Story Hoodline — Looking to satisfy your appetite for Southern comfort food?
We crunched the numbers to find the top Southern restaurants around Detroit, using both Yelp data and our own secret sauce to produce a ranked list of where to find chicken and waffles, collard greens and more.
1. Slows Bar Bq
Topping the list is Slows Bar BQ, a local favorite known for pulled pork and slow-cooked ribs. Located at 2138 Michigan Ave. in Corktown, it’s the most popular Southern restaurant in Detroit, boasting four stars out of 1,803 reviews on Yelp.
Open since 2005, the in-demand restaurant has since expanded its Detroit location and added a new outpost in Grand Rapids and a to-go spot in Midtown.
The eatery’s Yardbird sandwich — smoked chicken sautéed in honey mustard barbecue sauce and topped with mushrooms, cheddar and applewood bacon — received national attention a few years ago when it reached the finals on Travel Channel’s “Best Sandwich in America,” per MLive.com. Other coveted menu items include the Creole gumbo, beef brisket, the fried or blackened catfish and sides like mac and cheese, jalapeño-spiced black beans and sweet potato mash.
2. Kuzzo’s Chicken & Waffles
Next up is Kuzzo’s Chicken & Waffles, situated at 19345 Livernois Ave. in northwest Detroit. The modern eatery with bright red walls, exposed brick and pop art of former President Obama, Run-D.M.C., among others, has proved to be a local favorite, earning four stars out of 397 reviews on Yelp.
Owned by Detroit native and former NFL player Ron Bartell, Kuzzo’s serves all-day waffle and breakfast combos, sandwiches, salads and comfort food like the shrimp and grits with bacon and the red velvet waffle served with fried wings or tenders and bourbon maple syrup. Pair your meal with homemade cornbread, candied yams or collard greens.
3. New Center Eatery
New Center Eatery, located at 3100 W. Grand Blvd., is another top choice, with Yelpers giving the counter-service spot that’s served numerous celebrities four stars out of 183 reviews. Just north of Wayne State in the New Center neighborhood, the eatery plans to soon make the move to a larger space on Woodward Avenue that should help accommodate the growing crowds, Eater reports.
New Center Eatery says on its website that it cooks with love, crafting dishes that are “robust, full flavored and guaranteed to have you coming back for your favorite meals.” On the menu, look for fried chicken wings with a Belgian waffle, salmon croquettes with rice, grits or hash browns, spicy gumbo and a scramble with bacon, sausage and ham.
4. Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken
Over in Midtown, Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken, a national chain and Southern spot that offers comfort food, is another go-to, with four stars out of 175 Yelp reviews. With more than two-dozen outposts across the U.S., the spot at 4101 Third St. in one of three Michigan locations.
Start off with the fried trio of appetizers: okra, pickle spears or green tomatoes. Then grab a plate of the fried chicken served with baked beans, slaw and white bread. Round out your meal with a root beer float or a slice of pecan, sweet potato or old-fashioned coconut pie.
5. Vicki’s Barbeque & Shrimp
Finally, there’s Vicki’s Barbeque & Shrimp, a Detroit institution on the city’s west side. The family-run takeout joint at 3845 W. Warren Ave., which earned four stars out of 31 reviews on Yelp, has been attracting customers for decades, including a visit from Anthony Bourdain back in 2013, per MLive.com.
The legendary spot is famous for its pork spareribs cooked over an open pit, smoked chicken and fried shrimp. The menu is simple, but the homemade St. Louis-style sauce is complex — sweet and tangy and full of flavor. Take it from Yelp reviewer Mike K., who said, “You haven’t lived until you’ve had ribs here. Seriously spectacular.”
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