West Egg Cafe
West Egg Cafe is a popular spot for weekend brunches, but this Westside spot also makes good grab-and-go options — especially the build-your-own-biscuits and the tofu scramble that can be tucked in a tortilla. For a true Southern experience, go for the pimento cheese grits, with all ingredients made in-house and to the precise texture (this is key).
BTW: Expect at least an hour wait for brunch on the weekends — or call ahead for an order to go.
West Egg Cafe, 1100 Howell Mill Rd., Atlanta, Ga. 30318
Thumbs Up Diner
How do Southerners do breakfast? The way Thumbs Up, a family-owned greasy spoon, does it late into the afternoon. Think favorites like buttermilk biscuits elevated with a dab of butter or marmalade; grits and gravy — lots of gravy; quesadillas, burgers and sandwiches; and even vegan options. There’s truly something for everyone here, whether first thing in the morning or when you crave breakfast well into the day.
BTW: Bring cash. Thumbs Up doesn’t accept credit cards.
Thumbs Up Diner, 826 Marietta St., Atlanta, Ga. 30318
Yasin’s Homestyle Seafood
Fried fish without the frills is what you’ll get at Yasin’s. Walk up to the counter and pick from whiting, tilapia and catfish, and get a side, which is sometimes the best part. The mac and cheese is a prized accompaniment, as are the coleslaw and green beans. Do as Southerners do: Grab a slice of white bread or a hunk of cornbread to enjoy with fish hot from the grease.
BTW: The hush puppies are a must. Most combo meals come with them, but order extra.
Yasin’s Homestyle Seafood, 1080 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd., Atlanta, Ga. 30310
Le Petit Marche
Head to the Kirkwood neighborhood to Le Petit Marche, a French-bistro-inspired spot with sandwiches, salads, soups and fresh-baked goods. Owner Marchet Sparks opened it as a market in 2008 before transitioning it to a restaurant. The meal to order isn’t very French, but it’s the best: the grits stack, a large bowl that’s topped with bacon, scrambled eggs, shrimp and oozing cheese.
BTW: No reservations are taken, and the lunch hour can get busy.
Le Petit Marche, 1984 Hosea L. Williams Dr. NE, Atlanta, Ga. 30317
Atlanta Food Truck Park
Rather than tracking and chasing some of Atlanta’s best food trucks as they move around town, head to the park where a collection of roving vendors gather on the weekends. On an average week, more than 40 food trucks set up shop, including Sweet Auburn Barbecue, Pressed for Time Paninis and the Fry Guy. The trucks vary from week to week and can be previewed online before visiting.
BTW: It’s open only on Tuesday and Thursday through Saturday, and cash is preferred.
Atlanta Food Truck Park, 1850 Howell Mill Rd. NW, Atlanta, Ga. 30318
Busy Bee Cafe
Busy Bee Cafe is special for a few reasons: the smothered chicken, Southern-style meatloaf, fried catfish and candied yams. But Busy Bee Cafe is also one of the few original African American-owned restaurants in Atlanta that is still thriving. The restaurant opened in 1947 during a time period when many restaurants were segregated. It remains one of the must-eat places in the city for quintessential soul food.
BTW: You can check wait times for tables online.
Busy Bee Cafe, 810 MLK Jr. Dr. SW, Atlanta, Ga. 30314
Courtesy of Ticonderoga Club/Brian Manley
An Inman Park watering hole, Ticonderoga Club takes colonial-era style and turns it on its head. Named after an 18th-century fort, the ambiance is created by dim lighting in an intimate, basement-like space. Food here is always a surprise — the menu changes often — but expect plenty of seafood. The libations are so good they even have a national nod: The bar was recently nominated for a James Beard Award.
BTW: This bar is inside of Krog Street Market and is closed Wednesdays.
Ticonderoga Club, 99 Krog St. NE, Atlanta, Ga. 30307
Cafe Intermezzo feels like you’ve stepped into an Old World coffeehouse. And that is precisely what the owners want at this quaint cafe, with pastries, cakes and pies by the slice. Taking a cue from cafes in 1950s Vienna, the lighting is subdued and the walls are dark wood, with bistro-style tables. The coffee is good, the desserts are even better and other menu items, like sandwiches and salads, aren’t half bad, either.
BTW: Parking is a challenge here. Use ride hailing and save yourself the headache.
Cafe Intermezzo, 1065 Peachtree St. NE, Atlanta, Ga. 30309