25 Essential Black-Owned Restaurants in Atlanta

Serving everything from seafood to soul food, these Black-owned restaurants are the backbone of Atlanta's food scene.

Photo courtesy of Slutty Vegan
Founder and owner of Slutty Vegan, Pinky Cole | Photo courtesy of Slutty Vegan
Founder and owner of Slutty Vegan, Pinky Cole | Photo courtesy of Slutty Vegan

One of the reasons Atlanta has so much flavor and culture is because its Black community has such a strong creative and entrepreneurial presence throughout the city, from the music industry to the food scene. With well over 100 Black-owned businesses and restaurants inside the perimeter alone, figuring out how to even begin supporting Atlanta’s Black community may seem like a daunting task, but a great place to start is with its restaurants. To help you navigate the Black-owned food scene without too much overlap, we’ve compiled a list of eateries where you can indulge in everything from seafood and breakfast to soul food and pizza, and for extra measure, we have also included spots where you can grab some seriously good coffee and cocktails. Here are the 15 essential Black-owned restaurants in Atlanta.

With Chef Scotley Innis and mixologist Mike Haze at the helm, Continent Restaurant & Cigar Lounge boasts an upscale dining experience that certainly doesn’t miss a beat when it comes to its food and drink selection. On the food menu at Continent, you’ll find a tantalizing selection of dishes that include their much-loved Oxtail Lo Mein and Lobster Mac + Cheese (a side dish with the bravado of a main course). For those in the market for a sophisticated sip, opt for the Sunsets Over Chamblee, a lush-worthy combination of DeLeon blanco tequila, Aperol, fresh lime juice and champagne syrup.

Available for Reservations

Toast On Lenox

Buckhead
$$$$

Contrary to its name, you’ll find more than just toast on the menu at this Buckhead hotspot. At Toast On Lenox, you can keep it hearty with the Lenox Ave. Breakfast (a hearty assortment of breakfast staples) or opt for something a tad lighter with their Southern Fried Chicken Salad. And because brunch just isn’t quite brunch without a mimosa to wash it all down, Toast has plenty of options for this bubbly sip. Mimosa flavors include orange, pineapple, watermelon, peach, blackberry, strawberry, grapefruit, and apricot.

Available for Reservations

Gilly Brewing Company

Stone Mountain
$$$$

Housed in a historic space that dates back before the Civil War, Gilly Brew Bar is a unique coffee shop that slings experimental coffee and tea elixirs to guests on a daily basis. If you’re not in a rush, be sure to take time to head upstairs to their wraparound porch to enjoy your creative concoction while taking in views of Stone Mountain Village. And if you’re hungry, Gilly welcomes an assortment of tasty food pop-ups on a regular basis.

When the urge for something sweet hits, there’s nothing better than a decadent ice cream sandwich to satisfy your craving. At Cathy’s, you can get personal by creating your own customized ice cream sandwich by choosing your cookie, ice cream and toppings. Not in the mood for an ice cream sandwich? Don’t worry, we won’t judge you. Cathy’s also sells scoops of ice cream, milkshakes, and cookies.

Twisted Soul Cookhouse & Pours

You’ll find plenty to love at Twisted Soul Cookhouse & Pours, a West Midtown eatery that specializes in simple, soulful dishes. A straight-forward dinner menu finds mouth-watering Southern staples, including Fried Green Tomatoes (generously topped with candied bacon, white Alabama BBQ sauce, and tomato caviar) and Southern Marinated Fried Chicken. And be extra sure to save room for dessert. This menu features a tantalizing trio of options that include Creme Brulee Cheesecake, Banoffee Cream Pudding, and Bourbon Peach Cobbler.

Available for Reservations

With dishes that include 24 Karat Gold Pancakes and Lobster Mac & Greens, suffice it to say that brunch at Breakfast At Barney’s is a little on the lavish side. But it doesn’t get more extravagant than their Mansa Musa Tower, a shareable spread of 24 Karat Gold Pancakes, fried lobster, grits, fried chicken, waffles, and premium champagne that’s priced at a cool $1,000. Keep in mind that Breakfast At Barney’s doesn’t accept reservations, so make sure you and your crew arrive early and are ready to wait it out a bit.

At Tassili's Raw Reality Café, a raw vegan restaurant located in Historic West End, you can leave the guilt at home. Here you’ll find veggie-packed wraps that are hearty, healthy and heavy on flavor. Not sure where to start? You can’t go wrong with a Spicy Kale Wrap. This popular pick combines spicy kale salad, soy mayo, avocado, and tomato.

Available for Delivery/Takeout

Phew’s Pies

West End
$$$$

You haven’t lived until you’ve had a chance to sink your teeth into one of Phew’s Pies Lemon Pepper Wet pizzas. Buttery, cheesy, and with a slight citrus tang, their Lemon Pepper Wet has gradually become a staple among foodies in The A. You’ll also find a handful of other unique offerings on the menu at Phew’s Pies, including the Honey Hot and Oxtail & Ricotta pizzas.

Cheesecaked

Downtown Atlanta
$$$$

If you’re cheat meal-ready, CheeseCaked is a great place to indulge thanks to their over-the-top desserts. Although CheeseCaked does sell personal-size cheesecakes, brownies, cannolis and other sweet treats, their milkshakes are a must. These sizable sips are topped with all kinds of sugary additions, including cotton candy, cookie pieces and even cheesecake! It’s like dessert on top of dessert on top of… well, you get the idea.

Fellaship

Castleberry Hill
$$$$

Founded by NFLer Cam Newton and his brother Cecil Newton Jr., Fellaship is a luxe cigar bar that also prides itself on its selection of equally luxe meals and cocktails. This cigar bar/restaurant provides a tasty selection of small bites, but if you’re feeling hungry, head to the entree section of their menu for hearty dishes that include Ponzu-Glazed Scottish Salmon and Toot’s Seafood Pasta. Fellaship does have a dress code, so be prepared to look just as chic as the restaurant’s plush interior.

Available for Reservations

Since breakfast is often considered the most important meal of the day, it’s only right that we start this guide with a Black-owned restaurant whose main focus is serving mouthwatering breakfast food. Open every day from 6:30 am to 3 pm, the Atlanta Breakfast Club has all of the classic early morning meals that you expect—from old-fashioned oatmeal and buttermilk pancakes to breakfast bowls and customizable omelets—as well as standout menu options like the Fried Green Tomato BLT (fried green tomato, smoked pork bacon, avocado puree, sweet corn “caviar,” and two buttermilk biscuits) and Peach Cobbler French Toast (shortbread crumble, vanilla butter, and powdered sugar). If you want to start your day off right, go to ABC.

Available for Delivery/Takeout

Parlor Cocktail Den

Castleberry Hill
$$$$

Thanks to its assortment of creative signatures—including the Smooth Operator (Old Forester Signature 100, Passion Fruit Liqueur, Hibiscus-Mint, Lemon), Unbothered (Indoggo Gin, Green Chartreuse, Lime, Unoia CBD Agave, Roses), and many more—Parlor has solidified itself as one of the best places to drink in Atlanta. Although that alone is a great reason to highlight Parlor as one of Atlanta’s essential Black-owned restaurants, the cocktail den also boasts an impressive birria menu, too. Guests can either go with the lamb, shrimp, portobello, or chicken birria or try the Parloramorous entree that comes with three tacos—one lamb, one duck, and one lobster—topped with pomegranate tzatziki sauce, orange marmalade sauce, & creole garlic butter sauce. Whether you’re hungry or thirsty, Parlor has you covered.

Available for Delivery/Takeout
Roc Southern Cuisine
Roc Southern Cuisine | Photo by Henri Hollis

Roc Southern Cuisine

Buford Highway
$$$$

As you’ll see when reading the rest of this guide, Atlanta has plenty of solid soul food restaurants, but one Black-owned eatery that brings a modern twist to all of our favorite Southern staples is Roc South Cuisine. Co-signed by the Atlanta Hawks’ own Lou Williams, Roc South puts a luxurious spin on classic soul food dishes like fried chicken, seafood gumbo, fried fish, candied yams, collard greens, and black-eyed peas—all while keeping most of its menu items at a manageable price point. If you are willing to pay a little extra for Roc South’s finer menu options, you can’t go wrong with the fried lobster tail, the lamb chop entree, or the whole fried snapper. There’s a lot to choose from, but whatever you do—do not leave Roc South Cuisine without getting a side of mac n cheese. It may be $10, but it’s so worth it.

Available for Reservations

Busy Bee Cafe

Vine City
$$$$

There’s no better local Black-owned restaurant to start with than Busy Bee Cafe. Founded in 1947, the Southern landmark is one of the oldest and most legendary eateries in the city, and thanks to its famous fried chicken, Busy Bee Cafe has been able to transcend generations with ease. Lil Baby, Killer Mike, Oprah, Samuel L. Jackson, and Vice President Kamala Harris are just a handful of notable people that have paid the beloved Atlanta restaurant a visit over the past few years, so don’t sleep—Busy Bee Cafe still has plenty of soul.

Available for Delivery/Takeout

Chicken wings are an Atlanta staple, so it just wouldn’t be right to round up the most essential local Black-owned restaurants without giving a major shoutout to one of the city’s longest running wing spots. Located at the main floor of the old Citizens Trust building, Kenley’s wall is adorned with countless photos of celebrities who have come and grabbed some food from the time-honored establishment, from P. Diddy to Desi Banks. The restaurant is known for its chicken wing and soul-food menu options, so do yourself a favor and join the long list of important people who’ve got some good food from Kenley’s.

Available for Delivery/Takeout
SluttyVegan ATL
Slutty Vegan | Photo courtesy of Slutty Vegan

Slutty Vegan ATL

Multiple locations
$$$$

While the two previous restaurants have some serious history on their sides, Pinky Cole is currently etching her name in Atlanta’s history books with her growing Slutty Vegan empire. The plant-based burger joint has four locations spread throughout the A, so whether you’re ITP or OTP, you can see how great its menu options—like the signature One Night Stand, the plant-based chicken sandwich known as the Chik’N Head, or the plantain PLT sandwich — really are. And thanks to the spirited crew members working at each location, pulling up to Slutty Vegan is an experience that you’ll never forget.

Available for Delivery/Takeout

No restaurant in Atlanta does Gullah Geechee cuisine quite like Virgil’s Gullah Kitchen. A standout in an admittedly incredible string of Black-owned restaurants in Downtown College Park, Virgil’s impressive menu options—we’re talking okra soup, shark bites, and baked macaroni & cheese—are down-right heavenly. Plus, the friendly service, comfortable atmosphere, and overall communal vibes makes for one of the best bar and dining experiences in the city. 

Available for Delivery/Takeout

Urban Grind Coffeehouse

West Midtown
$$$$

While you debate with yourself whether coffee shops belong in a restaurant guide or not, just know that Urban Grind is more than deserving of a mention as one of Atlanta’s essential Black-owned eating establishments. The quaint and cozy coffee shop has plenty of drink options for local coffee addicts, and if you get hungry while working—or “grinding,” as Cassandra Ingram’s shop likes to call it—you have to try one of Urban Grind’s criminally delicious panini sandwiches.

Available for Delivery/Takeout

Bankhead Seafood

Grove Park
$$$$

Killer Mike and T.I.’s joint business venture may still be approaching a proper brick and mortar opening, but Atlanta’s support for Bankhead Seafood’s revival proves why it must be considered one of the city’s essential Black-owned restaurants. Originally founded by Helen Harden in 1968, Bankhead Seafood dished out fried seafood for 50 years straight, and as soon as Harden decided to close up shop due to her declining health, Killer Mike and T.I. immediately stepped up and ensured that future generations wouldn’t miss out on the classic Grove Park eatery. While it’s currently operating out of a food truck, Bankhead Seafood is set to re-open very soon, so get ready to enjoy a Bankhead Platter while marveling at all of the restaurant’s stunning renovations.

Available for Delivery/Takeout

Edgewood Pizza

Old Fourth Ward
$$$$

Another classic Atlanta eatery is Edgewood Pizza, aka the home of the “King Slice.” This Black-owned pizzeria sits on the corner of Edgewood Avenue and Boulevard, and it’s only a quick walk away from the King Center, hence the name of its enormous “King Slice.” Edgewood Pizza is a local staple where you can enjoy expertly crafted pizza, dozens of vibrant art pieces, and some straight-up good vibes.

Daddy D'z BBQ Joynt

Grant Park
$$$$

A mere drive by Daddy D'z BBQ Joynt with the windows down will tell you everything you need to know about one of Atlanta’s favorite hole-in-the-walls. The barbecue stand may not look like much, but the beautiful smoky smells wafting from the casual Memorial Drive restaurant could almost convince a vegan to pull up. Whether you’re ordering a half slab of ribs, a pulled pork sandwich, or a smoked beef brisket, just know that Daddy D’z is going to get you right.

Available for Delivery/Takeout

Desta Ethiopian Kitchen

Multiple locations
$$$$

One of the most amazing aspects about the Black community is the cultural ties it has to countries all over the world, and luckily Atlanta has plenty of food options that represent the diversity of the African Diaspora. One of those culturally rich restaurants is Desta Ethiopian Kitchen, and whether or not you know how to properly eat with injera, Desta’s excellent service makes it the perfect place to learn.

If you’re in the mood for brunch—the boozy kind, of course—at a Black-owned restaurant, you can’t go wrong with Ms. Icey’s Kitchen & Bar. For starters, Ms. Icey’s doesn’t make you put off brunch until the weekend, so you can enjoy the most important meal of the week Wednesday through Sunday from 11 am to 4 pm. Furthermore, Ms. Icey’s food is absolutely out of this world. Described as “urban contemporary with heavy Southern, Caribbean, and Cajun influences, the menu is overflowing with great food choices, from the Sweet Potato Waffle & Egg plate and the Bodega Breakfast Sandwich to Nene’s Etouffee and Grandma’s Oxtails. The drink options are equally as dynamic, so do brunch the right way at Ms. Icey’s Kitchen & Bar.

Available for Reservations

Hippin’ Hops Brewery & Oyster Bar

East Atlanta Village
$$$$

To run a successful Black-owned brewery is a really big deal, so it was a no-brainer to include Clarence and Donnica Boston’s new EAV concept as one of Atlanta’s essential Black-owned eateries. The Hippin Hops Brewery & Oyster Bar has staked its claim as the first African-American-owned brewery in Georgia, and with the recent announcement that it has purchased its own liquor still, Hippin Hops will soon be Atlanta’s first African-American-owned distillery. Pull up to the ambitious Glenwood Avenue brewery for Hip-Hop-themed oysters, delectable lobster rolls, cajun shrimp deviled eggs, and—most importantly—craft beers that are brewed on-site, from IPAs to stouts.

Suite Food Lounge

Downtown
$$$$

The final entry in this guide is a Black-owned bar, restaurant, and lounge where you know, if all else fails, you can count on eating delicious food and having a great time. Posted up right beside Downtown’s biggest tourist attractions, Suite Food Lounge boasts an varied and tasty menu—from the mouthwatering honey lemon pepper Suite Wings to the bourbon salmon & grilled shrimp entree—and a stylish interior that features a swanky dining area, several bars, huge TV screens, a lounge area, and gorgeous skydeck. Atlanta is known for its nightlife, so it’s only right to put you on to one of the most lavish Black-owned bars and lounges in the city.

Joshua Robinson is an Atlanta-based contributor for Thrillist. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter at @roshrisky.

Danielle Harling is a contributor for Thrillist.