Atlanta’s soul food scene is a celebration of rich and comforting flavors that resonate with the heart and soul. The city’s best soul food restaurants serve up dishes that pay homage to the culinary traditions of the South, offering a mouthwatering journey through the flavors of home-cooked comfort. Atlanta’s restaurants that specialize in this cuisine offer a taste of Southern hospitality in every bite, from rich macaroni and cheese to perfectly fried chicken, and from flavorful collard greens to sweet and savory cornbread. Whether you’re a fan of traditional Southern cuisine or just seeking a taste of the past, these restaurants create a warm and inviting atmosphere where each meal feels like a family get-together. Come along as we explore the best places in Atlanta to get this kind of food; delicious dishes with a Southern influence will be served, and every dish honors the long-lasting legacy of Southern culinary traditions.
Three minutes east of Atlanta University Center stands Paschal’s, a popular soul food restaurant serving the best Southern fare in the Castleberry Hill neighborhood. It has a cozy atmosphere with brick walls, giving guests the perfect place to enjoy their specialty fried chicken. Their best menu options are Jumbo Fried Shrimp, Pulled Pork Sandwich, Blackened Salmon, and Southern Shrimp & Grits. If you’re extra hungry, consider ordering your meal with a side of corn muffins, seasoned fries, or mashed potatoes with gravy. Enhance your meal with a refreshing serving of lemonade or sweet Southern tea before trying their Fudge Brownie dessert.
First up on my list of soul food restaurants in Atlanta is Soul Vegetarian, located in the West End and Atkins Park neighborhoods. This casual eatery serves 100% vegan-friendly soul food entrees and dairy-free desserts for anyone with specific dietary needs. This restaurant is an ideal option for anyone looking for quality takeout cuisine. I recommend starting with their Tofu Sticks or Kalebone and ordering their Veggie Burger, Country Baked Steak, Crispy Tofu Cutlets, or Barbeque Kalebone Twists for dinner. These dishes taste amazing with a side of sweet potatoes, cornbread, or corn on the cob. Then, try their milkshake for dessert.
Next up on my list of soul food restaurants in Atlanta is Busy Bee Cafe, located in the Downtown area, near Panther Stadium and Clark Atlanta University. This cozy yet buzzy spot is a great place to unwind after a long day and enjoy classic soul food entrees. Their menu offers plenty of daily specials to sample. During my last few visits to Downtown Atlanta, I ordered their Fried Catfish, Chicken & Waffles, Hardwood-Smoked Pulled Pork, and BBQ Ribs. Their best side dishes are candied yams, carrot souffle, and baked macaroni & cheese. If you want dessert, try their Blackberry Cobbler or Sweet Potato Pie.
If you’re looking for an authentic, homestyle Southern meal near the Trap Music Museum and Atlanta Contemporary Art Museum, consider visiting K & K Soul Food. This casual eatery offers counter-served dishes for anyone interested in staying for lunch or dinner or who prefers taking their food to go. My go-to menu options are their Cubed Steak, Oxtails, Ribs, and Catfish. They taste great with a side of collard greens, green beans, or steamed rice. A refreshing glass of lemonade is the best way to balance your meal’s salty and spicy flavors. If you have room for dessert, treat yourself to their Banana Pudding or Peach Cobbler.
Another excellent place to eat in the Castleberry Hill neighborhood is Old Lady Gang Southern Cuisine. It has a lively yet homey ambiance for enjoying homestyle Southern fare with your friends and family. They also host private parties for any type of celebration. I recommend their OLG Cheeseburger, Grilled Lamb Chops, Shrimp & Grits, or Chicken & French Toast with steamed cabbage, French fries, mashed potatoes, or black-eyed peas with rice on the side. If you’re dining with your friends, start with their shareable hot wings. Don’t forget to pair your meal with a Stubborn Atlanta Mule, Sneaky Georgia Peach, and Momma Joyce’s House Punch cocktail.
Within walking distance from The Wren’s Nest stands Q – Time Restaurant, a casual, counter-serve eatery specializing in BBQ and soul food. I consider it a great place to enjoy hearty soul food with your family if you’re short on time while exploring the city. Indulge in their Honey BBQ Wings, Fried Tilapia, Pork Ribs, or Salisbury Steak with a side of potato salad, okra, fried corn, or spinach. In addition, every Friday from 11 AM to 3 PM, they offer a two-piece fried whiting special with one vegetable side and a muffin. If you’re interested in dessert, try their assorted cakes.
Don’t know where to enjoy fantastic soul food dishes earlier in the day? Then, consider stopping by The Real Milk & Honey, near Badgett Stadium, for the tastiest Southern brunch in the neighborhood. Its casual atmosphere makes it a great place to treat your family to an early meal before driving to Atlanta’s museum or zoo. I’m a fan of their Shrimp & Grits, Crown Royal Peach Cobbler French Toast, Salmon Hash, and Lobster, Egg and Cheese Biscuit. Don’t forget to pair your brunch with a side of cheesy hashbrowns, chicken sausage, or sauteed kale and a refreshing cup of coffee, Arnold Palmer, or sweet tea.
Nestled within the Blandtown neighborhood, Twisted Soul Cookhouse & Pours is your best brunch and dinner option for globally-inspired soul food entrees. It has a cozy, contemporary atmosphere where guests can unwind and enjoy Chef Deborah VanTrece’s finest specialties. Their best dishes are Southern Marinated Fried Chicken, Mississippi Catfish Po’boy, Hoisin-Glazed Oxtails, and Braised Collard Rolls. If you prefer something lighter to eat, I recommend their Gelhado Chimichurri Wings or Roasted Red Pepper Deviled Eggs. They include an extensive wine and spirits list for anyone interested in giving their meal some extra flair. Consider pairing your soul food with any of their bourbon, scotch, or vodka.
If you don’t mind driving 6.5 miles east of Downtown Atlanta for a contemporary soul food dining experience, Who’s Got Soul Southern Cafe Decatur is one destination you don’t want to skip during your trip. They use homemade sauces and seasoning for each dish and create their desserts from scratch. The restaurant also has a casual atmosphere that people of all ages can enjoy. Consider sampling their Smothered Pork Chop, Oxtail Over Rice, Whiting Fillet & Chips, or Smoked BBQ Rib Tips with lemonade, sweet tea, or peach punch. I love finishing my night with their sweet Apple Cobbler or a slice of cake.
You can find Big Daddy’s Kitchen a few minutes from the Westgate Shopping Center. This restaurant has a casual and cozy atmosphere where people can enjoy a hearty late lunch or early dinner.Big Daddy’s menu items are cooked to order within 15 minutes, ensuring quality flavors for everyone to enjoy. Their Chopped Jerk Chicken with Rice, Baked Turkey Wings, Tender Slow-Cooked Oxtails, and BBQ Pork Ribs offer some of the best Southern meaty flavors in the city when paired with lemonade. If you prefer something healthier, you can order a Veggie Plate made with three to four sides and a muffin.
If you’re looking for a soul food restaurant that offers great dinner and brunch options, consider visiting Icey’s Kitchen & Bar. It’s a short drive from Emory Clairmont Campus. This lively eatery incorporates a modern and industrial aesthetic and has a rectangular bar area that serves creative cocktails. If you’re interested in dinner, don’t miss out on their Red Snapper, Jerk Steak & Frites, or Curry Vegetables. I also recommend their Fish & Grits or Chicken & Waffles for brunch. I like ordering a side of yucca, charred kale, or plantains with my dinner. Enhance your meal with a refreshing Guava Peach Paloma or Coconut Rum Punch.
Nestled within The Shops of Buckhead, near Peachtree Creek, Peach Cobbler Café is your best option for Southern comfort food cooked to order. This soul food restaurant has a casual ambiance and is a great place to eat for anyone looking for a quick bite for lunch while shopping. During my last trip to the city, I had their Smoked Brisket, Smothered Turkey Wings, Fried Shrimp, and Blackened Whiting. These dishes taste best with a side of collard greens, creamed corn, green beans with potatoes, or garlic toast. If you have room for dessert, consider sampling their signature Peach Cobbler.
If you’re looking for quality soul food near the Pine Hills neighborhood, consider stopping by Roc South Cuisine. It has a laid-back yet stylish atmosphere, making it a great dining option for anyone looking for a family-friendly setting. In addition, they offer semi-private dining services and outdoor seating. I like starting with their Seafood Egg Rolls or Crab Cake before ordering their Southern Fried Chicken Sandwich, Blackened Salmon Alfredo, Fried Lobster Tail, or Lamb Chop. Consider ordering a side of candied yams, jasmine rice, or collard greens with your meal. Their best cocktails are Mango Blitz, French Lemonade, and Passion Punch.
Another excellent cafeteria-style eatery where you can find the best soul food in town is The Beautiful Restaurant, southwest of the Audobon Forest neighborhood. This casual eatery prioritizes serving healthier dishes to the public. They offer takeout and delivery services. Their menu rotates daily, so you’re encouraged to visit often to try everything. During my last trip to Atlanta, I ordered their Baked Chicken Wings, Shrimp Scampi, Fried Chicken Quarters, and Baked Salmon. Don’t forget to order your meal with a refreshing Fruit Punch, Coke, or Tea-monade. Every Friday, they offer Peach and Apple Fried Pies for dessert if you’re looking for something different from their fruit cobbler.
394 Cleveland Ave SW, Atlanta, GA 30315
Last but not least on this list of the best soul food restaurants in Atlanta is Walter’s Soul Food Cafe, located near the Hammond Park and Perkerson neighborhoods. It has a simple, casual atmosphere if you’re looking for a quick bite. This restaurant menu offers a wide selection of classic Southern favorites for anyone craving a flavorful, hot meal. Consider ordering their Beef Brisket, Salisbury Steak, Fried Chicken, or Whiting Fish with corn, pinto beans, or candied yams on the side. If you’re interested in trying a soulful dessert, ask for their Peach Cobbler, Banana Pudding, or Red Velvet Cake.
Why Trust Us?
When it comes to local restaurant recommendations, we pride ourselves on being a reliable and trustworthy resource. Our suggestions are not just based on our personal experiences, ensuring a more authentic and well-rounded perspective, but also on extensive online research. We diligently searched the internet and reviewed 6 credible sites and blogs, including Atlantaeats.com and Atlanta.eater.com.
We compiled all the findings in one location and sorted them by the frequency of mentions to ensure you receive top-notch recommendations. We strive to present you with a curated list of establishments that truly stand out, allowing you to enjoy the best dining experiences possible.
Interested in the sources we consulted? Check out the list of all 6 sites we referenced below this paragraph, offering transparency and an opportunity for our readers to explore further. Our commitment is to deliver trustworthy and unparalleled recommendations, helping you make informed decisions on your culinary journeys.