Home Best of Guides Where to Find Southern Food in North Jersey

Where to Find Southern Food in North Jersey

by Olivia Fisher
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North Jersey is home to a variety of cuisine from around the globe, and that includes foods from different regions of the US, as well. Southern cooking has made its way up north featuring the flavors of Cajun, Creole, Soul, Appalachian, Lowcountry, and Floribbean cuisine. We’re talking southern staples like hush puppies, grits, biscuits, fried chicken, cobbler pie, and collard greens. These sweet and savory dishes and the tradition and joy of their chefs will not disappoint. Read on for a guide to where to find southern cooking in North Jersey. 

A Mother’s Touch Bistro + Catering | 36 West Mount Pleasant Avenue, Livingston


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The Ivy at Chatham

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Every dish of Chef Melaine’s is filled with love and passion. Her cooking is influenced by her mother and grandmother which has served as inspiration for the business name. Here you will find fried chicken wings, Cajun fried shrimp, beef sliders, and sides like fried brussels, cajun fries, yams, and crispy collard green egg rolls. Desserts include banana pudding, seasonal strawberry banana pudding, and Mama’s triple chocolate cake. Saturday Brunch runs from 10AM to 4PM where Chef Mel serves up jambalaya shrimp + grits, sweet potato waffles + chicken wings, fried green tomatoes, peach cobbler and more. Contact them here for catering. 

Amazing Taste |  918 US-22 North Plainfield + 303 West Front Street Plainfield + 71 Main Street South Bound Brook

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Amazing Taste has three locations serving up Soul Food. Their Whiting, Tilapia, and Fried Catfish sandwiches are served on white bread and are excellent to pair with a side of candied yams, potato salad, string beans, cornbread, or yellow rice. Amazing Taste also offers chicken empanadas and spicy or BBQ chicken wings. Their Dinner platters allow diners to choose Jerk Chicken, Baked Chicken, Fried Salmon, Spicy Wing Platters, and more. All these platters come with the choice of two sides. Desserts here include Navy Bean Pie and Banana Pudding. Amazing Taste is closed on Mondays.

Read More: A Guide to Sushi Spots in Montclair

Boss Hog Barbeque | 13 South Plainfield Avenue, South Plainfield

South Plainfield’s Boss Hog Barbeque serves a variety of barbeque dishes like ribs, chicken, brisket, bratwurst, and pulled pork. Diners will find sides like mac + cheese, collard greens, cole slaw, and cornbread. Their brisket, pork, and chicken sandwiches can be topped with coleslaw, pickled jalapenos, and pickled onions. Boss Hog Barbeque offers flavorful sauce made from scratch like sweet and tangy Boss Sauce. Boss Hog Barbeque has indoor and outdoor seating and does do catering. You can order pick-up through DoorDash and GrubHub.

Crab Island Cajun Seafood + Bar | 1016 Main Avenue, Clifton


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Clifton’s Crab Island Cajun Seafood + Bar is a full liquor bar serving hush puppies, popcorn shrimp, fried rice, and more fried fish than you could catch. Open from 12PM to 10PM, this bar offers outdoor seating, has several televisions for sports watching, and has Spanish-speaking staff. Their Po Boy Sandwiches include buffalo chicken, catfish, shrimp, oyster, crab cake, lobster, and crab meat options which can be paired with a side of sausage, corn on the cob, broccoli, potatoes, and boiled eggs. If you are looking for a chill date night and some crab legs, Crab Island is perfect.

Cornbread | 1565 Springfield Avenue, Maplewood + 915 Broad Street, Newark

cornbread soul

(Photo credit: Cornbread)

Co-founders Adenah Bayoh and Elzadie Smith serve up fast-casual farm-to-table soul food at two NJ locations. Cornbread sources all of their ingredients from local farms and high-quality food suppliers. Now of course, they specialize in cornbread which is served as a side with their Fried Chicken Meals, Fried Fish Meals, and Classic Baked Meals. These meal deals come with the choice of one or two sides ranging from potato salad, yams, collard greens, baked mac + cheese, and yellow rice. They offer two desserts: apple and peach cobbler and sweet drinks like lemonade and sweet tea. A Montclair location is coming soon and will be located at 372 Bloomfield Avenue.


Marie’s Chicken Joint | 641 Shunpike Road, Chatham


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Open seven days a week, Marie’s Chicken Joint offers Southern Fried Chicken Sandwiches like their Nashville featuring buffalo sauce, pickles, and bleu cheese crumbs. Their Southern Style Blue Plate Specials include Pulled Pork Sandwiches served on a roll with coleslaw, a Biscuit and Gravy Platter, and Chopped Brisket Sandwiches. Marie’s savory sides include onion rings, tater tots, mashed potatoes, pickle chips, coleslaw, and buttermilk biscuits. If you’re looking to takeout, order on GrubHub.

Pop’s Chicken | 392 North Main Street, Wharton


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Pop’s Chicken is a must-go spot for fried chicken. Their signature Chicken Sandwich can come crispy, with honey hot flavoring, with BBQ sauce, or buffalo sauce. Those looking for southern cuisine should sample their Po-Boy Sandwich, cornbread, biscuits, sweet corn, hush puppies, and collard greens. This wide-ranging menu also offers Mexican and Jamaican food.

Sandi’s | 82 Speedwell Avenue, Morristown

sandis soul bites

(Photo credit: Sandi’s)

Sandi’s serves up down-home dishes with great southern flavor. Their small bite plates “SoulBites” combine the idea of Soul food and snack for a quick bite to eat on your way home from work. Sandi’s is temporarily closed, but will reopen later this year at a new location. This prior location displayed a warm and colorful interior that Sandi’s new aesthetic will surely do the same. Their new menu is not out yet, but it is sure to include some of their signature dishes like salmon croquettes, BBQ ribs, banana pudding, collard greens, and grits. And of course some of the best Southern dishes like hush puppies, mac + cheese, biscuits, fried chicken, cole slaw, and sweet tea.

Sweet T’s Southern Eatery | 387 Bloomfield Ave, Montclair


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Montclair’s Sweet T’s Southern Eatery is owned by partners Dre Perrin and Tonza Houston. Dre’s family hails from the south and he grew up eating authentic soul food. Tonza grew up in the Caribbean and when she moved to West Orange, struggled to find authentic soul food. The pair have fulfilled their dream of owning a restaurant and have brought authentic Southern and Soul food to Montclair.   

Their fantastic starters include Georgia Style Okra, Fried Shrimp, Homemade Buttermilk Biscuits + Gravy, and Deviled Eggs. As well as over 20 sandwiches and entrees to choose from like their Banana Foster French Toast and Savory Salmon Cakes. Now of course they have macaroni and cheese and so many delicious sides to choose from like collard greens, cornbread stuffing, candied yams, home fries, and grits. When it comes to dessert Sweet T’s is extra sweet. If you still have room left you’ll have to sample their Lemon Bundt Cake, Banana Pudding, and Peach Cobbler. Sweet T’s requires reservations for dining from Friday to Sunday. If you’re looking for delivery, check them out on DoorDash, UberEats, or GrubHub.

See More: A Guide to Buffalo Chicken Everything in Hoboken + Jersey City

The Weekend Spot | 683 Springfield Avenue, Newark


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Located along Newark’s infamous Springfield Avenue, The Weekend Spot provides RicoSoul food blending authentic Soul and Puerto Rican cuisine. The Weekend Spot prides themself in using the best ingredients and products in their family recipes. There are numerous flavorful starters, soups, salads, entrees, seafood, pasta, sides, and desserts. With a range of sides like mac + cheese, buttered corn, cabbage, creamed spinach, and cornbread. The Weekend Spot just knows how to do it right. Seafood lovers will take pleasure in this spot’s Whiting Sandwiches, Shrimp + Fries Baskets, Fish + Grits, Jerk Salmon, and Porgy. 

Vonda’s Kitchen | 183 West Kinney Street, Newark

Vonda McPherson’s restaurants offer freshness and flavor in Newark’s historic Lincoln Park District. Vonda’s Kitchen offers Silver Dollar Pancakes, Three Layered Grilled Cheese, Chicken + Waffles, Stuffed French Toast, Grilled Salmon Omelettes, and so much more for breakfast. You will also find numerous salads, sandwiches, and entrees which are perfect to pair with a side of string beans, white rice, mac + cheese, or collard greens. There are a variety of meat and seafood entree options like catfish, shrimp, flounder, chicken, turkey, tilapia, oxtail, and salmon. Vonda’s Fried Chicken Sandwich which comes with cabbage, red onion, and pickle chips is one of the tastiest out there. This location is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.


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