The Best Southern-Style Restaurants (in the North)

Few things are as consoling in the cold winter months as comfort food. Why do you think we call it that? And most people will agree that comfort food is best done by those who hail from the South. We’re talking fried chicken, ribs, pulled pork, gumbo, jambalaya and the like. Put a little South in your mouth with these, the best southern restaurants in Canada.


Big Daddy’s Bourbon Street Bistro & Oyster Bar

Location: 212 King Street West, Toronto

The Gist: You’ll find real comfort in this southern-style restaurant with a whole section of their menu dedicated to Louisiana specialties. Oysters are always a mainstay and can be made however you prefer.

What To Order: Big Daddy’s Mixed Platter.
Broiled or pecan-crusted jumbo shrimp, half lobster, blackened catfish and jalapeño bacon-wrapped scallops served with seasonal vegetables and Creole-style rice. They also make one hell of a caesar.

Blue Bay Cafe

The County General

Location: 936 Queen Street West, Toronto

The Gist: It’s the sandwiches here that get all the attention. Besides the good old fashioned fried chicken treatment, they also served open faced pulled pork, Korean fried chicken and cauliflower Pakora sandwiches. Also, order the daily cocktail; their bartenders deserve your trust.

What To Order: Fried Chicken Thigh Sandwich with buttermilk chicken, avocado chutney, cilantro and pickled red onion.

Electric Mud BBQ

La Creole

Location: 810 St. Clair Ave West, Toronto

The Gist: It’s right there in the name, creole cooking is what this place does best. Here you’ll find cuisine in the style of French Caribbean, Creole and Haitian culture. If that’s not enough to make you do a happy dance, they usually have live music on weekends.

What To Order:Le Griyo. Traditionally braised pork morsels, rice, creole sauce, pikiiz and house salad. Don’t let the authentic names scare you, order with confidence.

New Orleans Seafood & Steakhouse

Rose & Sons


Smoque N’ Bones

Location: 869 Queen St. West, Toronto

The Gist: Nestled in a cozy location across from Trinity Bellwoods Park, Smoque N’ Bones does a meat lover proud. Pulling inspiration from the four pillars of BBQ (Memphis, Texas, Kansas and the Carolinas) they serve the best kinds of comfort food and juicy meat that’s smoked until you can smell it down the street.

What To Order: Pork side ribs with a side of creamy coleslaw, a side of Mac & Cheese, a side of buttermilk onion rings and a side of potato salad. All the sides!

Southern Accent1

The Saint Tavern

Location: 227 Ossington Ave, Toronto

The Gist: Best described as ‘hearty’, the meals you find at The Saint will fill you up to the point of napping. The fried chicken here has both a satisfying crunch and a juicy centre.

What To Order: The Fried Chicken that comes with smoked sweet potato, creamed collards and pickled watermelon. Damn straight you can pickle that.

Triple A Bar

Bookers BBQ Grill & Crab Shack

Location: #10, 316 3rd St. SE, Calgary

The Gist: Considered a hidden gem near Calgary’s East Village, Bookers is known for for its Southern cooking, smokehouse barbecue, and all-you-can-eat movements. Over 200 lbs of Alberta meat is smoked every day. That’s commitment, even by Alberta standards.

What To Order: The BBQ Platter. On it you’ll find smoked pork ribs, smoked brisket, smokehouse chicke, pulled pork, baked beans, coleslaw and fries. Do yourself a favour, don’t make plans after eating here.

The Soul Shack

Location: Barrington Street, Halifax

The Gist: The husband and wife duo behind The Soul Shack knows that Southern-style food can still be diverse. Which is why they proudly serve southern soul, jerk chicken, fish & chips and curry…most of the time. They like to switch up the menu.

What To Order: The Philly Cheesesteak. And if you don’t like it, it’s on the husband.

Jackalope’s Neighbourhood Dive

Location: 2257 East Hastings Street, Vancouver

The Gist: When a restaurant specializes in freshly made cornbread and slow cooked meats, you know you’re in for some real Southern cooking. Whatever you order, be sure to add some of Jackalope’s own hot sauce, made locally by their chef.

What To Order: BBQ Baby Back Ribs. Tender, slow cooked rack of baby back ribs, basted in (and here’s the rub) smokey sweet Jim Beam bourbon bbq sauce.

Louisiana Purchase

Location: 10320 111 St NW, Edmonton

The Gist: By combining the cooking cultures of Creole and Cajun, Louisiana Purchase will transport you to the land of bourbon and jazz, which is always a good thing.

What To Order: Steamboat Jambalaya. A creale-sauced meaty medley of crab, shrimp, whitefish, spicy sausage and mussels served with veggies, spiced rice and hush puppies.

Lovely’s BBQ & Smokehouse

Location: 208 Marion Street, Winnipeg

The Gist: While they take pride in serving delicious southern-style dishes like chicken wings, briskets, pork shoulders and ribs, Lovely’s isn’t afraid to share their secret. Once a month you can head over and learn how to make your every own delicious pulled pork.

What To Order: The Great Canadian Chicken Ranch BLT. Bacon, lettuce, tomato (uh, ya) with crispy fried chicken breast and a creamy ranch dressing.

Memphis Blues BBQ House

Location: 1342 Commercial Drive, Vancouver

The Gist: Just to show how south their blood runs, the guys at Memphis Blues will tell you that barbecue is properly pronounced as ‘Baaah-be-cue’. They only cook meat the southern way, which means no braising or boiling happens here.

What To Order: Barbecue chicken served with corn bread, BBQ pit beans, slaw and choice of potato salad or fries.

The Cajun House

Location: 7 St. Anne Street, Edmonton

The Gist: The flavour of their jambalaya, crab cakes and gumbos rival the Big Easy, as does the presentation and atmosphere. This is as authentic a Southern experience you’re likely to get in Edmonton.

What To Order: New Orleans Seafood Gumbo, a thick, Louisiana-style gumbo, just like your Grand Pappy didn’t used to make.