3 Milwaukee Soul Food Restaurants to Eat at (Often)

Add these to your must-dine-at list.


1. Daddy’s Soul Food & Grille

754 N. 27TH ST., 414-448-6165; 6108 W. BLUEMOUND RD., 414-434-1354

Fried chicken is a specialty at Daddy’s. Try this bird – pieces with a tantalizingly crisp shell surrounding juicy meat – and get some sides to go with it. (Meals are served buffet style.) Best bets are the thick and smooth baked mac and cheese, smoked turkey greens and black-eyed peas. Also good is the catfish, dredged in cornmeal coating and fried – it’s moist and not greasy. Daddy’s runs nightly specials, such as meatloaf on Wednesdays and smothered pork chops (tender and rich) on Thursdays. $7-$12. 



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2. Nino’s Southern Sides

4475 N. OAKLAND AVE., 414-964-3663

This little counter-service storefront in Shorewood delivers the kind of home cooking you crave after, say, a long day at work. The fried chicken and catfish are both solid – fried crispy, with tender meat. The real find here is the succulent smothered pork chops, which come with two sides. And there are many to choose from, the highlights being the mashed potatoes and gravy, smoky collards, creamy mac and cheese and delicious baked beans. On weekends, they offer pork chitterlings, meatloaf and hash brown casserole, among other things. $13-$24. 

3. Sam’s Place Jazz Café

3338 N. MARTIN LUTHER KING DR., 414-837-5127

A coffee roaster, restaurant and live jazz club rolled into one. The soul food breakfast is the ticket, offering tender salmon croquettes with eggs, grits, hash brown and biscuits, crispy fried chicken with plain or red velvet waffles, and nicely seasoned breaded catfish with rice, eggs and biscuits. Lunch specials include Thursday’s bourbon chicken with red beans and rice, and Friday’s shrimp and grits. $5-$13. 


This story is part of Milwaukee Magazine‘s December issue.

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Ann Christenson has covered dining for Milwaukee Magazine since 1997. She was raised on a diet of casseroles that started with a pound of ground beef and a can of Campbell's soup. Feel free to share any casserole recipes with her.