By Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor Published Oct 25, 2021 at 10:01 AM

’Tis Dining Month, the tastiest time of year! This means we’re dishing up fun and fascinating food content throughout October. Dig in, Milwaukee!

Looking for new spots to try? Lori Fredrich will be dishing out her top five picks in 20 different dining categories throughout the month of October.  

Sometimes you need a bit of Southern comfort in your life. But, let’s be clear. Soul food isn’t a term that describes just any Southern fare. It’s an expression that specifically describes and celebrates the culinary traditions of Black Americans in the deep South. It is immigrant cuisine that reflects the culinary traditions of West Africa, Western Europe, and the Americas. It is the product of ingenuity and culinary expertise which has been passed down through the generations. And it is delicious.

If you’ve never supported a soul food eatery, consider this your invitation to explore, support and try something new. Here are five solid places to start.

1. Plate Pleasures

Plate Pleasures gumboX

2330 N. 124th St., Wauwatosa, (414) 897-7100

Carry-out only

This West Side spot is serving up a small but mighty menu of options like smoked turkey legs, fried catfish and smothered pork chops, along with sandwiches including catfish and shrimp po’boys. Don’t miss the gumbo, which is chock full of smoked turkey, sausage and shrimp. It’s served with rice and a generous side of sweet cornbread.

2. Daddy’s Soul Food & Grill

Plate from Daddy's Soul Food & GrillX

754 N. 27th St., (414) 448-6165

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Among the Milwaukee staples for soul food is Daddy’s Soul Food & Grill which serves up a wide-ranging menu of items from fried (or baked) chicken, catfish and barbeque, served up with comforting sides like silky, flavorful greens, macaroni and cheese and sweet, warmly spiced yams. You can also count on Daddy’s for classic chicken and waffles or sandwiches, including meatless options like the Philly cheese portabella sandwich. 

3. Terri Lynn's Soul Food Express

Terri Lynn's fried chickenX

10742 W. Hampton Ave., (414) 464-1111

Carry-out only 

Terri Lynn’s has been serving up soulful dishes in Milwaukee for at least ten years, more than enough time to build a loyal fan base. On any given day, you’ll find items like Mississippi fried catfish, crispy fried chicken and meatloaf, plus comforting sides like house-made macaroni and cheese, hand-rolled dumplings with shredded chicken, black eyed peas and lima beans with smoked turkey. On Soul Food Sundays you can get your choice of meat served with two sides plus cornbread. 

4. Big Daddy’s BBQ & Soul Food

Big Daddy's wings and sides
Photo: Big Daddy's

2730 N. Humboldt Blvd., (262) 202-7726
7740 S. Lovers Lane Rd., Franklin, (414) 367-2329

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Big Daddy’s is a great bet any day for smoked meats, including slabs of spare ribs, rib tips, chicken and brisket. But their daily specials (which include wings, turkey legs, jambalaya and fish fry) are just as good; don’t miss their delicious gumbo served up every Thursday. Pop by for Soul Food Sunday and you can order up your choice of meat (with options include barbeque, jerk chicken, fried chicken, smothered pork chops and meat loaf) comes with two sides and cornbread.

5. Nino’s Southern Sides

Nino's Southern Sides fried chicken and sidesX

4475 N. Oakland Ave., Shorewood, (414)964-3663

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I’ve often said that I would be happy just eating the sides from Nino’s; and that’s true. One could easily make a vegetarian meal of their Southern greens, mac and cheese, black-eyed peas and yams. But if you eat meat, their fried chicken is crisp and tender, with a seasoned coating that’s well worth eating. There’s also smothered chicken, pork chops and fried catfish. Pop by on weekends and you have even more choices, including meatloaf, bbq pigs feet, chitterlings and hashbrown casserole. My only advice: call ahead to order so you don’t have to wait too long at their little walk-up shop.

Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.