The Flavor of Atlanta
Food is a major player in the character of any place. You can likely get a great hamburger anywhere, but some foods are
synonymous with a city. As clam chowder is to Boston, and cheese steak is to Philly, Southern comfort food is to Atlanta.
Even if you’re new to the South, you know the food: the fried chicken and collard greens, the macaroni and cheese and
buttermilk biscuits. It’s home cookin’ Southern style, and whether your mama or grandma cooked like this, or you just wish
they had, there are a number of restaurants in Metro Atlanta that serve up the best in local flavor. Just remember a few rules:
It’s best not to count calories, you better believe it’s homemade and yes, you’ll have the sweet tea.
The OK Café (404-233-2888, 1284 West Paces Ferry Rd., BLD) seems to be a modest name for one of Atlanta’s most popular restaurants. There is a cheerful neon sign on the outside of the OK Café that lets diners know the estimated wait for a table at a spot that serves more customers than any other full-service restaurant in Georgia. But as they say: It’s worth it. The staff is sincerely friendly and happy to recommend from the sizeable menu (the squash soufflé is divine). Grab a seat at the counter and enjoy the line cooks’ good-natured banter, or avoid the wait and take yours to go from their impressive takeout area.
Greenwoods on Green Street
Southern comfort food isn’t pretentious, and neither is the log cabin that houses Greenwoods on Green Street (770-992-5383, 1087 Green St., Roswell, L Wed.-Thurs., LD Fri.-Sun.). The cabin dates back to the 1700s—the restaurant is a bit newer. This casual, homey spot delivers something of a Southern/hippy vibe with its legendary huge portions and deliriously good homemade pies and ice cream. Think grits meets Grateful Dead. Leave your cares and your plastic behind— Greenwoods only takes cash and personal checks.
Bobby & June’s Kountry Kitchen
Bobby & June’s Kountry Kitchen (404-876-3872, 375 14th St. N.W., BL) is also located in a log cabin, although this one sits in welcoming contrast to the visible glass and steel of downtown development. Bobby & June’s is all character. Take a break from the bistros and fusion cuisine for simple Southern fare. The front porch is full of knick-knacks, and the dining room is full of a true slice of Atlanta life, as well as fried okra that will make all guests eat their vegetables.
Located in the eclectic and trendy Virginia- Highland neighborhood, American Roadhouse (404-872-2822, 842 N. Highland Ave., BL) defies culinary fads. This comfortable neighborhood eatery offers simple, fresh comfort food cooked to order. Breakfast bustles with a mix of meetings and folks perusing the morning paper. Offering some of the self-proclaimed largest portions in the country, linger over a chicken pot pie or a big plate of waffles to watch the world roll by one trend at a time.
Matt’s Rib Shack
T-Bone Smith. Chicken Shack. Fat City Wild Cats. Those aren’t specials at Fat Matt’s Rib Shack (404-607-1622, 1811 Piedmont Ave. N.E., LD)— they are some of the bands on the nightly live blues docket at this casual barbecue joint. There isn’t anything fancy about Fat Matt’s. The seating is first-come, first-serve inside and out, and the menu is short, sweet and painted on a board. Choose from ribs, chicken, chopped pork and a variety of sides— and take comfort in blues, beer and barbecue.
The Flying Biscuit Café
Try all of these local favorites—preferably not in one
day—and discover the flavor of Atlanta. Make yourself
at home with the sights, scents and tastes of Southern
comfort foods. When the food is this good, you’re
sure to become a regular.