuits, and house-made bacon.

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2. Maple Tree Inn 13301 Olde Western Ave, Blue Island, IL 60406

This Cajun/Creole restaurant serves first-rate versions of New Orleans classics like crawfish etoufee and jambalaya. Don't miss the Voodoo Nuts either.

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3. Carriage House 1700 W Division St, Chicago, IL 60622 (Wicker Park)

Carriage House brings the internationally-tinged flavors of regional South Carolina to Wicker Park. A portion of the menu is dedicated to bold, interpretations of select traditional dishes, a broad collection of spirits, and family-inspired meals. This restaurant tempts you to stay for a long, Southern minute.

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4. Big Jones 5347 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60640 (Andersonville)

If you’re looking for real Southern comfort in Chicago, then Big Jones in Andersonville is for you. The menu is filled with authentic Lowcountry dishes adapted from antique cookbooks, like cornbread muffins taken from an 18th-century plantation recipe and traditional Cajun gumbo. The sustainable menu changes seasonally, but no matter what, expect the signature fried chicken every night. Big Jones’ weekend brunch is also a stunner, especially if you nab a table on the back patio.

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5. Pearl's Place 3901 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60653 (Bronzeville Douglas)

This Bronzeville spot packs it in with soul food actually packs some heat, like the hot jerk chicken. The sides have some heat in 'em too.

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6. ST. REST NO. 2 COUNTRY KITCHEN 727 E 87th St, Chicago, IL 60619 (Chatham Avalon Park)

The nicest ladies serve some of the best soul food cafeteria-style. This joint is attached to a church on the far South side.

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7. Feed 2803 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60622 (Humboldt Park)

It feels like a roadhouse in the middle of nowhere even though it's in the middle of Humboldt Park. Try the roast chicken, fried chicken, and the fried catfish sandwich.

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8. MacArthur's Restaurant 5412 W Madison St, Chicago, IL 60644

Be sure you know what you want to order because this cafeteria-style line moves fast. We suggest the smothered pork chops over fried chicken.

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9. MISS LEE’S GOOD FOOD 203 E Garfield Blvd, Chicago, IL 60637 (Washington Park)

This takeout-only soul food spot has you covered with delectable dishes like fried chicken, smothered chops, fresh potato salad and buttermilk pie. Check out this hidden gem of homemade meals that rival your gram’s. Ms. Lee’s is a menu-by-day offerings only, so if you find yourself on a day there’s gumbo, consider yourself one of the lucky ones. But the food is only part of the draw: As a star veteran of the city's restaurant community, Ms. Lee is dearly admired on Chicago’s South Side.

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10. Chuck's Southern Comforts Cafe 6501 W 79th St, Burbank, IL 60459

They've got BBQ, Cajun, and Mexican at this sports bar. We suggest trying the chicken-fried chicken with freshly-made mashed potatoes and green beans with bacon.

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