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5 Atlanta Southern Food Restaurants to Try

By AAA Travel Editors
October 12, 2021
Foods smothered in gravy, fried chicken and buttery biscuits—studying the cuisine is a necessary part of visiting Atlanta. From vegan soul food to New Southern cuisine, learn more about our favorite Southern food restaurants in Atlanta, Ga.

The Colonnade

1879 Cheshire Bridge Rd.
(404) 874-5642
A mainstay since 1927, this reliably good family restaurant serves crispy fried chicken, pot roast and other hearty fare in a humble yet welcoming environment. Ample portions will keep you fueled throughout the day. However, any true connoisseur of Southern cuisine knows to save room for dessert. Homemade pies perfect for sharing—coconut icebox pie, anyone?—are made in limited quantities and go fast.

Flying Biscuit Cafe

1001 Piedmont Ave. N.E.
(404) 874-8887
This Midtown café offers some of the best biscuits in Atlanta, a notable achievement with so many good places to eat. (There are other locations as well, including in nearby Kennesaw and Norcross.) Breakfast options include grits, omelets or organic oatmeal pancakes served with warm peach compote and maple syrup. But since you’re in the South, why not try the Southern Scramble complete with two scrambled eggs, spicy collard greens and cheddar cheese grits?

JCT Kitchen & Bar

1198 Howell Mill Rd, Suite 18
(404) 355-2252
This local restaurant’s New Southern cuisine, a mix of down-home favorites and creative comfort food, hits the sweet spot in the Westside Provisions District, the place to go for shopping and good food. Whether you want homemade bacon macaroni and cheese, the oh-so-crunchy French fries with truffle aioli or the specialty “Angry Mussels,” enjoy a variety of dining choices at this destination. Upstairs expect a more cosmopolitan vibe with small plates, live music, and craft beer and cocktails.
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Courtesy of Mary Mac's Tea Room

Mary Mac's Tea Room

224 Ponce de Leon Ave.
(404) 876-1800
Comfort foods made from scratch and sweet tea—the so-called “table wine of the South”—will delight diners in the one-time tearoom that Mary McKenzie opened in 1945. Though the boarding house days are long gone, you can still feel the care put into running this genteel establishment. While fried chicken is always a good choice, consider ordering the country-fried steak, cornbread stuffing with gravy, fried okra and peach cobbler.
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Soul Vegetarian II

652 N. Highland Ave. N.E.
(404) 875-0145
Don’t mind the modest surroundings because you’re in for a culinary revelation. Vegetables such as collard greens, corn and potatoes are important ingredients of what’s considered good Southern food in Atlanta (and beyond), and you’ll get your fill of them in a way that’s tasty and good for you with this restaurant’s spin on soul food. All dishes are vegan—no meat and dairy—so you can chow down on barbecue (aka kalebone, a wheat-gluten protein), brown rice with gravy and cornbread, all without (much) guilt.

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