The Best Soul Food in Philadelphia: 6 Spots You Need to Try|
Are you looking for the best soul food in Philadelphia? The City of Brotherly Love is well-known for its culinary experiences—with Philly cheesesteaks, hoagies, tomato pies and many more tasty options to choose from. But you may not have known that you can find some delicious down-home cooking right in town.
If you’re craving some fried chicken, shrimp and grits, or catfish, you don’t have to travel far. Check out this list of some of the best soul food restaurants in Philadelphia, and get ready to sit down, grab a fork and dig in!
1. Honey’s Sit ‘n Eat
Now if you’re looking for some soul food in the early morning hours, you’ve got to stop at Honey’s Sit N Eat. The restaurant opened in 2005, bringing a “Southern Jewish” style of food to Philly.
Even if you’re not up early (we’re not all morning people), you can grab some biscuits and gravy at any time—because breakfast is served all day! Or, try their fish and grits, fried green tomatoes (like the movie) or Honey Cristo (ham, swiss and eggs on French toast).
You can find Honey’s Sit N Eat at 800 N. 4th St., Philadelphia, on the corner of North 4th Street and Brown Street.
2. Love & Honey
Searching high and low for some fried chicken? Look no further than Love & Honey. There are only a few seats, so this restaurant is a popular take-out option. Even so, it’s definitely worth the stop.
Love & Honey is owned by Laura and her husband Todd, and their restaurant was named the best fried chicken in Pennsylvania by Food Network in 2019, the best fried chicken in Best of Philly Magazine in 2018, and even Today named them as one of the top fried chicken restaurants in 2019.
So, it’s safe to say you’re going to get some incredible fried chicken at Love & Honey. They offer sandwiches, tenders and wings, along with some mouthwatering sauces (you have to try the honey hot sauce).
Find Love & Honey at 1100 N. Front St., Philadelphia, with an entrance on Wildey Street.
3. Rex at the Royal
Rex at the Royal serves some “low country cuisine evolved in Philadelphia.” Rex at the Royal used to be known as Rex 1516, but they recently moved into The Royal Theatre building and changed their name.
The restaurant menu was inspired by the famous Philadelphia chef, H. Franklyn Hall, and his shellfish cookbook, along with other 20th-century Black chefs that adapted Southern cuisine to Philadelphia.
Rex at the Royal offers a diverse menu, with appetizers including hush puppies and okra fries to crawfish pot pie, and entrees like shrimp and grits, chicken and dumplings and Frogmore stew. They also offer a raw bar and brunch options.
Check out Rex at the Royal at 1524 South St., Philadelphia.
What makes soul food in Philadelphia even better? Traditional live jazz. SOUTH offers both. This restaurant opened in 2015, offering elevated comfort food along with a jazz experience. The entire menu is available before and during the show, or you can eat in the garden courtyard if the weather permits.
With everything from a skillet of cornbread to bayou chicken gumbo to buttermilk fried chicken, you won’t leave SOUTH hungry. (Especially if you order one of their delicious desserts.)
SOUTH is located at 600 N. Broad St., Philadelphia, on the corner of North Broad Street and Mt Vernon Street.
Relish offers modern Southern cuisine, and just like SOUTH, they occasionally offer live jazz music as well. Their menu is complete with many classics including fried chicken (with a hot and honey sauce) and Southern fried catfish (with a lobster remoulade sauce).
Many also love their cornbread skillet, Gullah shrimp and cheesy grits, and smoked turkey collards and cabbage.
You can find Relish at 7152 Ogontz Ave., Philadelphia.
6. Butter’s Soul Food To-Go
If you’re looking to grab some take-out soul food, check out Butter’s Soul Food To-Go. Owner/operator Kevin Bell has more than 20 years of soul food experience, and he’s created a classic Southern menu for take-out and catering.
Whether you’re in the mood for fried chicken, shrimp, greens or even candied yams, you need to check out Butter’s Soul Food To-Go.
You can find Butter’s Soul Food To-Go at 2730 W. Girard Ave., Philadelphia, in North Philadelphia’s Brewery Town section.
Honorary Mention: The Twisted Tail
The Twisted Tail offers a modern twist to a few soul food classics. They also offer a variety of drink options as well as live blues music and entertainment six nights a week.
The menu at The Twisted Tail isn’t limited to soul food, but some popular dishes include fried chicken, shrimp and grits, and crawfish mac and cheese.
The Twisted Tail is located at 509 S. 2nd St., Philadelphia.
Go Out and Try the Best Soul Food in Philly
The soul food scene in Philly might surprise you. Who knew you could find delicious buttermilk fried chicken, juicy fried green tomatoes, spicy bayou gumbo and even more soul classics up north in the City of Brotherly Love?
Well, now you know that Philly offers delicious soul food—and exactly where to find it. What are your favorite places to find soul food in Philadelphia? Let us know in the comments below and check out our other articles, like the best cheesesteaks in north Philly.
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Sarah Dirks is a Junior Content Writer for Store Space who enjoys watching movies, being active and cheering for the Boston Red Sox.