Best Local Southern Food 

Readers' Pick

click to enlarge Pork chop dinner

Ash Daniel/File

Pork chop dinner

First place:

Mama J’s

415 N. First St.

Second place: Lunch and Supper
Third place: Croaker’s Spot

When readers want a solid Southern meal, they head to Jackson Ward where the fried chicken crackles with every bite, the barbecued spare ribs are deliciously messy and the fabulous array of cake choices can be daunting, in a good way. Readers know that Mama J’s is the real deal and the formerly mobbed dining room, not to mention the long lines of hungry people awaiting a table, is a testament to that.

These days, Mama J’s offers online ordering, pickup and delivery options, as well as local beer, wine and, wait for it, signature cocktails to go. Fortunately for fans of Southern food, the hours haven’t changed much: Sundays through Thursdays 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. So order up some handcrafted and boozy Mama’s lemonade – or Grandpa’s tea or Papa’s punch – to wash down that pork chop dinner. You won’t regret it.



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