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Jacksonville, Florida, is a city that is steeped in history and culture, and one of the ways that this rich heritage is celebrated is through its soul food restaurants. These eateries serve up delicious, hearty dishes passed down through generations and are a testament to the enduring legacy of African-American cuisine in the American South.
Whether you’re a longtime resident or a visitor to Jacksonville, these soul food restaurants offer a taste of the city’s unique flavor and provide a window into its vibrant culinary scene.
From classic comfort foods to new twists on old favorites, you’ll find them all here in the top soul food restaurants in Jacksonville.
Top Soul Food Restaurants in Jacksonville, Florida
- Soul Food Bistro
Warm, flavorful, familiar cooking that just lightens up your day – this is what Soul Food Bistro is known for. The restaurant chain has been serving up Southern dishes that remind you of what real homemade cooking is all about.
The cafeteria-style dining allows you to choose from the items on display, adding a bit of nostalgia to the whole dining experience.
Their most popular dishes include juicy and crispy fried chicken, pork chop swinging, smothered pork chops, braised ox tail, and baked tilapia. The dessert menu is also a crowd-pleaser with classic southern sweets like peach cobbler and sweet potato pie.
Address: 9400 Atlantic Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32225
- Tuesday – Thursday (11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.)
- Friday – Sunday (11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.)
Phone no: (904) 394-2801
- Sweet Mama’s Southern Homestyle Cookin
Sweet Mama’s is a simple and plain restaurant, but the delightful food it offers more than makes up for it. Whatever the place lacks in design and fanciness, the food shines through.
Sweet Mama’s most popular dishes include fried shrimp, fried ribs, oxtail dinner, deep-fried pork chops, smothered wings, mashed potato and gravy, and much more.
The homey ambiance and friendly staff make the dining experience all the more enjoyable.
Address: 1527 Cesery Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32211
- Monday, Wednesday (11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.) *Tuesday (closed)
- Thursday – Saturday (11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.)
- Sunday (11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.)
Phone no: (904) 267-0808
- Millers Soulfood Kitchen
If you’re looking for soul food but are tight on budget, head over to Miller’s Kitchen. They offer an expansive menu (which changes regularly) that can get you a complete, generous serving of delightful homemade cooking for just (or sometimes under) 5 dollars.
Their soul food meals are freshly prepared, delicious, and, best of all, incredibly affordable. However, apart from a few benches and tables, there are no other dine-in areas for customers.
Most of Miller’s customers order takeout and finish their delicious food at home or elsewhere. The takeout menu is quite expansive, offering a range of options to satisfy different tastes.
Address: 7303 N Pearl St, Jacksonville, FL 32208
- Tuesday (11:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.)
- Wednesday – Sunday (11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.)
Phone no: (904) 553-3741
- Soul Food Express
Soul Food Express is a simple restaurant on the Eastside offering cafeteria-style service, where you can choose from the items on display.
The offerings include oxtails, fried chicken, meatloaf, turkey wings, pork chops, baked chicken, Mac n cheese, collard greens, BBQ ribs, cornbread, cakes, and pies.
Due to space constraints, most regular patrons order takeout, making it a popular choice for people on the go. The fast service and convenient takeout options contribute to its appeal among locals.
Address: 1227 E 21st St, Jacksonville, FL 32206
Operating Hours: Thursday – Sunday (11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.)
Phone no: (904) 634-0018
- Southern Charm
Southern Charm is a straight-up, no-fuss eatery that serves some of the best Southern BBQs and seafood in Jax. Far from being fancy, this simple restaurant’s biggest attraction is its amazingly delicious soul food meals.
From its blackened shrimp to its crab cakes to the BBQ ribs and the pulled pork sandwich, everything is prepared fresh, hot, and perfectly seasoned. Plus, Art, Southern Charm’s chef and owner, will always have a warm and welcoming smile that makes you feel nothing short of family.
This spot becomes lively during weekends with live local music, enhancing the dining experience.
The menu extends to homestyle sides and classic southern pies, adding to various offerings.
Address: 3566 St Augustine Rd Jacksonville, FL 32207
- Tuesday – Wednesday (11:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.)
- Thursday (11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.)
- Friday (11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.)
- Saturday (6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.)
- Sunday – Monday (closed)
Phone no: (904) 517-3637
- Annie Ru’s Carryout and Catering
Annie Ru’s restaurant offers soul food meals that come in generous servings. The restaurant’s most popular dishes include Turkey Wings, Pork Chops, Yellow Rice, Chitterlings, and Meatloaf.
The restaurant is simple and clean, and the staff are warm and welcoming. They offer a structured catering service
that provides various options for different events. The casual ambiance paired with soulful tunes playing in the background adds to the homely feel of the place. However, they have limited drinks available.
So, if you plan to drink alcoholic beverages, you might want to bring your own.
Address: 2851 Edgewood Ave N Jacksonville, FL 32254
Operating Hours: Monday – Friday (6:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.)
Phone no: (904) 503-3573
- Austins Soul Food
Austin’s Soul Food prides itself on serving customers freshly cooked, traditional, Southern soul food meals. The restaurant’s most popular dishes include Baked Chicken, Liver and Onions, Oxtails, Pork Chops, Mac and cheese, Mashed Potatoes, Collared greens, and more. The restaurant has a diner-vibe and ample parking space.
They are involved in community events, which adds to the friendly, local vibe. There are special weekend menus which are a hit among the regular patrons. They also have a loyalty program for their regular patrons, an added benefit.
Address: 4807 N Main St Jacksonville, FL 3220
Operating Hours: Wednesday – Sunday (12:00 noon – 6:00 p.m.)
Phone no: (904) 619-7006
- Blu Diner
Blu Diner serves hot, delicious, good old homemade cooking that makes you feel warm and fuzzy. The restaurant shows all the food on display, and you get cafeteria-style food. They have daily specials, a treat for the regulars, and an all-day breakfast menu for those who crave breakfast items at any time.
Freshly baked pies and cakes are also available for those with a sweet tooth. Drinks are limited, so you should bring your own. The staff is friendly and makes the dining experience enjoyable.
Address: 5868 Norwood Ave Jacksonville, FL 32208
Operating Hours: Tuesday and Sunday (11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.)
Phone no: (904) 766-7774
- Jazzy’s Restaurant & Lounge
Jazzy’s Restaurant & Lounge is where vivacity meets comfort, offering a soulful culinary experience accompanied by live jazz and blues music. The ambiance is as enticing as the menu, which boasts a range of soul food dishes such as Louisiana crab cakes, catfish dinners, and fried pork chop sandwiches.
While the restaurant does not provide alcoholic beverages, patrons are encouraged to bring their own to enhance their dining experience. The venue welcomes guests from Tuesday to Sunday with varying operating hours, ensuring a spot for those seeking a blend of good food and music.
Address: 901 King St, Jacksonville, FL 32204
- Tuesday (4:00 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.)
- Wednesday – Saturday (11:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.)
- Sunday (11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.)
Phone no: (904) 813-7178
- Yummy Eats Soul Food & Catering
At Yummy Eats Soul Food & Catering, every meal is a fresh start. The restaurant values the essence of freshly cooked food, hence the practice of preparing dishes only upon order. This means a brief wait of around 20 minutes before indulging in a soul food feast.
However, for those in a hurry, placing orders in advance or dropping by earlier to order is a practical option. The menu is diverse, with slow-cooked oxtail dinner and smothered turkey wings among the delectable choices.
The restaurant is open from Monday to Friday and on Sundays, with specific operating hours to cater to the early birds and late lunchers alike.
Address: 2361 Edwards Ave, Jacksonville, FL 32254
- Monday – Friday (7:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.)
- Sunday (1:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.)
Phone no: (904) 614-9111
Potter’s House Soul Food Bistro
Potter’s House Soul Food Bistro stands as a cherished locale in Jacksonville, revered for its traditional southern cuisine. With offerings such as fried chicken and oxtails, every meal returns to the heart of southern culinary heritage.
Amidst a bustling ambiance, a unique sense of community and warmth permeates the air, making every dining experience memorable. The restaurant transcends mere dining; it celebrates a rich culinary tradition that keeps patrons coming back.
Address: 5310 Lenox Ave, Jacksonville, FL 32205
Monday – Thursday (11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.)
Friday – Saturday (11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.)
Sunday (11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.)
Phone no: (904) 394-7466
Simply Sara’s stands as a hallmark of heartiness and wholesomeness in Jacksonville. The restaurant caters to a diverse clientele with a menu encompassing Southern classics to contemporary fare, making it a serene haven for those seeking a touch of Southern hospitality.
The laid-back, friendly ambiance perfectly complements the soul-satisfying meals, ensuring every visit is a delightful dining experience.
Address: 2902 Corinthian Ave, Jacksonville, FL 32210
Monday – Friday (11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.)
Saturday (11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.)
Phone no: (904) 388-7789
Website: Simply Sara’s
Southern Roots Filling Station
Southern Roots Filling Station showcases a unique fusion of traditional Southern flavors and modern, health-conscious dining. Its wholesome, plant-based menu is crafted to provide a nourishing dining experience without compromising on authentic taste.
The cozy, welcoming atmosphere invites guests to indulge in a gratifying dining experience that satisfies both body and soul.
Address: 1275 King St, Jacksonville, FL 32204
Monday – Friday (11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.)
Saturday (10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.)
Sunday (10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.)
Phone no: (904) 862-6405
The Soul Food Spot
The Soul Food Spot in Jacksonville is a testament to authenticity and tradition in soul food cuisine. With a menu rich in heritage, featuring dishes like collard greens and flavorful meats, every meal is a culinary journey.
The cozy, family-friendly atmosphere is conducive for gatherings, where good conversations flow seamlessly over plates of mouth-watering soul food, making it a cherished spot for many.
Address: 3655-1 Emerson St, Jacksonville, FL 32207
Monday – Thursday (11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.)
Friday – Saturday (11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.)
Sunday (11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.)
Phone no: (904) 438-5173
Website: The Soul Food Spot
In conclusion, Jacksonville’s soul food restaurants offer a rich and diverse culinary experience that celebrates the heritage and culture of the South. Whether you’re in the mood for classic comfort food or innovative twists on traditional dishes, there’s always something for everyone in these top soul food restaurants in Jacksonville.
Frequently Asked Questions about finest soul food restaurants in Jax:
According to many culinary experts, the two are essentially the same, especially in terms of preparation and taste. The difference, they suspect, is more political (racial) than actual physical taste or process of preparation. The terms are more associated with who’s cooking than what is actually being prepared.
If there’s really a difference in definition, it would be in that the “Southern food” term is more encompassing than the “Soul food” category. Because while all soul foods are from the South (thereby making them Southern food as well), not all Southern foods are considered to be soul food.
Actually, most of them don’t. First of all, the main focus and attraction in soul food restaurants is the food and not the drinks. In fact, some of these restaurants offer just water. Second, soul food restaurants are popular for being inexpensive. Putting drinks on their menu (especially alcoholic beverages) will make their prices more expensive.
Yes, most of them (if not all) are owned by African Americans. It should be expected as well because soul food is closely associated with African American history in Florida.
What are the best soul food restaurants in Jacksonville for a quick lunch?
Some top picks for a quick soul food lunch in Jacksonville include The Bearded Pig, Southern Charm, and Sweet Mama’s Southern Homestyle Cookin.
Are there any soul food restaurants in Jacksonville that offer vegan or gluten-free options?
Finding vegan or gluten-free options might be a challenge at soul food restaurants in Jacksonville due to the traditional nature of the dishes. However, there might be a few places like The Bearded Pig that could offer vegetarian options.
What are the best soul food restaurants in Jacksonville for a family-friendly meal?
For a family-friendly meal, consider heading to The Bearded Pig, Southern Charm, or Sweet Mama’s Southern Homestyle Cookin, as they offer an inviting atmosphere and a menu that caters to a variety of tastes.
Are there any soul food restaurants in Jacksonville that offer happy hour specials?
Happy hour specials are not commonly associated with soul food restaurants in Jacksonville as the emphasis is more on the culinary offerings rather than on beverages.
Are there any soul food restaurants in Jacksonville that offer private dining rooms or event spaces?
Private dining rooms or event spaces may not be a feature of soul food restaurants in Jacksonville, as these eateries tend to be more casual and quaint.
Are there any soul food restaurants in Jacksonville that offer delivery or takeout services?
Absolutely, establishments like The Bearded Pig and Southern Charm provide delivery or takeout services for those looking to enjoy soul food at home or on the go.
What are the best soul food restaurants in Jacksonville for a romantic dinner?
While soul food restaurants exude a casual ambiance, places like The Bearded Pig might offer a relaxed, cozy atmosphere suitable for a casual yet romantic dinner date.