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Southern Comfort: Exploring the Atlanta Food Scene

Written by Chris Osburn

This blog post was updated on July 30, 2019.

Part of the reason Atlanta is such a stand-out city is its sizzling hot food scene. If you’re in town, you know you’re going to leave with a heaping portion of southern hospitality topped with a healthy slathering of southern flavor. Here’s a look at some of the city’s most sensational places to eat.


Grilled Chicken and pork on barbecue grill

So what’s smoking in the ATL? Some of the South’s best BBQ! You’ll be spoiled for choice when comes to where to grab a bite of top-quality BBQ. But arguably the yummiest is at Fox Bros Bar-B-Que. When you go, try the chicken fried ribs (double sided, thick cut ribs – breaded, fried, and served with white sauce).


a burger with fries

If you want the chance to try a chef-led approach to building a better cheeseburger, head to Holeman & Finch. To give you a sense of the dedication to building a better burger, the restaurant’s bakery was partly conceived as an answer to making the perfect hamburger bun. But the guys behind this wildly popular restaurant could see no reason to mess with the ideal cheese for cheeseburgers already in existence. For the H&F cheeseburger, Kraft singles are used.

Fast Food

A post shared by The Varsity (@thevarsity1928) on

If you’re one of those foodies who would book cheap plane tickets to a new city just to satisfy a craving, you’ll find the perfect comfort food with legendary status right here in Atlanta. For a timeless taste of fast food history, drop by The Varsity. With a claim to being the world’s oldest drive-in, this Atlanta institution near the campus of Georgia Tech has been going strong since 1928. When they ask you “What’ll ya have?” Be sure to order a chili dog, and for true Southern flavor get it with pimento cheese. And don’t forget the onion rings!

Fine Dining

Roasted pork with grill vegetables

Southern tradition with worldly flair is attractively presented on your plate at “country modern” restaurant Miller Union. Menus change weekly, so expect some delicious surprises when you visit. But if you see the seared pork belly, sweet corn puree, peach and fennel salad or the Bourbon glazed quail with farro, peaches, celery, turnip, and vidalia onion soubise, strongly consider them for your appetizer and main course. What’s no surprise is that a reservation is highly recommended if you hope to dine here.

You may also like: The Best Beach Destinations to Visit If You’re a Foodie

Street Food

Krog Street Market is a 9-acre indoor spread of street food vendors with a ginormous beer shop and bar, and producers selling their tastiest wares. The breadth of choice for eats will blow you away. This award-winning and highly acclaimed food hall is a smart place to keep in mind for those times when mixed palates come together to socialize.

Soul Food

Fried Chicken served with collard greens and cornbread

How down-home can the cooking get in Atlanta? Dig in to the dishes at Mary Mac’s Tea Room for made-from-scratch southern fare served “with open arms and a big smile.” Highlights from the menu include Brunswick stew, fried green tomatoes, deviled eggs, shrimp and cheese grits and – of course – fried chicken.

Where’s your favorite place to eat in Atlanta? We’d love it if you shared your suggestions with us in the comments section below.

About the author

Chris Osburn

Chris Osburn is a freelance writer, photographer, consultant, and curator and the driving force behind the long running and award winning blog, Originally from the American Deep South, Chris has lived and worked all over the world and has called London home since 2001.

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