12 Best Southern Dishes from Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives

Browse Guy's favorite Southern dishes from Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

Fried Chicken Sandwich on a Biscuit — Pine State Biscuits (Portland, Ore.)

The secret to Pine State's famous biscuits: shredded butter. Shredding frozen butter for the batter creates a light and flaky texture that can't be missed — especially with fried chicken, bacon and cheese in the middle.

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Buttermilk Biscuits and Gravy — Pine State Biscuits (Portland, Ore.)

The college buddies who own Pine State Biscuits realized they were on to something great and decided to do their biscuits all different ways. With a slightly spicy gravy on top, the Southern classic is a long way from home.

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Tasso — Zydeco's (Mooresville, Ind.)

It's always a Cajun party at this spot — even when it's the middle of an Indiana winter. They're serving up multiple dishes that include a Cajun smoked pork called tasso, marinated and smoked in-house.

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Louisiana Crawfish Pie — Rick's White Light Diner (Frankfort, Ky.)

The pie crust at Rick's is homemade with lots of butter and makes for the perfect shell to this traditional Louisiana dish. With onions, peppers and farm-raised crawfish tails, it's a local favorite.

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Oyster Po'boy on Homemade Bread — Rick's White Light Diner (Frankfort, Ky.)

While the stuff inside — deep-fried oysters and chipotle pepper sauce — is reason enough to order the po'boy, it's the bread that makes it special. The French bread is made fresh in-house every day.

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Chicken and Dumplings — Dish (Charlotte, NC)

When all the plates come with a deviled egg and a biscuit, you know it's down-home cooking. The dumplings are made in-house after the chicken is roasted on the bone and shredded. 

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Mac 'n' Cheese—Sweetie Pie's (St. Louis)

Often declared by customers "the best mac and cheese ever," Sweetie Pie's version has a few kinds of cheese, including cheddar and Colby-Jack. Plus, it's topped off with a crispy layer of shredded mild cheddar.

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Smothered Pork — Sweetie Pie's (St. Louis)

After almost 40 years singing with acts like Tina Turner, Robbie "Sweetie Pie" Montgomery turned in her microphone to start sharing the food she'd been cooking for years. Her smothered pork is breaded, fried, and then smothered with gravy and onions.

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Garlic and Herb Chicken Gizzards — Joe's Gizzard City (Potterville, Mich.)

The chef here says the secret to making gizzards tender is the pressure-cooker process. After that, they're made any way you like them, including with garlic and herbs and deep-fried.

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Salmon Patties — Dish (Charlotte, NC)

You know the chef is serious when her salmon patties are made from salmon she breaks down herself when a fresh shipment comes in. Served with honey-orange butter, it's all fresh and bright. 

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Collard Greens — The Farmer's Shed (Lexington, SC)

Served in a restaurant that used to be a garden center that used to be a farmers market, these collard greens are as authentic as they get. They've got smoked ham hock and are made with greens the owners grow on their own farm.

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Shrimp and Grits with Tasso Gravy — The Farmer's Shed (Lexington, SC)

The thick grits are just a complement to the slow-cooked, shrimp-filled tasso gravy that gets put on top. And just like everything else, it's made from local ingredients whenever possible.

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