Comfort food is as necessary in Boston as a good warm coat. And what type of food could be more comforting than Southern fare? From barbecue to biscuits, here are spots where you can find delicious Southern-style eats around town.

Southern Proper

Southern Proper is one of the newer restaurants in South End, but don't let their age and location fool you. They've already cemented their spot in the area's booming food scene with one of the tastiest Southern menus in town, and a relaxed and inviting atmosphere that normally takes years to build. Inside you'll find accent walls lined with antique wallpaper, a ceiling with a variety of light fixtures, and plenty of smoke-infused, raw pine imported from North Carolina, proving that it truly is the little details that paint the big picture. When you walk in you immediately feel welcome.

Southern Proper keeps the dining experience authentic with a family-style menu that's chock full of traditional Southern cuisine. When it comes to snacks, it's nothing but love for the deviled eggs, the pimento cheese with lavender popovers and pepper jam, and of course the brown butter cornbread. And when in for a full meal, you'll definitely want the hot fried chicken at your table. But what no trip is complete without is their chicken & dumplings, made with mirepoix, gravy, and smoked cauliflower - an unexpected flavor that completely transforms the dish into a one-of-a-kind experience. It's so delicious!

  • Good for dinner and weekend brunch
  • They take reservations (and we recommend them)
  • $$

600 Harrison Ave., Boston,

Also featured in Here Are Some Of The Best Restaurants In The South End Right Now, and It's Time To Order Your Thanksgiving Side Dishes From Southern Proper.

The Fisherman's Platter at Darryl's Corner Bar & Kitchen, Boston, MA.
Courtesy of Darryl's Corner Bar & Kitchen

Darryl's Corner Bar & Kitchen

Darryl's lives on a quiet and cozy corner in the heart of the South End. But don't let their size fool you, the intimate space has got a personality that's larger than life, and a menu brimming with Southern comfort.

We're big fans of the jambalaya, the Tennessee honey BBQ ribs, the chicken & waffles, and the Fisherman's Platter overflowing with fried catfish, shrimp, scallops, and oysters, on top of Cajun fries and an incredible tartar sauce made with Old Bay seasoning. But when it comes to the ultimate comfort dish, we can't get enough of their shrimp & grits, made with a fresh succotash and creamy tomato gravy and served on top of crispy cheddar polenta cakes. Trust us, you've never had a dish like this before.

Top your meal off with a specialty cocktail and a side of jazz (the events calendar is stacked), and you've got yourself one incredible night out.

  • Good for dinner and Sunday brunch
  • Takes reservations (and we recommend them)
  • $$

604 Columbus Ave., Boston,

The biscuits and gravy at Allston Diner.
Hannah Casey

Allston Diner

Allston Diner serves up meals with the kind of retro kitsch and a punk flair you can only find in Allston.

Cartoons play on the TV, children's book illustrations decorate the tables, a huge collection of decorative salt and pepper shakers line the booths, and the staff sport tattoos, piercings, colored hair and black band t-shirts. Even with the wild décor the food reigns supreme at this fast-service joint. And carnivores and those who prefer plant-based diets can take pleasure in the wide variety of Southern-style choices.

The Ultimate Vegan Breakfast offers tofu scramble 'omelets,' with your choice of fillings and Daiya vegan cheese, a side of soy sausage or the homemade BBQ seitan, and collard greens or home fried potatoes. On the sweet side, pancakes are available made vegan and topped with fresh fruit.

Meat-eaters have even more options. The Litchfield 33 is an omelet that features tender house-made beef brisket with aged cheddar, barbecue sauce and collard greens. And their savory cornbread waffles topped with fried chicken and a generous pour of meaty gravy are always a hit.

But it's the Diner's biscuits and gravy that are a rare find in Boston. The dish comes with two huge house-made biscuits covered in your choice of a rich sausage or bacon gravy. Top it off with an egg prepared the way you like it and you'll find yourself in Southern-comfort heaven.

  • Good for breakfast and lunch
  • Does not take reservations
  • $$

431 Cambridge St., Allston,

The pulled pork platter at Redbones.
Hannah Casey


Redbones has been serving barbecue in Somerville for over 30 years. When it comes to decor, the classic spot keeps it simple and pairs their top notch BBQ with a wide selection of craft beers, many locally made.

The pulled pork is dry rubbed and slow smoked, and served with your choice of hot or sweet barbecue sauce at the table. It pairs well with the mac and cheese, which is bright yellow, and chock full of real cheese.

But it's the classic fried chicken dinner that makes for the real classic comfort food meal. Crispy fried chicken is piled onto the plate and served with your choice of sides. We like the fried okra, mashed potatoes and gravy, and biscuits with homemade peach jam. Delicious!

Pace yourself with the huge portions at Redbones and be sure to save room for dessert. The banana pudding made with vanilla wafers, and the Honey Chess Pie are authentic Southern comfort at its finest. And it's the Texas chocolate sheet cake that's a personal favorite. No barbecue meal is complete without the rich frosted cake topped with a high swirl of fresh whipped cream.

  • Good for lunch and dinner
  • Takes reservations
  • $$

55 Chester St., Somerville,

The glorious pies at Rosebud.
Courtesy of Facebook

Rosebud Diner

The original Rosebud Diner was built in 1941. Under new ownership, the diner was upgraded into a large modern restaurant, and rebranded as the Rosebud American Kitchen & Bar in 2013. Rosebud still maintains the classic diner car façade and its spot on the National Register of Historic Places. Much like their historic building, the approach to food at Rosebud is classic comfort with modern upgrades.

The BBQ Baconator Meatloaf Fatty is not your mother’s meatloaf. Covered in spicy poblano-onion gravy and served with hearty, skin-on mashed red potatoes, it’s a flavorful update to the classic diner staple.

Rosebud specializes in cocktails as well, with a particularly rich selection of boozy milkshakes. Many come topped off with a snack, making them more than hearty enough to fill in as dessert. The Blueberry Bourbon Milkshake is served with a wedge of Belgian waffle and a drizzle of Vermont maple syrup. Insane.

But Rosebud’s real claim to fame is their pies. Featured in our list of the **Best Places to Get Pie in Boston**, Rosebud rotates seasonal favorites alongside five classics that are always available and always delicious: key lime, black bottom, dutch apple, chess, and peanut butter fudge. Available as a slice to finish your meal or whole to wow your guests for special occasions.

  • Good for dinner all week and weekend brunch
  • Takes reservations
  • $$

381 Summer St., Somerville,

Also featured in Where To Get Pie In Boston, Where To Eat Pie For Breakfast, and What Are The Best Sandwiches In Boston?

Fired oyster po'boy at Bootleg Special
Meghan Smith

Bootleg Special

Bootleg Special arrived in Boston with the goal of bringing some New Orleans charm to the city. They have succeeded. Sparkly chandeliers, New Orleans-style metalwork, and a rich color palette will transport you to the French Quarter. And so will the jubilant menu, brimming with Cajun delicacies, including po’ boys, seafood boils, beignets, and you bet there's plenty of crawfish.

And it's the crawfish mac and cheese that will steal your heart. The garlic noodles are deceptively simple, but incredibly flavorful. For a main dish, you can share the namesake Bootleg Special. It's an enticing mix of lobster, shrimp, crawfish, mussels and clams all tossed in a special Cajun sauce.

  • Good for dinner and weekend brunch
  • Takes reservations
  • $$

400 Tremont St., Boston, 617-451-1800,

Buffalo fried brussels sprouts at Highland Kitchen
Courtesy of Highland Kitchen

Highland Kitchen

Since 2007, Highland Kitchen has been one of Somerville’s hidden gems. Although, the long lines for Sunday brunch mean that the secret’s out. But don’t let that dissuade you. You’ll find Southern-inspired comfort food at this neighborhood joint, including several great options for vegetarians.

Kick off your meal with some kick with the Buffalo fried brussels, which come with a side of creamy blue cheese dressing. You can also get your Southern-food fix with shrimp and grits, seafood gumbo, or a Texas-style chili. Make sure you save lots of room for the main courses, like the spicy coconut curried goat stew, jambalaya, or a catfish po'boy. Highland Kitchen also has fabulous cocktails, including a must-have house margarita.

  • Good for dinner all week and weekend brunch
  • Does not take reservations
  • $$

150 Highland Ave., Somerville, 617-625-1131,

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