10 Best Southern Restaurants in Atlanta: Upscale, Casual and Down Home

Malika Harricharan

By , Local Expert, Atlanta
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At 10Best, we're always on the lookout for Atlanta's best restaurants, and while we appreciate places that have a broad culinary range, we can't help but adore restaurants that specialize in a given cuisine. If you are in the downtown area and looking for a spot that will provide you with some entertainment, look no further than Sweet Georgia Juke Joint

Want to visit a place that you don't have to get gussied up to dine, has been around for decades and is steeped in history? Check out Mary Mac's Tea Room or The Colonnade or Busy Bee Cafe. None take reservations, so expect waits if you visit at peak times. 

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  • 1


    The building is steeped in history, yet they have an interesting take on southern classics.

    Local Expert Tip: "The wine list is tremendous. Let the staff help you pick something out. "

  • 2

    Empire State South

    Everyone from critics to locals love Empire State South and favorite stop for celebrities visiting Atlanta.

    Local Expert Tip: "Don't miss out the great cocktails."

  • 3

    South City Kitchen

    It is in the heart of Midtown serving up delicious southern fare.

    Local Expert Tip: "Walk to nearby bars after you finish your meal here. "

  • 4

    JCT. Kitchen & Bar

    Chef Ford Fry is becoming quite a notable chef in Atlanta.

    Local Expert Tip: "Make sure to try the Angry Mussels appetizer which was featured on the Travel Channel. "

  • 5

    Mary Mac's Tea Room

    This place is steeped in history and so popular they even have a recipe book!

    Local Expert Tip: "Patrons tend to gather around 4 pm for dinner at this, one of the oldest restaurants in Atlanta. "

  • 6


    This is a true classic in Atlanta, open since 1927 and attracting a variety of patrons.

    Local Expert Tip: "Be prepared: the location is a little bit seedy, sandwiched between strip clubs and novelty shops. "

  • 7

    Horseradish Grill

    The restaurant was featured on Rachael Ray's $40 a day.

    Local Expert Tip: "This is a great place to have dinner before catching a concert at Chastian. "

  • 8

    Busy Bee Café

    An Atlanta tradition since 1947, it is rumored to have the best fried chicken in the city.

    Local Expert Tip: "There are often waits for tables at peak times as the restaurant gets quite busy."

  • 9

    Sweet Georgia's Juke Joint

    With yummy food and fantastic music what's not to love?

    Local Expert Tip: "Be sure to get the peach daiquiri."



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