- Kanye Prime (Nashville, Tennessee)
Not only is Kanye Prime’s Housemade Bacon appetizer almost as thick as a steak, but it is also served underneath maple cotton candy. Has anything ever sounded more intriguing than extremely thick-cut bacon topped with your favorite childhood dessert? If you’re looking for another way to add bacon to your diet, I would highly recommend giving Kanye Prime a quick visit next time you’re driving through Nashville.
Photo by Thrillist
- Gourdough’s (Austin, Texas)
Bacon definitely does not just have to be a savory item. Yes, we all love bacon alongside some eggs; but what about with something more sweet like peanut butter and bananas? Well, Gourdough’s in Austin is whipping up a genius masterpiece called the Fat Elvis. This donut is topped with grilled bananas, peanut butter icing, honey, and of course… BACON.
Photo by @kelsens
- Green Goddess (New Orleans, Louisiana)
Green Goddess sounds like it is all about kale and spinach, right? Well, scratch that, because Green Goddess in New Orleans has created the ultimate bacon dessert; they call it their Notorious Bacon Sundae. Get ready for this description because it’s a mouthful: Creole Creamery Coffee Pecan Brittle ice cream with a creamy bacon caramel sauce carrying a bit of black lava salt, with Nueske’s applewood bacon, layered with smoked whipped cream topped with a Luxardo cherry. Holy bacon!
Photo by Thrillist
- The Iberian Pig (Atlanta, Georgia)
Don’t you wish you could just wrap everything in bacon? The Iberian Pig in Atlanta understands you completely. They’re B.W.D. dish is bacon wrapped heaven. The dish consists of bacon wrapped dated stuffed with Manchego cheese and walnuts, served over romesco sauce. The combination of salty and sweet, and crunchy and chewy is hypnotizing-ly good!
Photo by Iberian Pig
- Smoke (Dallas, Texas)
Chef-Owner Time Byres knows how to add bacon to a burger. His famous sandwich called the EB&D Loaded Up & Truckin’ Burger stars thick-cut, house-smoked bacon, a soft farm egg fritter, and smoked sharp cheddar cheese all stacked between a homemade honey roll. This burger is smokin’!
Photo by Food&Wine
- Joe’s Stone Crab (Miami, Florida)
You guessed it. The best stone crabs ever. For over 100 years, Joe’s Stone Crab has been a staple for both residents and visitors of Miami Beach. While the stone crabs are of course to die for, it is the family touch that really makes Joe’s an absolute favorite. Go with a group, share an order of the stone crabs, but also make sure to try any of their other fish dishes from lobster rolls to seared tuna to crab cakes!
Photo by @mcgleich
- GW Fins (New Orleans, Louisiana)
You really can’t go wrong with anything you choose to order off of the GW Fins menu, but the Scalibut is truly one of a kind. That’s right, you heard me. Scalibut = Halibut + Scallops. This dish is absolutely spectacular with halibut topped with sea scallops, and served alongside lobster risotto, snow peas, and pea shoot butter.
Photo by GW Fins
- Uchiko (Austin, Texas)
Uchiko in Austin, Texas has a menu full of flavorful, elegant, and BEAUTIFUL seafood dishes. Each dish is plated so perfectly it may as well be a piece of artwork. The menu changes daily, so there is always something new and exciting for you to try. From sashimi to branzino to ceviche, Uchiko is definitely a must-try seafood spot in the Southeast.
Photo by Uchiko
- Star Fish Company Market & Restaurant (Cortez, Florida)
What sounds better than eating a Po-boy sandwich and French fries by the dock on a beautiful summer day in Florida? Absolutely nothing. Star Fish serves simple, yet extremely fresh seafood dishes from grilled mahi-mahi to soft shell crab sandwiches. Add a side of hush puppies or coleslaw, sit by the water, and eat up!
Photo by @emeril
- 167 Raw (Charleston, South Carolina)
You gotta get the lobster roll at 167 Raw in Charleston, South Carolina. Huge chunks of fresh lobster stuffed into a perfectly fluffy roll, served with a side of crispy potato chips. It’s actually heavenly. If you’re not a lobster fan, though (which who isn’t?), then no need to worry because 167 has every other seafood option on its menu from shrimp tacos to sea scallop po’boys to tuna burgers, and everything is delicious.
Photo by @case_o_baddecisions
Roadtrippin’ through the South? Here are some classic snacks you can’t skip out on. From sweet to savory to fizzy, we’ve got you covered with the 5 essential Southern snacks you’ve got to try.
If you’ve never tasted a MoonPie, it’s an absolute must-try snack. What originally started at Chattanooga Bakery in Tennessee in the 1920s has grown into a Southern staple. Layers of graham, marshmallow, and chocolate make the absolute perfect bite. We love them to the moon and back…get it?
Photo by MoonPie
- Zapp’s Potato Chips
Since 1985, Zapp’s kettle fried chips have been a favorite Southern snack. Originally created with a spicy kick to appeal to the taste buds of Louisiana, Zapp’s now whips up flavors for absolutely everyone. Their motto has always been, “The best reason for quality today is a job tomorrow,” and there’s no doubt that passion translates into every crunchy kettle-cooked bite.
Photo by Zapp’s
- Mt. Olive Pickles
To no surprise, Mt. Olive Pickles have been coming from Mount Olive, North Carolina for 90 years. Now not only are they recognized as a Southern favorite, but they are also the second best-selling brand of pickles in the country. Not too shabby, huh? Fry them up, top them on burgers, mix them into salads, or just pop them in your mouth straight from the jar- Mt. Olive Pickles are certainly a Southern staple.
Photo by Mt. Olive Pickles
- Goo Goo Clusters
Wondering what’s in a Goo Goo Cluster? Since 1912, Nashville has been whipping up this dreamy candy concoction full of caramel, marshmallow nougat, fresh roasted peanuts, and milk chocolate. Need we say more? Just trust us, they are goo goo goooood.
Photo by Goo Goo Cluster
To wash down all these delish snacks, Cheerwine is the perfect Southern soft drink dating back to 1917. Originating in Salisbury, North Carolina, Cheerwine has spread throughout the country and continues to put a smile on people’s faces. From its hint of wild cherry flavor to its playful bubbliness, Cheerwine won’t disappoint.
Photo by Cheerwine
Ya’ll have probably been trained to say that your mama’s macaroni and cheese is the best in the world. But, you might just have to rethink that after trying these six dishes. One of these may become your new favorite because these just ain’t your mama’s mac and cheeses. (shh, we won’t tell!)
- Cochon Butcher (Nashville, Tennessee & New Orleans, Louisiana)
Cochon Butcher’s James Beard Award-winning chef Donald Link knows how to take mac and cheese to a whole new level. He uses elbow macaroni and a variety of ooey gooey cheeses. And of course, because Cochon Butcher is known for its house-cured meats, Link adds in some crispy pancetta to the dish, and tops it with Parmesan and breadcrumbs. Sorry if we just made you drool a little, but this mac and cheese is off the charts.
Photo by @foodstasapm
- Poole’s Diner (Raleigh, North Carolina)
Chef Ashley Christensen says it right when describing her macaroni and cheese at Poole’s Diner. It is most definitely “face-meltingly decadent.” While Christensen doesn’t mess around with any funky ingredients like bacon or lobster, she masters the most classic version of the dish. The three cheeses- Jarlsberg, Gran Padano, and white cheddar- combine to create a dreamy creamy bite, and are caramelized perfectly to create a crispy topping.
Photo by Poole’s Diner
- Moonshine Grill (Austin, Texas)
Moonshine Grill doesn’t only kill the mac and cheese game with one dish, but they are serving up two unreal twists on the classic. If you end up opting for a different main dish, then the Baked Macaroni side is a must. Smothered with pimento cheese and bacon, you’ll probably want to order a second. But, if you’re like us and choose to have mac and cheese as your main meal, then the Green Chile Macaroni will blow your mind. Grilled chicken, corn bisque, bacon gratin, and CHEEEEESE. What more is needed?
Photo by Thrillist
- The Forge (Miami, Florida)
Black Truffle Mac and Cheese Pot Pie….holy food coma. Does your mama use three kinds of cheeses, black truffles, truffle oil, truffle vinegar, and truffle jus in her mac and cheese? Probably not. But don’t worry because the chef at The Forge in Miami has you covered. This mac and cheese will truly rock your world.
Photo by Thrillist
- Steiner Ranch (Austin, Texas)
We are in love with the mac and cheese at Steiner Ranch. I mean really, what’s not to love? The dish is loaded with chunks of fresh lobster and delicious cheeses. It’s rich; it’s decadent; it’s heavenly. Let’s just take a moment of silence in honor of this Lobsta Mac.
Photo by “Way Out” on Pinterest
- American Social (Miami, Florida)
American Social makes their famous mac and cheese with White Vermont Cheddar, Gruyere, and orecchiette pasta. Sounds amazing, right? Now don’t get us wrong, that dish alone is certainly good enough to make it on our favorites list. But, at American Social, you can get the mac and cheese with short ribs inside. Is your mind blown? We thought so.
Photo by Thrillist
We take our brunch food seriously in the South. From grits to biscuits to bacon, we just do it right. If you’re looking for the craziest, most delicious desserts in the South, then don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
- Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit (Charleston, South Carolina)
Who doesn’t love a good biscuit? Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit takes a classic Southern food to a whole new level. Ever heard of a bread bowl? Well, at Callie’s, they’ve created the biscuit bowl. That’s right- an entire bowl made of biscuits, filled with grits and any of your favorite Southern toppings.
Photo by Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit
- Yardbird (Miami, Florida)
Yardbird has an amazing brunch menu full of Southern classics. From their Shrimp n’ Grits to their Mama’s Chicken Biscuits, you can’t go wrong. But what we’re obsessed with is their Fried Green Tomato BLT. Listen to this description, your mouth will water: fried green tomato with house smoked pork belly, smoky tomato jam, frisée, pimento cheese, pickled lemon vinaigrette. Enough said.
Photo by @misschristycmc
- Dante’s Kitchen (New Orleans, Louisiana)
At Dante’s Kitchen, each menu item has a special twist. From the Crab and Brie Omelette to the Bread Pudding French Toast, Dante’s is anything but basic. But before you dig into any of the entrees, the Bacon Praline Cinnamon Sticky Buns are an absolute must starter. That’s right- In the South, we’ll put bacon on anything!
Photo by @sarahdeaton
- Biscuit Head (Asheville, North Carolina)
Husband and wife, Jason and Carolyn, have crafted up a menu to “put some South in your mouth.” They have so many biscuit and topping options, sweet or savory, whatever you want. But, brunch is breakfast and lunch, right? So why not add some meat to your biscuit?! Our favorite is the Brisket Biscuit topped with pickled onion, smoked chévre, poached eggs, and bbq hollandaise.
Photo by Biscuit Head
- Odd Duck (Austin, Texas)
You’ve got to get some duck eggs at Odd Duck, right? Well theirs just happen to be amazing. They serve their duck eggs in a cast iron skillet with mushrooms, pickled carrot, sour cream, and potato chips. Not your average brunch dish, but it is definitely a must-try! We love to finish off the meal with some peanut butter bread pudding, and then it’s food coma time.
Photo by @fatburningman
- Biscuit Love (Nashville, Tennessee)
Regardless of its name, Biscuit Love has way more than just biscuits. They have it all- eggs, oatmeal, and French toast. But beyond the classics, they’ve also created the Bonut: fried biscuit donuts. Drooling already? Our favorite part of the Bonuts is the lemon mascarpone filling and the blueberry compote topping. Warning: the Bonuts are listed on the “to share” menu. At least for us, these are not so easy to share.
Photo from nashvilleguru.com
- Kitchen 208 (Charleston, South Carolina)
It’s hard to choose your order at Kitchen 208. Full of grits and waffles and bacon, Kitchen 208 is a true Southern spot. While you can’t go wrong with any of their dishes, they happen to have an amazing classic breakfast sandwich that they call the Cobblestone Sandwich. Filled with egg, candied bacon, tomato, arugula, gruyere cheese, and lemon mayo, it’s a true Insta-worthy creation.
Photo by Restaurant Management from Yelp
- Sunny Point Café (Asheville, North Carolina)
We are obsessed with Sunny Point Café from its fun atmosphere to its Warm Oatmeal Brulee to its breakfast sandwich. But, of course we don’t settle for just any breakfast sandwich. The Fried Chicken and Waffle Sandwich at Sunny Point is to die for: Fried chicken sandwiched between sweet potato waffles and topped with maple pepper bacon, pimento cheese, and jalepeño Haw Creek honey. O.M.G.
Photo by @cjakepack
- The Ruby Slipper (New Orleans, Louisiana)
The Ruby Slipper has a huge brunch menu full of both Southern classics and signature dishes. While it’s usually hard to choose from such an extensive menu, when someone says “slow-cooked, apple-braised pork debris served over an open- faced house-made buttermilk biscuit, topped with two poached eggs, finished with hollandaise,” our choice is made. The Eggs Chochon is definitely a Southern brunch masterpiece.
Photo by Steve F. from Yelp
- Eating House (Miami, Florida)
At Eating House, you have the option to order simple with their homemade granola or veggie frittata, but we like to order big. (Go big or go home, right?). That being said, we always go back for the Cap’n Crunch Pancake smothered in condensed milk syrup, candied Cap’n Crunch, and whipped vanilla butter. Not bad, huh?
Photo by @citymunch
I drove up State Route 316 to Athens with my hands shaking the entire time. Rarely in this line of work do I get star struck, but Chef Hugh Acheson strikes a chord with me. Recognizable from Top Chef fame and lovable from his Instagram, Hugh is unlike any other chef in the biz right now. Walking into 5&10, Chef Hugh’s home-base restaurant in the heart of Athens, Ga I instantly felt at ease. A dusty record player sits in the corner of the foyer and Chef Acheson pointed out that he lets his guests control the music and even bring in their own vinyl to optimize their dining experiences. “Could this guy get any cooler?” I thought to myself. The answer? Yes, yes he can. 5&10 is located in an older Athens home with all of the charm, smells, and personality of a simpler time. There are several rooms and hallways and I constantly found myself lost in the art work, craftsmanship, and hipster-esque vibe. I was wandering the hallowed halls of Hugh’s imagination when I walked into the coffee shop. This room was my favorite. Barstools along the windowsill, a large bar complete with everything you need for the perfect cup of java, and Hugh standing behind the counter. While making me an espresso and complaining about his own latte art, I figured now would be the perfect time to ask my culinary idol some pressing questions.
Hugh, what is your favorite food city?
These days, Los Angeles. It just has a ton of different options at a ton of different price ranges and they are hugging great food from all ethnicities.
What is one ingredient you always gravitate towards in your cooking?
Acids. Acids primarily in the form of vinegar. They can change up the whole direction of a dish.
As a Canadian living in Georgia, do you think there are any food trends from up north that will make their way down south?
I think the Montreal food scene is the strongest in Canada and Toronto has a lot of things going on that are really really cool, but as far as trends? I think the meat focused stuff that Joe Beef is doing is going to really make an impact down here.
What is one meal that you make for your daughters that they just love?
I do a roast chicken with potatoes and vegetables for them that they really enjoy. It’s simple and that is what Sunday is like in my house. That is home to me.
Fast forward a few hours. Hugh is in the kitchen and instructing his staff in preparation for dinner service. He cracks jokes, tastes beets, and makes everyone feel like family. Being let into a kitchen is a privilege and not one I took for granted. It was true sensory overload. Trying to stay out of the way the best I could, I let Chef do his thing. Explaining each ingredient with such pride and contemplation, Hugh was in his element.
Chef Acheson prepares 3 dishes for us and each one of them was better than the next. We started off with what Chef says is a “5&10” classic, “House made Pasta Ribbons with sundried tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and jalapeño” he announces enthusiastically. The spicy plays off the sweet and the entire dish is a symphony of flavor. We didn’t think it could get any better than that, until we tried the pork. Nestled in-between roasted veg, this succulent and sweet pork was dressed so delicately and cooked so perfectly that I truly was at a loss for words (which does not happen much). In conjunction with the pork came out a down-home classic, huge Gulf Shrimp and spicy smoked sausage swimming in a low country boil broth with hominy and herbs.
Rarely in this day and age do we see someone who lives so humbly, simply, and authentically. Those three core principles translate into his wardrobe, personality, and on the plate. Clad in his signature socks and specs, Chef Acheson walks out onto the perfectly manicured front porch of his grassroots eatery. I follow him outside to thank him for one of the more memorable days and thoughtful meals I will ever experience. His thoughtful attention to detail, playful sense of humor, and unique style combine to create a perfect storm and just for a few short hours I got caught in the riptide.