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The best breakfast in Atlanta?

 

 

AJC Staff

AJC Staff

My recent column about Thumbs Up Diner got a number of people asking: Where do you go for breakfast in Atlanta? 

Personally, I do like Thumbs Up a lot — but not the one in Decatur as much as the older branch on Edgewood Ave. in the Old Fourth Ward. Why? Because the dishes I like come out just the way I like them. The tofu and veggies are big, sloppy and steamy enough to wilt their bed of raw spinach. The omelettes are fluffy and (usually) free of brown spots. The sunny side up eggs have that edge of crisp brown lace. The biscuits are whole-wheat rocks, but in a good way. 

Lots of people love Ria’s Bluebird on Memorial Drive for its pancakes and poached eggs served with slow-cooked brisket. (Ria’s, along with Thumbs Up, were both recently named as two of the “59 Best Breakfast Places in America” by Esquire Magazine.) Others swear by the Social House on Howell Mill Road for its ginormous platters of fish and grits and variations on Eggs Benedict. And then there’s Waffle House. It may all be about the eggs. 

Hillary Clinton tells the best scrambled egg story, which goes something like this. Soon after her family moved into the White House, Chelsea woke up in the middle of the night, scared. Clinton did what she always does for her kid: went into the kitchen, took out a pan and started scrambling eggs. The sleepy, bathrobe-wearing staff went into high alert, and soon a cook appeared to whisk the pan out of her hand. Clinton had to explain, “You don’t understand. I’m her mother. I have to scramble the eggs.”

Indeed. The person who cooks your eggs — whether a short-order diner cook or your mom — does a lot for your soul. 

So, where are the great breakfasts around Atlanta?

161 comments Add your comment

FM Fats

March 26th, 2009
9:21 pm

Manuel’s is a fine option for weekend breakfast. The pancakes are excellent and you can pretty much count on getting a table right away unlike J. Christopher or Thumbs Up. Prices are a bit lower than some of the hipster hangouts, too.

jimmy

March 27th, 2009
8:56 am

I enjoy Goldberg’s on occasion. Salty nova and scrambled eggs (or salami and eggs), an everything bagel, a potato latke, apple sauce, and sour cream. Yum.

T

March 27th, 2009
10:46 am

Dude, Flying Biscuit’s oatmeal pancakes are unique, unexpected and unblievably delicious with either fruit compote or yummy syrup.

Jeez

March 27th, 2009
10:51 am

Silver Skillet…….That’s it – That’s all!

Puggie Mama

March 27th, 2009
10:53 am

Highland Bakery
J. Christopher’s

DecaturCyn

March 27th, 2009
10:56 am

Decatur’s “Pastries a Go Go” makes moist, cheddary scrambled eggs and fluffy pancakes that are absolutely stuffed with blueberries. And if you’re at Java Jive near Va-Highland, try their very good scrambled eggs with fresh herbs and cream cheese.

Ho Slap

March 27th, 2009
10:56 am

Your mom’s.

HRK

March 27th, 2009
10:58 am

It’s all about RIa’s Bluebird across from Oakland Cemetery. Mmmmmm…I can taste the omlette and pancakes now!

Kassie

March 27th, 2009
10:59 am

R.Thomas has the greatest french toast…also the Original Pancake House on Memorial is really ood!

Ga Peach

March 27th, 2009
11:00 am

The best Saturday breakfast is the Silver Grill Midtown on Monroe and 8th Street. The pancakes and warm syrup are delicious and their specialty omelets are generous and tasty. Great value for the meal in this economy. Excellent service as well.

reservoirDAWG

March 27th, 2009
11:05 am

Hardee’s biscuits and sausage gravy.

DayDay

March 27th, 2009
11:07 am

Radial Cafe and Stone Soup Kitchen!

Michelle

March 27th, 2009
11:07 am

Rise N’ Dine. It’s right by Emory.

Gary

March 27th, 2009
11:08 am

At Mr Swiss in Cumming it’s hard to beat a hot biscuit, filled with butter and strawberry jelly.

Slothtosser

March 27th, 2009
11:09 am

Totally agree about Pastries a Go Go – it’s one of the best hidden gems in all of Atlanta. Their cat-head biscuits are by far, the best biscuits I’ve ever had.

Ivy McAllister

March 27th, 2009
11:12 am

The best breakfast is at “the social house”

Lea

March 27th, 2009
11:16 am

Thumbs Up Diner mainly because they have chicken sausage and bagging pancakes! American Roadhouse on N Highlands is a close second for their FRESH strawberry and blueberry pancakes!

reservoirDAWG

March 27th, 2009
11:16 am

I thought Mr. Swiss closed?

Cindy

March 27th, 2009
11:17 am

Silver Grill and Landmark Diner are always good. I also love Waffle House and IHOP (don’t judge me).

Grad

March 27th, 2009
11:21 am

The Social House has me completely enraptured, right now. It’s my goal to keep going until i’ve tried EVERYTHING on the menu…5 down and many more to go, with not a single disappointment as of yet to report.

Richard H. Bradford

March 27th, 2009
11:22 am

For forty-plus years it’s been the Majestic Diner on Ponce for me. The food is just greasy enough and the wait staff just snippy enough to ensure a satisfying breakfast.

ihorizon

March 27th, 2009
11:27 am

I live next to Cumming so where is Mr Swiss located?
I like breakfast at Biscuit Barn John’s Creek, Dillards in Buford and Suwanee – (can’t beat their grits!), and J Christophers in Duluth.

ihorizon

March 27th, 2009
11:28 am

Oh! And don’t forget Cracker Barrel!!!

pnorth

March 27th, 2009
12:18 pm

The Original Pancake House on Memorial Drive. Still packed on Saturday and Sunday mornings, despite the somewhat decrepit surroundings.

CH

March 27th, 2009
12:21 pm

SOLSTACE in Grant Park has the most creative and delicious breakfast offerings I’ve yet experienced!!

Amy

March 27th, 2009
12:30 pm

I have to second the Highland Bakery…I’ve never been disappointed yet! Cafe di Sol near Highland and North has a great brunch with awesome blueberry pancakes!

ken

March 27th, 2009
12:34 pm

MiMi’s near Perimeter…..without a doubt!

James B

March 27th, 2009
12:35 pm

The chicken sausage at ThumbsUp is really good and I go to the East Point location but I do go to Pot N Pan on Piedmont often as well. More for the gays and grays and the service then the food.

John Kessler

March 27th, 2009
12:36 pm

I may lose my Decatur residency papers for saying this but: I don’t really like the biscuits at Pastries a Go Go. I find them too soft and crumbly. (But am a fan of the other baked goods.) Interesting how in Decatur we have so many distinct visions of biscuit in such close proximity — the bready, hard-shelled ones at Thumbs Up, the crumbly catheads at Pastries a Go Go, and the two versions, cream and lard, at Watershed. Watershed lard biscuits get my vote…

Fred

March 27th, 2009
12:37 pm

Original Pancake House on Cheshire Bridge. Mmm… Bacon Pancakes!

Meaghan

March 27th, 2009
12:37 pm

West Egg on Howell Mill. Creative dishes and a really nice atmosphere.

Amanada

March 27th, 2009
12:37 pm

West Egg on Howell Mill is fantastic. The grits are amazing

Tori

March 27th, 2009
12:42 pm

Stone Soup in Grant Park. All the food is great. The staff are superfriendly. Reasonable prices. Open until 3:00 for those weekends when you sleep in and wake up wanting breakfast.

JenWins

March 27th, 2009
12:44 pm

Hands Down, Thumbs Up Diner

hyde

March 27th, 2009
12:47 pm

thumb’s up for the food, Goldberg’s for the bagels, Silver Skillet for the ambiance and OK Cafe for business breakfast.

Angela

March 27th, 2009
12:48 pm

Hands down… Highland Bakery. That place is fantastic. The shrimp and grits are to die for. I crave them on a regular basis. The sweet potato pancakes are heavenly. Well worth the trip.

MC

March 27th, 2009
12:50 pm

I like Pastries A Go Go in Decatur as well. Their Biscuits and Sausage Gravy on the weekends is great.

Thumbs Up is solid.

But my favorite that has not been mentioned is Sweet Melissa’s in Decatur. The waitstaff is awesome, and they have great tofu offerings.

sammy

March 27th, 2009
12:53 pm

Rexall diner in Duluth..yummy bisquits and pancakes

gail tison

March 27th, 2009
12:54 pm

JR’s Bar-b-que in Norcross. Try Leonard’s favorite – HUGE pancakes, eggs, bacon. YUMMY

cynthia

March 27th, 2009
1:11 pm

2 thumbs up to the East Point Thumbs Up!

Leigh

March 27th, 2009
1:12 pm

Stone Soup on Woodward Way rocks and the art is good.

Mrs. W

March 27th, 2009
1:13 pm

The West Egg on Howell Mill is good. Thumbs Up is really good too with its heaps (potato dish served in a sizzling hot skillet), non-pork meat options and great French Toast.

HCS

March 27th, 2009
1:15 pm

ANYTIME I’M IN ATLANTA BREAKFAST AT AMERICAN ROADHOUSE ON HIGHLAND IS A MUST. MENU, SERVICE, AND COFFEE CAN’T BE MATCHED AT ANY OTHER PLACE.

Trae

March 27th, 2009
1:17 pm

American Roadhouse in Virgina Highland
Carroll St Cafe in Cabbagetown

Bill

March 27th, 2009
1:26 pm

I LOVE the Brisket Breakfast at Ria’s. The tofu scramble is very good, too, and I’m no vegetarian….

Garrett

March 27th, 2009
1:31 pm

Flying Biscuit!

tammy

March 27th, 2009
1:33 pm

The iron skillet on Donald Lee Howell is the best breskfast ever.

Jon

March 27th, 2009
1:34 pm

I didn’t know that breakfast was served anywhere in Atlanta but at The Skillet on 14th Street. Is it?

imjustduckie

March 27th, 2009
1:40 pm

Surprised that Gato Bizco in Candler Park not on here. That’s OK – ya’ll keep going to those other places and I’ll keep the crosseyed cat to myself!!

Magellan

March 27th, 2009
1:41 pm

Stone Soup Kitchen right between Cabbagetown and Grant Park has atmosphere as well as yummy food. The service is excellent too. Whole wheat biscuits and yellow (stone ground) grits with bacon my faves.