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Outdoor dining in Madison, GA

Taste Madison's Best Soul Food

Discover Authentic Southern Food in Georgia's Favorite Small Town!

Soul food has the power to grab people’s attention whether from the comforting memories it elicits or the mouth-watering aromas wafting in the air, and there are plenty of chances to experience this unique style of cooking in Madison, Georgia. Unfamiliar with the cuisine? That is an easy fix! 

The term “soul food” arose around the time of the Black Empowerment Movement in the 1960s at the same time as soul music gained attention. The cuisine itself emerged much earlier in the Southern United States from the allotments of food enslaved people were given each week such as cornmeal, collard greens, lard, unwanted cuts of meat, and flour. From these meager rations they crafted the mouthwatering biscuits, gravy, mac ‘n cheese and platefuls of fried goodness that are the staples of today’s favorite dishes across the South.

Get a taste for yourself at any of our authentic soul food restaurants that are Black-owned businesses.

Martha's Favorites

Martha's Favorite's soul food restaurant back entry.

Standing on the western edge of downtown, Martha’s Favorites is a popular lunch spot with locals. Owner and cook Martha Williams took over the restaurant, Adrian’s Place, in November 2010 and relocated across the street in 2023 under a new name. Serving a buffet of Southern and soul food classics, this meat plus three dining establishment is a mainstay of Madison eateries. Popular with locals, Fish Friday’s flakey fried catfish hook’s the taste buds and reels people back week after week.

R+B Café

R+B Café, opened in July 2019 by owner Germaine Bly, is the newest soul food restaurant on the block. Located less than a mile from Madison’s square in the Canaan Historic Neighborhood, the café’s front porch and rocking chairs invite you to come in and relax. It only takes one bite to know why the hearty macaroni and cheese and daily specials have people talking.

Benny Paul's Soul Food

Soul food - meat and three.

Benny Paul’s Soul Food, a staple of the small “Real Buckhead” community since Daisy Benford opened her doors in 2014, relocated to downtown Madison in 2022. Like many favorite soul food restaurants, Benny Paul’s Soul Food offers no-frills dining that serves delicious “down home cooking” to locals and visitors. The fall-off-the-bone fried chicken and the fried cornbread are only a few reasons this hidden gem is worth a visit!

Interested in supporting other Black-owned restaurants around Madison?

Ruby's of Rutledge

Ruby's of Rutledge, Rubys by the Beach at Hard Labor Creek State Park

Discover a hidden gem nestled within the scenic beauty of Hard Labor Creek State Park‘s beach area – Ruby’s of Rutledge. This charming loose-leaf tea house and plant-based eatery offers more than just healthy eats; it provides a retreat-like experience. Picture yourself sipping freshly steeped tea while overlooking the tranquil lake and relaxing on the adjacent sand beach. Keep in mind that this delightful escape is only open seasonally during the warmer months.

Wing Nights @Benny Paul's

Hollywood mural inside Wing Nights @Benny Paul's

Popular for the food and the retro, movie lovers’ vibe, Wing Nights @Benny Paul’s is a must try. Beyond the perfectly-seasoned selection of mouthwatering wings, Spice Master Brince Benford fries up the best shrimp in town. Try them in his signature Sweet Georgia Spice seasoning with a side of funnel cake fries and you can thank us later!

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