Southern food: as this addictive Stateside cuisine is set to come into its own in London, here are our top picks, along with some cracking cocktails.
Londonist's Lydia Manch recommends this Fulham soulfood joint:
Everything bar the fries is made — baked, brined, battered — from scratch in the downstairs kitchen, and that amount of TLC pays off in a big way. All the Southern Americana classics are there; collard greens with ham hock, spinach dip thick with cheese, cornbread, fried catfish... and what might be the best hot chicken you'll find this side of Nashville: it's definitely the best we've ever had in London.
Hearty, heart-warming stuff. It comes coupled with a menu of bourbon, rye and moonshine — cocktails are a strong suit. The Southern Hospitality is an enamel mug of sweet tea vodka, Southern Comfort and tart, homemade lemonade — the sort of cocktail you want to drink on a sultry day on a shady porch. Throw in good, bluesy music and service with Southern warmth, and we have a hunch we'll be spending a lot of time here.
Anna Mae's Southern Street Food
Food vendors Anna Mae's have been serving up London twisted Southern street food for a while now. Their headlining mac and cheese — often with intriguing variations such the Don Macaroni (pesto, bacon, basil) — goes down a storm at festivals and events all over the capital. Catch them with the Kerb collective, where you can also get hold of their pulled pork creations and hot dogs.
Anna Mae's, various locations and events around town.
Pitt Cue Co
This much feted restaurant houses some of the best ribs in London. It’s also the only place to get your grubby little mitts on a Jowl Scrumpet — a deep fried panko-crumbed, fish finger-shaped pigs jowl. If you want to take the moreish recipes home, get the book, which promises to divulge the secrets of their ribs, pork, bone marrow mash and all their cocktails.
Pitt Cue Co, 1 Devonshire Square, EC2M 4YP
Joe's Southern Table & Bar
Cynical Londoners should not be put off by the tourist-friendly location. Gumbo, gargantuan tender ribs, moist beer can chicken — and do you want a bottle of honey to drizzle over those dirty deep fried wings? Oh yeeeeah. Yeah you do. Dessert indulgers should make a beeline for the homemade pecan pie.
Joe's Southern Table & Bar, 34 King Street, WC2E 8SB
Chicken-touting connoisseurs/pun lovers Mother Clucker have a reputation for dishing up some of the most mouth-watering poultry in the city — free range, marinated in a sweet tea brine and double fried with buttermilk and spices. With New Orleans native Brittney Bean behind the fryer, you can’t get any more authentic than this. Look out for this pop-up at the likes of Truman Brewery, Camden Market, Hawker House and Kerb.
Mother Clucker, various locations around town.
This multi-award winning, family friendly BBQ joint situated in Chelsea has been serving up steak and shrimp patrons since 1991. (They have town more branches now.) Based on the crab shacks that line the Louisiana coast, you can opt for whole, fresh Maine lobster or pig out at one of their all-you-can eat specials that run Monday-Wednesday, including ribs, fajitas and deep fried prawns.
Big Easy, 332-334 King's Road, SW3 5UR
This article is part of our Best of London Food and Drink series. Visit the page for more recommendations of where to enjoy the capital's top food and drink, categorised by cuisine, food type and more.