Food Paradise: Comfort Foods

Creamy milkshakes, homemade meat loaf and piping hot mac 'n cheese: comfort foods fill your tummy and feed your soul. Get a taste of some of the most delicious offerings from Food Paradise
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Photo By: Scripps Networks

Photo By: Scripps Networks

Photo By: Scripps Networks

Photo By: Scripps Networks

Photo By: Scripps Networks

Photo By: Scripps Networks

Photo By: Scripps Networks

Photo By: Scripps Networks

Photo By: Scripps Networks

Photo By: Scripps Networks

Photo By: Scripps Networks

Photo By: Scripps Networks

Photo By: Scripps Networks

Photo By: Scripps Networks

Photo By: Scripps Networks

Photo By: Scripps Networks

Photo By: Scripps Networks

Photo By: Scripps Networks

Photo By: Scripps Networks

Photo By: Scripps Networks

Photo By: Scripps Networks

Photo By: Scripps Networks

Photo By: Scripps Networks

Macaroni and Cheese

When you're down or just plain hungry, indulge in some comfort food. Mac and cheese, baked golden-brown at Revival, in Decatur, GA, does the trick. Dress up a homemade batch with chunks of lobster, apples and sausage, or a shake of hot sauce.

Shrimp and Grits

Shrimp and grits hail from the lowcountry, but this feel-good dish has made its way onto the Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars Palace, in Las Vegas (and lots of other tables). No gamble here. Odds are, you'll love it.

Pizza

Pizza is a palate-pleaser, no matter how you slice it. Bake your Italian pie on a preheated pizza stone for a crispy crust, like the one on this Quattro Carni, served at Isola Pizza Bar, in San Diego, CA.

Pie

Pies take the cake, so to speak, when it comes to comfort foods. Go savory with a shepherd's or chicken pot pie, or sweet, like the banana creams and lemon meringues at Dangerously Delicious Pies in Baltimore, MD. 

Grilled Cheese

Slather creamery butter on artisan or ordinary white bread to make this gloriously gooey sandwich. Grilled cheese pairs perfectly with soup, especially on cold or rainy days. 

Cupcakes

Comfort foods are about carbs, calories and sugar, and we like ours in cupcake form. If you're not a frosting fan, top your little cakes with whipped cream. Bea's of Bloomsbury, in London, England, serves 20 yummy varieties.

BBQ Ribs

Lick your fingers if you run out of napkins while munching the ribs at Joe's Kansas City Bar-B-Que. At home, precook ribs in the oven to get the juices flowing, then grill over indirect heat for fall-off-the-bone tenderness.

Pasta

Delizioso! Pasta's satisfying starchiness partners with various sauces at Terramia Ristorante, in Boston, MA. It also holds it own with a splash of good olive oil, cracked black pepper and freshly chopped parsley. Don't forget the wine.

Milkshake

Shake up your shake by stirring in some malt, a powder made from whole milk, wheat flour and malted barley. That's how they add buttery, toasty flavor to the milkshakes at Fog City Diner, in San Francisco, CA. 

Meatloaf

Meatloaf is classic comfort food. Revival, in Decatur, GA, switches it up by adding aged cheddar to a griddled meatloaf sandwich and serving it on a caramelized onion roll. Here, meatloaf gets a bacon wrap.

Mashed Potatoes

Smash or mash 'em, smother them with gravy or drown them in butter. Humble, wholesome potatoes don't mind. The Blue Barn, on the Minnesota State Fairgrounds, serves theirs with roast beef, grilled chicken, gravy, onions and mustard BBQ sauce. Ask for Cowboy Dave's Cluck and Moo.

Hamburger

Some comfort foods take two hands to devour, like hamburgers. Dress up your beefy bad boy the way they do at the Burger Bar in Las Vegas. This Rossini burger comes with shaved black truffles and sauteed foie gras on an onion bun.

French Toast

Ooh la la. Sexy A** French toast, at Bone Lick BBQ, in Atlanta, GA, is made from grilled bread pudding served with Nutella, maple-bacon-butter and whipped cream. Need to tame the calorie count? Top your toast with fresh fruit.

Biscuits and Gravy

Biscuit purists are happy with a dab of butter. At Pine State Biscuits, in Portland, OR, biscuits are a meal unto themselves. Try topping the ones you bake at home with sausage or mushroom gravy, over-easy eggs or pulled pork BBQ. 

Banana Pudding

Don't stop with ordinary banana pudding when you crave comfort. Get inspired by Nana Queen's, in Los Angeles, and add sliced raspberries, swirls of caramel or a spoonful of rum.

French Fries

Fries come with a side of hamburgers at the Boise Fry locations around Idaho. Order them shoestring-style, homestyle or regular, or ask for curly-cut or "po'balls." These spuds are fried in natural, GMO-free sunflower oil, which is comforting, too. 

Bacon

Comfort us with bacon. At the New Mexico State Fair, cooks from Rex's Makin' Bacon plate up deep-fried, green chile cheeseburgers wrapped in bacon strips. 

Waffles

Waffles go down nice and easy with butter and warm syrup. But they hit a new high at Roscoe's, in L.A., where they're served with fried chicken. Heat up the meat with a dash of Tabasco. 

Soup

Treat yourself to a comfort food duo, like peanut butter and chocolate anything. Hot tomato soup is a natural with grilled cheese. Surly Girl Saloon, in Columbus, OH, puts their soup together with chorizon-and-pepper sandwiches. 

Ham and Eggs

Cravings for comfort foods aren't limited to breakfast-time. Luckily, ham and eggs are just as soothing for brunch and dinner. For richer flavor, grate a favorite cheese into scrambled eggs, or add fresh-snipped herbs for aroma. 

Country Fried Steak

At Virginia's on King, in Charleston, SC, country fried steak and white onion gravy soothe the soul. Make brown gravy at home by stirring flour into your pan drippings, and cooking until the mixture turns golden. Season to taste. 

Tacos

What's more comforting than food that doesn't need a fork? At the MGM Grand, in Las Vegas, Cabana Grill makes street tacos with your choice of white fish, chicken or steak. Leftover pot roast is great for homemade tacos. Just shred the meat and season with garlic powder, chile powder, salt and pepper. 

Chicken and Dressing

Soul food is comfort food. In Louisville, KY, Shirley Mae's Cafe serves up tasty Baked Chick'n and Country Cornbread Dress'n. And yes, they spell it on the menu just the way Southerners say it.

Cornbread

Love your cornbread golden brown and crusty? Cook it in a preheated, well-oiled, cast-iron skillet. At Revival, in Decatur, GA, the skillet cornbread comes with a comforting entree like meatloaf or roasted chicken.