Top 5 Soul Food Restaurants in Houston

Photo by Katharine Shilcutt
Side of cornbread? Yes, please, Esther.

If I had to choose a single cuisine for my final meal, soul food would be a top contender. I don't much care that the medical establishment says it's not so great for my health, and actually, I don't much believe them either. How can what makes my soul (and my stomach) sing not in some way help my body? Fools. Here are five places I know I can find good soul food in Houston:

5. Esther's Cajun Cafe and Soul Food. Like most soul food joints, Esther's offers cafeteria-style dining, oxtails and all the usual suspects (macaroni and cheese, collard greens, yams, etc.) in terms of sides. What sets it apart is the inclusion of NOLA favorites such as po-boys, étouffée and dirty rice served comfort-food style (read: mild seasonings and large portions). It's a delightful and delicious fusion of Southern styles.

4. Alfreda's Cafeteria. When the Houston Press recommended 10 restaurants to visit in the Third Ward, Alfreda's unsurprisingly earned a place on the list. Regulars know to go early in the day to get prime portions of baked chicken, oxtails, ribs and green beans; latecomers, never fear: Whatever's left is still good.

Location Info

This Is It Soul Food

2712 Blodgett St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Mikki's Soul Food Cafe

10500 W. Bellfort, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Just Oxtails Soul Food

4207 Reed, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Esther's Cajun Cafe and Soul Food

5204 Yale, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Alfreda's Cafeteria

5101 Almeda, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

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Marvin Dorn
Marvin Dorn

Mikki's is the bomb & a half. Huge portions, too.

Jeff Hill
Jeff Hill

The only problem with This Is It is the price. Too damn high.

Tish Squish
Tish Squish

Alfreda's is at least 100 times better than This Is It!! (Note: I say this as someone who **does** like This Is It.)

MadMac topcommenter

Alfreda's kept me fed when I worked my way through college doing suicide doubles at St. Joseph Hospital. I went to This Is It, once. From the awful service and "Meh," food, I never felt the need to go back. Esther's reads W-O-N-D-E-R-F-U-L. Thanks, on the tip-side, Ms. O'Leary. You're good peeps. 

Jon Myers
Jon Myers

Alfreda's should be on the top of that list! I'm sure the other places are good as well though. I used to live close to Alfreda's. Danger Will Robinson! Danger!

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