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Best New York Soul Food Restaurants

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by Jessica Mousseau (subscribe)
Jessica Mousseau is a copywriter & copy editor from the United States. Her work can be viewed at: www.jessicamousseau.com.
Published May 28th 2011


Soul food appeals to everyone; it is not just limited to one ethnic or cultural origin. That's a good thing, because all types of people make up New York City residents, and tourists come from all over the world to visit this famous city.

If you are looking for authentic soul food, you will want to make a trip to Harlem. If you can't visit that unique, dynamic neighborhood often enough to get your soul food "fix", though, don't worry. There's a good barbecue joint in Manhattan that serves authentic soul food, too (it's described more fully in this article).

Amy Ruth's, 113 West 116th Street (Harlem)

This family-owned soul food restaurant was passed down from a grandmother to her grandson, who preferred cooking and helping in the kitchen to doing outside work. His grandmother encouraged him, rather than forcing him to join his siblings outdoors, and the result was the continuation of Amy Ruth's.

The menus include a waffle menu, as well as a separate breakfast menu. In addition, there is a regular dinner menu, but you can also choose from daily specials, daily entrees, soups, and salads. A dessert menu is also offered, so save room.

Billie's Black, 271 West 119th Street, Harlem

If you like your soul food served in an upscale atmosphere, then Billie's Black is the place for you. You'll find gourmet soul food that will meet even the most exacting of dining standards. On some occasions, live entertainment is offered. This part of the soul food experience at Billie's Black is just beginning, so you may find yourself listening to a future famous artist.

Miss Maude's Spoonbread, Too, 547 Lenox Avenue, Harlem

The prices are inexpensive, but that doesn't mean you won't get top-quality food. Miss Maude had already established a reputation for her delicious desserts, which she served at her drugstore, but it was the meals that her family enjoyed that earned her the most praise.

Now, you can enjoy the same meals that her family did at Miss Maude's Spoonbread, Too. If you go on Thursday night, you can listen to poetry readings while you dine on some of the best soul food in New York City.

Virgil's Real Barbecue, 152 West 44th Street

Located right in the heart of Times Square, this barbecue restaurant serves soul food, too. This is the place to go when you can't make it to Harlem. You can choose from Memphis pork spare ribs, Texas sliced beef brisket, and Carolina pulled pork shoulder. You can also enjoy whole barbecued chickens. All meats are smoked on-site in two genuine Southern Pride smokers, so you know you're getting authentic barbecue. Paired with the soul food offerings, they truly make for unique meals.
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Why? Because soul food is good for the soul
When: Whenever you want
Where: All over New York
Cost: Depends on restaurant
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