The phrase “soul food,” first coined in the 1960s, was intended to describe the comforting foods often prepared at home by African-American Southerners. Many of these dishes were are rooted in what is known by scholars and historians as the African diaspora. This food is soothing, nostalgic, and heartwarming – to say the least. Luckily enough, Atlanta has no shortage of great restaurants that identify as this type of cuisine, so here are a few soul food restaurants to try around town – if you’re looking to support local institutions during these continually trying times!
Twisted Soul Cookhouse & Pours – 1133 Huff Road NW #D, Atlanta, Georgia 30318
Chef Deborah VanTrece has been enjoying quite a profile boost over the last few years, having cooked multiple times at the James Beard House in New York and other high-profile events. The classically trained chef continually pushes the boundaries of soul food at her Westside Atlanta restaurant, Twisted Soul Cookhouse & Pours. With all of her well-deserved notoriety, chef de cuisine, Robert Butts, has taken over the kitchen at Twisted Soul, and like VanTrece, Butts pushes the boundaries with his dishes — think mole sous vide short ribs, a smoked salmon croquette sandwich, cornmeal-crusted catfish goujonnette, and crispy confit duck with chevre scallion Johnny cakes. The menu here is vast as it is delicious!
Q-Time Restaurant – 1120 Ralph David Abernathy Boulevard SW, Atlanta, Georgia 30310
Q-Time Restaurant serves up the type of soul food that you can taste simply by feasting your eyes upon it. Its signature turkey wing dish is not only swimming in a delicious, finger-licking sauce, but it’s also roasted to a gorgeous golden brown and served savory with plenty of meat. The sides also take each main dish to the next level, whether it’d be the flavorful stewed vegetables, such as the collards, turnips, and cabbage, or the cheesy and creamy mac and cheese with the perfect, every-so-crispy topping. Oxtails, three-bone pork rib plates, honey barbecue wings, and the Salisbury steak are other dishes to consider trying out when you’re at Q-Time Restaurant!
Roc South Cuisine – 3009 Buford Highway NE, Atlanta, GA 30329
Ask any soul food fan in Atlanta, and they’ll either praise Chef Virgil Harper or say they’ve been meaning check out Roc South. Roc South became an instant success when it opened on Buford Highway in 2019 before the pandemic. The honey lemon pepper wings are delicious, but it’s the jasmine rice seafood gumbo, which also includes chicken and beef sausage, steals the appetizer show for most patrons. Diners at Roc South also seem to rave about the whole fried snapper and the lamb chop. Not to mention, the fried, hot-honey-glazed chicken stands out as a prime example of modern soul food and comes with an absolutely beautiful presentation to boot!
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