Northgate Soda Shop

Review by: Michael Stern

Climb aboard our culinary time machine and head back into the mid-20th century. An atmospheric relic from the heyday of soda fountain dining, this charming little eatery really is a neighborhood experience where many regulars walk in, wave to old friends, and easily drop into conversations among staff and customers seated at the counter or at a scattering of bare-top tables.

I came for the well-respected pimento cheeseburger, which is a handsome package beautifully dressed with lettuce and tomato. The hand-pattied burger has a fresh, meaty savor, even if it is a bit overdone. (“Our menu does not offer undercooked meat…due to possible health risks,” an official warning states.) But any slight overdoneness becomes a non-problem thanks to the liquid luxury of smooth, melting pimento cheese piled on top.

Fried bologna fanciers will delight in what here is called the “Cincinnati steak” – a thick griddle-cooked round of spicy pink meat adorned with cheese, fried onions, and a spill of meaty (beanless) slightly sweet chili: a wonderful package!

On the subject of packages, here you will find an excellent rendition of one of the great magic dishes of the southland, a slaw dog. I say magical because no single element is itself blue-ribbon quality. But the sum of the parts is divine. A spicy little frankfurter, chunky beef chili, mustard, onions, and creamy-sweet cole slaw all piled into a spongy bun add up to Dixie-dog heaven.

Note: While the Northgate Soda Shop is open for three meals a day, an adjoining bar, called “The Other Side” opens at 5pm Monday through Friday.

Directions & Hours

11am - 8pm
  • Monday: 11:00 AM – 8:00 PM
  • Tuesday: 11:00 AM – 8:00 PM
  • Wednesday: 11:00 AM – 8:00 PM
  • Thursday: 11:00 AM – 8:00 PM
  • Friday: 11:00 AM – 8:00 PM
  • Saturday: 11:00 AM – 2:30 PM
  • Sunday: Closed

What To Eat

Cincinnati Steak (Fried Bologna)

Pimento Cheeseburger

Slaw Dog

Caramel Cake


Northgate Soda Shop Recipes


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