Eight Comfort Foods to Try This Winter

When the days are short and the weather is cold, we'll take a little comfort wherever we can find it — especially after the year we've all just had. Fortunately, comfort is often served warm in a sea of aromatic broth or accompanied by a freshly baked cookie or topped with some melted cheese. We compiled a list of eight of our favorite comfort foods from local restaurants for you to try this winter. May they fill your hearts and bellies with happiness.

Eight Comfort Foods to Try This Winter

Shoyu Ramen

Otaku Ramen

When the weather gets downright cold and the wind cuts into your bones, there’s really only one food that will warm you, body and soul: a gorgeous, steaming bowl of shoyu ramen from Otaku Ramen. With delicate noodles, a shoyu (soy-based) clear chicken broth, tender pork belly, a fish cake, a soy-marinated egg and a bit of nori and scallions, this is the hearty comfort food that will melt away your worries with every slurp. And don’t feel shy about scooping out every last drop of broth, because that’s where the magic is. JONATHAN SIMS

Eight Comfort Foods to Try This Winter

Biscuits and Tomato Gravy

Big Bad Breakfast

I’m no different than many Southerners in that I lionize my mother’s sausage gravy. Spread over biscuits, it is a near-perfect breakfast all on its own, and I never believed I would find its equal until John Currence came into my life. The chef-owner of Big Bad Breakfast serves tomato gravy over his big, fluffy biscuits, and well, Mom now has competition. It starts with a base of butter and onions before herbs and flour are added. Then, tomatoes come in over the top and simmer for a half hour. With a little cream blended in, it becomes something magical — a dish you never knew you needed. Sometimes, I get a second order to go, because I never want that feeling to go away. STEVE CAVENDISH

Eight Comfort Foods to Try This Winter

Chai Latte and Cookies


When it comes to comfort food, I gravitate toward the popular pairs of childhood: peanut butter and honey, spaghetti and meatballs, milk and cookies — but it’s that last combo I love the most. On a dreary afternoon, when fatigue is setting in and I have miles of kid-chauffeuring and bedtime-routining ahead of me, there’s nothing like a little milk and cookies to lift the spirits. My go-to spot for this timeless treat is Dose for a chai latte with oat milk and a snickerdoodle, though the salty chocolate chip cookie and an old-school au lait are perfectly acceptable alternatives. Really, any combination will do. You simply can’t go wrong with milk and cookies! VARINA WILLSE

Eight Comfort Foods to Try This Winter

Pork Belly Noodle Bowl

Vui’s Kitchen

If I knew how to knit, I would knit the ingredients of a Vui’s Kitchen noodle bowl into a cozy scarf so I could tangle myself in silken vermicelli and velvety seared lemongrass pork belly. I’d weave in bright, crisp flourishes of carrot, cucumber, cilantro and lettuce and sprinkle the fringes with crushed peanuts, chile and lime. My noodle bowl scarf would be a delicate tapestry of salt, fat, acid and heat, balancing decadence and restraint so as to be the rare comfort food that leaves a diner both comforted and comfortable. (Fortunately for everyone, I do not know how to knit.) CARRINGTON FOX

Eight Comfort Foods to Try This Winter

Mutter Paneer and Garlic Naan

Woodlands Indian Vegetarian Cuisine

When the weather outside gets frightful, direct your sled to Woodlands Indian Vegetarian Cuisine, where everything on the menu is filling and delightful. Their mutter paneer has been my go-to on chilly winter days for many years running, as the luscious cashew-based gravy is rich with tomato, onion and belly-warming spices. They’re generous with the plump cubes of paneer, and the addition of green peas gives the dish a bright, sweet bite. While the entrée comes with a side of basmati rice, it’s worth the extra $3.50 to grab some garlic naan, too. The freshly baked, chewy flatbread is the perfect vehicle for scooping up every last bit of that dreamy, creamy gravy. MEGAN SELING

Eight Comfort Foods to Try This Winter

Creamed Corn and Green Beans

Arnold’s Country Kitchen

My oft-professed love for the fried chicken at Arnold’s Country Kitchen is well known, and the roast beef and the meatloaf also have their own legions of fans. But the dish that really hits me in the feels is a humble side from the steam table array of “and threes.” I never visit without ordering a small dish of green beans with Arnold’s sweet-salty creamed corn ladled on top. Why is this my staple order? Because Kahlil Arnold once told me that was the best way to enjoy them, and because his father, Jack, taught him to do it that way years ago. It represents two generations of pleasing customers on one tray. CHRIS CHAMBERLAIN

Eight Comfort Foods to Try This Winter

Grillshack Burger and Uber-Tuber Fries


There’s not a lot in the world that can’t be cured by a really good cheeseburger, and it’s hard to imagine a better burger than the one at Grillshack. The ⅓-pound patty of Bear Creek beef is lightly seasoned with cracked pepper and grilled to perfection before being blanketed in Muenster cheese and placed on a toasted Charpier’s bun. Wrapped in foil and accompanied by tomato, onion, lettuce, pickles, mayo, mustard and ketchup, so you can assemble to your liking at your convenience, the burger is packed in a box loaded with the hefty, crispy, salty Uber-Tuber fries. Do yourself a favor and request a side of honey mustard or Grillshack’s spicy ketchup for dipping. You won’t regret it. NANCY FLOYD

Eight Comfort Foods to Try This Winter

Chicken Soup With Noodles and Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Noshville Delicatessen

Noshville’s version of the absolutely classic, feel-better soup combined with a gooey grilled cheese sandwich is the warm serving of goodness that will make you feel better, even if you’re not under the weather. Everybody’s grandmother thinks her recipe is the best, but Noshville’s consistently rich, golden, homemade broth (notice the soup’s name?) with loads of noodles elevates it above all others. The half grilled cheese sandwich — always sourdough bread and cheddar cheese — is perfectly toasted with just enough crunch and the right amount of butter and has two slices of cheese, which practically makes it a whole one! HOLLY HOFFMAN