Baltimore Soul (Food)

Carrie Murphy

Something about fall puts me in the mood for soul food. Cornbread, fried chicken and collard greens hit exactly the right spot on a snappy autumn night. Baltimore, while obviously not the soul food capital of the world, does have a few spots where you can kick back with a crock of grits and a tall sweet tea (make it a hot tea if you're as big of a wuss about cold weather as I am). 

Darker Than Blue serves a version of upscale soul food, mixed with lowcountry favorites. We recommend the chicken and waffles and the fried catfish and grits. The Waverly eatery has been attracting food and jazz lovers for the last five years; their Sunday Jazz Brunch is a favorite with locals and tourists alike. The owner and chef, Casey Jenkins, can be crotchety, but we promise that his baked mac and cheese and candied yams are well-worth it. It's a small space, but all the better (and cozy!) to enjoy some hot southern cooking. 

Tooloulou, while also not a classic soul food restaurant, does serve some Louisiana-inspired dishes. The Coca-Cola ham is worth driving to Baltimore all the way from Louisiana, we'll say that much. They're also known for their delicious po boys.  

We love the pictures of soul music legends that adorn the walls of M&J's Soul Food in Charles Village. The mac and cheese there is delicious, as are the slightly spicy collard greens. The service can be hit or miss, but if you're craving a simple, Southern meal, you really can't go wrong here. Recently closed to renovation, M&J's is back open for business, just in time to coincide with the chill in the air. 

Southern Blues, in Randallstown, specializes in southern cuisine. It's a casual joint, nothing too fancy, but the food will really hit the spot if you're looking for some soul. We especially love their thick, rich chocolate cake. Their cornbread is great, too, and they also offer pig's feet and the perennial Baltimore favorite, lake trout. 

The Land of Kush, which we originally featured in our vegan food post, also offers soul food options: yams, greens, rice and beans. Plus, the "fake" meat options at Land Of Kush are delicious enough that you'd never lament the fact that you're not eating actual BBQ or actual curry chicken. This homey place is a great option for both soul food and veggie lovers. 

Are there any soul food places we missed? Let us know!


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