Bonnie Jean's Soul Food Cafe I’m fairly certain that there were no Africans on the Mayflower, yet Thanksgiving is an important holiday in Black communities everywhere. It is a time for families to come together and celebrate the the wonderous flavor that is uniquely our own. Soul Food! Soul Music! A soul inspiring time!

You may not have an interest in Plymouth, Massachusetts but there are a number of cities with the spice of life we love for the Thanksgiving holiday. Here’s the good news. No matter where you live in the country, there is a plate of soul food only a family drive away from a great Thanksgiving gathering. Your bags are free of charge!

Sylvia’s Soul Food in New York City

Located at 328 Lenox Avenue in historic Harlem, Sylvia’s is a soul food favorite. Fried chicken, sweet potatoes, corn bread, and collard greens will dazzle the family this Thanksgiving like every year, but you won’t be exhausted when you sit down to eat. Phone: (212) 996-0660 www.sylviasrestaurant.com

Army & Lou’s in Chicago, IL

On the south side of Chicago, 422 E. 75th Street, this restaurant has been a staple in the community since 1945. All the food is prepared from scratch and the First Sunday buffet is nothing less than legendary. A popular Thanksgiving destination, they have already released the Turkey Day menu-oven roasted turkey, cornbread dressing, spiced green beans, cranberry sauce, and freshly made dinner rolls. You can even pretend you made it yourself. Carry out. Phone: (773) 483-3100 http://www.armyandlous.com

Justin’s in Atlanta, Georgia

Owned by Sean (Diddy) Combs, Justin’s is “the place” to be in Atlanta. It carries a hefty price tag for it’s ambiance and star studded clientele but the food is worth every penny. Upscale preparations of barbecue salmon, cabbage, yams, and cornbread are accompanied by appetizers like catfish fritters and the mogul gumbo. Located in posh Buckhead at 220o Peachtree Road NE. Phone: (404) 603-5353 http://www.justinsrestaurant.com

Ross’s Hooked & Cooked in Phoenix, Arizona

Soul food in the middle of the desert! It’s all here:Catfish Nuggets, Fried Okra, Fried Coconut Shrimp, Crab Cakes, Jerk Wings, Hot Wings, and Seafood Gumbo. You can eat in as a special event or have it catered to your home for Thanksgiving. 1301 East Broadway Road in Phoenix. Phone: (602) 268-7677 http://www.rosshookedandcooked.com

Bonnie Jean’s Soul Food Cafe in San Diego, California

When you think of southern California cuisine you think great sea food and Mexican food. But close to the border you can find some of the best soul food west of the Mississippi river. Relatively new, compared to other soul food restaurants in the country, Bonnie Jean’s was established in 1995. The barbecue rib dinner is a town favorite. If you are new to soul food, don’t worry. Bonnie Jean’s offers “soul in a bowl”, a sample of popular soul food favorites like baked potato soup, deep friend mac and cheese, black eyed peas, and pecan glazed chicken. Yummy! Phone: 619.262.8854 http://www.bonniejeanssoulfood.com