NYC’s Top Spots For Real Southern Food, Dig In, Y'all

Tim Minerd

Missing the Big Easy while you’re in the Big Apple? Not to worry, New York City has it all, even fried green tomatoes. Serving up dishes from Dixie, Hill Country and the rest of the American South, a meal at one of these unique spots will make any homesick Southerner feel like they’ve crossed the Mason-Dixon line. Here is our list of restaurants that will satisfy those Southern food cravings in NYC.

1. Hill Country

Market, Restaurant

Jacobs Pickles
© Danielle Zaria Praport
The real Hill Country, Texas, is a barbecue paradise located between Austin and San Antonio. Hill Country, the restaurant, is a Texas barbecue joint located between Manhattan’s NoMad and Chelsea neighborhoods. You can’t miss this restaurant’s giant in-house smoker as you line up to place an order, Texas-style, for meat by the pound before settling in for a feast of Texan proportions. Hill Country is definitely the closest you can get to the Lone Star State without leaving the city.

2. Jacob's Pickles

Restaurant, American, Fast Food

Don’t be embarrassed if you quietly admit to yourself that Jacob’s Pickles’ cheddar cheese grits are better than any you could get back home. Paired with sweet tea, fried green tomatoes and a generous helping of chicken and biscuits, you’ll leave Jacob’s Pickles with all your Southern cravings fully satisfied. A word to the wise, there’s always a wait for food this good, so arrive about an hour before you want to eat and sip a glass of apple pie moonshine at the bar.

3. Sylvia's

Restaurant, North American, Soul Food

The long-reigning queen of Soul Food in NYC, Sylvia’s has been a Harlem institution since 1962. Known for their world-famous BBQ ribs (smothered in Sylvia’s Original Sassy Sauce) and Gospel Brunch on Sundays, there’s no better place than Sylvia’s to get Southern food with a side of soul.

4. Southern Hospitality

Bar, Restaurant, Pub Grub

Fellow Southerner Justin Timberlake helped to bring a little bit of Tennessee to NYC when he co-founded Southern Hospitality. Fried pickles, pulled pork sliders and Memphis spare ribs stand out at this popular joint in Hell’s Kitchen.

5. The Delta Grill

Restaurant, Cajun

Pies n Thighs Interior
© Sarah Sanneh
For a taste of New Orleans, The Delta Grill hits the spot. Fried oysters, shrimp étouffée, Po’ Boys, jambalaya and gumbo are all on the menu at this venue that celebrates the best of the Big Easy. Situated on a busy stretch of 9th avenue in Hell’s Kitchen, it’s also a great pre or post-theater spot.

6. Pies ‘n’ Thighs

Restaurant, American

Homemade southern chicken is delicious with a waffle and syrup
© Brent Hofacker / Shutterstock

Fried chicken and home-baked pies are the order of business at Pies ‘n’ Thighs, a Southern spot located on the south side of Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood. You know it’s a good chicken joint because every table is equipped with hot sauce and honey, essential accouterments for any fried chicken aficionado. Be sure to top off your meal with some of the best banana cream pie in the city.

7. Tipsy Parson

Restaurant, American

Take an evening stroll on The High Line and mosey on over to Tipsy Parson, where you’ll find a sophisticated twist on Southern classics. Favorites like Hush Puppies with Pimento Cheese and Cornmeal-Crusted Catfish offer up a taste of the South amid the trendy galleries of West Chelsea. Fresh biscuits with bourbon-bacon jam are worth a second visit.

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