There’s nothing better than sitting down to a nice brunch... except sitting down to a presumably even nicer brunch picked by some of Atlanta’s sweetest chefs, which is why we got 11 of ‘em to do exactly that. Feast your eyes:
Chef Michael Patria of Ecco
His pick: Atmosphere (address and info)
Chef Patria is partial to brunch at Atmosphere because regardless of your mood, “the food is really spectacular.” For a sweet treat, he enjoys the decadent French toast with strawberries and whipped cream. On the more savory side, the croque madame -- the ultimate ham and melted Swiss cheese sandwich topped with fried eggs, and served with house-made French fries -- “always hits the spot. And their Bloody Mary is excellent.”
Chef Stuart Tracy of Parish
His pick: TWO Urban Licks (address and info)
Old Fourth Ward
Chef Tracy’s advice? Skip your typical pancakes & eggs brunch and head straight for a burger -- and not just any burger; it needs to be a behemoth. “I like walking the BeltLine to grab the Big Ass Burger at TWO Urban Licks' brunch,” Tracy says. The 100% ground short rib patties lend the burger an unbelievably delicious flavor, and the addition of applewood-smoked bacon and rustic cheddar make it “just what I need after a hard weekend in the restaurant.”
Chef Ryan Smith of Southbound
His pick: Local Three Kitchen & Bar (address and info)
Atlanta’s king of Southern hospitality and locally inspired cuisine heads here, where the incredible-tasting food is only bested by the sheer volume of selections. “When I manage a Sunday off,” he says, “my fiancée and I love to enjoy Local Three Kitchen’s brunch buffet." Sure, the line can back get a little backed up, but the incredibly delicious variety of options (including biscuits & chorizo gravy and peaches & cream custard French toast) more than make up for it.
Chef George Yu of Makan
His pick: La Tavola Trattoria (address and info)
Like Chef Tracy, George Yu considers beef a vital component of a great brunch. He hits up La Tavola on the reg, especially during patio season because it brings a rare European charm to the heart of the Highlands. “I always get the steak and eggs,” Yu says, claiming it’s perfectly marinated. Also, don’t forget about the smoked salmon crostini with pickled red onions, marinated olives, and chive mascarpone -- it’s irresistible.
Chef Hector Santiago of El Super Pan
His pick: Ria’s Bluebird (address and info)
Hector Santiago, of the forthcoming El Super Pan (going into the Ponce City Market this fall), digs the brunch classics at Ria’s Bluebird for brunch. “I love to go for pancakes at Ria’s Bluebird. Add a side of Pine Street Market bacon and a few eggs, and I’m in heaven!” he says. His second pick? The bold, delicious flavors at Arepa Mia. “When I get south-of-the-border cravings (way south), I go to Liz at Arepa Mia for an Arepa de Guayanesa, with tangy and tender Venezuelan cheese.” Washing it all down with a refreshing Malta, he says, “also fills me in all kinds of ways.”
Chef Mike Perez of Colletta
His pick: Oak Steakhouse (address and info)
Interestingly enough, Mike Perez doesn’t often want sweet breakfast foods. So it’s all about savory, American-inspired sandwiches that are also appropriate for other meals. “The lobster grilled cheese sandwich with kettle chips is stupid delicious,” he says.
His other pick: King + Duke (address and info)
When he’s not blasting his belly with sandwiches from the ‘burbs, he’s... um, doing the same thing with sandwiches from King + Duke. “Their fried chicken sandwich is insane,” he says. He’s right.
Chef Cameron Thompson of Farm Burger
His pick: The Grant Park Farmers Market (address and info)
The perfect brunch for Cameron Thompson means a trip to the Grant Park Farmers Market. Not only is there a wide variety of delectable local treats to choose from, he says there are “no crazy crowds or long waits." Since local favorites like Revolution Doughnuts and the Spotted Trotter can be found there hawking their wares, a typical brunch for Thompson includes coffee, donuts, and sausage. And then probably more donuts.
Chef Savannah Haseler of Twain's
Her pick: The General Muir (address and info)
The General Muir is Savannah Haseler’s pick because of its versatility -- it’s casual enough to bring the family to and it’s also a solid choice for a special occasion. She orders the poached eggs and grits plate. It's a classic choice with a gourmet twist. “Their silky poached eggs and cheesy grits are so delicious,” she says. Perfectly poached eggs placed atop earthy roasted mushrooms and served alongside rye toast sticks and rich, buttery Gruyere grits mean “I always have a great brunch when I’m there.”
Chef Joey Stallings of Sweet Auburn Barbecue
His pick: Argosy (address and info)
When Chef Joey Stallings isn’t slinging some of the city’s sweetest ‘cue, he likes to kick back and relax like the rest of us... and that often means an adult beverage or three. “When I wake up in time for brunch, my cure for the libations still in my system from the night before can be found in the fried chicken at Argosy,” Stallings laughs. “It has some sort of honey glaze that makes it perfect. And I like to stay local to my home in East Atlanta for my delicious quick fix!” Stallings is also a fan of the bartenders here, and pairing brunch with their Irish American cocktail: with espresso, Jameson, and Irish cream.
Chefs Matt Weinstein and Chris Maher of ONE. Midtown Kitchen
Their pick: Home grown (address and info)
Co-chefs of perennial hometown favorite ONE. Midtown Kitchen, Matt Weinstein and Chris Maher are renowned for the unique cuisine they create with their differing, complementary styles. Interestingly, despite those culinary differences, they agree when it comes to brunch: Home Grown is the move, calling it their “go-to spot for brunch.” They typically alternate between the specials and a menu staple, the Comfy Chicken Biscuit: fried chicken crammed into a soft, buttery biscuit, all of which groans under the weight of a gorgeously obscene amount of sausage gravy. Plus, coffee.
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1. Atmosphere1620 Piedmont Ave NE, Atlanta
2. Two Urban Licks820 Ralph McGill Blvd NE, Atlanta
3. Local Three Kitchen & Bar3290 Northside Pkwy NW, Atlanta
4. La Tavola Trattoria992 Virginia Ave NE, Atlanta
5. Oak Steakhouse950 3rd St, Atlanta
6. King + Duke3060 Peachtree Rd NW, Atlanta
7. The General Muir1540 Avenue Pl NE Ste B-230, Atlanta
8. Argosy470 Flat Shoals Ave, Atlanta
9. ONE. Midtown Kitchen599 Dutch Valley Rd NE, Atlanta
10. Home Grown968 Memorial Dr SE, Atlanta
Atmosphere focuses on traditional French food with a modern twist served in a restored home built in the mid-50s. It is casual yet elegant and is a favorite for weekend brunch.
The kitchen at Two Urban Licks is cooking up wood-fired meats and fish with a fiery kick. If you come here with a group, consider sharing some of their delectable small plates like salmon chips, lamb lollipops, and bronzed sea scallops. The warehouse space offers breathtaking views of the city, but the best part? Their epic 26-foot wine wall that holds 72 stainless steel barrels of wine from which the waiters pour directly.
Local Three Kitchen is deeply dedicated to the holy trinity of restaurants: food, drink, and hospitality. With a huge, fresh, and seasonally variable menu, diners always leave happy and satisfied, drawing out consistent rave reviews. ATLiens love its atypical all-you-can-brunch (served inside the actual kitchen) and the most popular side dish on the menu: duck fat fried Brussels sprouts.
Their motto is "Pasta Perfected" so that should give you a pretty good idea of the type of place this is (a good place to order pasta). The restaurant is warm and welcoming, and the menu includes dishes like Squid Ink Linguini with pesto and Mushroom Ragu Tagliolini with truffle oil.
Oak Atlanta features contemporary small plates that pay homage to local ingredients from neighboring farmers and purveyors. Views of the open kitchen make the experience both delicious and visually engaging.
Named after characters from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, King + Duke is a storybook tavern in Buckhead with colonial-style cooking. The space is anchored by an open, 24ft hearth, where traditional American dishes like whole-roasted chicken and bone-in ribeye (it's called "The King," and you'll be having it for dinner) are cooked over wood-fueled flames. In keeping with the literary motif, the Southern-inspired craft cocktails reference literary classics, like plantation rum-based “On Stranger Tides” and “Drums of Autumn” with peach-infused bourbon. Dine inside, among aromas of a campfire, or on the expansive back patio, can of local brew in hand.
The General Muir is an homage to the timeless New York-style deli, though the white subway-tiled space looks more like a demure bakery than a generations-old Jewish deli. The hallmark of the morning-to-night menu is, of course, the bagels, which are hand-rolled and kettle-boiled. Sandwiches are named after the streets of Alphabet City and served open-face with smoked fish spreads ranging from nova and schmear to trout salad. The rest of the menu reads like a combination of Katz's and Russ & Daughters: house-cured pastrami with chopped liver, latkes with apple sauce, and matzoh ball soup are all there. The only giveaway that you're not in New York is the friendly smiles from the people dining next to you.
This massive bar in East Atlanta Village is a local late-night watering hole. Until 2am every night, this restaurant dishes out funky craft brews and everything from mini hot dogs, to gourmet pizzas, to seasonal entrees. Always bustling, this a great place to bring a group for drinks in the spacious beer garden.
Located in a renovated warehouse, ONE Kitchen's cooking up gourmet American eats (wood grilled seafood, handmade pasta, and pecan smoked bacon burgers) that no doubt pair perfectly with their extensive wine collection. ONE offers a vast selection of affordably priced red and white varietals from Europe and the Americas, but if cocktails are more your thing, don't worry: ONE's also known for their refreshing, fruity spiked punches.
Home Grown is the kind of diner that will feed any and all cravings. The breakfast and lunch menu features diet-killing comfort plates like the Billy Boy, a whipped cream-topped stack of chocolate chip pancakes with a side of home fries and a Coke, ten kinds of biscuit sandwiches, and fried bologna on grilled Texas toast. While everything here is worth sampling, the open-faced Comfy Chicken Biscuit (crisp and juicy fried chicken atop a buttery biscuit and drowned in creamy sausage gravy) has been called one of the best things to eat in all of Georgia.