Atlanta soul food restaurants where your granny would be proud to dine

Some describe Soul Food as the down-home cooking that has been passed down from generation to generation in the South. But it is a bit more than that. Chit’lins, pig’s feet, turnip greens, black-eyed peas, collards, fried chicken and such are mostly what we think of when we hear the term Southern food or soul food. Originally, soul food referred to offal, the parts of the animal that, years ago, the poor had to make due with. Because these parts of the animal are not necessarily appealing, they were typically battered and fried to make them palatable.

Today, soul food restaurants are very popular, especially in Atlanta. They remain relatively inexpensive, no frills places that serve mostly in cafeteria style. They are busy at lunch, and because they are rather small, long lines can form. Most of the city’s soul food restaurants offer a meat plus two sides and perhaps cornbread or a biscuit. Popular items include fried chicken, ribs, turkey wings or meatloaf. Collards and mac n cheese are popular sides. 

There are several more fancied up soul food restaurants in the city, should you be in search of something upscale. Try Gladys Night and Ron Winans’ Chicken and Waffles located downtown or Mary Mac'sTea Room in Midtown. Ironically, one of the most popular soul food restaurants in the city- Soul Vegetarian- doesn’t serve meat at all. A visit to Atlanta would not be complete without stopping by one of the many soul food restaurants in the city.  

Who's Got Soul Southern Cafe

This soul food restaurant is located on the more north side of town. It is nice for those who live on that side of town to be this close to a soul food restaurant and not have to drive downtown. The other nice thing is that it is a bit more...  Read More

Gladys Night Chicken and Waffles is owned by R&B singer Gladys Knight and gospel singer Ron Winans. Don't let the name fool you. This is an upscale dining establishment. This sleek restaurant serves up traditional soul food like collards, mac n...  Read More

Q-time is open six days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Although the restaurant serves up some delicious lunch and dinner entrees, breakfast here stands out in comparison to some of the other soul food restaurants. During breakfast,...  Read More

As with many other soul food restaurants, K & K Soul food is no frills dining. The restaurant sits in a refurbished fast food restaurant space. If you've got a hankering for late breakfast, you can get it here. K & K serves breakfast...  Read More

Open early until late in the evening, you can get a good breakfast, lunch or dinner at Beautiful Restaurant located on the south side of town. Beautiful Restaurant has been operating for over 30 years and was featured on a PBS television show....  Read More


Located in the trendy Virginia Highland neighborhood, Soul Vegetarian 2 is one of several in a chain. However, this spot seems to remain the most popular. What is really neat is that soul food is often looked upon as unhealthy, but this...  Read More

Pittypat's Porch

An Atlanta tradition since 1967, this restaurant is pure Atlanta. From the Southern hospitality to the down-home decor to the diverse array of regular customers, Pittypat's offers local color at its best. Enjoy all of the Southern classics: mint...  Read More

Southern cooking since 1947, Paschal's Restaurant is the "soul" of Atlanta, serving favorites like Paschal's Fried Chicken, Smothered Pork Chops, BBQ Ribs and their famous Peach Cobbler in an upscale environment. Enjoy lunch, dinner, sunday...  Read More

The Busy Bee Cafe is a casual diner serving southern style soul food. It has reigned supreme as one of the favorite spots for soul food in Atlanta for years. This diner is a favorite of students at the nearby University who pack it full during...  Read More

Back in the 1940s, there were 16 tea rooms in Atlanta. Although not a place that served tea, these were a fancied up versions of a meat and two. They were centers for neighborhoods, where families could go and enjoy good food in the company of...  Read More


Meet Lesli Peterson

Lesli made her way to Atlanta over 20 years ago, after living in Germany, Japan and six U.S. states. She relishes the discovery of obscure, offbeat and unwonted places, and she will chat up any...  More About Lesli

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