Food & Drink

From Gladys Knight's to JCT, these are Atlanta's 10 best soul food spots

Published On 05/21/2014 Published On 05/21/2014
Sebastian Davis
Paschal’s Restaurant
K&K Soul Food
JCT Kitchen & Bar
Sweet Georgia's Juke Joint
Roasters
Who’s Got Soul Southern Cafe
This is It!
Gladys Knight’s Chicken and Waffles
Sebastian Davis
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1. Paschal's Restaurant 180 Northside Dr NW, Atlanta, GA 30314 (Castleberry Hill)

In addition to serving some of Georgia's most legendary fried chicken, Paschal's was a key meeting place for civil rights activists throughout the 60s and 70s -- suffice to say, Dr. Martin Luther King jr. was a noted regular. With a lifetime achievement award under their belt, the restaurant's founders are something like local celebrities, admired for their historic civic hospitality, and equally lauded for their inarguably delicious food. The joint's famous chicken, still battered up and fried with the Paschal brothers' famous 1947 recipe, is certainly deserving of its impressive acclaim, and the remainder of the hearty Southern eats on the menu -- po' boys, shrimp and grits, andouille sausage-heavy gumbo -- are equally worth of praise.

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2. K&K Soul Food 881 Donald Lee Hollowell Pkwy Nw, Atlanta, GA 30318 (West End)

This eatery serves up true, Atlanta soul food. They've got all the expected classics like mac & cheese, but they're not skimping on other, lesser-known options like oxtail and turkey wings, served up buffet style.

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3. JCT Kitchen 1198 Howell Mill Rd NW, Atlanta, GA 30318 (West Atlanta)

JCT is an American contemporary restaurant and bar serving extensive food and drink menus, but if you want to have some of the best fried chicken and cocktails of your life, get those.

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4. Roasters 6225 Roswell Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30328 (Sandy Springs)

Known most of all for their roast chicken and veggies, Roasters offers up fast-food style, simple recipes for their rotisserie chicken, brisket, and thick slabs of ribs that satisfy, plus other classics like meatloaf.

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5. Sweet Georgia's Juke Joint 180 Peachtree St, Atlanta, GA 30303-1704 (Downtown)

Juke's an expansive sonic shack celebrating the famous barrelhouses of old Mississippi with great food, drinks, and daily live music, decked with a brilliant 3-D mural by local artist Stacey Brown, and wetland-inspired details like a backlit bar wall with cattail silhouettes, a glass partition with tadpole-shaped patterns, and even reclaimed barnwood on the bathroom counter to give it "a bit of an outhouse feel", also what you get if you leave the door unlocked, and're really, really lucky.

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6. Murrell's Cafe 700 Martin Luther King Jr Dr SW, Atlanta, GA 30314 (West End)

Murrell's claims they offer food that's good for your soul. And we can't argue, with delicious bites like fried fish, mac and cheese, and mashed potatoes. Good for your soul? Definitely. Good for your arteries? Maybenotsomuch.

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7. Whos Got Soul 3818 Covington Hwy, Decatur, GA 30032 (Decatur)

Grab a plate full of of rib tips, cornbread dressing, and smothered pork chops at this down-home, Southern soul food eatery.

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8. This is It! BBQ & Seafood 3523 Camp Creek Pkwy, East Point, GA 30344 (East Pointcollege Park)

Butch Anthony’s small soul food chain that is taking Atlanta by storm. With chicken, fish, and pork cooked up with traditional yet lip-smackin' recipes, who can deny the call of the ultimate comfort food?

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9. Gladys Knight & Ron Winans Chicken and Waffles 529 Peachtree Street, Atlanta, GA 30308 (Downtown)

From the “The Empress of Soul” herself, GKRWCW is the undisputed bastion of Atlanta chicken and waffles. With brunch all day, this down-home, Southern eatery serves up all the classic dishes you could want, including fried green tomatoes, collared green spring rolls, and more.

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10. Wyatt's Country BBQ 1674 Memorial Dr SE, Atlanta, GA 30317 (Kirkwood)

The building may be a patchwork of shingles and plastic, but the miracle comes when you take one of their full racks of perfectly-crusted ribs to your mouth and thank whoever the patron saint of pork is.