With a wide variety of mouthwatering breakfast options, Atlanta, in the heart of the South, entices those who like to rise early in the morning. This article aims to introduce you to Atlanta’s morning flavors through an exploration of the many and delicious choices for breakfast that light up the city’s culinary scene. The morning meal options at Atlanta’s restaurants range from contemporary, inventive morning dishes to traditional Southern favorites that honor local customs. There is something for every palate to enjoy. From hearty comfort foods to light and refreshing options, these eateries serve as culinary havens as the city wakes up, serving up unforgettable morning meals.
Ria’s Bluebird is a casual, family-friendly breakfast and lunch restaurant in a rustic, industrial-chic space in Cabbage Town. The bright and airy indoor space has floor-to-ceiling windows, while the outdoor patio has a beautiful mural of a bluebird. The food is down-home cooking at its best, made to order, and budget-friendly. Ria’s Bluebird offers delicious takes on Southern favorites, from brisket breakfasts to vegetarian and vegan biscuit sandwiches. Their incredible buttermilk pancakes received praise from the New York Times, so I had to order a short stack with toasted Georgia pecans and caramelized bananas to boot.
From owners and soul food experts Anthony Sanders and O. Osiris Ballard, Atlanta Breakfast Club is a beloved Midtown restaurant specializing in Southern comfort food. The atmosphere is as comforting as the food, with a family-oriented homey feel. The presentation of each dish is stunning, proving that down-home southern cooking can be chef-driven and a visual art form. It was so hard to choose just one breakfast at the Atlanta Breakfast Club. Their menu has every Southern breakfast imaginable, from shrimp and grits to fried chicken and waffles. My favorite dish was the Biscuits and Shrimp Gravy, featuring two buttermilk biscuits smothered in smoked jalapeno gravy and topped with shrimp and chicken sausage with a side of two poached eggs.
Featured on the Food Network, Eater, Atlanta Magazine, Food and Wine, and Southern Living, Buttermilk Kitchen is a quaint and colorful breakfast and brunch spot in the quirky Buckhead neighborhood. Executive Chef and owner Suzanne Vizethann delivers gourmet breakfasts and brunches using local and thoughtfully sourced ingredients. They have a full bar at Buttermilk Kitchen, so you can turn any breakfast into a boozy brunch. The menu features a wonderful selection of southern-inspired breakfasts with gourmet twists. I loved the Pimento Omelet with bacon and homemade pimento cheese served with a buttermilk biscuit, red pepper jelly, and a side of hashbrown fritters.
As the name implies, Folk Art Restaurant is a creative diner that serves stunning renditions of Atlanta’s favorite breakfast foods. Located in an industrial-chic eatery with exposed brick walls and an old-timey breakfast counter, Folk Art Restaurant is a favorite spot for the Little Five Points, Inman Park, and Poncey-Highland neighborhoods that surround it. They serve diner-style food and have a full bar. In diner fashion, you can get breakfast all day. Their jumbo biscuits were nice and crunchy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. But my favorite menu item was their southwestern take on a Mexican breakfast. The huevos rancheros at Folk Art are fried with tortillas and pork chili, then topped with salsa verde, avocado, and crumbled queso.
Named Best Brunch in the South by Southern Living, Sun in My Belly is a high-end Southern comfort breakfast and lunch cafe in a historic Kirkwood building. Located inside an old hardware store, Sun in my Belly has a charming, vintage-chic décor and a friendly, bustling atmosphere in which to enjoy unique breakfast and lunch dishes. Whenever you see a small menu, it means that every dish is perfectly executed. Sun in My Belly has a small menu of expertly crafted meals with the finest ingredients. So anything you order will be excellent. I had the French Toast with thick brioche slices soaked in egg and griddled, then covered in honey ricotta and fresh berries.
Originating in Candler Park in 1993, Flying Biscuit Café is now a well-known Southern-style family-friendly restaurant with 8 locations in Atlanta, including Buckhead, Midtown, and Taco Hills. They started as a breakfast café specializing in biscuits, which continue to be their signature and most popular menu item. They’ve expanded to include 25 locations across the south, each one selling 5000 biscuits a week. I went to their flagship location in Candler Park to try their award-winning biscuits and soon understood the hype. You won’t taste a better biscuit on earth, and they come with most breakfast dishes on the menu. I had the Flying Biscuit Breakfast with, of course, a fluffy flying biscuit along with two eggs, chicken sage sausage patties, and creamy grits.
With locations in Downtown, Old Fourth Ward, Atlanta Financial Center, and Emory University, Highland Bakery & Kitchen is an ode to generations of Southern bakers and cooks. Owner Stacey Eames opened the first location in a 1930s bakery, offering craft coffee, decadent baked goods, and Southern comfort meals. Today, Highland Bakery and Kitchen is one of the most popular bakeries and eateries in Atlanta. I delighted in a slice of blueberry crumb cake with a hot coffee to start. For my main dish, I went for the Rustic Italian, an open-faced breakfast sandwich over grilled rosemary garlic bread with melted mozzarella, sauteed veggies, over-medium eggs, and a dousing of marinara sauce with fresh basil. As this is both a bakery and a breakfast eatery, I recommend sampling their baked goods and bakery dishes.
Home Grown GA Restaurant
Alluding to both the old-timey house in which it’s located and the giant onsite veggie garden from which they source their food. Home Grown GA Restaurant is a breakfast and brunch café in East Atlanta’s Reynoldstown neighborhood. Owner duo Lisa Spooner and fine dining Chef Kevin Clark deliver fresh, home-grown meals prepared by a highly trained chef for accessible prices. The portions at Home Grown are huge, and the menu features Southern-style breakfasts, continental breakfasts, and over-the-top Mexican breakfasts. I recommend the Kevin’s Omelet with roasted tomato, cheddar, and fried chicken, topped with pork sausage gravy and served with a side of grits.
Teetering between Edgewood and Oakhurst, Le Petit Marche is a cute breakfast and lunch café in a small, bright, and airy space with French country décor. Le Petit Marche offers globally inspired breakfast and lunch dishes, along with their signature French beignets. Breakfast is served till close, so even if you’ve overslept, you can still get it in the afternoon. I had to try their beignets which were flakey, buttery, and subtly sweet. My favorite breakfast item was their Southwestern-style Lumberjack breakfast, with a grilled flour tortilla stuffed with ham, tater tots, scrambled eggs, and melted cheddar, smothered in house-made chipotle remoulade.
Opened in 1956, the Silver Skillet is one of Atlanta’s oldest southern cooking breakfast diners. Owned by George and Louise Decker, who passed the restaurant down to their daughter Teresa, Silver Skillet is a famous Midtown destination. It’s been featured in countless movies, TV shows, and many food publications, from the New York Times to Conde Nast. Their no-frills breakfast menu has a small but perfect selection of Southern favorites, from egg plates to biscuit specialties. I recommend the Southern Breakfast with two center cute battered and fried pork chops smothered in gravy and served with grits and a biscuit.
Winning a spot on Thrillist’s best breakfasts in America, West Egg Café is a fashionable breakfast bistro in the Westside Provisions District, specializing in gourmet Southern Comfort food. They have a casual coffee bar onsite with walk-up service as well as a fun, sit-down restaurant with the most decadent and original takes on Southern dishes from every region. Decorated fine-dining chef, Andrew Smith, uses the finest ingredients to create a fusion of southern techniques and traditions in each dish. My favorite breakfast meal was the shrimp and grits served with a poached egg, spicy pork andouille sausage, tomato white wine butter, and pan-roasted okra.
Babs is a quirky, fun breakfast and brunch spot in Midtown a few blocks from the Georgia Tech campus. Babs is a favorite for students, families, and hip locals in the know. They have a dog and goat-friendly patio with an intimate kitschy interior serving creative breakfast plates and brunch cocktails. The changing menu has silly names like “egg slut” or “slap yo mama cornbread”, with every dish more creative and delicious than the next. My pick is the Tunisian Shakshuka with shrimp, spices, caraway seeds, and harissa paste to season the egg and tomato base, served with fresh naan.
Bread and Butterfly is a classy and authentic French brasserie in the heart of Inman Park. The gorgeous dining space is worth the trip alone. It’s with lime green tiled walls, marble bar, and tables, antique light fixtures, and gold-detailed ceilings. The luxurious French cuisine features French pastries, seasonal breakfasts, and an impressive cocktail menu. The everyday brunch menu has classic favorites like the Croque Madame, seasonal quiches, and Tarte flambee. They also have savory dishes like hummus, shrimp toast, and charcuterie boards. My favorite dish is the B & B Egg Sandwich, a croque madame with prosciutto cotto, mortadella and gruyere on thick brioche.
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