Top 5 Soul Food Restaurants in Houston

Side of cornbread? Yes, please, Esther.
Side of cornbread? Yes, please, Esther.
Photo by Katharine Shilcutt

If I had to choose a single cuisine for my final meal, soul food would be a top contender. I don't much care that the medical establishment says it's not so great for my health, and actually, I don't much believe them either. How can what makes my soul (and my stomach) sing not in some way help my body? Fools. Here are five places I know I can find good soul food in Houston:

5. Esther's Cajun Cafe and Soul Food. Like most soul food joints, Esther's offers cafeteria-style dining, oxtails and all the usual suspects (macaroni and cheese, collard greens, yams, etc.) in terms of sides. What sets it apart is the inclusion of NOLA favorites such as po-boys, étouffée and dirty rice served comfort-food style (read: mild seasonings and large portions). It's a delightful and delicious fusion of Southern styles.

4. Alfreda's Cafeteria. When the Houston Press recommended 10 restaurants to visit in the Third Ward, Alfreda's unsurprisingly earned a place on the list. Regulars know to go early in the day to get prime portions of baked chicken, oxtails, ribs and green beans; latecomers, never fear: Whatever's left is still good.

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