7 Best Soul Food Restaurants in Chicago

When you need something that just gets you body and soul, there’s one place to turn to––soul food. Chicago is no doubt home to many revered restaurants in all types of cuisines, soul food included. So while we can’t really recommend just one place, we’ve gathered a few of Chicago’s soul food staples you can turn to when you’ve got a hankering for it. Think delicious smothered meats, fried fish, cornbread, collard greens, and all that flavorful goodness. Here’s your guide to the king of comfort foods:

Daley’s Restaurant

6257 S Cottage Grove Ave, Chicago, IL 60637

There’s a lot of history at Daley’s Restaurant. Since 1892, the historic diner has served a variety of homestyle classics and soul food faves in the Woodlawn area. Homemade peach cobbler and chicken and waffles are some of their most popular items. With over 120 years in the business, it’s no wonder Daley’s has left a lasting impression on the city and community. 

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Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Daley’s has a great menu selection with specialties like the Catfish Filet, served with two eggs, homemade hashbrowns, rice or grits, and homemade biscuits.

Soul Veg City

203 E 75th St, Chicago, IL 60619

You may not think vegetarian or vegan when it comes to soul food, but Soul Veg City proves that it’s just as satisfying as the comfort food you’d expect, but healthier. Without sacrificing flavor, Soul Veg City has served a 100% plant-based, animal-free, and chemical-free menu in the Chatham area for 40 years. The menu also uses no refined sugars, flours, or rice, so it’s a more health-conscious approach to soul food.

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Vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike can appreciate what Soul Veg City has to offer, like their famous ​​Garvey Burger, made with TVP (textured vegetable protein) and served on a whole wheat bun accented with grilled onions, mushrooms, mustard, and homemade BBQ sauce.

Pearl’s Place Restaurant

3901 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60653

Pearl’s Place is a Bronzeville staple dishing out home-style cooking, including a soul food buffet on weekdays and weekends. The restaurant has a long and successful history serving the city for more than 30 years. Desserts are made fresh from scratch in house daily, including apple cobbler, sweet potato pie, bread pudding, banana pudding, and more. Try their famous Shrimp and Cheesy Grits app, Shrimp Po’Boy, or Smothered Short Ribs.

Soulé

1931 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

Soulé is a boutique Creole-infused soul food restaurant in Chicago’s West Town. Since 2017, the restaurant has brought delicious and flavorful home-cooked meals to the city. With a vision to celebrate culture and community, Soulé has all the soul food classics like Fried Green Tomatoes, Shrimp and Grits, Fried Chicken, Fried Catfish, and Banana Pudding (in three flavors!). They’re classics, but Soulé brings a modern twist to their home-style cooking. See for yourself!

MacArthur’s Restaurant

5412 W Madison St, Chicago, IL 60644

MacArthur’s is a casual cafeteria-style restaurant dishing out all your fave homestyle classics like fried chicken, collard greens, mac and cheese, meatloaf, and more. It’s a tried and true staple in the Austin area for hearty Southern comfort food. The daily rotating menu is updated on their website with all dinners including two sides. Some entrees include Baked Chicken, Meatloaf, BBQ Turkey Legs, Fried Catfish, Liver & Onions, and Oxtails.

Luella’s Southern Kitchen

4609 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60625

Luella’s brings traditional Southern favorites to a casual storefront spot in Lincoln Square. Named after chef and owner Darnell Reed’s grandmother Luella, the counter-service restaurant is small, relaxed, and BYOB. Chow down on mouth-watering dishes like the salmon croquettes with fried corn maque choux. Or go with fluffy and flaky biscuits with fried chicken and andouille sausage gravy. You can’t go wrong with anything on the menu!

Oooh Wee It Is Restaurant

33 E 83rd St, Chicago, IL 60619

As exciting as the restaurant name, Oooh Wee It Is brings soul food with a twist to Chatham. This isn’t the first rodeo for owners Mark and Shae Walker — Oooh Wee’s first location is in Burnham. The restaurant has classic dishes like Smothered Shrimp N Rice, Catfish, Oxtails, and Shrimp N Grits. The Pot Roast Cupcakes — a sweet corn muffin with a layer of mashed potatoes, tender pot roast with gravy, shredded cheese, and green onions – are also a huge success.

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