There’s some incredible food south of the Mason Dixon line, no doubt. But if you aren’t traveling to that stretch of land anytime soon, you can find some fine options all over the United States. From California to Maine, here are 14 of our favorites.
Rosebud American Kitchen & Bar in Somerville, MA. Chef and partner John Delpha brings years of experience on the BBQ competition circuit to Rosebud’s menu of Pan-American fare. The chef has incorporated southern flair into the menu with dishes like smoked chicken wings and NOLA BBQ shrimp n’grits.
Robert’s Maine Grill in Kittery, ME. Having mastered classic New England seafood, Chef Brandon Blethen is branching out by adding BBQ dishes to the restaurant’s ocean-heavy menu. Brandon tinkered with smokers and the flavors that different woods bring to meats for years, and has added dishes like hickory smoked brisket and St. Louis-style ribs to the lineup.
Georgia Reese's Southern Table & Bar in Indianapolis, features dishes inspired by soul food meals served on the family table of Gary Brackett, a former linebacker for the Indianapolis Colts. The menu boasts southern plates like country-fried green tomatoes and breaded shrimp, and orange Coca Cola BBQ rib tips.
Hog & Rocks, San Francisco’s first ham and oyster bar, located in the heart of the Mission district, was created by one of the 2013 San Francisco Chronicle’s Rising Star Chefs, Robin Song. The menu features Southern-influenced gastro pub fare heightened by the freshest local ingredients. Dishes include pimento cheese with a homemade pretzel and deviled eggs with country ham and fried oyster.
Nexus Brewery in Albuquerque, NM. This New Mexico brewery does their own version of Southern fried chicken and waffles (with an optional honey pecan glaze). They also have fried catfish, gumbo, pork sandwiches, fried fish sandwiches, bread pudding, and cherry-peach cobbler, just to name a few favorites.
Peaches' Smokehouse & Southern Kitchen is a food favorite truck in L.A. Here, chef Ryan "Peaches" Lamon, a second generation Georgia pitmaster, serves Carolina-style BBQ such as pulled pork and smoked chicken, in addition to crowd favorites like grilled pimento cheese sandwich, fried chicken sandwich, and BBQ baked beans.
North in Providence, Rhode Island, serves up a signature dish of mini ham biscuits -- along with Surryano hams carved to the minute. The restaurant's chef and owner James Mark is an alum of Momofuku and incorporates a lot of Southern influence into the menu. Their sister spot, an intimate bakery down the street, prepares savory country ham bagels, as well as meatloaf and chicken pot-pie hand pies.
Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken in Washington, D.C. was founded by Elliot Spaisman and Jeff Halpern, childhood friends who grew up playing hockey together and sharing doughnuts after their games. They were named best doughnut in D.C. by the Washington Post, and recently debuted an Old Bay doughnut and fried chicken sandwich.
Tiburon Tavern in Tiburon (Bay Area), California. Born and raised in Sopchoppy, FL, executive chef Tim Humphrey utilizes much of his family history and heritage into every Southern-inspired dish he creates (including using a few ingredients from his own personal farm), like hushpuppies with a homemade sugar cane syrup butter; deviled eggs with pickled jalapeño and smoked bacon and chives; and chicken-fried quail with pickled watermelon rind and a herb buttermilk ranch, gulf shrimp, and white grits.
Morris House Bistro in Cheyenne, WY. Featuring upscale, Lowcountry Southern cuisines, Morris House Bistro is a gem in Cheyenne’s restaurant scene. It makes its home in a historic bungalow-style house that was once the home of Esther Hobart Morris, a famous suffragist and the first female Justice of the Peace in the United States. The seasonal menu features items such as green tomato cheese balls, Grandad’s ‘bacco wings (made with a sweet tobacco sauce), and collard greens with pepper vinegar.
Monte Carlo’s Double Barrel Roadhouse (inside the Monte Carlo Hotel in Las Vegas, NV). This all-American roadhouse is just what the country-lover ordered. Double boasts big flavors, an unmistakable Southern influence, “bar rituals,” live performances on the elevated catwalks and the dancing “DB” girls. Chow down on barrel-fried chicken and BBQ pulled pork sliders.
Pechanga Fried Chicken in Temecula, CA. The outlet is inside of Pechanga Resort & Casino is an unlikely place for authentic fried chicken, but people come in droves. Guests can also dig into coleslaw, mac 'n cheese, and homemade biscuits. Chef Marlene Moore, originally from Trinidad and Tobago, uses her special blend of seasonings, spices, and breading to make the fried and popcorn chicken.
Big Jones in Chicago, IL. Influenced by the freshest Cajun, Creole, Lowcountry, and Appalachian ingredients and recipes, Chef Fehribach blends classic dishes like fried chicken and biscuits, cornbread, and grits with dishes like housemade Cajun charcuterie, sweet potato hash and Gumbo Ya-Ya.
Dulan's Soul Food Kitchen in Inglewood, CA. Dulan's serves classic southern fare that sticks to your ribs, like smothered pork chops, oxtails, collard greens, black-eyed peas, mashed potatoes, mac 'n cheese, and candied yams. Food is served cafeteria-style, and while most people seem to take their food to-go, there are tables available for those dining in.