Are you a devout foodie with a hankering for the best shrimp and grits in 2023? Do you often find yourself wondering where you can satisfy your insatiable craving for this beloved Southern staple? Listen up, because you’re about to embark on an epicurean journey through the heart of the South.
JL Surjan here, your trusty guide in the world of BBQ, coffee, and bourbon. My passion for digging into the richness of Southern cuisine led me to traverse through a multitude of eateries, bistros, and smokehouses. My mission? To scour the southern states for the 18 best restaurants serving up the most delectable shrimp and grits in 2023. Buckle up, because this ride is filled with intense flavors, heart-warming stories, and a lifetime of memories.
Picture this: Creamy, velvety grits cooked to perfection, combined with fresh, succulent shrimp, simmering in a luscious pool of Cajun spices. Each spoonful transports you to a porch swing under the southern sun, a symphony of flavors, resonating with the vibrant energy of the South. As we delve deeper, we’ll be sharing tales of the seasoned chefs who pour their heart into every dish, tales of the history that crafted these flavors, and tales of a journey that will surely leave you craving for more. This isn’t just about shrimp and grits; it’s about a culinary pilgrimage that tickles your taste buds and tugs at your heartstrings.
So, what are you waiting for? Pull up a chair, pour yourself a cup of Joe, or better yet, a finger or two of smooth bourbon. As we venture together through the labyrinth of tantalizing Southern cuisine, remember this: The journey to finding the best shrimp and grits in 2023 starts here, and it starts with you. So come on, dive headfirst into this gastronomic adventure, and let your culinary curiosity lead the way. Now, who’s ready to discover the best shrimp and grits of 2023? Let the flavor journey begin!
What are the best shrimp and grits in 2023?
Now, when we talk about the best, we’re not merely discussing good food. We’re talking about dishes that rise above the norm, those that etch a permanent place in your heart (and stomach), and push the boundaries of what you thought possible in Southern cuisine.
The best shrimp and grits are a symphony of flavors and textures. Let’s start with the grits – they should be creamy and buttery, with just the right balance of graininess and smoothness. The shrimp, on the other hand, should be succulent and cooked to perfection, not overdone and certainly not rubbery.
Now, let’s talk about the sauce – the soul of this iconic dish. The sauce should be flavorful and spicy, with a hint of lemon and garlic, enhancing the delicate flavor of the shrimp. It should tie the grits and shrimp together, creating a cohesive dish that’s more than the sum of its parts.
But it’s not just about the food. The best shrimp and grits come from restaurants that understand and respect the tradition and history of this dish. They recognize that every plate served is a reflection of Southern hospitality and heartwarming comfort.
These top 18 restaurants have been chosen for their exceptional ability to encapsulate all these elements. They’ve mastered the art of preparing shrimp and grits, combining traditional methods with innovative twists, creating a plate that not only tantalizes your taste buds but also pays homage to the rich culinary heritage of the South. These eateries offer more than just a meal – they offer an unforgettable experience. So let’s dig in, shall we?
From restaurants nestled in historic districts to hidden gems in bustling city centers, each has its own story and a unique interpretation of this classic dish. These 18 establishments have consistently served up outstanding shrimp and grits, earning rave reviews from patrons and critics alike, and have emerged as true leaders in the Southern culinary scene in 2023.
Unarguably one of the culinary gems of Charleston, Husk thrives under the direction of an award-winning chef whose vision ensures each dish is a testament to southern tradition. Their shrimp and grits offer a marvelous orchestration of flavors, with perfectly cooked shrimp nestled on a bed of creamy grits and enhanced with a smoky bacon broth. It’s Southern perfection on a plate.
In the heart of Texas, Lucille’s is famous for its Southern hospitality and avant-garde approach to traditional Southern food. Their shrimp and grits comprise Gulf shrimp pan-seared to perfection, nestled atop stone-ground grits finished with a delightful Creole sauce. It’s a reinvention of the classic and one worth experiencing.
Known for their low country cuisine, 82 Queen offers an authentic Southern experience. Their shrimp and grits are rich, creamy, and perfectly seasoned, with succulent shrimp sautéed with bell peppers, onions, and bacon, served over smooth, creamy grits. This indulgent dish exemplifies the charm of Southern comfort food.
Narobia’s Grits and Gravy
This beloved breakfast spot in Savannah serves shrimp and grits, which are the stuff of legend. Large, juicy shrimp atop stone-ground grits, finished with their homemade gravy — it’s a symphony of simple, homestyle flavors that embody the Southern way of life.
South City Kitchen
Modern sophistication meets Southern tradition at South City Kitchen. Their shrimp and grits are a delightful surprise, with tasso ham adding a smoky undertone to the creamy grits and perfectly cooked shrimp. It’s a dish that exhibits the soul of Southern cuisine.
Steeped in history and Southern charm, Poogan’s Porch serves up a delectable version of shrimp and grits. Their dish is a unique take, with spicy sausage adding a kick to the creamy grits and fresh shrimp. It’s a celebration of Southern flavors that should not be missed.
A Lowcountry Backyard
Hilton Head Island, SC
This quaint eatery captures the essence of South Carolina’s low-country cuisine. Their shrimp and grits are a perfect blend of locally sourced shrimp, creamy grits, and a rich gravy that tantalizes your taste buds, reflecting the true flavors of Hilton Head Island.
Sunny Point Café
Asheville, North Carolina
Nestled in the heart of Asheville, Sunny Point Café offers a hearty take on shrimp and grits. A generous portion of succulent shrimp, smoked cheese grits, and chorizo sausage combine to create a robust, comforting dish that encapsulates the spirit of the mountains.
For over a century, Hyman’s Seafood has been a Charleston institution. Their shrimp and grits are a testament to their dedication to traditional Southern fare. Sweet, tender shrimp and homestyle grits, brought to life with a flavorful sauce, make Hyman’s a must-visit for any shrimp and grits aficionado.
The Glass Onion
This beloved Charleston spot is known for its local, sustainable approach to Southern cuisine. Their shrimp and grits are no exception, with freshly caught shrimp served atop creamy grits, all swimming in a decadent, spicy broth that highlights the best of Lowcountry cooking.
Page’s Okra Grill
Mt. Pleasant, SC
Page’s Okra Grill delivers a dish that’s rich in both flavor and tradition. Their take on shrimp and grits features succulent shrimp, andouille sausage, and stone-ground grits, all smothered in a luscious Tasso ham gravy. This dish is as Southern as it gets, and it never disappoints.
Flora-Bama Ole River Grille
Perdido Key, Florida
Nestled along the scenic Perdido Key, Flora-Bama serves its shrimp and grits with a side of stunning views. Their version of this Southern staple features sweet Gulf shrimp, smoked Gouda cheese grits, and a delectable white wine butter sauce, presenting a symphony of flavors as beautiful as the restaurant’s waterfront setting.
Brennan’s Of Houston
Brennan’s Of Houston brings a taste of Louisiana to the heart of Texas. Their shrimp and grits offer a delightful Cajun twist, with succulent shrimp atop a bed of jalapeno cheese grits, complemented by a rich, tomato-bacon gravy. This dish is a celebration of the fusion of Texas boldness and Louisiana charm.
New Orleans, LA
This vibrant restaurant in the heart of New Orleans delivers a dish that’s as lively as the city itself. Their shrimp and grits are adorned with smoked tomatoes, caramelized leeks, and a rich Worcestershire sauce, resulting in a complex flavor profile that truly embodies the spirit of New Orleans.
Jake’s Soul Food Cafe
Jake’s is renowned for dishing out some of the best soul food in Birmingham. Their shrimp and grits are a clear standout, with plump shrimp served over ultra-creamy grits, all bathed in a velvety, rich sauce. This is comfort food at its finest, showcasing the soul of Southern cooking.
Faded Rose Restaurant
This hidden gem serves up a heaping portion of Southern hospitality, along with its delectable shrimp and grits. The dish features perfectly cooked shrimp, sautéed bell peppers and onions, and grits that are creamy to perfection. It’s a no-frills, all-flavor approach to a beloved Southern staple.
Greens and Gravy
Known for their soulful spins on Southern classics, Greens and Gravy offers a shrimp and grits dish that’s both comforting and innovative. Their version features jumbo shrimp sautéed in a garlic-butter sauce, served over smoked Gouda grits. It’s a fusion of flavors that’s sure to please any discerning palate.
Johnny T’s Bistro and Blues
As vibrant and rich as the Blues for which Mississippi is famous, Johnny T’s serves up shrimp and grits that sing. Jumbo Gulf shrimp, grilled to perfection, served over creamy, cheese-laden grits, and garnished with a zesty Creole sauce. It’s a dish that harmonizes flavors in the same way the Blues harmonize notes.
What are Shrimps and Grits?
At its core, shrimp and grits is a straightforward, humble dish. Originating from the Southern United States, it’s a beloved staple that showcases two key ingredients – shrimp and grits.
The shrimp, typically sautéed or grilled, are often prepared with a mix of Southern spices, garlic, and sometimes a splash of lemon. These add a zesty, flavorful punch to the shrimp, accentuating its natural sweetness. The shrimp are then served atop a bed of grits – a creamy, porridge-like dish made from ground corn. The grits serve as a rich, velvety canvas, bringing balance and highlighting the textures and flavors of the shrimp.
While shrimp and grits may sound simple, it’s a dish that truly celebrates Southern cuisine’s complexity and versatility. It reflects the region’s abundant seafood and agricultural resources, and it’s a testament to the South’s ability to transform simple, homegrown ingredients into culinary masterpieces. With countless variations of this dish across different states and restaurants, it’s a culinary journey that’s well worth exploring
Why Do I need Shrimps And Grits In my Life?
Ah, my friend, why do you need shrimp and grits in your life? Let me answer that with another question: Why does one need poetry, music, or a golden sunset? Shrimp and grits is more than a meal. It’s an experience that stirs the senses, a soulful symphony of flavors and textures that strikes a chord deep within the heart.
In every spoonful, you taste the rich history and heritage of the South. Each bite echoes with stories of generations of cooks who lovingly perfected this dish, from humble family kitchens to renowned eateries. It’s a dish steeped in tradition and comfort, yet it continually evolves, reflecting the culinary creativity of the South.
Incorporating shrimp and grits into your life is not merely about adding another dish to your culinary repertoire. It’s about embracing a piece of Southern culture and hospitality. It’s about experiencing the joy of simple, honest, and hearty food. And most importantly, it’s about celebrating the power of food to connect us to places, people, and memories. So, do you need shrimp and grits in your life? Absolutely! It’s more than just a need; it’s a journey of taste, texture, and tradition that you wouldn’t want to miss.
As we wrap up this culinary journey, we’re left with more than just a list of the top 18 restaurants serving the best shrimp and grits in 2023. We’re armed with a newfound appreciation for this iconic Southern dish and a sense of adventure to explore and savor every mouthwatering variation.
Over the years, I, JL Surjan, have ventured far and wide, tasting, critiquing, and celebrating the multifaceted world of BBQ, coffee, and bourbon. My travels have not only refined my palate but have also deepened my love for the rich tapestry of Southern cuisine.
It’s been a pleasure sharing this journey with you. As you set forth to indulge in these remarkable shrimp and grits, remember this: the beauty of food lies not just in its taste, but also in the memories it creates, the stories it tells, and the communities it brings together.
So here’s to good food, great stories, and an insatiable quest for the best shrimp and grits. Let’s raise our forks and toast to the delectable journey that awaits. Happy dining, fellow food explorers!
FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. Can shrimp and grits be made ahead of time?
A: Yes, shrimp and grits can be made ahead of time. The grits can be cooked and stored in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to eat, you can heat them up, adding a little bit of liquid if necessary to bring back the creamy texture. The shrimp can be quickly cooked just before serving.
Q2. What kind of shrimp is best for shrimp and grits?
A: Medium to large shrimp are typically used for shrimp and grits. They should be fresh, and if possible, locally sourced to ensure the best flavor.
Q3. Is shrimp and grits considered a breakfast or dinner dish?
A: Traditionally, shrimp and grits were considered a breakfast dish, especially for coastal communities where shrimp were abundant. However, it is now commonly served for lunch and dinner as well.
Q4. What kind of cheese can be used in shrimp and grits?
A: While not all variations of shrimp and grits contain cheese, when it’s used, sharp cheddar is a common choice. Other types of cheese like gouda or fontina can also be used for a creamy, rich flavor.
Q5. Can you use instant grits for shrimp and grits?
A: While you can use instant grits, stone-ground or traditional grits are usually preferred for their texture and flavor.
Q6. How do you make shrimp and grits healthier?
A: You can make shrimp and grits healthier by using olive oil instead of butter, reducing the amount of cheese, and adding more vegetables like bell peppers and tomatoes.
Q7. What is a good side dish with shrimp and grits?
A: Shrimp and grits is often served with a side of greens like collard greens or a fresh salad.
Q8. Can shrimp and grits be frozen?
A: While you can freeze shrimp and grits, it is recommended to consume them fresh. The texture of the grits can change when frozen and reheated.
Q9. How can I add a twist to my shrimp and grits?
A: You can add a twist to your shrimp and grits by adding ingredients like smoked sausage, bacon, or different types of cheese.
Q10. What kind of wine pairs well with shrimp and grits?
A: A crisp white wine like a Sauvignon Blanc or a light-bodied Pinot Noir can pair well with shrimp and grits.
Q11. Is shrimp and grits a Creole or Cajun dish?
A: While shrimp and grits originated in the Southern United States, both Creole and Cajun cuisines have their own variations of the dish.
Q12. Can I use cornmeal instead of grits for shrimp and grits?
A: While they are similar, cornmeal and grits have different textures. It’s recommended to use grits for this dish, but in a pinch, cornmeal can be used as a substitute.
Q13. What are grits made of?
A: Grits are made from dried, ground corn, specifically a type of corn called dent corn.
Q14. Can I use frozen shrimp for shrimp and grits?
A: While fresh shrimp is recommended, you can use frozen shrimp. Make sure to thoroughly defrost and pat dry the shrimp before cooking.
Q15. Is shrimp and grits gluten-free?
A: Shrimp and grits can be gluten-free, as long as the shrimp is not dusted with flour before cooking and the grits do not contain any gluten-based additives. Always check labels if you are following a gluten-free diet.
Q16. What type of pot or pan is best for cooking shrimp and grits?
A: A heavy-bottomed pot is best for cooking grits to prevent sticking or burning. A large skillet is ideal for cooking the shrimp.
Q17. Can I add vegetables to my shrimp and grits?
A: Yes, you can add vegetables to your shrimp and grits. Bell peppers, onions, and tomatoes are commonly added to the dish.
Disclosure: Our blog contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. However, this does not impact our reviews and comparisons. We try our best to keep things fair and balanced, in order to help you make the best choice for you.