Culinary Comfort: Exploring Metro Detroit’s Best Soul Food Spots

By: Carolyn Hall | November 15, 2023
A traditional southern bowl of shrimp and grits.

Soul food, with its rich history and delectable flavors, has long been a pillar of the culinary world. Detroit, a city pulsating with history, culture, and music, has a soul food scene that’s vibrant and diverse. Here’s a look at some of the city’s beloved establishments where soul food is not just a cuisine, but a cherished tradition.


6549 Woodward Avenue, Detroit

Joe Louis Southern Kitchen is an excellent spot for breakfast, brunch, and lunch. One might expect traditional favorites here, like crispy fried chicken and waffles, biscuits and gravy, and fried fish sandwiches, but you can also order Creole gumbo, a Jambalaya Cajun smoked turkey leg, and Creole shrimp and grits. The turkey leg is stuffed with rice, and topped with a Creole roux, grilled chicken, okra, spicy beef sausage, shrimp, and trinity vegetables.

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2727 Russell Street, Detroit

Known as much for its lively jazz nights as for its food, Bert’s Marketplace offers a fusion of culture and cuisine. The barbecue ribs are often smoked to perfection and are accompanied by classic sides like mac and cheese, candied yams, collard greens, red beans and rice, or black-eyed peas, to name a few choices.


3005 South Fort Street, Detroit

True to its name, MooreSoul Food is a spot where every dish has a touch of love and authenticity. Its menu has a variety of dinners, from chicken to pork and fish to turkey. You can order a fried chicken dinner, smothered pork chops, catfish, and more. Sides offered are the classics, with dressing, mac and cheese, sweet corn, and more available. 


14340 West McNichols, Detroit

Southern Smokehouse is a no-frills take-out spot that serves up classic soul food that will warm the soul. When you stop by for lunch or dinner, pick up the fried perch, ox tails, barbecue ribs, and sides like fried okra, cornbread dressing, or mustard turnips. 


26076 Greenfield Road, Oak Park

With a name that nods to classic soul food staples, Mookey’s food truck is a go-to for dishes like fried pork chops, barbecue chicken, and chicken and dumplings. Want to pick up dessert as well? Mookey’s Beans & Greens also offers banana pudding, sweet potato pie, and peach cobbler. If you’re looking to cater an event, the food truck is a great choice to serve guests if you want “Soulfood on Wheels.”


2900 8 Mile Road, Detroit

14300 East Jefferson, Detroit

A name that resonates with the city’s spirit, Detroit Soul offers a menu that’s a testament to tradition accompanied by its down-South hospitality. On Saturdays, the 8 Mile location has barbecue specials, ranging from a half BBQ chicken dinner to a whole slab rib dinner. Don’t forget to order the cornbread, yams, and potato salad on the side.


1431 Times Square, Detroit

Offering a contemporary twist to classic soul food, Savannah Blue combines the best of tradition with modern culinary techniques. Keeping the season menu items in mind, start your meal with the catfish fritters or the Georgian hummus, which consists of black-eyed peas, olive oil, garlic, garlic flatbread, and cranberries. As for a main course, pick from seared salmon with shrimp farro jambalaya to braised oxtails and red snappers. With the upscale dining experience, there are dress code expectations for guests, so be sure to check out the policy before going. 

Each of these establishments, while rooted in the traditions of soul food, brings its unique touch to the table. Whether you’re a lifelong lover of this cuisine or a curious first-timer, Detroit’s soul food scene promises a culinary journey that’s as rich and varied as the history behind it.