March 2011We asked our diverse line-up of contributors to tell us about their favorite Intown breakfast and brunch joints and they delivered. You’ll find some of the regular suspects (Waffle House) and newer places (The Mercantile) that offer meals to fuel your day – or night.

We want to hear from readers what their favorite breakfast/brunch spot is in Atlanta. Leave a comment below!

Karen Head

The Mercantile: Even though they just started offering breakfast, the crowds tell the story. The menu isn’t large, but there is something for everyone. From the chocolate croissant with French press coffee to oatmeal with maple cream, to the bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich (the eggs are luxuriously soft with herbs), this is breakfast done right. My favorite is the sausage biscuit with pepper jelly. The biscuit has a lovely browned crust covering a flaky inside, perfect for enveloping the sausage (no grease in sight) and for soaking up that pepper jelly. 1660 DeKalb Ave., Suite 150.

Radial Café: For sit-down, full menu experience, including an extensive list of vegetarian and vegan offerings, it is hard to beat Radial. Everything meets a strict green and organic standard. They have wonderful rotating specials, and for the more lunch-minded brunch goers, they have great sandwiches and burgers. My favorite is the red flannel hash with corned beef and poached eggs. 1530 DeKalb Ave.

Gato Bizco Café: For quirky breakfast, there isn’t any place better. Need your protein fix? Try the Senor Sparky with six eggs! The huevos rancheros are excellent, with red and green sauce. But hands down, my reason for going here is the sweet potato pancakes. Divine! 1660 McLendon Ave. (404) 371-0889.

Annie Kinnett Nicols

Majestic Diner: Great for late night breakfast and I love the hash browns and other menu classics. I’ve been going there all my life with my parents and friends and now my daughter. This is true, tasty diner food. 1031 Ponce de Leon Ave.

Ria’s Bluebird: Breakfast served all day and everything on the menu is good. I love the huevos rancheros with blue tortilla chips, flavorful eggs, and salsa verde – light with just a little kick. Good coffee, too. 421 Memorial Drive.

Bagel Palace: This is a real New York-style deli in Toco Hills. Love the potato pancakes and I always wind up buying a cookie or pastry to take with me from the old-school display counter. 2869 N. Druid Hills Road.

Kathy Vogeltanz

Cafe Intermezzo: Cappuccino with Schlag and Black Forest cake are my perfect morning indulgences, but everyone can find something that they like, usually among the cheesecakes. The old world atmosphere adds a touch of elegance. Locations on Peachtree Road & Ashford Dunwoody.

J. Christopher’s: The fruit crepes are heavenly and the coffee drinks come in mega-mugs. Servers are always cheery, which can sometimes be annoying, but overall it’s a comfortable place to meet up with friends. Multiple locations.

Waffle House: WH has an unbeatable kitsch factor – and the hash browns (scattered, smothered, covered, capped and peppered) are my guilty pleasure. When someone asks to “see the real Atlanta,” WH and Krispy Kreme are two spots they must visit.

Patrick Dennis

Silver Skillet: Best French toast ever. It’s also a great people for people watching, including everybody from under the Gold Dome. 200 14th St.

Horseradish Grill: Fried green tomatoes, giant portions of fried chicken or just about anything. Steve Alterman makes you feel special and the atmosphere is elegant, but cozy in the old horse barn. I take friends here for a special meal or drinks. 4320 Powers Ferry Road.

Waffle House: We always go to the on Roswell Road near Chastain Park. I always get a waffle and cheese eggs, and you never know you might see there. Once, we saw Kenny Rogers.

Sandy M. Tyler

Stone Soup Kitchen: I love this little neighborhood diner because the staff and the food are equally good. They open only for breakfast and lunch, with breakfast served all day. Serving families and hipsters in the Grant Park area, their menu includes plenty of vegetarian options, freshly baked pastries and amazing soup to take away for later. I always leave happy. 584 Woodward Ave.

Drip Coffee Shop: I’m self-employed, and I love going to Drip in Glenwood Park to work a few mornings a month. This shop really caters to an Intown crowd with Dancing Goats Coffee, organic snacks and ice cream from local companies, and they make breakfast sandwiches to order behind the counter. 928 Garrett St.

Ria’s Bluebird: Everything they serve is great – pancakes, vegetarian specialties, biscuits and gravy and the best crispy bacon Intown. Ria’s serves up breakfast that’s New Southern hip.

Helen Grebe

Cafe Lapin: Tucked away in Buckhead, this French-style eatery offers arguably the best quiche in town (ask for the daily selection) served with salad and fruit. For guests that enjoy more traditional breakfast fare, try the French toast or buttermilk pancakes, simply sublime.  2341 Peachtree Road.

Mary Mac’s Tea Room: For those diners who enjoy an ample amount of lunch fare available at brunch, Mary Mac’s is a home run. Try their fried chicken with turnip greens and finish it off with Georgia peach cobbler and sweet tea. If you hanker for breakfast, dive into their cinnamon rolls. 224 Ponce de Leon Ave.

Cafe Intermezzo: Often overlooked for brunch, Intermezzo dishes out a tasty brunch and two can’t miss items include their myriad of delicious crepes (try the petite dejeuner crepe with black forest ham, scrambled egg, cheddar cheese and real Vermont maple syrup) or their crabcakes benedict.

Manning Harris

Roxx: I like the Sunday brunch at Roxx, especially the Peachtree Morning special with eggs, bacon and grits. It’s a comfortable, laid-back, welcoming place. 1824 Cheshire Bridge Road. (404) 892-4541

Silver Skillet: For yummy breakfasts, you can’t beat the “old Atlanta” atmosphere of the Silver Skillet. Everybody has been there, from Diane Sawyer to disreputable governors of Georgia Again, basic eggs, toast, or pancake dishes are the best.

Pot & Pan: Another fun place to kick back and enjoy just basic breakfast food is the Pot-n-Pan on Piedmont Ave. The friendly staff will soon know you by name. 1865 Piedmont Ave. (404) 874-0340

Tim Sullivan

Home Grown: They have a French toast sandwich with a fried egg and sausage that I’d put up against any meal in the city.  It’s friendly, laid back and my kids love it, too, especially when Kevin comes out of the kitchen with a homemade ice pop for them. My family is mostly from New York so I bring them here because the atmosphere is so deliciously southern and the prices and décor make you feel like you time warped to the 1950s. 968 Memorial Drive.

Stone Soup Kitchen: The food is as good and the place is as welcoming as the name would suggest. My favorite meal is the East Haven Scramble, which has just the right amount of zing to the eggs.  I usually splurge for the auxiliary buttermilk pancake as well because I can’t resist.

Carroll Street Café. This Cabbagetown mainstay is just a couple of blocks from my house but has a way of feeling like a quick trip to Europe. I keep it simple here with the Cabbagetown Breakfast – a couple of eggs and sausage with the potato of the day. 208 Carroll St.

Tina Chadwick

J. Christopher’s: The Goddess Omelet – ohhhhhhhh, yes! We take visitors there because it’s really good ingredients to start with and they know what to do with them from there!

Waffle House: My favorite is the patty melt with plain hash browns. I wouldn’t take visitors there, but it’s good for friends and late night.

Leon’s Full Service: I love the pig smörgås, which has country ham, melted Gruyere grand cru, cherry jam, pineapple on toast. Local ingredients, really good food put together in interesting ways. And the bread…yes, the bread…and, well, the butter. 131 E. Ponce de Leon Ave.

Staff Picks

Highland Bakery: Our favorite is still the Old 4th Ward original. Just try and resist all those delectables in the pastry counter. 655 Highland Ave.

Osteria 832: The Saturday and Sunday brunch (served 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.) is a favorite with local families in Virginia Highland. 832 N. Highland Ave.

American Roadhouse: Biscuits, bagels, eggs, omelets, pancakes and much more. 842 N. Highland Ave.

Java Jive: Formica tables and vintage kitchenware give this breakfast spot an extra side of fun kitsch to go with your bacon and eggs. 790 Ponce de Leon Ave. (404) 876-6161.

Murphy’s: You might have to wait for a table during weekend brunch service, but it’s worth it. 997 Virginia Ave.

Flying Biscuit: For our money, the original location in Candler Park is still the best. 1655 McLendon Ave.

White House: Buckhead’s moves and shakers are often found here for breakfast at this city institution that has been in business since the 40s. 3172 Peachtree Road. (404) 237-7601

West Egg Café: Located in the White Provision complex, this breakfast and brunch hotspot is always jumping on the weekends. 1100 Howell Mill Road.

Steinbeck’s: Sunday brunch at the Oakhurst ale house features crème brûlée, French toast, fresh baked biscuits with sausage, grits and more. 659 East Lake Dr., Suite B.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.

4 replies on “Break for Breakfast & Brunch”

  1. Café Alsace in Decatur. I tried the Croissant aux epinards, DELICIOUS. Their French Toast (being that they make it with REAL French Toast) is quite frankly the best!

    Sweet Melissa’s in Decatur. I was very pleasantly surprised by the presentation of a Hot Chocolate 🙂 Not to mention ALL of their breakfast and lunch items are very good, and the service is always so friendly.

    Silver Skillet on 14th. I rarely make it out there, but YUM!

  2. Sublime Doughnuts and Goldberg’s Bagels for bulk “take home” breakfast. I’m a big fan of the breakfast at The Shed most recently.. But love Radial and Gato Bizco too!

  3. I agree with almost every spot mentioned, especially Radial and J. Christopher’s, but I have to give a shout out to “Sun In My Belly” ! Located on College Ave. in Decatur. Great atmosphere, great place to bring out of town guests, and incredible food. We really love their breakfast sandwich with eggs and super-thick slices of bacon, French toast with berries, and fabulous pastries and coffee to go. Also good for lunch any day.

  4. I cant believe anyone would vote for j.christophers,everything served there comes frozen off a sysco truck,thawed and put on a plate to serve to the poor person that is willing to pay for that. Atlanta has many amazing breakfast spots,cant believe j,christuphers was even mentioned.

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