Love Soul Food? Try One of These 7 Virginia Restaurants

Courtesy of Sue Sue's

By Aila Boyd

March 15, 2023

It’s hard to walk down most streets without coming across a plethora of fast food options. While chain restaurants serve a purpose, they often leave you longing for more. 

Food nourishes the body. Soul food or comfort food, on the other hand, literally nourishes the soul. For a meal that will surely leave your stomach full and your soul nourished, visit one of these seven Virginia soul food restaurants. Many of them serve food made from traditional or family recipes. 

Gina’s “Food With Flavor”

Love Soul Food? Try One of These 7 Virginia Restaurants
Courtesy of Peggy Fleming

Location: Salem

The name says it all—the restaurant serves “food with flavor.” 

The menu varies depending on the day. A standout item on the Wednesday, Thursday and Friday menu is the Ole Fashion Fried Pork Chop Sandwich. You can order it with a side of collard greens with pork. 

If you stop in on Sunday for lunch, try the Sunday Pot Roast. It comes with savory brown gravy, carrots, onions and gold potatoes. For a sweet side, order the candied sweet potatoes. 

The restaurant isn’t just a place to go for good food, but also a place for fellowship. Since opening Gina’s in 2018, the owner has sought to cultivate a strong sense of community among her customers. 

Sue Sue’s Soul Food

Love Soul Food? Try One of These 7 Virginia Restaurants
Courtesy of Sue Sue’s Soul Food

Location: Axton

Sue Sue’s Soul Food offers various daily specials, as well as regular menu items. 

The daily specials include meatloaf and fish on Tuesdays, barbeque leg quarters and fish on Wednesdays, hamburger and gravy and fish on Thursdays, smothered pork chops and fish on Fridays, fish fries on Saturdays and baked spaghetti and fish on Sundays. 

It can be difficult to find a restaurant that serves a good chuckwagon. Luckily, you can order one at Sue Sue’s every day, along with a side of potato wedges. 

Thee Soulfood Kitchen

Location: Norfolk

Thee Soulfood Kitchen is the place to go in Southeast Virginia for “fresh southern dishes.” 

Seafood lovers will surely lick their chops over the seafood platter, which comes with four pieces of fried shrimp, a crabcake and a piece of catfish. 

If you’re stopping in for lunch, try the turkey wing lunch special. It comes with two sides, so be sure to give the rice and gravy and cabbage a try.

Those with adventurous tastebuds should try the oxtail entrée, which also comes with two sides.  

For dessert, order a slice of sweet potato pie. 

Shut Yo Mouf Soulfood Restaurant

Location: Petersburg

Shut Yo Mouf Soulfood Restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. 

The restaurant has many savory breakfast options, including the chicken and waffles entrée that comes with a side of home fries. The shrimp and grits entrée, which includes shrimp that is sauteed in a zesty sauce and topped with onions, bacon and beef sausage and served on a bed of cheddar grits, is another standout menu option. 

Order the fried whiting sandwich for lunch. It comes with French fries and a beverage. 

If you’re looking for something unique for dinner, give the pig feet dinner or liver and onion options a try. You can’t go wrong with a side of corn on the cob. 

Johnny Ray’s Sultry Soul Food

Location: Sterling

“Armed with ambition, old family recipes, and culinary passion, Johnny devotes serious effort to serve real comfort food that soothes the soul,” according to Johnny Ray’s Sultry Soul Food’s website.

For a soul-soothing meal, order the chicken liver with a side of cabbage and collard greens and fried okra. 

For dessert, enjoy a slice, or two, of the peach cobbler. 

Soul Food Joint

Love Soul Food? Try One of These 7 Virginia Restaurants
Courtesy of Soul Food Joint

Location: Charlottesville 

Soul Food Joint offers “a home-cooked meal, without the home-cooked fuss.”

The owner, Shawn Jenkins, descends from a line of soul food cooks, including his mother and grandmother, who was born in Butler, Alabama. He said his mother showed him everything he knows “about comforting the soul through delicious foods.” 

The restaurant offers you the option of building your own soul food platter, which allows you to pick your favorite southern staple for an entrée and sides and fixings to go with it. Give the baby back ribs with a side of deviled eggs a try.

Val’s Comfort Kitchen

Love Soul Food? Try One of These 7 Virginia Restaurants
Courtesy of Val’s Comfort Kitchen

Location: Lynchburg

Val’s Comfort Kitchen serves “food for the mind, body.”

“Our goal is to satisfy the customer with amazing comfort food that will feed your mind, body and soul,” according to the kitchen. 

Wing lovers should place a 10-piece wing order. They come in a number of flavors, including hot, mild, barbeque, lemon pepper, salt and vinegar, Cajun, garlic parmesan and teriyaki and Old Bay. They’re served with either ranch or blue cheese and celery. 

Sandwich options include ham and cheese, which comes with lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise, and fish on toasted bread, which comes with the same dressings.

Editor’s Note: We removed Due South Pit BBQ from this list, because the location mentioned in Christiansburg has recently closed.

  • Aila Boyd

    Aila Boyd is a Virginia-based educator and journalist. She received her MFA in writing from Lindenwood University.

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