The flagship Thumbs Up on the Old Fourth Ward’s Edgewood Avenue—a pioneering business when it opened in 2000 along this now-booming restaurant row—attracts the city’s most egalitarian breakfast flock. Whether black or white, in designer jeans or in sweats, customers huddle amiably at the curving counter and in booths surrounded by exposed brick walls. Four other locations exist around the metro area (and the company began offering franchising in 2011), but only Edgewood has kitchen manager Jo Angela Hartsoe, a veteran breakfast cook who tackles orders with absorbing intensity. Watching her juggle twelve tasks at once helps to pass the time during long weekend waits.
ORDER THIS: The Skillet Heap (sauteed potatoes with onions and peppers, crowned with cheddar and two eggs any style, plus a long list of meats or grilled vegetables as additional toppings); cheese grits.
573 Edgewood Avenue, 404-223-0690, and other locations, thumbsupdiner.com