With a menu, chef, and even walls imported from North Carolina, Southern Proper is Boston’s answer to the question “Is there good Southern food in this city?” Nestled deep in the South End just down the street from SoWa Vintage Market, Southern Proper delivers hospitality with a drawl in a space where you’ll feel right at home, with a menu packed with comfy classics and a few twists, all with a very modern eye on sustainability and seasonality.
The first section on the menu at Southern Proper you’ll probably notice bears the heading “Chicken Chicken,” and it’s crammed with every southern preparation you can think of, and probably a few you can’t. Keep browsing through the Snacks and Farmhouse section to find shareable plates loaded with comfort food that’s big on flavor but won’t weigh you down. There are full plates available in the Fish and Meats sections, and of course classic Sides to round out the meal, though there’s a good chance you’ll be taking some home for later. Ingredients change seasonally, and don’t worry if you don’t wipe your plate clean—the restaurant composts to minimize its eco-footprint.
Raw pine beams and soaring ceilings make it feel like you’re dropping in on a barn dance at Southern Proper, while the patterned wallpaper and antique lamps (suspended from the ceiling) bring the charming, eclectic sense that you’ve been invited home for dinner. And the half-barn, half-grandma’s house aesthetic is the perfect metaphor for the restaurant’s blend of rustic and refined. Banquettes line the walls beneath enormous windows, and the center of the room is scattered with big family tables and a spiral staircase that leads to a gorgeous private dining space.
The bar is straight ahead when you enter the room, where you’ll trade the bright airy dining room for lower ceilings and swiveling red-leather barstools. You can peek around the corner at the open kitchen, or focus on what’s on offer here. There’s a curated cocktail list featuring Southern ingredients and clever, crafty presentations, as well as a bunch of fresh, local beer on tap (and by the pitcher!). There are a few thoughtful options for red, white, and sparkling wine if that’s your thing, but you might be better off perusing the long whiskey list if you’re looking for a proper pairing.
600 Harrison Avenue
Boston, MA 02118