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Bring on the biscuits: A guide to Miami’s best soul food.

Sometimes you just want some feel good cooking that tastes like it was cooked in the backwoods of Georgia. And if you want it to be authentic soul food, then it’s best to get your fix from the neighborhood joint, not the trendy spots. In Miami, you’ll even find that some of the best soul food may not come from a typical restaurant. That roadside BBQ pit sometimes has the best meat-falling-off-the-bone ribs you’ll ever find. 
So here’s a shortlist of some of the best neighborhood soul food eateries where the mac & cheese isn’t watery, the fried chicken doesn’t taste like the batter is from the box, the seafood comes all the ways you like it and the sweet tea is homemade.

Arline's Restaurant & Seafood

Conch and Shrimp with pigeon peas & rice

A post shared by Arline’s Seafood Restaurant (@arlines_restaurant) on May 20, 2017 at 12:12pm PDT

Don’t get it twisted. Arline’s may seem like a little known restaurant, but it’s actually pretty popular and stays busy. The Miami Gardens eatery combines soul food and seafood with traditional dishes plus snapper dinners, cracked conch, and conch salad. They even make a homemade lemonade, and on any given Sunday, expect to see a line outside.

2770 NW 167th St, Miami Gardens

2770 NW 167th St, Miami Gardens

World Famous Rib Shack

Steamed Red Snapper and Yellow Rice

A post shared by World Famous Rib Shack (@worldfamousribshack) on May 26, 2016 at 12:01pm PDT

Yes, ribs are on the menu, but that is not all. This restaurant is known for its fried lobster, and if that doesn’t get your taste buds watery, how about the fried snapper or crab. Popular with the local Liberty City crowd, it also offers homemade pound cake. And just in case you feel like adding some soul to your breakfast, it offers a hearty and full breakfast to get your day going.

7506 NW 17th Ave, Miami

7506 NW 17th Ave, Miami

Flava's Miami

Finding chicken and waffles isn’t always easy. But Flava’s Miami, which focuses on breakfast, answers the calling. But you have to head south to West Perrine to taste its offerings, which includes the grits like your Auntie Mae made them, salmon croquette and shrimp and grits with eggs.

17490 SW 104th Ave, Perrine

17490 SW 104th Ave, Perrine

Lil Greenhouse Grill


Chef and co-owner Karim Bryant is known around Overtown for his grill skills and finally opened up shop earlier this year with Overtown’s newest restaurant. The menu features staples like wings and a hearty platter of ribs, mac ‘n cheese and greens, but you can also find items like black bean burger, sea cake burger topped with shrimp and seafood cake dinner.

On Thursdays, check out their spoken word and open night with drink specials as well.

1300 NW 3rd Ave, Miami

1300 NW 3rd Ave, Miami

Miami Finga Licking

Fried lobster and shrimp #CREATURPLATE

A post shared by Miami Fingalicking Restaurant (@thelickingmiami) on Jul 25, 2017 at 7:05pm PDT

Finga Licking is probably the king of Miami soul food. Between the shout outs on hip hop songs to the random rapper sightings to even Mr. “We The Best” DJ Khaled himself giving his input on the the opening of the Miami Gardens location, Finga Licking is the spot that locals love and celebrities put on their to must-go to list for everything from grilled shrimp to fried lobster and chicken croissant melts. But don’t forget to try the “rainbow punch” served with fresh fruit.

In just a few shorts they’ve racked up multiple locations, including North Miami Miami and Miami Gardens.

Locations:  12490 NW 7th Ave., North Miami and 17647 NW 27th Ave., Miami Gardens.

Jackson's Soul Food

When in Miami #jacksonsoulfood

A post shared by Bryan McDaniels (@misterbmac) on Jun 15, 2017 at 5:14pm PDT

Here’s another king of Miami’s soul food scene. Jackson’s Soul Food has been a fixture in Historic Overtown since 1946 and is frequented by both the business crowd and locals seeking out its shrimp and grits, and bone-sucking oxtails. Business has gotten so good that they opened their second location in Opa-locka in 2016, and word is that they’re close to opening up another location at Hard Rock Stadium, not to mention a pending location at Miami International Airport.

Jackson’s is known for their breakfast and lunch, and unfortunately aren’t open for dinner.

Locations: 950 NW 3rd Ave., Miami and 14511 NW 27th Ave., Opa-Locka

MLK Restaurant

Fried Wings N Waffle Thursday

A post shared by Dine in or Takeout (@mlkrestaurant) on Jul 20, 2017 at 9:33am PDT

Fried and smothered chicken wings, extra cheesy grits and eggs are just some of the offerings on the menu at Liberty City’s MLK Restaurant. There’s also catfish and smothered liver. The restaurant is a quick stop on your way to work or a lunch break with its no frills location that gets you in and out quickly. Located on MLK Boulevard, Northwest 62nd Street and 24th Avenue, it’s not hard to miss with its revolving door of diners.

2469 NW 62nd St., Miami

2469 NW 62nd St., Miami

Crabman 305

Crabman 305 is the man when it comes to whipping conch into any dish. There’s fried conch, snow crab, lobster with crab rice, shrimp, and your typical peas and rice, mac n cheese, and fried chicken.

2006 Opa-Locka Blvd, Opa-locka

The Empty Plates Restaurant

The new kid on the block is De’Bronya Hodges, aka Chef Dee. She’s known as DJ Khaled’s personal chef, but she can hold her own even without her celebrity client. The new restaurant has menu items like jerk chicken pasta, shrimp and grits, and other soul food favorites.

6820 NE 2nd Ave, Miami