Luella’s Southern Kitchen – Lincoln Square, Chicago

It’s only Wednesday and already I can tell you that the BEST thing I will have done this week was have lunch at Luella’s Southern Kitchen


Luella's Southern Kitchen

Just off of Lincoln Square!

Luella’s opened for business 5 months ago.  It is located in

Chicago’s Lincoln Square neighborhood, just 2 blocks south and 1 block east of the Western ‘L’ stop along the CTA Brown Line.  The Davis Theatre is directly across the street.  So, catch a flick and stop in for one of the most comforting meals you will eat in Chicago!


Western 'L" stop near Luella's Southern Kitchen


Chef/Owner Darnell Reed is serving up some traditional Southern dishes inspired by his great-grandmother, Luella, who moved to Chicago from Mississippi.  There’s a lot of love here. 

Here’s how my lunch went down:

I was super excited to start off with the fried green tomatoes and creole sauce.  They did not disappoint.  The batter on the tomatoes was light and very crunchy while the tomatoes remained juicy and tender.  That is no easy feat, folks!  The creole sauce which accompanied the tomatoes was tangy and spicy without overpowering the flavor of the tomatoes. 


Luella's fried green tomatoes and sweet tea

Love the sweet tea, too!

Luella's fried green tomatoes

Awesome fried green tomatoes! They are also used on Luella’s BLT sandwich.


In other news, Chef Darnell is also using these fried green tomatoes on his BLT sandwich.  Genius!  I cannot wait to come back to try it.

Next, I chose the New Orleans-style barbecue shrimp ‘n grits, Chef Darnell’s signature dish.  The depth of flavor in his recipe is still on my mind today.  It is a rich, smoky, warm, spicy, creamy bowl of wonderful.  It was as if someone who loved me wrapped me a warm blanket and gave me a big hug.  Put this place on your culinary calendar, folks!


Luella's barbecue shrimp and grits

Chef Darnell’s signature shrimp and grits

Luella's shrimp and grits

The most unique and memorable shrimp ‘n grits I’ve had!

I washed down this fabulous meal with a traditional sweet tea; however, Luella’s offers other soft drinks.  Just when I thought it could not get any better, I discovered that Luella’s is a BYOB! 

Luella’s is a counter service restaurant.  Place your order.  Grab a table.  Wait for the lovely, welcoming staff to bring your meal to you.


Luella's in Lincoln Square

Clean, neat and inviting space at Luella’s Southern Kitchen

Luella's Southern Kitchen dining space


As I was finishing up my lunch, Chef Darnell came over to introduce himself and to check on my experience.  I was delighted to learn that, in addition to brunch which is currently served here on weekends, he is thinking of opening for breakfast during the weekdays next spring.  I really like that more restaurants are deciding to serve breakfast during the work week.

Do not miss out on the down home cooking that is going on at Luella’s.  This place is a “must-do.”  I am coming back for the gumbo as well as the bourbon chicken and waffles.  And, that is just to start 😉

Luella’s Southern Kitchen is located at 4609 N. Lincoln Avenue.  It is open Tuesday – Friday from 11:30am – 10pm, Saturday from 10am – 10pm and Sunday from 10am – 8pm.

In keeping with the spirit of Feeding Off The Rails, I encourage you to leave your car at home and take the CTA Brown Line to Luella’s Southern Kitchen.  Save on gas. Avoid traffic, road rage and parking.  Reduce pollution. Don’t drink and drive! 

Looking for another great food find in Lincoln Square?  Check out Gather.