Food & Drink

Get your soul fix at these 17 heavenly NYC soul food joints!

New York City is a melting pot of cultures and cuisines, and soul food is no exception.

From the classic fried chicken and collard greens to the sweet potato pie and mac and cheese, the city is home to some of the best soul food restaurants in the country.

Soul food has a rich history that is deeply rooted in African American culture. It originated in the southern United States during the era of slavery, and has since evolved into a beloved cuisine that is enjoyed by people of all backgrounds.

The cuisine is known for its flavorful and comforting dishes that are often made with simple, inexpensive ingredients.

Whether you're a born-and-raised New Yorker or just visiting the city for the first time, you won't want to miss out on the opportunity to try some of the best soul food the city has to offer.

From hole-in-the-wall diners to upscale restaurants, there is a soul food spot to suit every taste and budget. So, get ready to indulge in some mouth-watering dishes that are sure to leave you feeling satisfied and happy.

1. Red Bamboo

Red Bamboo
140 West 4th Street, New York, NY 10012 (Google Maps)

Red Bamboo is a vegetarian and vegan soul food restaurant with a wide selection of flavorful dishes.

The portions are large and the prices are reasonable.

The restaurant has a cozy atmosphere but can get crowded during peak hours. The staff is friendly and the service is fast.

Highly recommended for those looking for delicious and healthy soul food options.

2. Jacob Soul Food Restaurant

Jacob Soul Food Restaurant
373 Malcolm X Blvd, New York, NY 10027 (Google Maps)

If you're in the mood for some delicious soul food, look no further than Jacob Soul Food Restaurant.

This black-owned buffet-style restaurant offers a wide variety of dishes, from classic Southern favorites to Caribbean and Continental fare. The food is fresh, well-seasoned, and sold by the pound.

The staff is friendly and the atmosphere is lively, with live music on weekends. The restaurant is clean and takes hygiene seriously.

Whether you're a foodie or just looking for a satisfying meal, Jacob Soul Food Restaurant is definitely worth a visit.

3. Ashford & Simpson's Sugar Bar

Ashford & Simpson's Sugar Bar
254 W 72nd St, New York, NY 10023 (Google Maps)

Ashford & Simpson's Sugar Bar is a soul food restaurant that offers a fusion of West Indian and Southern cuisine. The menu has a good selection of dishes, and the entrees average around $25.

The restaurant has a great ambiance with live music at night. The food is delicious and made to order. The staff is friendly and professional.

The bathrooms are beautifully decorated. The restaurant is a bit small, but that adds to its charm. The fried calamari and blackened catfish are worth trying.

The desserts are equally tasty, especially the banana cake. Ashford & Simpson's Sugar Bar is a great spot for a night out with friends or a romantic dinner.

4. Manna's

Manna's
2353 Frederick Douglass Blvd, New York, NY 10027 (Google Maps)

Manna's is a popular soul food restaurant that serves delicious, authentic local food. The menu offers a variety of freshly prepared vegetables and traditional soul food favorites like fried chicken, oxtails, and mac and cheese.

The restaurant has a causal cafe style atmosphere, and the staff are friendly and welcoming.

Customers can choose to dine in or take their food to go. The buffet is reasonably priced and the food is continuously refilled due to high volume of customers.

Manna's is definitely worth a visit if you're in the area and craving some tasty soul food.

5. Cadence

Cadence
111 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009 (Google Maps)

Cadence is a soul food restaurant that offers vegan and Southern cuisine.

The food is complex, creative, and delicious. The buffalo oyster mushroom burger is a must-try dish.

The staff is friendly and the atmosphere is charming. The restaurant is small, so it's recommended to make a reservation in advance.

Cadence is a great place to experience unique vegan soul food in a cozy environment.

6. BLVD Bistro NY

Blvd Bistro Ny
2149 Frederick Douglass Blvd, New York, NY 10026 (Google Maps)

BLVD Bistro NY offers a modern twist on classic soul food in a casual and chic atmosphere.

The food is delicious, with standout dishes like the shrimp and grits and wood smoked chicken. The staff is friendly and attentive, making for a great dining experience.

The restaurant also serves tasty drinks and has a lively atmosphere, perfect for a night out with friends.

If you're in the mood for some soul food with a contemporary twist, BLVD Bistro NY is the place to go.

7. Major Kitchen

Major Kitchen
339 E 118th St, New York, NY 10035 (Google Maps)

If you're looking for authentic soul food, Major Kitchen is the place to go. With amazing food and great service, you won't be disappointed.

The restaurant has a cozy atmosphere with both indoor and outdoor seating options.

The food is always fresh, seasoned to perfection, and served hot. You can even call ahead to avoid waiting.

Major Kitchen is not just a soul food restaurant, it also serves delicious seafood. Don't miss out on this gem of a restaurant.

8. Johnny Kaks

Johnny Kaks
2453 Adam Clayton Powell Jr Blvd, New York, NY 10030 (Google Maps)

Johnny Kaks is a small soul food and Caribbean restaurant that offers delicious and authentic dishes. The food is nicely seasoned and tastes like homemade cooking.

The meat falls off the bone and the seafood is made to order. The staff is friendly and approachable, and the customer service is top-notch.

The restaurant offers a variety of dishes, including turkey wings, oxtails, fried fish, and macaroni and cheese. The portions are generous, and the prices are reasonable.

If you're looking for a low-key spot to enjoy some soul food and Caribbean cuisine, Johnny Kaks is definitely worth a visit.

9. Spaha Soul & Bone Broth

Spaha Soul & Bone Broth
2294 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10035 (Google Maps)

Spaha Soul & Bone Broth is a cozy, reservation-only soul food restaurant that offers a unique dining experience. The restaurant is known for its excellently prepared and delicious food, which is made fresh on-site.

The chef is one of the coolest and nicest guys you'll ever meet, and he takes pride in serving up familiar yet original dishes that are unpretentious and made with love.

The ambiance is welcoming and intimate, and the art-filled walls add to the restaurant's quirky charm. Customers can take advantage of the BYOB policy and bring their own beverages to enjoy with their meal.

All in all, Spaha Soul & Bone Broth is a great spot for anyone looking for a taste of soulful comfort food in a relaxed and laid-back setting.

10. Freda's Cuisine

Freda's Cuisine
993 Columbus Ave, New York, NY 10025 (Google Maps)

Freda's Cuisine is a must-visit soul food restaurant for anyone looking for authentic Caribbean cuisine.

The portions are generous, and the food is flavorful and delicious. The restaurant has a cozy, intimate atmosphere, and the staff is friendly and attentive.

The menu offers a variety of options, including vegan choices. Take-out is also available. Prices are reasonable, making it a great value for the money.

Whether you're a first-time visitor or a regular, Freda's Cuisine is sure to satisfy your cravings for homestyle Caribbean food.

11. Charles Pan-Fried Chicken

Charles Pan-Fried Chicken
146 W 72nd St, New York, NY 10023 (Google Maps)

Looking for some finger-lickin' good soul food in the city that never sleeps, then look no further than Charles Pan-Fried Chicken.

This quaint eatery serves up some of the tastiest fried chicken in the city, cooked to perfection and seasoned just right.

Along with their signature dish, they offer a range of classic southern sides like mac and cheese, collard greens, and cornbread. The staff is friendly and welcoming, making you feel right at home.

While seating is limited, the food is worth the visit. So, stop by Charles Pan-Fried Chicken for some delicious comfort food that will leave you wanting more.

12. Londel's

Londel's
2620 Frederick Douglass Blvd, New York, NY 10030 (Google Maps)

Londel's is a standout soul food restaurant that offers an upscale dining experience in a stylish setting.

The menu features traditional Southern cuisine and Cajun dishes, with live weekend jazz adding to the ambiance.

The attentive staff and impeccable service make for an enjoyable dining experience.

Whether you're looking for a spot to celebrate a special occasion or just want to enjoy some great food and drinks with friends, Londel's is definitely worth a visit.

13. Amy Ruth's

Amy Ruth's
113 W 116th St, New York, NY 10026 (Google Maps)

Amy Ruth's is a well-known soul food restaurant that offers a variety of classic southern dishes. The restaurant has a lively atmosphere with great music and wall art.

The wait staff is attentive and the food is served hot and fresh. The portions are large and the flavors are rich and delicious.

The fried chicken and waffles are a must-try, and the mac and cheese is excellent. The restaurant is a favorite among locals and tourists alike.

If you're in the mood for some authentic southern cuisine, Amy Ruth's is definitely worth a visit.

14. Sisters

Sisters
47 E 124th St, New York, NY 10035 (Google Maps)

Sisters is a vibrant nook that serves up Caribbean-Southern fare. The restaurant is cozy and bright, and it's known for its signature pineapple cornbread.

The food is consistently delicious and fresh, with generous portions.

Customers can choose from a variety of vegetarian/vegan sides to turn into a plate or roti.

The staff are friendly and the service is fast. Sisters is a true neighborhood gem that is definitely worth checking out.

15. Lighthouse Fish Market

Lighthouse Fish Market
2451 Frederick Douglass Blvd, New York, NY 10027 (Google Maps)

Lighthouse Fish Market is a humble counter serving up fresh seafood and homestyle Southern fare.

The staff is welcoming and the food is cooked to order, making it worth the wait. The menu offers a variety of options, including steamed and fried food.

The portions are generous and reasonably priced. The restaurant does not accept credit/debit cards, so bring cash.

The macaroni and cheese and potato salad are delicious sides. It's a great spot for a late-night meal or a quick bite to eat.

16. Melba's Restaurant

Melba's Restaurant
300 W 114th St, New York, NY 10026 (Google Maps)

If you're in the mood for some classic Southern comfort food, Melba's Restaurant is the place to be.

With a retro and relaxed atmosphere, this restaurant serves up some of the best soul food in town. The fried chicken is a must-try, and the mac and cheese and collard greens are also fan favorites.

The staff is friendly and attentive, making for a pleasant dining experience.

Whether you're in the mood for a quick lunch or a leisurely dinner, Melba's Restaurant is a great choice for delicious food and a cozy atmosphere.

17. Sweet Mama's

Sweet Mama's
689 Malcolm X Blvd, New York, NY 10039 (Google Maps)

Sweet Mama's is a classic soul food restaurant that offers a buffet-style selection of delicious dishes. The food is well-seasoned, hot, and fresh.

The restaurant has a good variety of options, including fried chicken, pork, spare ribs, and baked ham.

The salad and fruit bar is a nice touch. The staff is friendly and professional, and the atmosphere is warm and inviting.

The prices are reasonable, and the portions are generous. If you're looking for a taste of real American soul food, Sweet Mama's is definitely worth a visit.