When living in a city full of green juice, vegan supplements and health-conscious eaters, sometimes your heart, stomach and soul just start craving cuisine from the complete opposite end of the spectrum. We’re talking about food that’s fried, smoked, sweet, tangy and heavy. If you want to indulge in some soul-satisfying, Southern food is your best bet. Here’s where to get it:
1. Ouisi Bistro
Ouisi Bistro has been serving up authentic New Orleans inspired fare since 1994. Créole, Cajun and French inspired dishes range from jambalaya and gumbo to southern fried chicken and genuine Louisiana alligator. In addition to awesome food, Ouisi’s décor and courtyard will make you feel like the bayou is just around the corner (frescoed ceilings, live jazz, candlelight). They also have an excellent selection of single malts and bourbons. It’s like New Orleans without the humidity!
Ouija Bistro (3014 Granville St).
Biscuits, fried pickles, beignets and fried chicken served with love in Chinatown. Mamie Taylor’s has been a local favourite for years and it’s easy to understand why. Their food is the perfect mix between traditional southern cooking and lighter West Coast fare. Meat is fire grilled and bread is baked in house. What more could you want?
Mamie Taylor’s (251 E Georgia St).
3. Dock Lunch
Dock Lunch is a teeny-tiny soul food restaurant just off Main Street in Mt Pleasant. The menu, which changes daily, is typically southern-inspired but sometimes veers off in other directions. Whatever the case, it’s always homemade and definitely as comforting as southern food can be. Come hungry but be prepared, they often sell-out before the end of the day!
Dock Lunch (152 E 11th Ave).
This East Van eatery is a self-proclaimed dive bar, but they’re so much more than just cheap drinks. Jackalopes uses locally sourced, hormone and antibiotic-free meat for their Southern inspired menu, which includes slow-cooked pork, brisket and a banging skillet fried chicken. They also have classic southern sides like grits and gravy and corn bread (also served in a skillet). Everything is better in a skillet. Skillet.
Jackalopes Neighbourhood Dive Bar (2257 E Hastings St).
5. Revel Room
If you’ve walked through Gastown on a warm night, chances are you’ve heard the faint sound of live jazz cascading through the air. Well guess what? That’s coming from the Revel Room! Bourbon forward cocktails, seasonal dishes, late night eats and boogie piano make Revel Room the ideal spot to eat, drink and celebrate like a Southerner.
Revel Room (238 Abbott St).
Just around the corner from the Revel Room is Peckinpah, Vancouver’s Carolina style BBQ destination. You can enjoy brisket, pulled pork or ribs by the pound alongside hushpuppies, mac and cheese, creamed corn and plenty more. We suggest their family style picnic option, which lets you try a lot for $25 per person.
Peckinpah (2 Water St).