You had best don your denim and practise your drawl because Southern-style cuisine is taking over the local foodie scene faster than grass goes through a goose. We’ve gathered a bunch of lip-smacking local dishes inspired by the soulful Deep South of the Unites States, from crispy fried chicken to slow-cooked pulled pork sandwiches with coleslaw.
Missing out on a great spot really grates our pickle, so if you’ve tasted a Southern-style meal that rocked your boots, be kind enough to tell us about it in the comments section.
Order an authentic New Orleans jambalaya with spicy chicken, beef, chorizo and rice (R95), or a New Orleans blackened rump or sirloin steak coated with mild spices and grilled on a skillet (R130). End your meal with a true Southern classic: Mississippi mud pie topped with mocha Kahlua ice cream and fudge sauce (R45).
Café Bruegel (Edenvale)
While primarily a Belgium waffle house, Café Bruegel adds a touch of Southern flair to their menu with a grilled Cajun chicken waffle topped with feta cheese and avocado (R69.50).
Catz Pyjamas (Melville)
Indulge in scrumptious soul food in this fun, casual setting with Catz Whiskers barbecue basted ribs (R96.50 for 400g; R145.50 for R700g) or deep-fried potato skins served with guacamole, salsa and a rich cheese sauce (R51.50).
Feast on grass-fed beef brisket served on whole-wheat bread with coleslaw and a creamy potato salad for lunch (R90), or a dish of confit acorn-fed pork belly with organic vegetables, brandy-butter apples and a mustard jus for dinner (R145).
Doppio Zero (Sandton City)
Try their pulled pork sandwich with Southern-style slow-roasted pork, rocket, mustard and tomato served on a Turkish bread roll with a portion of hand-cut chips (R79).
The Griffin (Illovo)
This hip gastropub ensures you end your weekend on a delicious note with their select Sunday roasts. They alternate between dishes weekly, but if you’re lucky you can catch their Southern-style deboned pork belly with buttered cabbage, pancetta, rich apple sauce and pork crackling (R110).
The Foundry (Parktown North)
Diners go crazy for their barbequed pulled pork that’s braised in ginger beer and served with homemade apple slaw and root vegetable crisps (R78). This dish is only available for lunch.
The Smokehouse and Grill (Braamfontein)
Try the St Louis pork ribs with fries (R80 for half a portion; R139 for a full portion); slow-smoked brisket with rocket, red onion and barbecue sauce on a panini with pickles and jalapeño (R90); or the pulled pork, which is a 15-hour slow-smoked pork shoulder on a sesame bun with Carolina coleslaw and barbecue sauce (R85).
Billy the Bums (Morningside)
Experience a taste of the south with a New Orleans pie: a feast of grilled chicken breasts, chorizo sausage, creamed spinach, mozzarella, jalapeño and Neopolitan sauce wrapped in puff pastry and served with rich onion gravy (R65). For a Louisiana-style dish, order their Cajun chowder with chicken strips sautéed in spices and onion, bacon, tomato and cream (R42).
Freedom Café (031 309 4453) (Greyville)
Visit this quirky eatery to enjoy slow-cooked pulled pork on a homemade brioche bun with fries (R78), or order the three pulled pork sliders (R82).
Loaded potato skins – a Southern favourite – get a Tex-Mex twist with Crawdaddy’s ‘Crawchows’. The roasted spud skins arrive filled with bacon, cheddar cheese, salsa and avocado dips, a jalapeño and a blanket of melted mozzarella cheese (R64 per portion). Oyster lovers will enjoy their fresh New Orleans oysters topped with smoked salmon, sour cream, homemade salsa and chopped chives (R18.95 each).
Emanzini Restaurant at Protea Hotel (Centurion)
The ultimate comfort food arrives in the form of Emanzini’s Southern fried chicken with onion rings, potato wedges, coleslaw and a homemade barbecue sauce (R105).
Cafeteria Guerilla Gastronomica (Food Truck)
Try their pan-fried macaroni and cheese with roasted tomato sauce, smoked crispy bacon and mature white cheddar (R50); or braised, deboned, marinated and barbecued beef short ribs with gluten-free corn bread and red cabbage coleslaw (R70). Catch this food truck at Riebeeck Square on the first Thursday of every month or follow @cafeteriamobile on Twitter and Facebook.
Clarke’s Bar and Dining Room (City Bowl)
Indulge in a slow-cooked pulled pork sandwich with homemade kimchi and smoked mozzarella (R57), or plump for seafood with fragrant oyster chowder (R40). Try their sweet pie of the day for dessert (R39).
Fat Cactus (Woodstock)
The Woodstock branch takes a Southern approach with soul-food favourites such as country fried chicken and waffles served with tumbleweed onions and creamy chicken gravy (R69); Po Boy hero rolls with Creole-spiced fried chicken and chipotle mayo (R50); and the Porky Gibson BBQ pulled pork on coleslaw with chilli-pineapple salsa and tumbleweed onions (R64).
Knife (Century City)
The self-styled ‘New York loft meets Deep South smokehouse’ serves a slow-roasted BBQ pork belly with sautéed potatoes, green beans and roasted garlic (R105). Another highlight is a meat platter for two, which includes their signature ribs, buffalo chicken wings, 200g steak, Southern fried chicken, Creole mayo and a Louisiana hot sauce (R260).
Lefty’s Dive Bar (Zonnebloem)
This atmospheric venue is modelled after a traditional American dive bar and serves up a variety of Southern-inspired dishes including their famous Southern fried chicken and waffles (R65) and shredded pork tacos dripping with homemade apple sauce and red slaw (R60). Their menu changes frequently, so be sure to give them a call to see if these dishes are on offer.
Meisies Kitchen (Food truck)
While they don’t cook Southern food all the time, the girls of Meisies Kitchen can do private functions with a Mardi Gras theme (R180 per head). They whip up meals like blackened Cajun chicken skewers with mint yoghurt sauce; duck and chorizo gumbo with brown wild rice; refried beans; and sweet pecan pies.
Miller’s Thumb (Gardens)
Enjoy a taste of Louisiana Creole cuisine with their New Orleans-style jambalaya with fish, chicken, shellfish, chorizo sausage, peppers, chilli and brown rice (R120).
SteamCraft Restaurant & Bar (Woodstock)
This trendy gastropub draws the crowds with quirky Southern-style menu items, including their house specialty, 500g pork belly ribs basted in Dr Pepper, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey and chipotle (R120), marinated for 24 hours, and then tossed on the grill. Their El Diablo deep-fried chicken wings are also worth a try (R50).
Sticky Fingers BBQ (Observatory)
Get messy with a rack of ribs (R95 for half portion; R155 for full portion) and fried chicken wings served with slaw and beans or fries and onion rings. Complement your main with a grilled corn on the cob (R16).
Taproom at Devil’s Peak Brewery (Salt River)
Tuck into Southern staples like barbecue pigs’ tails (R20); Southern fried chicken and waffles with bacon and gorgonzola gravy (R78); and the pulled pork sandwich slow-cooked in Woodhead Amber Ale and served with pickled red onion, coriander cream and crispy onion rings (R85).
Have we missed a Southern-style meal that really rocked your cowboy boots? Tell us about it in the comments section below.