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Top 5 Soul Food Eateries in the Windy City

‘Tis the season for momma’s home-cookin which means our incessant need for soul food restaurants. Whether that’s fried green tomatoes, biscuits & gravy, or some good ole’ shrimp & grits; us southerners here at Happy Holler are craving all things southern food this time of year. With the Holiday’s in the air, we thought we would boast about our top 5 favorite spots in the city to catch some good eats and damn good southern hospitality. You’ll thank us later.

Top 5 Soul Food Restaurants in Chicago:

1. Honey Butter Fried Chicken
(3361 N. Elston Avenue)

honey butter fried chicken chicago

Excuse me while we pick up our jaws off of the floor. This place knows their chicken (and we know they know their chicken, because our owners are in there every other week).  From their chicken & grits to their basic (but far from bland) chicken sandwich with melted honey butter, this place is sure to kick your southern nostalgia in full gear. Don’t forget to have a side of biscuits with honey butter and finish off the meal with a chocolate dump cake. Better yet, they practice the ultimate southern hospitality with pristine service and an overall “livin’ is easy” vibe. Bless their chicken.

2. The Roost Carolina Kitchen
(Lakeview: 1467 W. Irving Park Rd. // 455 N. Milwaukee Ave)

the roost carolina kitchen chicago

The Roost, The Roost, The Roost is on fire! See what we did there? Okay, Y’all have to come here. One, they’ve got an amazing alcohol selection, it ain’t paw paw’s moonshine, but we will settle. Two, their biscuits are the flakiest yet most moist pillows of heaven that we have tried in Chicago, & three: their peach cobbler is so damn good that it gives all southern Grandmas a run for their money! We love the relaxed atmosphere that it provides and always make sure to get a side of freshly brewed sweet tea. Don’t you dare forget to slap on a piece of cheese and bacon to your chicken biscuit sandwich because…why the hell not?

3. Heaven on Seven
(111 N. Wabash Avenue) 

heaven on seven chicago

This is a hidden gem that we are so damn happy we found. Hidden on the seventh floor of the Garland Building, this spot makes you feel like you are back in NOLA. Don’t let the casual vibe with the array of hot sauces lining the walls fool you; this chef does not mess. The Bannos family knows their Creole and most importantly, embraces southern hospitality. AND HOLY GUMBO. I think this may be the best gumbo we’ve ever indulged in. From Shrimp Etoufee to authentic po-boys, these recipes teleport you to the fun of bourbon street and the savory spice of good ole’ southern creole cooking. (Don’t forget to sip on a Hurricane!)

4. Green Street Smoked Meats
(112 North Green St.)

green st. smoked meats

Located in West Loop, this BBQ joint looks like nothing on the outside, but once you enter, you are flooded with the delicious scent of smokers and a rustic southern vibe. This warehouse of a BBQ joint has got all you could ever want when it comes to meat! You can try everything from the smoked prime rib, smoked salmon, and even sliced brisket by the 1/2 pound. Their sides take the cake. The mac and cheese is nothing short of creamy, rich, & a meal in itself while the coleslaw is the perfect refreshing bite to throw on top of your choice of meat. It is on the pricey side, but with the warm atmosphere and damn good beer, it is a Saturday night splurge well spent! 

5. Pearl’s Southern Comfort
(5352 N. Broadway St.)

pearls southern comfort

Oh Pearl’s, you are so loved. This Edgewater spot is all things Southern comfort. The blackened catfish steals our tastebuds and transports them to a southern backyard party. Alongside some hot & moist cornbread, your food coma is sure to set in quickly.  Make sure to stay awhile and enjoy their relaxing, cozy atmosphere while getting to know the kind and attentive staff. Don’t forget to grab some collard greens and an order of jambalaya to eat for lunch the next day. This place is the perfect taste of Nawlins and we are happy we don’t have to get a plane ticket in order enjoy cuisine as damn good as this.

There you have it, y’all. These Soul Food Restaurants are a MUST TRY this time of year, hell, all year long. 

Take it from us southerners: you won’t regret it.

Happy Holler Marketing

Want to hear about our Southern roots? Get in touch!


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Chloe Rodabaugh

Style Blogger. Performer. Creator. I'm constantly seeking the best bargains & working to inspire the daring kind of chick. I work for a start-up while simultaneously running two others. Can anyone say multi-tasker?

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