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 ATLANTA

CULINARY EXPLORATION IN GEORGIA

ATLANTA = SOUL OF A CITY

My time in Atlanta was focused on soul food and fried chicken. I was searching out what real soul food meant, what type of sides dishes, what the restaurant felt like, but maybe more importantly, what the true flavor of the south was. I explored over 40 different joints, and I learned that soul food isn't about being the fanciest or most expensive restaurant, but rather it is about cooking from the heart and amazing flavor. Now, when I think of soul food my thoughts turn to southern fried chicken, slow cooked grits, collard greens and sweet tea. For me any trip to A-town just wouldn't be complete without a visit to one of the many soul food joints that the city is famous for.  Want to know who I think is putting out some of the best food the big A has to offer, than just scroll down for a peek at my top picks.

The Pig

H&F BURGERS

PIG SCORE: 4.0 / 4.0

WHAT: WORLD CLASS BURGERS

WHEN: You're jonesing for the best burger in town.

PRICE: $$ 

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

 

MAP IT: 

675 Ponce De Leon Ave NE,

Atlanta, GA 30308

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • Cheeseburger

  • Fries

WHY: This started out as a nightly special at Holeman and Finch Public House, where at 10pm they made only 24 burgers, and they were only available at the bar. They became so popular that they opened up a burger only restaurant. And yes they are that good.

PIG'S PICKS

Where to feed your soul and find finger lickin' fried chicken in Atlanta

MARY MAC'S TEA ROOM

PIG SCORE: 4.0 / 4.0

WHAT: COMFORT SOUTHERN

WHEN: You want to eat the gold standard of Southern cuisine.

PRICE: $$ - $$$

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

MAP IT: 

224 Ponce De Leon Ave NE

Atlanta, GA 30308

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • Fried Chicken

  • Shrimp & grits

  • Salmon Croquettes

WHY:  Mary Mac's is the Queen of soul food. This is an Atlanta landmark and is serving some of the best comfort food in the country. 

BUTTERMILK KITCHEN

PIG SCORE: 4.0 / 4.0

WHAT: SOUTHERN BREAKFAST

WHEN: You a breakfast to stick to your ribs and your memory. 

PRICE: $$ 

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

 

MAP IT: 

4225 Roswell Rd NE

Atlanta, GA 30342

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • Chicken Biscuit

  • Pimento Omelet

WHY: These guys take southern breakfast to a whole new level. The Bacon is sinful and the pepper jelly turns a simple breakfast sandwich it to something magical. Don't plan on running in and out, they get busy, but know it is worth it.

HEIRLOOM BBQ

PIG SCORE: 3.95 / 4.0

WHAT: ASIAN FUSION BBQ

WHEN: You want BBQ, but can't decide between Korean or Texas.

PRICE: $$ 

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

 

MAP IT: 

2243 Akers Mill Rd SE

Atlanta, GA 30339

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • Brisket

  • Korean Pulled Pork

WHY: What do you get when you combine Texas brisket and Korean BBQ? You get delicious. The most creative twist of fusion BBQ I have seen in the country. 

MATTHEW'S CAFETERIA

PIG SCORE: 3.9 / 4.0

WHAT: SOUTHERN CAFATERIA

WHEN: You want Southern cooking at down home prices.

PRICE: $ - $$

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

 

MAP IT: 

2299 Main St.

Tucker, GA 30084

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • The BBQ Ribs

  • Butter Beans

WHY:  50's soul food cafeteria style, complete with plastic gingham table cloths, red vinyl chairs, and slow moving ceiling fans. Grab a tray and take a trip back in time while talking to  the locals. In my opinion, Matthew's is an American classic, and sadly the kind that is slowly disappearing from the our culinary landscape. This place needs to be cherished for what it is a nod to simpler times.

HOMEGROWN KITCHEN

PIG SCORE: 3.9 / 4.0

WHAT: SOUTHERN BREAKFAST 

WHEN: You want a casual breakfast in a bohemian setting.

PRICE: $$ 

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

 

MAP IT: 

968 Memorial Dr SE

Atlanta, GA 30316

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • Comfy Chicken

  • Pancakes 

WHY: A Bohemian style diner serving locally sourced stick to your ribs food. The pancakes are bigger than your brother's fat old face, and the comfy chicken will settle your stomach complaints from the night before.  Belly up to the counter if your lucky enough to find an empty seat.

BUSY BEE CAFE

PIG SCORE: 3.85 / 4.0

WHAT: OLD SOUL FOOD

WHEN: You want a piece of soul history.

PRICE: $$ 

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

 

MAP IT: 

810 M.L.K. Jr Dr NW

Atlanta, GA 30314

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • Ox tail

  • Fried Chicken

  • Amazing sides

WHY: A walk in history, this restaurant just doesn't look old, it is old. Eat at a cafe that Martin Luther king jr. ate at. Sit in a booth or plop yourself at the counter and enjoy the whole experience that is the Busy Bee Cafe. 

THE SILVER SKILLET

PIG SCORE: 3.8 / 4.0

WHAT: SOUTHERN DINER

WHEN: You want to be able to brag about having the best biscuit ever.

PRICE: $ - $$ 

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

 

MAP IT: 

200 14th St NW,

Atlanta, GA 30318

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • The Southern Breakfast

  • Biscuits

WHY: The place is a vintage 50's American diner with counter service and hand painted special signs. The biscuits are so good, that I claim them the best in America, and I thought of moving here just for them.

FAT MATT'S RIB SHACK

PIG SCORE: 3.7 / 4.0

WHAT: BLUES &  BBQ

WHEN: You feel like live music with great BBQ.

PRICE: $$ 

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

 

MAP IT: 

1811 Piedmont Ave NE,

Atlanta, GA 30324

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • Ribs

  • Mac & Cheese

WHY: Great BBQ with live blues. The ribs were so tender that they barley stayed on the bones. Want a really good meal with live music? Fat Matt's is your place. It's not just the awesome food, it's the experience.

SUBLIME DOUGHNUTS

PIG SCORE: 3.6 / 4.0

WHAT: GOURMET DOUGHNUTS

WHEN: You need a dozen that will impress.

PRICE: $ - $$

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

 

MAP IT: 

535 10th St NW

Atlanta, GA 30318

 

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • Strawberry & Cream

  • S'Mores

  • Caramel Apple Fritter

WHY: Some doughnuts are well made, others are creatively topped, these are both!  Slow down, grab a cup of joe and treat yourself. Sublime isn't just the name, it is the best description of the doughnuts as well.

KING OF POPS

PIG SCORE: 3.4 / 4.0

WHAT: PROLIFIC POPSICLES

WHEN: You want a little sweet treat.

PRICE:

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

 

MAP IT: (multiple locations)

186 Andrew Young International Blvd NW,

Atlanta, GA 30313

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • Iced Coffee

  • Cookies & Cream

  • Pineapple Habanero

WHY: They started off at farmers markets and have grown into an Atlanta locals favorite. Handcrafted all-natural Popsicle. They use local ingredients to make high quality frozen desserts. From fresh Georgia peaches to locally roasted coffee. A great treat for a hot day.

MONDAY NIGHT BREWING

PIG SCORE: 3.3 / 4.0

WHAT: MICRO-BREWERY

WHEN: Any week night, weekends are over rated.

PRICE: $$ 

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

 

MAP IT: 

670 Trabert Ave NW,

Atlanta, GA 30318

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • Slap Fight

  • Nerd Alert

WHY: Some fantastic beer in a casual setting at a great price.

PITTYPAT'S PORCH

PIG SCORE: 3.4 / 4.0

WHAT: SOUTHERN COMFORT

WHEN: You're stuck in the city and want good soul food.

PRICE: $$ 

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

 

MAP IT: 

25 Andrew Young Intertl Blvd 

Atlanta, GA 30303

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • Fried green tomatoes

  • Shrimp & Grits

WHY: You're in the middle of downtown Atlanta with all the hustle and bustle of the city. You walk through the doors and are magically transported to a old southern country house, with rocking chairs, and a porch. You'll forget where you are until you walk out the door and are abruptly  greeted by the city once again.

THE COLONNADE RESTAURANT

PIG SCORE: 3.3 / 4.0

WHAT: SOUTHERN SUPPER-CLUB

WHEN: You want to relax southern style.

PRICE: $$ 

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

 

MAP IT: 

1879 Cheshire Bridge Rd NE

Atlanta, GA 30324

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • Fried Chicken

WHY: Superclubs are almost a thing of the past, and this one is still around for a reason, great fried chicken. 

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