Looking for brunch downtown? Atlanta Breakfast Club is a reliable choice

The diner serves American staples with Southern flair during breakfast and lunch
The chicken and waffles at Atlanta Breakfast Club

Photograph by Jennifer Zyman.

The name of Chef Anthony Sanders and O. Osiris Ballard’s restaurant group, Good Food and Company, sums up their relationship perfectly.

“I’m good food, he’s company,” said Sanders, who has over 20 years of experience in the restaurant world. Ballard, on the other hand, comes from corporate America and the private business sector. Together, they’ve created Atlanta Breakfast Club, a cozy pit-stop near downtown’s major tourist attractions (the Georgia Aquarium, World of Coca-Cola, Children’s Museum of Atlanta, among others) where other food options are somewhat limited. “We wanted to be in a diverse enough area where we see all types of people,” says Sanders. “We wanted to get tourists. We wanted to capture people that, already, were in the city. We wanted capture people that come to the city often.”

The eggs Benedict on a biscuit with bacon at Atlanta Breakfast Club

Photograph by Jennifer Zyman.

Visit ABC on any given day and the restaurant is packed with families, men in suits, and young couples canoodling over hotcakes and coffee. Sanders says the best sellers are the salmon croquettes and the shrimp and grits. He calls the peach cobbler French toast “Atlanta in one bite” because it’s made with two of the city’s biggest food icons: peaches and Coca-Cola. But the most popular dish is chicken and waffles. “We inherited the chicken and waffle responsibility after Gladys Knight’s Chicken and Waffles went out of business,” he says, referring to the shuttered diner that was located just a mile from ABC. “It’s an Atlanta staple, so it’s always going to be one of our best dishes,” he says.

I concur—the chicken and waffles are solid. The breast meat is moist and has a good amount of seasoning inside and outside of the fried skin, which reminded me of Chick-fil-A. The waffle wedges were sweet enough to contrast the salty chicken, and both sat on a bed of house syrup. I was equally impressed with the eggs Benedict-style biscuit made with thick, crispy turkey bacon in lieu of Canadian bacon and dirty gravy in lieu of Hollandaise.

Now that ABC has established a solid fan base (you’ve probably scrolled past someone eating there on your Instagram feed), Sanders and Ballard have two more businesses in the works. They’ll open a sister restaurant, Good Food and Company, in West Midtown in early spring 2018. They are also partnering with Phoenix Roasters to create their own coffee brand and are opening a cafe called Coffeehouse Atlanta. Until then, you can rely on Atlanta Breakfast Club for a proper breakfast with friendly service before hanging out with whale sharks or getting your picture taken with the Coke polar bear. Parking can be tough since they are located right across from the aquarium, but that also means there is a full (paid) parking deck right across the street if street parking is sparse. I parked a few blocks behind the restaurant, and the brisk walk back to my car made me feel like eating both biscuits and chicken and waffles was totally justified. 49 Ivan Allen Jr. Boulevard, 470-428-3825