Best Neighborhood Restaurant

Mama Josephine's

The true neighborhood restaurant isn't simply a restaurant that happens to exist in an otherwise residential area. Like the best neighbors, it must make you feel welcome — like family, even. Here, Mama Josephine's has a natural advantage. Mary Samuelson's cozy restaurant in the city's Shaw neighborhood draws its recipes from the owner's late mother, Josephine Spallino, who spent her life sharing food with her family, customers in her café and schoolchildren. The menu is comfort food: fried chicken, meat loaf, lasagna — all of it delicious. The vibe is comforting, and Samuelson is a welcoming, gracious host who makes your first visit feel like your fiftieth. Mama Josephine's is the sort of place where you want to drop by often to say, "Howdy, neighbor," even if you have to drive miles and miles to do so.

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