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Southern Food in Kaimuki

For most Hawaii residents, eating Southern food is somewhat of an anomaly. There are few local restaurants that serve Southern food and locals tend to flock to the west coast when traveling to the US Mainland, rather than going south.

With the recent opening of Soul Restaurant on the corner of Waialae and St. Louis Drive (across from City Mill), you can now get your fill of delicious southern food, without leaving Honolulu.

Owner and chef Sean Priester was the Executive Chef at Top of Waikiki and decided to take a stab at going on his own. He started off with the Soul Patrol lunch wagon serving his buttermilk fried chicken, gumbo and chili (just to name a few). The buttermilk fried chicken became so renown, he expanded his lunch truck to the farmer’s markets and more recently to his restaurant on Waialae.

The buttermilk-fried chicken is served with collard greens, cilantro coleslaw, vegetarian chili and corn bread. It sounds like a lot of food, but it is all so delicious, it would be easy for one person to eat the entire plate. The seafood gumbo comes with grits, which is probably one of the only restaurants island-wide that serve grits. While a little pricey at $18, it is full of large shrimp and scallops, making the price a little more understandable.

Daily specials range from Po’ Boy Sandwiches (see this link if you don’t know what a Po’ Boy is ) to fried catfish. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner, it’s BYOB and you can sit down or take out.

If you are looking to try something different, by having cornbread with your chili instead of rice, Soul is the place.