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Southern/Soul

Atlanta Grill at The Ritz-Carlton, Atlanta

181 Peachtree Street, Atlanta, GA, 30303

404-221-6550

This high-end grill overlooking Peachtree Street offers Southern specialties in a lush setting.

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Blue Ridge Grill

1261 West Paces Ferry Road, Atlanta, GA, 30327

404-233-5030

A perennial Buckhead power spot, whose timber and stone interior evokes a mountain lodge, from the owners of Bone’s.

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Busy Bee Cafe

810 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, Atlanta, GA, 30314

404-525-9212

Fried chicken, oxtails, seasonal ham hocks, turnip greens, peach cobbler: This survivor, open since 1947, serves the city’s finest soul food.

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Buttermilk Kitchen

4225 Roswell Road, Atlanta, GA, 30342

678-732-3274

Led by Suzanne Vizethann, a caterer and personal chef who won an episode of Food Network’s Chopped, this converted house filled with old-timey knickknacks is pure charm.

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Cakes & Ale

155 Sycamore Street, Decatur, GA, 30030

404-377-7994

Now in larger digs in Decatur Square, chef-owner Billy Allin is taking more risks, and the flavor combinations thrill. David Sweeney, formerly of Dynamic Dish, cooks brilliant lunches at the bakery next door.

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Carver’s Country Kitchen

1118 West Marietta Street, Atlanta, GA, 30318

404-794-4410

Once predominantly a grocery, Robert and Sharon Carver’s meat-and-two has cleared away the canned goods so their many fans can sit and gorge on meatloaf, collards, cornbread, and other Southern-style favorites.

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Chanterelle’s

646 Evans Street, Atlanta, GA, 30310

404-758-0909

This charming chef-run cafe offers a mix of soul food specialties and ambitious home-cooked meals.

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Chicken and the Egg

800 Whitlock Avenue, Marietta, GA, 30064

678-388-8813

Chef-owner Marc Taft, previously general manager of Midtown’s defunct Pacci, brings Atlanta’s Southern culinary revival to the northwestern suburbs.

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Curly’s Fried Chicken

1021 Howell Mill Road, Atlanta, GA, 30318

404-872-7888

Chicken, lightly coated in a mixture of flour and hot spices and fried in canola oil, is of course the marquee dish, but the fried fish (whiting fillets) is even better.

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Eats

600 Ponce de Leon Avenue, Atlanta, GA, 30308

404-888-9149

This students’ heaven in a dive location serves fresh vegetables, pasta, and jerk chicken at unbeatable prices.

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Empire State South

999 Peachtree Street, Atlanta, GA, 30309

404-541-1105

Famed chef Hugh Acheson directs a talented crew who create a playground of ideas and an expansive vision of Southern food. Don’t miss the coffee counter, baked goods, and wine list.

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Farm 255

255 West Washington Street, Athens, GA, 30601

706-549-4660

The only way to be more literally farm-to-table would be if this restaurant set up tables in a pasture. You don’t just eat virtuously; you eat well. Chef Whitney Otawka trained under Hugh Acheson (and had a stint on Top Chef Texas).

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Five and Ten

1653 South Lumpkin Street, Athens, GA, 30606

706-546-7300

Five & Ten put Hugh Acheson—and Athens—on the culinary map. He mingled the Southern lexicon (catfish over grits, Lowcountry Frogmore stew) with influences from France, Mexico, and Italy.

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Greenwood’s on Green Street

1087 Green Street, Roswell, GA, 30075

770-992-5383

Bill Greenwood’s eccentric take on American down-home cooking rests on serious culinary roots, and his funky Roswell restaurant has charm to burn.

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H. Harper Station

904 Memorial Drive, Atlanta, GA, 30316

678-732-0415

Classic and newfangled concoctions are made with equal care at Jerry Slater’s handsome bar and restaurant, housed in a former train depot in Reynoldstown.

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Harold’s Chicken and Ice Bar

349 Edgewood Avenue, Atlanta, GA, 30312

404-577-0001

The menu couldn’t be simpler: Chicken comes with fries and cole slaw, or choose wings, catfish, perch, gizzards, and liver. The sit-down environment may come as a surprise to those familiar with the Chicago fast-food institution.

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Heirloom Cafe and Fresh Market

815 North Chase Street, Athens, GA, 30601

706-354-7901

Heirloom houses a takeaway market and does a brisk breakfast and lunch trade. Evenings and weekends the pace is slower, with a small but inventive dinner menu and standout brunch focused on local foods.

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Holeman and Finch Public House

2277 Peachtree Road, Atlanta, GA, 30319

404-948-1175

There is, of course, that famous burger, served at 10 p.m. and at Sunday brunch. But at its essence, Holeman and Finch exists to serve you pork.

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