If you’re a fan of home-style Southern cooking you should put Miller’s Soul Food in Dublin at the top of your list to visit. They’ve been serving up food and a strong sense of community here for several generations, and you can feel the history and the love in every dish. It’s the oldest restaurant in Dublin and one of the community’s most successful Black-owned businesses.
Mrs. Nadine Miller Hunt’s mother established the restaurant in 1955 and Nadine has been running the place for over 30 years. When her husband, James L. Hunt (1934-2023), passed away recently, her daughter Shenita Hunt, who has lived in the Miami area for many years, came home to help with the restaurant’s operation. Mrs. Nadine isn’t slowing down and is the very definition of a gracious Southern lady. In 2022, Miller’s Soul Food was the only Georgia restaurant awarded a Backing Historic Small Restaurants grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
In the pantheon of Southern restaurants, the meat-and-three is king, because everyone is looking for food like their mamma made. In my experience, the search rarely yields acceptable results. But sometimes you come across a place so good that you want to share it with the world. Miller’s Soul Food isn’t just any meat-and-three. Nothing is too salty, nothing too greasy, and nothing too sweet. Perfectly cooked and perfectly seasoned. None of this dumped-out-of-a-can buffet stuff here. There are plenty of regular customers who will tell you it’s the best restaurant in Dublin and I believe them.
Of course they serve all the staples, like fried chicken, ribs, fried mullet, and sides like turnips and rutabagas. I’m more a mustard and collards fan, but on the advice of a regular customer, I got the turnips and they were cooked to perfection. For the more old-school customers, they serve up oxtails, pig’s feet and other soul food classics. Each meal comes with corn muffins and an old-fashioned hoe cake, also very good.
When I first walked in the door, I was warmly welcomed by Shenita Hunt. In addition to being dedicated to the legacy of her family’s business, she’s an accomplished singer, has toured professionally, and is passionate about her work. She was happy to play some of her recordings and she’s very talented [my favorite was her cover of “At Last” by Etta James]. Her work is available for purchase at the restaurant and online. Her family also owned a nightclub, Miller’s Country Club, about ten miles outside town, and she learned many standards of American music from listening to their jukebox and watching the musicians who worked with her parents. That’s where she got the music bug. Her family strongly embraced and encouraged her artistic interests.
Miller’s Soul Food is only open Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, so you’ll have to plan. But really, you should pay them a visit.
Dublin Commercial Historic District, National Register of Historic Places
What a great place! Classic in every way. Thanks for sharing this, Brian!
I used to eat at Millers about 11 years ago, when I worked in Dublin. The food was great
This is a great place to get some good food to eat and drink. Good food from the beginning to the end. Oh oh those canned yams the best since my moms.
The absolute best southern cooking around!!! They are extremely polite and kind! Never disappointed!
My kind of place Brian! Are you old enough to remember the kind of places like MissMolly’s Cafe in Gainesville to which my father often took me when l was 6 to 8? It served the same sort of staples as Miller’s Soul Food but with no menu or buffet line? You walked in, sat down and a plate of food with a huge slice of cornbread was put in front of you! YUM!
Brian, I’ve just read about Miller’s Soul Food. We are going tomorrow and eat fried mullet. The last mullet I ate was from Blount’s Fish Market on McIntosh Street back in the 50s in Vidalia! And my mama knew how to cook it!
Great to hear, and I hope they have the mullet tomorrow. You might call them just to make sure. I bet it will bring back memories of your mama’s. They’re such nice folks, too. Enjoy!
This is the most poetic I’ve ever seen you wax on a topic Brian. I wish I’d known about it in the 70s on all the trips to Statesboro. I can start to catch up now. Reminds me of my grandmother…my kind of soul food. Thanks