From barbecue to collard greens and chitlins, soul food has many roots spread throughout cultures in the United States, and there are ample variations on its fried, saucy, and rustic dishes. You can see this in Raleigh with the city’s four best soul food restaurants. Check out the restaurants below, and you’ll see that each has its own identity and is perfect for different cravings.
If diner food served at gastropub quality is what you love, Poole’s will more than do the job. The mac and cheese, corn soup, and fried okra are all highly praised, along with their buttermilk ice cream and chocolate chip pancakes. Poole’s is ideal if you’d like a creative and gourmet twist on some of the more esoteric soul foods, such as grilled duck hearts in sunny eggs. The blackboard menu changes seasonally, so be sure to try it more than once to see new and tantalizing combinations.
Beasley’s Chicken + Honey
This restaurant is a must-visit for chicken cravings with Southern side dishes. Beasley’s fried chicken comes drizzled in a little honey, for a rich flavor combination. It’s all very simple and Southern, with a higher standard of quality than diner food. Give Beasley’s a try if you’re interested in trying their unique honey-drizzled style or if you want a place with a pleasant, cool decor.
Apart from the fried chicken and honey, there’s only chicken and waffles, a chicken biscuit, and a chicken pot pie for the other entrees, so ordering is kept simple. The side dishes include pecan-smoked chicken wings, crispy cheese grit fries, fried bologna with house-made pickles, and more.
The Flying Biscuit
The Flying Biscuit is a bit more formal than the typical casual soul food restaurant, but it’s still welcoming. Happy customers often praise the restaurant’s shrimp and grits, biscuits with apple butter, and the classic breakfast menu served all day. Fried green tomatoes and organic oatmeal pancakes with peaches come highly recommended as well. They also offer plenty of sandwiches and some intriguing salad ideas, such as very berry, tofu and tater, BLT, and coca-cola bbq glaze salmon.
The Flying Biscuit is a small but healthy franchise that has stayed true to the quality of their food and service the more it expands. There is currently one Flying Biscuit in Raleigh and two in Charlotte.
State Farmers Market Restaurant
This bright, family-friendly restaurant is a Sunday tradition for many Raleigh folks. Just as the no-nonsense name implies, this restaurant is set right by the Farmer’s Market, and it makes full use of the area’s most bountiful ingredients. The pancakes are huge, the chicken fried steak is crisp and meaty, and the Eggs Benedict are the best in town.
Nothing warms you up or wakes you up like simple cooking with intense flavors. Between these four places, you should be able to get a great country breakfast, a hearty Southern dinner, or a nice weekend lunch of your favorite comfort foods. Give them a visit and you’ll probably find a reason to come back soon!