The 10 Best Places For Soul Food In Washington, D.C.

Courtesy of Acadiana
Courtesy of Acadiana
Matthew Keyte

Soul food is synonymous with the big, hearty, comforting flavors of Southern home cooking. Its roots are in African-American cuisine, Native American cooking, and the flavors of the Bayou and Gulf Coast. Think lots of fried chicken, mac ‘n’cheese, hushpuppies, game, chitterlings, and pig’s feet and you have yourself a classic soul food menu. Here’s our list of the best places to find soul food in America’s capital, Washington, D.C..

1. Hitching Post

Restaurant, Soul Food

The Hitching Post serves traditional Southern soul food. It’s famous for one dish in particular: the Hitching Post fried chicken. You can get eight pieces as a main course or go for classics like fried or steamed shrimp, crab cakes, or pork chops – all served with mac ‘n’cheese, coleslaw, fries, or mashed potatoes.

2. Florida Avenue Grill

Restaurant, Soul Food

Florida Avenue Grill exterior
© Ted Aytan/Flickr
A Washington institution, the Florida Avenue Grill is a welcoming restaurant serving good home-cooking. On the menu are breakfasts of ham and eggs, bacon or sausage and eggs, and hot cakes off the grill. For dinner you can try BBQ pork ribs, baked chicken with cornbread dressing, chitterlings, and steamed pig’s feet.

3. Eatonville

Restaurant, American

Eatonville is owned by the artist and activist Andy Shallal. There’s a distinct Harlem Renaissance literary theme that runs through the restaurant. On the Eatonville menu are dishes including maple-peppered salmon, jambalaya with shrimp and andouille sausage, and BBQ pork ribs. One distinguished fan is Michelle Obama.

4. Marvin

Bar, Bistro, Belgian, American, Pub Grub

Marvin, Washington, D.C.
Courtesy of Marvin
Marvin is a bistro and roof bar named for and inspired by the great soul singer Marvin Gaye. The soul food of his youth and the pared-back lifestyle of his time in Ostend, Belgium, away from the glare of publicity, are the influences behind the cuisine and culture of Marvin. On the dinner menu you’ll find a blend of Southern cooking with Continental dishes. The appetizers include chicken fried oysters, beef tartare, shrimp and grits, and Brussel sprouts with crème fraîche. You can follow with a course of moules marinières and entrées of pan-seared salmon, chicken and waffles, pork chops, and pepper-crusted steaks.

5. Acadiana

Bar, Restaurant, Contemporary

At Acadiana the flavors of Louisiana are given a contemporary twist. The menu takes old Bayou classics and adds a little modern refinement and edge. You can get oysters on the half-shell with fresh horseradish, duck jambalaya with Tasso ham and tomatoes, crawfish étouffée, gumbo, and beef tenderloin.

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