Springlike weather will be here before we know it and that means it is time to start planning your next family vacation! Spending time with family on vacation is one of the best ways to reconnect and have a few laughs. You can easily fly to a popular destination, but what about a family road trip? Time spent out on the road can lead to longer conversations. A road trip will also ensure new discoveries in areas you never knew existed. One of my favorite parts of road trips is the restaurants I find along the way. You just never know when you will pull into a diner and find that perfect piece of pie. If you are planning a road trip with your family this summer, I recommend checking out some amazing soul food restaurants scattered throughout the US. These restaurants might not be the diners you know from the 70s. But they are filled with intensely seasoned cuisine and a vibe you won’t want to miss. There are hundreds of soul food restaurants in the US, but if you want to save yourself some time, these are a couple of the best.
You may not be thinking of soul food when you are driving through the state of Connecticut. But you will definitely want to hit the brakes when you reach Sandra’s Next Generation in New Haven. The fried chicken will melt in your mouth, but it will be the side dishes that have you adding more to your plate. After all, it can be difficult to choose between the fried okra, Caribbean rice, black eye peas, and collard greens.
Before you leave to head over to Yale, Gillette Castle, or even one of the casinos, make sure you grab a piece of sweet potato pie to go.
A family road trip through LA may have you wandering the streets of Rodeo Drive, Sunset Boulevard, and Hollywood Boulevard. However, in between all those celebrity sightings and window-shopping adventures, you are going to want to stop and grab a bite to eat. Thankfully, there is an amazing soul food restaurant in Los Angeles. Dulan’s Soul Food has three different locations, and you will enjoy delicious cuisine at them all. The portions are huge at Dulan’s, so plan on having leftovers of anything you order. The smothered chicken, short ribs, and ox tails are all a hit. But if you arrive on a Sunday, make sure you order the baked turkey wings instead. They only offer those once a week and they sell out quick. The cornbread muffins and steamed cabbage pair well with any meal. Just make sure you order a piece of sweet potato pie or pineapple coconut cake before you venture out to hike to the Hollywood sign or drive along the Big Sur Coastline.
The Gateway Arch, jazz music, and Bellefontaine Cemetery may all be waiting for you down in St. Louis but eating a little soul food should be at the top of your list. Especially if you choose to dine at Gourmet Soul Restaurant. This soul food restaurant in St. Louis offers a gourmet twist on all your favorite dishes. The menu isn’t large, but the chef prepares numerous specials each day.
The chicken wings are the most popular dish, especially when they are served with mac and cheese and green beans and peppers.
Driving through New Orleans is always an experience. While you may want to avoid the Mardi Gras crowds, there is no other reason to skip this historical destination. You will find that the food in New Orleans is as diverse as the history and culture. A visit to Heard Dat Kitchen will ensure you get the best of soul food, as well as Louisiana creole. The added creole and Cajun seasonings to soul food dishes is what puts this restaurant at the top of everyone’s dining list.
You can begin your meal at Heard Dat with shrimp and grits, dat fries, or the massive dat plate. Just make sure your family saves room for their signature dishes. Those dishes include the Mardi Gras mambo, superdome, and Bourbon Street love. And don’t worry, you can walk off those calories as you explore the French Quarter.
Are you hungry yet? These are only a couple of the soul food restaurants you can visit during your next family road trip. There are many others to choose from and I can help you add them to your itinerary. The best part is you can easily keep those New Year’s resolutions and eat healthy while traveling. Check out my tips on eating healthy while traveling.
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